The old days and the old ways is coming back the America. This is no time for a fake positive attitude and fear of being judged in poor spirit because you fail to openly recognize reality. I do believe in being positive, but balanced with realism. What does the 2016 election mean?
I was born in the Northeast of the U.S. but I grew up in the South. I am keenly aware of the change that has happened. I’ve seen it before. That makes me more desensitized to it. I was not shocked by the election, and I took it fairly easily. Even though I voted a different way, I predicted the eventual outcome if the turnout took a certain form. I was informed by a post I saw that showed the traditional voting pattern in most elections. My prediction came true. My mother did not analyze the situation as I did, but made an accurate prediction months in advance.
In any event, I write these words for anyone confused about the changes about to take place. Someone who may find something useful in the words I share.
First, I want to go back in time. About 7 years ago. I thought about ideas for improving the economy following a huge economic recession. I came up with infrastructure jobs. I wrote a blog post about that years later (2012) that explained one approach to infrastructure jobs in generic, technological terms (deal in technology and such). It was not my idea, and I am sure I heard it from someone. It was a widespread concept in 2009/2010. Unfortunately, we did not get an economic stimulus that would turbocharge the economy, we got a healthcare bill. The problem was, people don’t need healthcare if they are out of work.
I felt over the last few years that the decisions that took place at odds with some of the analyses I’ve made perhaps meant I misunderstood quite a few things. Reality is, my understanding was not entirely in error. The problem was, the advisors to the President Obama failed him and, by extension, failed us. They occupied a grossly developed conceptual landscape that had nothing to do with Main Street.
Now, it is time for the next truth. Ivy league educated political and social scientists may be experts in argumentation and issuing reasoned statements, but the more liberal among them are often wrong. As I say this, I align with liberal and progressive values (not entirely). The reality is, despite what people might say from here until the next 100 years, America is largely a Republican, conservative leaning country.
What I see is that people are willing to try Democrat leaders if there is a strong possibility of money to be had or real social strife to redress. The problem of this election is that liberals where in a psychological bubble in which they wanted to acknowledge only the reality to which they aspire and not acknowledge the reality as it truly is. They forgot that the country was actually Republican and that is an interesting situation when your ideas are not naturally aligned to the deep sensibilities of the majority. The reaction to progressive ideals came in the form of repudiation this election. The Democrats failed to deliver on the promises of widespread prosperity. People were left behind in the pursuit of lofty, aspirational changes that didn’t pan out.
That brings us to the next truth. People really don’t like sophisticated leadership. They will tolerate sophisticated people as long as such persons are of minimal nuisance or the prospect of money is real, but there is something seemingly intolerable about a person who appears too smart for their own good. People don’t like that and conservative people really don’t like that if the messenger is not conservative. With personality being a liability, the margin of victory for a Democrat candidate is far too slim in a country that is majority white, conservative, and nostalgic for earlier times of Eurocentric privilege writ large. It will be a long time before the people give a Democrat candidate another chance. People got a bona-fide savior from the recession of 2008, but after that storm passed, people wanted much more than what was delivered.
Subtle racism will return. Subtle mannerisms and other social-psycho expressions of superiority will return to a greater extent. Some of the people under an Obama regime who found more opportunities for professional, civic, and social success may see their lot reverse. The historical record actually shows that history repeats (see the plight of Blacks after Reconstruction). It won’t be the same for everyone in this situation, but the overall result will be the same. Attempts will be in full swing to re-establish what is known as an Overton Window.
Would life have been different if Obama and Clinton had remained senators and more active activists within the halls of government? Probably. Whomever swung them towards the Presidency was a genius. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were neutralized with the election of Obama. Republicans made a huge mistake in governance that led to the 2008 recession and went away for a while as people forgot about that. Obama indirectly became a sure path to recover the party. I don’t believe that was planned (only the obstruction part), but it did turn out the way some foresaw. You only to hold back a leader from a lower social group long enough to move focus away from your own errors. A playbook that will be used again in the future.
Much of the major news media comes out of major metropolitan cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. While the populations of those cities are huge compared to each individual city of the Rust Belt, the demographics of the large cities create a false image of what society is like. The news media got it wrong this election because they don’t live where most everyone else lives. They are too disconnected from those that tune in to watch them. If there was influence from the news media, it has worn off. The media lost its power. Twitter gave people an avenue to express and confirm what they really feel.
The lessons are as follows:
- The country has been and always will be Republican. That is the cultural heritage of the United States.
- Racial preference in the majority population is the default mode of the society. Often disguised but taking on a variety of forms from the most subtle to in-your-face.
- Progressive leaders are listened to more when times are good for everybody.
- People switch back and forth between Republican and Democrat symbols every few years when they don’t get what they want.
- Elections are always about the economy and the candidate best able to channel the blame often wins.
- You have a big blind spot about life and society if you have grown to be too sophisticated in your thinking, values, and preferences.
- In America, they may not always show it, but the majority of the Rust Belt rules.
What are your choices in such a circumstance if you don’t fall naturally within the ethnic or social mores of the civilization you inhabit? I have personally seen it all. You wouldn’t think I have, but from my youth until various times of adulthood, I’ve seen well-timed racial slurs, group patronization of a single minority, utterances of wished upon genocide of another group, and numerous slights on multiple dimensions. What do you do in the face of all that?
You have but one choice. Continue to live. The social world we exist in is made up, arbitrary, subject to change. Your physical life is real. Endure all you can and continue to live. The life you inhabit may turn out miserable from one point of view. If you find the strength to brush aside predation, passive aggressive impositions of others, and simply strive as much as you are able to be not harm others, then you will find reason to go on. People underestimate the simple intention of living and respecting the lives of others, but if that is your aim, you can live. Whatever else you believe in addition to that is icing on the cake. Empires fall, and nothing (both good and bad), at least in this world, lasts forever. Endure what you find distasteful and carve out of your slice of existence the peace to go on to the next day and the next.