Surviving America’s Great Depression

A similar thing happens to me on many mornings lately.

My eyes open and I suddenly become aware that I’m awake. My mind quickly begins assembling the first few seconds of my day (making plans, organizing my checklist), when a terrible interruption breaks in and I remember:

Yes, that madman is actually going to be our President. That really happened.

The realization again turns my stomach, and I find myself contemplating going back to sleep but know that I can’t. I begin replaying everything in my head and struggle once more to make any sense of it all.

And just like that it’s November 9th all over again—and a fresh grief returns.  

Or the sickening reminder may abruptly intrude later in the day, while I’m having dinner with friends or driving through the countryside or playing in the yard with my children or laughing at a movie I love; tempering the joy, dimming the light.

And I know that I’m not alone. I know that every single day some variation of these moments is being played out millions of times inside the heads of people all over this country; people like me who have found the reservoirs of hope dangerously low since November, and who can’t seem to shake the profound sense of dread hovering always in the periphery of their daily life.

Yes, this is our Great Depression.

And it isn’t just the reality of the man who we’ve allowed to ascend to the Presidency, though that would be reason enough for despair. It’s the ugliness we’ve seen as he’s made his way there. It’s the sickness that the America we love has shown itself afflicted with. It’s the weight of every horrible reality about our nation; all our bigotry and discord and hatred set upon our chests, hampering our breath.

But it’s much closer than that, too.

It’s the words we’ve heard from family members, the stuff we learned about our neighbors, the social media posts from church friends, the incendiary sermons from our pastors, the arguments we’ve had with co-workers. Every square inch of life seems polluted now. Nothing feels untouched.

And the question becomes: How do we transform this near paralyzing sense of sadness into something redemptive?

As with all grief, eventually there must be movement. When there is profound loss of any kind, the only real path is forward; to craft something beautiful and meaningful and life-affirming in response to what has been taken away. You learn to walk again, even if it is with a limp. You begin the painful, laborious act of living in direct opposition to your grief.

It is the same in these days for those of us who feel cheated out of a kinder, more diverse, more decent America than the one we now have. Individually and collectively we will have to be the daily, bold, defiant pushback against all that feels wrong here.

This pushback will come in the small things; in the art we create and the conversations we have and the quiet gestures of compassion that are barely visible.

It will come in the way we fully celebrate daily life; having dinner with friends, driving through the countryside, playing in the yard with our children, laughing at a movie we love.

It will come as we loudly and unapologetically speak truth where truth is not welcome.

It will come as we connect with one another on social media and in faith communities and in our neighborhoods, and as we work together to demand accountability from our elected officials.

It will come as we use the shared resources of our experience and our talents and our numbers to ensure that our children inherit a world worth being here for.

It will come as we transform our grief into goodness.

Yes friend, there is a great deal to grieve over in these days and there will be more to ahead—but there is even more worth fighting for.

So yes grieve, but then move.

Be fueled by your sadness, strengthened by your anger.

And find a way to keep moving forward, even if it is with a limp.

Together we will survive this Great Depression—by resisting it.

263 thoughts on “Surviving America’s Great Depression

        • Yes I need help because I just cannot see that the sky falling. I must have a serious disorder if Chicken Little’s daily prophesies of doom and gloom are not getting through to me.

          • Haha funny. It’s difficult to see the sky falling from your postion , but go ahead mock these good people all you want they have legit reasons to be concerned.

          • I thought you said you were going to be more of a gentleman here in 2017. Sorry to say it, but that resolution has apparently fallen by the wayside. It is not gentlemanly to call people names.

          • Joe Catholic, I am a 52 year old Jewish woman. I grew up with Holocaust survivors but it never felt real to me. I never thought anti-semitism could come, would come into my life. But the day after the election there were swastikas on stores only a few blocks from my home, and on the playground where my Rabbi brings his children to play. A woman 3 blocks over had her car vandalized with the phrase “It’s our p***y now, b***h.

            Suddenly Nazis, real live Nazis are all over America. I blocked someone on Twitter who used the handle “Uncle Lampshade.” That’s a reference to the fact that some Nazis were reputed to have used the skin of Jews to make lampshades. So far I haven’t experienced more than swastikas and online trolling, but my gentile father in law is telling me that he is hearing more and more anti-semitism in his native Louisiana.

            My best friend is applying for jobs in New Zealand. My gentile husband doesn’t want to move to New Zealand but he has agreed that my daughter and I might need to leave the country if things get bad. He is big, and white and Christian. He won’t be targeted, but we both see the signs.

            This is real, and it is happening because Trump told these people that they no longer need to hide in the shadows.

            • Ms. Sanger, report this to the FBI and your State’s SBI. Those people are the same ones working on November 8th and their priorities haven’t changed. If you don’t get movement on this, contact the SPLC. Make sure it end up on their HateWatch list.

              Hate only prospers when we do nothing.

              Also, are you aware the President-elect has a Jewish daughter (she went through the conversion process with her father’s full support), son-in-law and three Jewish grandchildren – all observant modern Orthodox?

              • That’s good advice, I will report it to the FBI.

                I do know that Ivanka converted to Judaism, and that her husband (who doesn’t wear a yarmulke) was born into Orthodox Judaism.

                Trump has not repudiated the hate groups who are an integral part of his coalition. The alt right embraces him, and he does not reject them. Steve Bannon, famous for turning Breitbart into a “home for the alt right,” Trump’s close advisor and campaign manager, is going to be advising Trump from inside the White House. He has clearly telegraphed that he has no problem with the hate groups which support him.

                I don’t know how he squares that with the fact that his daughter is a convert to Judaism. But I do know this, he has empowered the alt-right and my people are in the cross hairs because of it.

                • While I agree with everything you say, at the same time I beg you to cease to use “alt right” and let’s call a spade a spade. People who call themselves this term simply don’t want to admit that they are bigoted, homophobic, neo-Nazi, racist, white supremacists. Let’s not enable them in their denial.

                • Recent anti-semitic actions would be related more to Mr Obama, not Trump. Obama just delivered a brutal blow to Israel and her people by letting the UN make up even more rules for Israel to live by . And I think Obama has something else up his sleeve before he exits office. Be alert.

                  • When Israel stops treating Palestinians the way the Nazis treated Jews, then Israel deserves help. But how can you really expect the USA to support genocide?

                    The Romans destroyed Israel in the 70s CE. The UN restored it in 1948. In the meantime, people lived there and they have a right to their homes.

                    Israel needs to learn to share.

                    The only reason some Christians want Israel around is so that in their perverted eschatology there will be something for the anti-Christ to destroy so we can all enjoy Armageddon.

                    Despite the fact that the Book of the Revelation was about the Roman Empire. Never should have been admitted into the canon of the NT.

                    Acts of Paul and Thecla would have been of much more use.

                    • 1948 the leaders of the Palestinian people and the surrounding Islamic Nations decided to eradicate the fledgling State of Israel. They were going to slaughter the Jews of Palestine.

                      The faces of those leaders have changed, but little else. Hezbollah and Hamas aren’t conjuring their money and weaponry out of thin air yet why aren’t their patrons being punished? Their money, friends and religion don’t make them possible ‘punching bags’ for the UN and the media.

                      Yet, Israel is the one place in the Middle East an Muslim woman has consistently been able to cast a vote in a democratic election for the past sixty years.

                      Perhaps if we lived with the constant bombings, stabbings and rocket attacks, we might better understand why Israel behaves the way it does towards the Palestinian people.

                      It didn’t stop in 1948 either. There were wars in 1956, 67, 73, 82, 87 and on and on … up to and including Gaza in 2011.

                      Does the IDF do bad things? Yes. Does the Israeli government use their control of roads, ports and air space to wreck the Palestinian economy? Yes.

                      Is the Nation of Israel constantly under threat of annihilation by neighboring Islamic Nations? Yes.

                      Sorry, but if the Palestinians keep supporting leaders and ideologies which call for the extermination of the Jews, the Jews have little choice but to fight back and to fight back hard.

                      Their land? Maybe if they hadn’t tried to murder the Jews in 1948, or minded who had the leases on the land in the first place ~ aka absentee landlords who sold them to the Zionists. Maybe if the Palestinians followed a rational policy of co-existence …

                  • Seriously, you need to use more responsible media sources. Obama and Kerry are trying to gently remind Bibi not to circumvent democracy in Israel in service to his proclivity for settlements, which are illegal, btw. The Israelis are taking Palestinians land and squeezing them into what amounts to an open air prison. It’s worse than Apartheid. You need to get up to speed on this subject.

          • November 9th on my daughter’s college campus, male students were walking around saying, “Happy grab a p***y day!” It is real. Trump made it okay to hate again.

            • Yup. The way he speaks about women is disgusting. Vile.

              I never thought that my country could empower a misogynist, and turn a blind eye to anti-semitism. But I was wrong.

              Perhaps this isn’t the country I thought it was.

              • With so few people voting, it’s hard to say what the USA is anymore.

                Is your name really Margaret Sanger, or is that a pseudonym? I ask merely because the Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, had some very different political views than you.

    • hey! Joe CATHOLIC! I I wish you would delete Catholic from you ID. You are not speaking for the church, the members of the church, your parish or even a Catholic friend if you have any. You are simply speaking the religion as you interpret it perhaps amending it to agree with your quirks as you practice it. You certainly don’t speak for the Catholics I know or for me. Why do you include it in your identifying tag. If you can figure it out after some soul searching honestly, then share your excuse

      • Are you a Catholic, barb?

        When I first posted here there weren’t many Catholics, so I wanted to be sure it was understood I was posting from a Catholic perspective. It’s amazing that of late there are many Catholics now posting besides me, but all of them seem to be pro-choice and “cafeteria-Catholic” types.

        Please give me an example of something I said that was against Catholic teaching. I will give it an honest look and take it back if I see that I was wrong.

        I don’t “interpret” Catholicism in any way. I do my best to tell the truth about what the Church teaches and what is required of a practicing Catholic. Please give me an example of something which I personally interpreted which misrepresented the Catholic Church.

        • Well I certainly knew priests who spoke with much more compassion than you. And, none of my Catholic friends feel the need to rebuke or shame my opinions even knowing I am a lapsed Catholic. They respect my opinion just as I respect their faith and opinions.

          • And neither do I. Yet so many lately have been coming at me with “I am a Catholic, but you don’t speak for me, etc.” and so I just want to be clear what they mean, and so far there have not been any who claim to be Catholics who actually believe in practicing the faith totally. I will happily and gladly let a real practicing Catholic who is better and smarter than I am express the Catholic perspective, but until such a person comes along, then it will be little old me expressing myself as best I can, well-aware of my own sins and flaws.

            The problem with an unmoderated-anything goes situation such as this reply section in the blog is that there are many nasty things said and sometimes I think it’s necessary to play as rough as they do, though I really do strive not to. I don’t “lack compassion” but it’s very difficult to express it in this context where people like me are called racists, homophobes, bigots, misogynists and other not-so-nice names.

            I respect your opinion, but if you’re going to say abc is what the Catholic Church says and if it’s not, then I’m going to challenge it.

            • Not true Joe you have been vitriolic on your own initiative. You have not initiated civil discourse with those you disagree with and you are an expert at justifying yourself. The only time you have been civil is when you have not yet determine if someone agrees with you. If we are liberal, progressive, LGBTQ positive or pro-choice you have acted like an attack dog and a mocking jester who despises us.

              I have not forgotten it was you who posted the man laughing at Hillary supporters after the election when all we were doing was expressing our grief and shock that she lost. It was spiteful and mean spirited.

              Stop playing innocent when you are not.

              • Sorry, but I thought that was very funny. We need some therapy too in the face of all the name-calling and predictions of the end of the world.

                  • Laughing at the expense of others is mean and you won’t convince me otherwise. I have grown to dislike your presence here on the blog immensely because of your mean spiritedness and presumptuous attitude towards those who share on this blog.

        • I don’t know specifically what “the church” teaches but I do know that Jesus taught…love your neighbor and I definitely don’t see that coming through in any way in your comments. Just my humble opinion.

        • I have been privileged to know many lovely catholic people. My Uncle Eli, the only member of my family on my mother’s side to have survive the Shoah and moved here talked about a lovely Catholic lady who used to smuggle meat and fresh vegetables to the ghetto where he was before being sent to Dachau.

          I don’t think a good Catholic can stand by in the face of hate. Certainly that was the belief of the many Catholics who opposed the Nazis, and the one who helped my Uncle Eli.

          Supporting Trump means allowing hate into your coalition and saying nothing about it. Supporting Trump means giving the Neo Nazis a seat at the table.

            • you have chosen to not see it…and that tells us all we need to know about you. There are many in this world with out sound mind let us pray for them.

              • I really don’t see that the sky is falling or that Trump is Hitler. I see no evidence of either–just fear and accusations.

                On the other hand, Christians who supported Hillary Clinton knowingly turned their backs on the most innocent and helpless among us. You chose to support abortionists and not to protect their victims.

                • That’s fine Joe, but there is evidence based on Trump’s words during the campaign, but I guess you are saying his words are not reliable.

                  Are you saying Trump was putting on a show and didn’t mean everything he said?

                  How can you trust anything he says then? Is there a special way to understand Trump-babble?

                  Do we need the Enigma Machine?

                  • I know what Clinton would have done with the Supreme Court. Trump promised Justices I would be happy with. If he breaks that promise, I will be supporting a Republican candidate to challenge him in 4 years. If he keeps his word, it was well worth the “risk” although from my perspective we had nothing to lose by voting Trump.

                  • Let’s do the math… a little over 1800 abortions a year, 20 million USians receiving ACA benefits.

                    The Senate started to repeal the ACA this morning and instructed the House to have a bill ready by the end of the month to repeal the ACA with NO REPLACEMENT.

                    But it’s all good because of those 1800 babies will be born in 2017 and their mothers, at least, will not be able to get them medical care.

                    But, hey, the babies will be born.

  1. One of my worst moments came, of all places, at the Hall of Presidents in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World last month. As I watched the roll call of Presidents, some admittedly more impressive than others, and listened to Barack Obama’s words, it hit me who was going to be added soon. I suppose I should have taken hope from some of the poor presidents we have survived, but all I could feel was disgust and sadness.

    • I also would have been disgusted and sad after listening to Obama’s words. What a total failure in every sense of the word. Thank God is days are few!

      • You know what is disgusting and sad? Your rhetorical style. You took something out of her text that was not even implied, rewrote it as if she said that, and then used that to launch a vile bit of nastiness. I am so heartily sick of this kind of stupidity.

        • I am sorry if that offended you, Patricia. I simply do not believe Obama did what was best for our nation and has led us down a path of (financial) destruction. I am optimistic and hopeful that it is about to be fixed (at least partially). And Gloriamarie; I am offended by your question. Hate? And you assume I am racist? Why would you ask that? It is people like you that say such ignorant things that cause me to retreat and leave a discussion. Take your race baiting questions elsewhere. I’m outta here; Peace out.

          • Yeah Bill is racist in my opinion.

            Barack Obama has been a dignified President no matter if you agree with his politics or not. Even Tump, once meeting, with President Obama privately said “he is a good man.”

            stop being racist Bill because that is the only explanation for your slanderous words.

          • Oh, aren’t you defensive? I asked for a point of information and you spin it into a lie. If I wanted to assume you are a racist, I would have assumed it. But instead, I asked you.

            Apparently you don’t know the difference between a statement and a question and your defensive response pretty much answers my question in the affirmative otherwise there would be no reason for you to be defensive.

            • IMHO, by all observation and consideration of the evidence and way in which racists operate, Bill, appears to be a racist.

              No other President has been so vehemently opposed and lied about and slandered, for no reason at all, than Barack Obama, not even Nixon who deserved it.

              The memes and slander about where he was born, how he was raised and what his faith is, was so prevalent and outrageous that I became an admirer of Obama because of how dignified he stood up under that kind of pressure.

              People like Bill continue to deride Obama, even though, he has always had a strong approval rating.

              But, that is because most people can see through the lies. You can’t fool all the people all the time,

              Sorry Bill in this you are wrong.

              • I agree. While I don’t like everything Obama did or wanted… TTP <<<>>… he has been perhaps the most grace-filled President of my lifetime.

                When I think of the economic disaster he inherited, when I think how he protected us from war with Iran, when I think about he just cares about people…

                And when I think that our first black President will be replaced by a person supported by white supremacists, it tells me that the so-called “change” people voted for was a return to the racist days before Johnson signed gthe Civil Rights Act.

                  • Racist? Bwahahaha … it took 8 years of calling EVERYONE who opposed President Obama racist to destroy the validity of the word ‘racist’.

                    Sigh …

                    ‘Racist’ became your attack dog whenever his Liberal/Progressive agenda came under attack … instead of defending the actual agenda. Smugly you sat back as the opposition was shamed into silence again and again … for something which wasn’t the issue. ‘Racist’ became your invincible armor for any argument. So, it is little surprise you didn’t see its erosion toward irrelevance. Oh, there remain racists alright, but having wielded the word ‘racist’ with such a broad brush for so long, the actual racists became difficult to identify. The shame your opponents felt because, deep down, they worried they might be racist, was replaced by anger because when all those people who WERE NOT RACIST discovered their souls were pure of that taint, they realized you had been bullying them with jargon because your arguments on the true issues were vacuous. The anger wasn’t the worst though. The fact it automatically reduced every argument you put forth afterwards to be so much babble. It killed dialogue.

                    America didn’t elect a racist President. America elected a President a handful of people gleefully labelled ‘racist’ only to be stupefied when the rest of America ignored that label. Reality check ~ nearly 63 million Americans didn’t feel he was racist, or didn’t care if he was racist by your definition.

                    Racist … it is to laugh.

                    • Anyone who is not a racist would know that Obama has never been a liberal or a progressive.

                      He is what he has always been: a moderate with a brilliant working knowledge of the Constitution.

                      I expect it is the latter point than makes him seem liberal to those who do not understand what the Constitution says. Such as PEOTUS, VPEOTUS, projected cabinet members, Entirely Too Many GOP elected to government offices.

                    • True Gloriamarie if Obama was white they would not have dared questioned his nationality in such a obnoxious manner. Example Ted Cruz

                    • Ms. Amalfitano … you believe President Obama was a moderate? From a European perspective, I would agree. In the American political spectrum – no. While I would agree with you he is quite bright, it is mostly lost on many Americans because of his lack of aggressive leadership. I honestly think he was unprepared for being Chief Executive of the US and he should have kept to his US Senate campaign promise and served a full term in Congress first before making a run for the Oval Office. I believe that would have propelled Hillary to the position of POTUS in ’08 instead ~ and I’m not a fan.

                      Could she have held off Romney in 2012? Probably not, but now we could well be looking at a brand new President-elect Obama in 2017 – who had serious Capital Hill credentials and expertise herding cats / working with Congress.

                      It has nothing to do with him being Black. It has nothing to do with him being born a ‘bastard’ (technically his father was still married in Kenya when he married Barack’s mother) because I don’t care. He was born on American soil (which, as has been pointed out, is more than Ted Cruz can say) which is all the Constitution requires.

                      Politically – the ACA is a Liberal-Progressive flagship program. Climate Change Accords – more of the LP agenda. Pushing a pro-Human Rights/non-intervention foreign policy is more LP. The whole dialogue of ‘oppressor / oppressed and victimization’ … classic Marxist/Communist thinking. Not that there are not cultural ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’, but the tone of the dialogue was from their playbook and it has been repeated all over the American political landscape since Obama took office. He may be a ‘failed’ Progressive in that much of the ‘hope and change’ he promised he failed to deliver, but he is, in my opinion, firmly in the Progressive camp.

                      As a final note: have you noticed how much the office has aged President Obama? I know every tenure ages the POTUS, but I think Obama’s 8 years have been incredibly grinding especially considering how vibrant he seemed back in 2008.

                    • Good for you James I am glad you can see that a black man can be intelligent and not aggressive. Those two qualities make for a good leader.

                    • Anony-mouse … IMO it is more a case of the wrong leadership style for the time he was in office. He was more of a quiet, Eisenhower-type than a carousing FDR, or a blustering Teddy R. and he never had a Congress that worked well with him. Even when the Democrats were in charge, he would ‘nudge’ them along when a more authoritative touch was necessary to get the House and Senate on the same page. After the 2010 mid-terms, he never showed the ability to marshal his forces and work with divisions within the Republican Party to get things done and the only person who could do that was the President. He was never able to bargain, threaten and cajole an obstructionist Congress the way B. Clinton and Reagan did.

                      By aggressive, I don’t mean going all ‘Rambo’ on Capital Hill. I mean leading the charge on moving Bills through Congress, taking initiative and putting the oppositions’ feet to the fire ~ and President Obama simply didn’t do that.

                      As I have posted in this thread earlier, I feel Obama came to the Presidency too early without the proper 1st hand experience on how Congress worked.

                      In theory, it should have been Hillary C. in 2008, Romney in 2012 and then Obama in 2016. Both Hillary and Romney would have been undone by the sluggish economy. “Hope and Change in 16” would have murdered Trump.

                    • James, In other words Obama has integrity and did’t make deals or compromises with recalcitrant Republicans

                    • Anonymous, as President of the United States ~ our Chief Executive ~ it was Obama’s job to lead the entire country and give direction to the Congress, not matter which party was in charge. Making ‘deals’ and ‘compromises’ was PRECISELY what he was supposed to do because he was neither a Pontiff nor a Dictator.

                      As an example, I did NOT care that Bill Clinton got ‘oral gratification’ from a person not-his-wife in the Oval Office. His infidelity was an issue between himself and his daughter IMO, not the American public. While it was happening it didn’t appear to affect his job performance – and his job performance was what he was elected for, not his loyalty and fidelity as a husband.

                      I expect morality from my religious and spiritual leaders. Being moral is part of their job.

                      I expect results from my elected secular officials because that is their job. I wouldn’t vote for a person I knew to be immoral mainly because such folk also appear to be crazy, thus unreliable, thus incapable of getting the job done.

                      As a life-long Republican, the second one of my candidates begins talking about “God’s Law” and “God’s Authority”, I know it is time to vote for ‘the other guy/gal’. I live in a secular Nation and I want to keep it that way. If the Almighty really wants someone in High Office, I’m sure He’ll let me know with something besides a dazzling smile behind a teleprompter. An unscheduled eclipse would do nicely ~ a Rain of Frogs if He’s pressed for time. 😉

                      Clear enough?

                    • James interesting perspective. I think Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter and Henry Wallace all have the same kind of integrity. As good decent men they where despised by Machiavellian thinkers like yourself. I worked in politics for 5 years and left after seeing the corruption. I did so because I had a family. There are not enough people with integrity in politics and it is the fault of people like yourself who should be standing up for social justice instead of going along with the flow.

                      Secular society can be good and church should be good.

                      It says in the Bible that God judges the believer and non-believer, both.

                      Are we salt and light to the world or co-conspirators in the political arena outside of church and then a pious hypocrite at church.

                      You have identified the apex of compromise that Jesus preached against.

                    • Anony-mouse … sigh.

                      **
                      “As good decent men they where despised by Machiavellian thinkers like yourself.”

                      * You consider me a ‘Machiavellian thinker’ when all I want is my elected political officials to make rational decisions instead of moral ones? Really?*

                      “I worked in politics for 5 years and left after seeing the corruption. I did so because I had a family.”

                      *So … with this desperate need for people of integrity in politics you left … huh? As a person of integrity, you should have stayed and battled for the electorate who were in dire need of your honesty.

                      You had a family … and that was your excuse for leaving? I would have thought that would be an extra impetus to stay and keep fighting … but you were there, not I. Okay.*

                      “There are not enough people with integrity in politics …”

                      *Maybe because they get on their High Moral Horse and leave?*

                      “… and it is the fault of people like yourself who should be standing up for social justice instead of going along with the flow.”

                      *My fault? You don’t know me, but here is a clue ~ I am James Dosher ~ for real. It is my name. I live in Apex, North Carolina which is a suburb of the capitol, Raleigh. I am married to the Best Women in the World and have two equally wonderful teenage children. I am not hiding my identity from anybody.

                      Social Justice … by whose definition?

                      Going with the flow? Again, you appear to have no clue to my activities, religious and political beliefs, or even what motivates me.

                      As a suggestion, you might want to ask someone who disagrees with you why they think that way instead of making blanket generalizations.*
                      **

                      As to our disagreement:
                      Whose morality?

                      By that I mean ~ thou shall not kill … so does our President surrender if confronted with war? To save lives?

                      Does our President order a drone strike to kill a terror cell which has committed several attacks and is planning, organizing and stockpiling to commit more?

                      Prioritize …

                      Which is more ‘moral’ ~ a Women’s right to chose, or the Rights of the Unborn?

                      Is it the government’s obligation to enforce charity?

                      What is more important ~ a new nuclear carrier, or a new hospital for the VA?

                      What is more important ~ a project to reclaim toxic waste dumps, or a new NASA project to send a manned-mission to Mars?

                      Okay, what did you chose?
                      The rights of citizens, or tissue samples which may one day become citizens? Or, do you legislate the existence of a soul? I personally believe in souls, but I don’t believe I have the right to foist those beliefs on others.

                      People work and earn some sort of income. To what level does the government demand they surrender to charity … as opposed to them doing charitable works driven by their own morality and religious instruction?

                      Charity at the barrel of a gun isn’t charity – it is theft. When the government does it, we call it taxes. Mind you, I’m not Libertarian, but at some level we have abrogated our sense of community charity to the government and I’m not sure it was the right thing to do.

                      Is it nobler to defend our country, or to take care of those harmed while defending our country? Our current carrier fleet is getting VERY old and our rate of deployments isn’t slowing down. It takes roughly seven years to build one fleet carrier.

                      We need to take care of our planet. It is our home and if it dies, we die. It is also our gift to our children and for them to hand to their children. We also know one day the Sun will die and, in its death throes, devour our Earth. To survive, we must leave. Any journey away from our home will take decades, if not centuries to plan, implement and undertake.

                      All the above choices could be seen as the moral ones and other could easily disagree with them.

                      Our President is obligated to prepare for this Nation’s defense, to have our enemies killed and help determine what our citizens’ obligations will be.

                      For example: why are charitable donations deductible on your Federal Tax returns?
                      Why are religious institutions tax exempt?

                      When a social program is created and/or financed, it is done so by creating an obligation for the taxpayers. Even if it is a Corporate Tax ~ where do you think businesses get their money from? Us.

                      Congress taxes and spends, but the President has to approve the budget. Overriding a Presidential veto is a nightmare.

                      You want a moral President? Really? Joe Catholic’s morality? I am sure he feels pretty freaking moral and he’s not alone, I have little doubt.

                      I apologize, but “NO”. I want a rational, secular POTUS instead.

                  • Did you use just use Ted Cruz, a Hispanic, as an example of how white people are treated differently than black people?

                    • Interesting I did not realize someone intelligent like yourself Bruton was ignorant to the fact that Latino is not a race category. Here read this:

                      “…Nevertheless, many in the US mistakenly believe that Latino is a racial category.

                      This became evident to me when in 2013 I moved to California to work as a correspondent for BBC Mundo.

                      Chatting with my new colleagues in the office … I realized that they made a distinction between them, the whites, and we, the Latinos or “browns.”

                      “Brown” is the word used in the US to describe the race of those who are neither white nor black.

                      In California, I have had similar experiences with some interviewees and with some of my American friends, who talk about “white people” as a group to which I do not belong.

                      Last time I visited my family in Spain, I told my mother that in California they do not consider me white.

                      “What do they think your are then?” she asked me.

                      “Latino,” I said.

                      “Latino? but you are not from Latin America. You are from Europe. This Americans are crazy,” she told me.

                      Since coming here, I’ve asked myself this question many times: Why is it so difficult for some in this country to understand that Hispanics are a multiracial community and that there are also white Hispanics, as well as black Hispanics or Asian Hispanics.

                      The truth is that many Americans of Anglo-Saxon descent do not consider white anyone coming from Latin America or Spain, unless they have blue eyes and blond hair, and sometimes not even those — if they speak Spanish.

                      To make sure that what I’m telling you is true, a few months ago I did an experiment with one of my English colleagues from the BBC in Los Angeles.

                      “If you had to fill out the census form for me, which racial category would you choose?” I asked him.

                      He looked at me and said: “Well, you’re not white nor black … Hispanic maybe?” he said.

                      I told him that “Hispanic” is not a race but an ethnic category and a little bit confused he replied: “You’re right, so I do not know.”

          • I get that you don’t like Mr. Obama, and you are absolutely free to hold this opinion. Why not just state it as your own free-standing opinion instead of ascribing something false to another writer and then building off that lie? I am not offended. I am irritated at the falseness and the lies.

          • You can say that you disagree with Obama on foreign policy, on energy policy, on social policy. But he has been a godsend financially. Obama inherited the worst economy since the great depression, caused in large measure by the Bush administration’s unwillingness to regulate banks, and he brought us bank to a vibrant economy. Unemployment is at historic lows, the dow is growing and our economy is moving forward.

            • This is by no means a “vibrant economy” unless you’re a privileged government employee.

              Economies bounce back on their own after a recession. The only thing Obama did was impede a natural recovery by shifting resources in his “stimulus” plan from the successful parts of the economy to the failing parts.

                • Someone, and I am not mentioning any names, seems to have failed to learn the history of depression and recession and how economies never bounce back on their own.

                  Not that I have a degree in economics but I did take it in college and that is what my professor said who did have a degree in the field.

          • Financial destruction? Where have you been.? What about national security? Do you care about that? OBama got rid of Bin Ladin and other big terrorist planners. So in the next four years, hang on to your hat; cause you’ve not seen anything yet…… I pray I’m wrong , but I for sure believe Obama has taken care of us

      • On the VERY remote chance that you misunderstood and did not deliberately misconstrue my comment, I was sad and disgusted that, after listening to the very dignified words of the very dignified President Obama, his successor will be a vile, hate-spewing, reality TV huckster. And that is about the kindest way I can describe the president-elect.

      • Dear Bill:

        ‘…would have been disgusted and sad?’

        Does ‘would have’ imply you didn’t hear them? You may believe that he didn’t live up to his words. But how could you know you’d be disgusted and saddened by what you’d never actually heard?

        http://tinyurl.com/ljf428y

        For Obama’s ‘words’ go to 19:00 – 19:55. Listen. Then tell us which words disgust and sadden, and why.

  2. I think the message to move forward is a good one. Letting your voice be heard while doing it… Good advice. I hope and pray that things don’t get as bad as I feel they could under a Trump presidency.

  3. All the time, I wonder if my Evangelical family or friends are really Nazis. How do I love them after this? How do I trust them? How do I look at them and see past their hatred of others and their anti-semetic belief that to be loved by God, you have to “Repent and Accept Jesus” and while they are antigay, anti-LGBQT-and repeat the whole Fox-Evangelical lines? How do we know if they believe what they do because they are mislead by evil Evangelical leaders and Fox network and the RepubliKKKan propaganda or if they go to the websites because that is who they are? As they share their propaganda on FB, do they even realize they became a person who easily joins hate groups and have empowered the most vile people among us: KKK, Nazis, ISIL, etc…?

    • Hi Anonymous. Repenting and accepting Jesus is important—but the problem with your family is that they do not follow Jesus—not really. They follow the blind guide preachers in their fundie churches and whatever these preachers demand of them without questioning it. Never follow any preacher blindly and especially not any Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical preacher. Check out this blog post:

      https://faith17983.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/following-a-pastor-blindly/

          • Yes. You do not have to subscribe. All you have to do is click on my name here in my comments on John P.’s blog. I have about 143 posts on various subjects related to the evils of Christian fundamentalism, conservative evangelicalism, and the so-called Religious Right—better known in some wise quarters as the “Religious Wrong.” I actually get quite a number of visits and views—but nowhere even remotely coming close to the many thousands of people who visit and read John P.’s blog each day. John P. serves daily crowds of followers on a Billy Graham scale.

            One of my most popularly read posts is the one that helps new Christians and unhappy fundies to find a new church:

            https://faith17983.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/escape-from-abuse-at-your-church/

            My post about the many lies Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals tell the American public is also quite popular with my readers. Here is the one about finding a new church:

      • Thanks for the reply and I just want to add–I am a Red-Letter of follower of Jesus who was a Jewish Palestinian refuge, and I do not believe in this idea the Evangelicals have which they claim they believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible as interpreted by their church leaders and the Falwells, Dobsons, Franklins…one in which they are allowed to hate in God’s name. I was trying to say this “accept and repent” is a one-street thing which they use like a cloak to hide behind instead of accepting that accepting hate in Jesus’ name is just wrong.

        • Exactly, Anonymous, well said ! I will put it another way.
          A literal understanding of the Bible is impossible because there is no way to have an exact literal translation. It doesn’t exist. Read about how translators talk about their challenges, not only etymology and how language has changed, but the fact that words don’t have direct word to word translation from language to language. And different languages communicate expression, of a thought or idea, differently; such as romantic languages— not to mention colloquialism and jargon.

          We don’t know perfectly how things were meant from the writers in the bible until we understand better the language and use of language at the time, as well as the history and context of what was going on. Some of those criteria are impossible to replicate. We do our best, but to make a religion or belief system out of the literal interpretation of scripture, is impossible and I will go as far to say— it is misleading.

        • Where do you think the “red letters” came from?

          What does “hate” mean? It seems to me that progressives have greatly broadened its meaning, such as in taking any political position that is not extreme left wing, or in accepting parts of the Bible that others have ripped out.

      • Dear Charles:

        Thank you for that link.

        I believe this points to something dating back to the Reformation. The question is whether faith is known [explicit] or implicit — where one simply ‘trusts’ the system [whatever it is in any time or place]. Whether one places faith in Rome or in the local IFB sect, it is still ‘implicit’ faith which is at work. And yes, it can be might spiritually debilitating.

        Blessings!

    • Dear Anonymous:

      My reply to the phenomenon you identify in one sentence:

      Patrio-christianity aligns us with the disarmed, disgraced and defeated principalities and powers of Gal. 2:15, which John [especially Rev 13 and 17, depicts and forbids under the imagery of the whore of Babylon, the mark of the beast, and the false prophet.

      In theological content, deeds, their relations and spiritual identity, John’s images well suit earthly principalities and powers.

      Share that with family ONLY if you’re willing to be an outcast.

  4. John, your woe-is-me/us, broken record rhetoric is boring and quite frankly, divisive. How about finally showing some form of a positive (Christian) attitude and implore your readers to pray for our President-elect? I find your cry baby blogs about the election results negative and quite frankly, sad. You are not a prophet that can predict the future; try as you may. Stop predicting doom and gloom over our nation and PRAY! Are you and your readers forgetting who the alternative candidate was? Seriously, God help us if she won.

      • John P, Thank you. Those words are beautiful. Yes, we must resist, we must be gracious about it, we must grow closer to each other and to our God.

        I’d love some specific ideas how people of this blog are going to do these things. As I am mostly housebound due to disability and handicap, I have had to be creative. So I use Facebook.

        I have a group called Celebrating What Christians Have in Common in which I and others post from the various flavors and voices of Christianity. No one is allowed to say anything negative about anything as there are Entirely Too Many Other Places to do that. All of us are required to find something we can affirm and speak only to that.

        A new group is called Compassion Reading Group. Sometime in Feb I will lead a discussion of Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.

        A third group is Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff in which I post petitions to be a voice for the voiceless: animals, children, the environment, the poor and the needy, the disenfranchised. I also post real news from real news sources. I vet almost everything posted to this group to avoid the fake news.

        All are welcome to join any of my groups but if the rules are not followed, there are consequences. The purpose of all of these groups is to grow as people and as Christians so no harangues, no polemicizing will ever be allowed.

        • I forgot to mention my blog which is Knitternun on wordpress.

          On an almost daily basis, I post a reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian and some thoughts on the day’s reading in the Rule of St. Benedict. I love both of these very much.

      • This is the USA’s contribution to Christian heresy. That it is always better somewhere else instead of committing to one place and growing there. This heresy is also known as “The grass is always” greener heresy. Both the “Go west, young man” and “the grass is always greener” heresy theories were developed by me when I was in seminary.

        I suggest that instead of a kneejerk reaction, that people allow John P’s words to sit inside them in a prayerful manner.

      • Bill… sorry. that comment was meant for John P. (I am concerned about him –sounds like he could use a change of venue!)

        I think John P would enjoy living in California.

    • Bill. John P. is a broken record that just happens to be right in nearly all he has to say. I am not going to pray for Trump. I will pray for our country and its future—but not for the success of an evil man like Trump. To pray for the success of evil incarnate is wrong, and I do believe that Trump is evil—and stupid and incompetent at the art of governing.

      • I wouldn’t pray for his success either. If I were unethical, I would pray for his early demise (by something simple like dying in his sleep). But I won’t do that. I can pray for his moral guidance, for his enlightenment, for a change of heart, for his rejection of evil, etc. Not all prayer is about success.

        • I suspect Trump will be impeached sooner or later. Sooner if he doesn’t do anything about emolument. We will be left with Pence, of course, but I comfort myself that with all the things I consider to be his flaws, at least he doesn’t talk about advancing the arms race and using nuclear weapons.

        • Agreed, Patricia. I wouldn’t want Trump to be successful with what he is planning either, rather I hope he is hampered and stopped much like the way Congress had to back down on dismantling the Ethics office.

    • Here’s the sobering reality of his legacy:

      Republicans added to their historic 2014 gains in the nation’s state legislatures with the addition of five state House chambers and two state Senate chambers in last week’s election, while Democratic control was reduced to levels not seen since the Civil War.
      Republicans are now in control of a record 67 (68 percent) of the 98 partisan state legislative chambers in the nation, more than twice the number (31) in which Democrats have a majority, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
      “That’s more than at any other time in the history of the Republican Party,” according to NCSL. “They also hold more total seats, well over 4,100 of the 7,383, than they have since 1920.”
      Next year, the GOP will control both legislative chambers in 32 states – an all-time high, according to NCSL – while Democrats will have total control of just 13 state legislatures.
      In 24 of the 32 states with Republican-controlled legislatures, voters have also elected Republican governors. In contrast, Democrats have a “political trifecta” in just six states.
      Since 2009, when President Obama took office, his party has lost a total of 919 seats in state legislatures nationwide, according to NCSL data.Since 2009, when President Obama took office, his party has lost a total of 919 seats in state legislatures nationwide, according to NCSL data.
      In 2009, Democrats had total control of 27 state legislatures, and held a majority in at least one chamber in eight more states where power was divided. In contrast, Republicans controlled just 14 state legislatures.
      During Obama’s first year in office, Democrats held 1,024 of the 1,971 total state Senate seats in the nation, compared to 889 in Republican hands. They also held 3,058 of the total 5,411 state House seats, compared to 2,334 for Republicans.
      In addition, there were 28 Democratic governors, compared to 22 Republican governors.
      However, near the end of Obama’s two terms in office, the partisan balance in the nation’s state legislatures has been completely reversed.
      As of Nov. 7, 2016, there are just 823 Democratic state senators out of a total of 1,972 seats nationwide, according to NCSL data. Meanwile, Republicans have increased their ranks to 1,089.
      Likewise, of the 5,411 state House seats, there are now 3,029 Republicans compared to 2,340 Democrats – a mirror image of both parties’ status in 2009.
      “Republicans grabbed more of America’s statehouses and governors’ mansions during the Obama administration than at any time in the modern era,” the Washington Post’s Amber Phillips reported.
      Last week’s historic flip of the Kentucky House – the last Democrat-controlled legislative chamber in the South – to Republican hands for the first time in nearly 100 years underscores the point.
      In 2010, Democrats in the Kentucky House held a solid 65-35 majority. Six years later, the GOP now has a supermajority, and will control 62 of the chamber’s 100 seats.
      “Democrats are now basically extinct in the South,” Phillips noted.
      “Republicans bested expectations,” said Dan Diorio, a policy expert at NCSL. “Having already reached the peak of control in party history, Republicans will maintain a similar level of control in a year when many expected Democrats to net seats and chambers.”
      ”Anyone who said that Donald Trump was going to be a drag on down-ticket races is certainly eating their words right now,” Lisa Nelson, CEO of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) told CNSNews.com.
      “When I talk to the states, most of them say they picked up state Senate or House seats because of Donald Trump. And I think that’s because of the forgotten man or woman people are talking about, who hadn’t shown up to vote in the past.”
      Oh, how Hollywood, the elitist snobs from the east and west coasts must be drowning in their tears.

      • Bill. This is America, and all of this will turn around in a few years. I recall when George W. Bush was elected. People like you were swearing up and down that it was a God-anointed presidency that marked the beginning of a 100-year reign of Republicans. Then you got an all Democrat Congress and two terms of Obama. It ALWAYS turns around—it will this time too—and the next Democrat President will do as much as possible to UNDO the so-called “successes” of the Trump regime—and he will. The only way one side can ever get what it wants permanently is to kill every person on the other side. That is what it boils down to.

        As the writer of Ecclesiastes said: “All is vanity.”

      • Bill. wow. amazing stats. Most of America is moderate/ conservative in general. I’m glad there is a chance to steer the country back toward the middle.

        It was going left, left, left, with no end in site. Way back when, Hillary appeared to be ok with the middle (at least her public persona). But she veered hard when she saw how Bernie was gaining on her. And there she remained until Election Day. Probably cost her a lot.

    • Obama did a wonderful job—except in Syria. From the outset, he should have declared war on the Assad regime and killed Baby Assad and his family members in an air strike. Any children Baby Assad has would assume they had a future right to come back, assume power, and take vengeance for dad. That door needed to be slammed shut forever. Too late now.

    • Bill. I voted for Hillary because I thought she would do a better job of governing than Trump—but I still do not particularly like her. I just saw it as a choice between evils. The Democrats should have run someone else without so much “baggage.”

  5. John P: As usual, you nailed it. Thanks for expressing what most of us are feeling about this man. It’s unbelievable what happened.

  6. I’m with you, John. There’s a time to grieve, and a time to move forward, even in our grief. Sometimes it seems like it’s two steps forward and three steps back, but that’s still making progress. We can learn to recognize it for what it is and carry on, bringing light and yes, love into the darkness.

  7. Has the ‘Christian Left’ forgotten this?: ‘Let EVERYONE be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which GOD HAS ESTABLISHED. The authorities that exist have been established by God.’
    (CAPS MINE)

    • Nope, I haven’t forgotten that. Nor have I forgotten what began about one hundred years after Paul wrote those words. Christians were commanded by the laws of the Roman Empire to sacrifice and worship the gods of the Roman Empire. Christians refused and they were persecuted, tormented, and put to death in excruciating ways until 312 C.E.

      Conscientious objection to civil authority is part of our history and our identity as Christians. Additionally, it is our bounden duty to resist evil however it is disguised and wherever it is found.

      That is what John P and others are calling us to do. We can choose to be a part of the solution or we can choose to remain part of the problem.

      • Ya know Charles, I’d like to know why you believe Trump is evil? And if the reasons are what I think you are going to say, then I am evil; despite having become a follower of Christ and received His forgiveness. I have done and said many of the things Trump is accused of saying/doing. It was decades ago. In locker rooms and out of hand drunken’ parties. I can tell you that I am not evil in this sense of the word. Lets’ give the man the benefit of doubt. He could have changed like I did (thanks to Christ and my willingness to surrender to Him). No one knows Trumps heart except God. If he is caught in an egregious sin, I will be the first to call it what it is. But until then, can we give the guy a break and chance?

        • Trump was 60 years old and not drunk. As a younger man his claim to fame was being a wealthy playboy who always had a “young beautiful piece of ass on his arm” his words. Besides the creeper factor of his age he never has hesitated to mock women’s faces and bodies in public. He tells outrageous lies and believes Putin and Asante over his countrymen. While using a heartbroken mother to throw a Benghazi torpedo against Hillary he couldn’t even muster up the pretense of empathy for another Gold Star family. You are right, he is not even President yet, but continues to insert his twittermania into Presidential issues. He constantly shows his contempt for this country by gleefully crapping on every norm in his need to be the center of attention. If he didn’t have money and wealthy friends he would be the creepster uncle you would never leave your child alone with.

      • I understand your point Bill. I just cannot do that. My internal “discerning spirits” alarm bells are going off haywire with regard to Mr. Trump. I get in trouble in life when I fail to heed those alarm bells. Thanks for making your points. I understand how you feel.

  8. I am choosing to believe the best is yet to come for our nation. and I will not call someone I do not know evil. Sure, the press/left has done a good job of putting that label on Trump. Not such a good job in blaming the election results on Russia (that has been proven to be wrong). And speaking of evil, how about the Clinton machine? Read the Wikileaks emails and then tell me who is evil! And there is more to come that is even more evil.

    • On the contrary, the real news sources I follow made an excellent job of excoriating the Russians. You said “Not such a good job in blaming the election results on Russia (that has been proven to be wrong).”

      Proven wrong? Please provide a reliable source to back that up because the action taken by President Obama indicates that it is true. And when I say a “reliable source” I do not mean Fox or other sources of fake news.

    • Trump did and said evil things

      Whereas others did and said evil things to Hillary Clinton.

      These things do not look the same to me.

    • It’s pretty easy to blame everything on the Democrats and Hillary Clinton vis a vis the leaked emails.

      So let’s be fair… leak the Republican and Trump’s private emails and stand them up- side by side- then you can compare what goes on behind the scenes. It is all the same kind of political maneuvering.

      The system sucks. But, the public is not being shown everything only what is meant for us to see.

      • “But, the public is not being shown everything only what is meant for us to see.”

        Meant by whom, please? Somehow, some way, someone is choosing what we see. And there are those reports which are just lies.

        The GOP deleted a whole lotta emails during the Bush 2 years. The Bush 2 administration used a private, not a government server.

        People need to get over their prejudice for Hillary and take a passionless look at the actual facts.

        And to cease to give any credence to fake news sites because of a baseless fear of a non-existent liberal media.

        What we used to have was balanced news reporting until the Reagan administration got rid of the law requiring balanced news. Google it if you don’t believe me. The GOP deliberately created fake news to play ion fears, prejudices, and phobias.

        • We don’t know. We now Assange is behind Wikileaks but we don’t know who gave him access to the emails or how it was done, though there are suspects right?

          The point is it is meant to distract us from thinking fairly.

          If I tell you something about someone else and what they said in private, I know it will colour your opinion of them. But, if I only divulge private conversation about one person but not the other side, then I am trying to manipulate how you view one person without telling the truth about everyone.

          • The whole Assange thing is fascinating. But even he picks and choose what he leaks according to his own prejudices, whatever they may be.

            I wonder when that group, Anonymous, is going to get to the bottom of things. They’ve done some good work at bringing stuff out into the open, although I haven’t heard anything about them in a while.

  9. John, I keenly share your grief at lost or badly damaged relationships, at the difficulty in finding hope these last few weeks. In business folks say, ‘it’s all about location, location, location.’ Which translates into ‘context, context, context.’
    I suspect what gobsmacked so many of us was the horrific realization, post election, of how shallow, fragile, an brittle our country really was. We had been elated at all the progress made in diversifying and broadening our society & our churches. What we failed to reckon with was how deeply rooted, diseased, and pervasive the wounds of racism, misogyny, xenophobia, (& all the other -isms) run in our country. We cheerily missed the warnings signs that appeared with the election of our first Black President; we failed to recognize the cunning, and growing influence of an expression of American Christianity that slipped into idolatry of their own exclusionary ideas and interpretations; we neglected studying our own American history to see how periods of intellectual & social growth and expansion are repeatedly followed by periods of shrinkage into reactionary, hunker-down times; we have also missed that this same expansion/construction pattern applies on the larger historical scale. Phyllis Tickle’s The Great Emergence suggests a 500 year cycle to growth within the Christian tradition…. it’s traumatic change/100 years of working things out/300 years of relative calm/folliwed by 100 years of unrest & foment til the next traumatic change…
    Strangely, this perspective gives me a certain unsettled discomfort…. as it also sharply clarifies who I am as a Follower of Jesus, and what I & other Followers are called to incarnate in the world through loving actions toward others -especially those being hurt or threatened- and fierce & fiercely loving resistance to all threats ti the peace and well-being of others and all of Creation.
    So, was I astounded, hurt, and angry at the outcome of the election? Why, yes I was, but not because ‘my’ candidate didn’t win; rather that the one who did displays all the worst qualities of humanity… and I fear for my friends, my freedom, and our country. But our context and history say that this ugly eruption was due, and has arrived on our watch. That translates to defy the polls & expectations by going into the broken, ugly, festering places in the world to bring grace and mercy, healing and wholeness by all the means necessary as Followers of Jesus.
    Make it so.

  10. John, I keenly share your grief at lost or badly damaged relationships, at the difficulty in finding hope these last few weeks. In business folks say, ‘it’s all about location, location, location.’ Which translates into ‘context, context, context.’
    I suspect what gobsmacked so many of us was the horrific realization, post election, of how shallow, fragile, an brittle our country really was. We had been elated at all the progress made in diversifying and broadening our society & our churches. What we failed to reckon with was how deeply rooted, diseased, and pervasive the wounds of racism, misogyny, xenophobia, (& all the other -isms) run in our country. We cheerily missed the warnings signs that appeared with the election of our first Black President; we failed to recognize the cunning, and growing influence of an expression of American Christianity that slipped into idolatry of their own exclusionary ideas and interpretations; we neglected studying our own American history to see how periods of intellectual & social growth and expansion are repeatedly followed by periods of shrinkage into reactionary, hunker-down times; we have also missed that this same expansion/construction pattern applies on the larger historical scale. Phyllis Tickle’s The Great Emergence suggests a 500 year cycle to growth within the Christian tradition…. it’s traumatic change/100 years of working things out/300 years of relative calm/folliwed by 100 years of unrest & foment til the next traumatic change…
    Strangely, this perspective gives me a certain unsettled discomfort…. as it also sharply clarifies who I am as a Follower of Jesus, and what I & other Followers are called to incarnate in the world through loving actions toward others -especially those being hurt or threatened- and fierce & fiercely loving resistance to all threats ti the peace and well-being of others and all of Creation.
    So, was I astounded, hurt, and angry at the outcome of the election? Why, yes I was, but not because ‘my’ candidate didn’t win; rather that the one who did displays all the worst qualities of humanity… and I fear for my friends, my freedom, and our country. But our context and history say that this ugly eruption was due, and has arrived on our watch. That translates to defy the polls & expectations by going into the broken, ugly, festering places in the world to bring grace and mercy, healing and wholeness by all the means necessary as Followers of Jesus.
    Make it so.

  11. Anybody who can’t see with their own eyes just how evil Donny T and the Repubs are is in for a rude shock. By By amerikkkan pie. Hilariously insane laughter will move some of the depression…

  12. Ditto Charles! I was not a vocal Trump supporter. For me, I thought it was time to get rid of the corrupt. To me, Clinton would just be more of the same. So despite not cheering for Trump, I am ready to give him my support and prayer and to move forward with optimism. My hope is that more people on both sides of the aisle (especially the left) will do the same. That is why I get frustrated with John continuing this negative rhetoric (as much as I understand it – to a point)

    • Do I understand you correctly, Bill? “For me, I thought it was time to get rid of the corrupt. ”

      So to get rid of the corrupt, you voted for the evil Republican National Party platform and a very vulgar man. So to get rid of the corrupt, you voted in favor of authoritarianism, bigotry, death of the planet, fascism, gynophobia, homophobia, intolerance, misogyny, nuclear war, racism, rape, sexual abuse and molestation, transgenderphobia, white supremacy, and xenophobia?

      All that is better than alleged and unproven corruption?

    • Bill I think you are playing us.

      “So despite not cheering for Trump, I am ready to give him my support and prayer and to move forward with optimism.”

      The deception is you could have done the same for Hillary.

      • Bill promised to leave but he’ll just re-emerge as Joe, benny, anon… I can’t keep track and I don’t think he can either. I think it’s best to just ignore him.

    • Bill. Trump actually did some good things today. He talked Ford out of taking our jobs to Mexico. Even more important, he called Ryan and McConnell on the Republican rank and file plot to destroy the Independent Congressional Ethics organization and put it in the hands of the foxes in the chicken coop. Trump somehow forced them to change that today—and they did. That was a significant act of swamp draining, and I will give him Trump for that. Now legislative crooks (R, D, or I) will all be on the same playing field, and it will be be much harder to sneak, lie, and cheat their way out criminal activity and graft. It was a good day for Mr. Trump and the American people. This time Trump was on the side of the people.

  13. I don’t know if “madd” would be is the proper term. “Demented” maybe. Or early stages of alzheimer’s . With a lot of self righteousness mixed in from the religious right wing. The gloating has just begun and will get worse. D. Trump won’t be allowed in front of a microphone after awhile. And may spend the last years as a babbling idiot in a wheelchair. As did Ronald Reagan. Just punishment…

  14. “The realization again turns my stomach, and I find myself contemplating going back to sleep but know that I can’t. I begin replaying everything in my head and struggle once more to make any sense of it all.”

    Yeah, same here.

    There’s that tiny voice of optimism that sometimes says, “Maybe it won’t be so bad.” Then the rational voice says, “No. It’s gonna be even worse than we can imagine.”

    As many hungry kids as there are now, there will be more as food stamp programs are cut back. As many sick kids as there are now, there will be more as the ACA is repealed and nothing replaces it. As many struggling schools as there are now, there will be more as tax cuts are provided to the very rich. As much environmental degradation as there is now, there will be more as oil and mining interests come to be allowed to dig and drill in national parks and as the EPA is gutted. Flint, MI won’t be news any longer as city after city suffers from the same negligence by GOP legislators. As difficult as the lives of the elderly and disabled are now, they will come to be far more difficult as SS, Medicaid, and Medicare are reduced. As difficult as the lives of gay and trans Americans are now, they will suffer all the more as legislation that once again allows discrimination and hatred toward them is passed. We are already becoming numb to fraud and conflict of interest on the part of the President and his cronies. Trump voters, of course, will ignore the sharp increases in national debt and the budget deficit, the sharp increases in the trade deficit, the increases in unemployment and infant mortality. They won’t ignore the rise in the abortion rate after years of decline…they’ll use that to blame Roe v Wade rather than the gutting of the social safety net and reduced access to birth control, both of which have led to the lowest abortion rate since before Roe v Wade.

    And there’s nothing that will change it. There’s gonna be no “redemptive moment” on the part of the hacks and racists in power at the moment. The truth is that they’ll advocate for and pass policies that will return the country to the 1930’s economically and socially.

    We are screwed. The folks in Youngstown, OH and Hazard, KY who voted for Trump and the GOP are screwed. We’re all screwed.

    • Rick you said :

      “There’s that tiny voice of optimism that sometimes says, “Maybe it won’t be so bad.” Then the rational voice says, “No. It’s gonna be even worse than we can imagine.”

      Yep that’s what I have been experiencing. I tend to be an optimist but this is different. There were so much ugliness in Trump’s campaign that it left me without a shred of hope.

      • Oh, let us not forget the vile people nominated for the Cabinet. No, it is going to be far far worse than we ever imagined.

        • “No, it is going to be far far worse than we ever imagined.”

          And, as John P. pointed out, far worse than his supporters can imagine. I was reading about an interview of a woman in KY who voted for Trump but who hopes that he and the GOP won’t actually repeal the ACA, on which she and her family depend. The interviewer reminded the woman that Trump and the GOP have promised to do exactly that as their first order of business. She responded, “I sure hope not because that would make my life a lot harder.”

          We are in a country where people voted for someone, hoping he was lying. Up is down, hot is cold, black is white, evil is good and good is evil.

          • Rick, your story about that woman reminds me of something I read a few years ago when people in KY were first signing up for the ACA. It was some sort of public event and one man said he didn’t mind signing up for the ACA because it wasn’t Obamacare.

            As for that woman, there is no excuse for her to have voted that way. If the ACA is so important to their family, what compelled her to vote against her family’s health?

            I’ve been paying attention to elections since I was in the fifth grade and never have I seen so few people turn out to vote and when they did, deliberately vote against their own best interests.

            It reminds me also of that Brexit vote in the UK and so many people who voted to leave the EU were horrified that it passed. If they didn’t want to leave the EU, why vote to leave?

            People who did not vote and those who voted for the GOP are going to be very very sorry.

      • Kathy…that’s it exactly. John Kasich is the governor here in OH. I disagree with him on many things but he’s one of the few GOP govs who expanded Medicaid in the state. He’s working against his GOP legislators to tax frackers. All to say, he’s not a black-hearted, racist, liar and cheat. DT is all that and worse. There is no “common ground” to be found with him and his GOP cronies. There’s only a four-year, inch-by-inch, fight, most of which we’ll lose in the short run.

        • Kasich is also a member of the Anglican Church in North America, a homophobic schizmatic group that splintered from The Episcopal Church when we consecrated Gene Robinson as Bishop of NH.

          But I am glad he retained enough Anglican values to expand Medicaid, tax frackers, although banning them would be better.

          • Gloria….

            Don’t get me wrong…I don’t offer JK as an example of the sort of leadership we need. Only as an example of a relatively sane, if generally misguided, member of the GOP. With someone like him, there is common ground that can be found even as we carry on the fight on other fronts. With DT, there is NO common ground. From alpha to omega, he is a bad man and is bad for the nation.

            • How many more times today am I goign to have to say this? My name is NOT Gloria and if you find my actual first name too labor intensive to write, then please address me as Sister.

              • Lets face it Gloriamarie people are going to shorten names it’s normal and human. I think in this forum where you don’t know people personally you could cut them some slack. I know you don’t mean to but you do come off as rather abrasive and unfriendly.

                • It’s my name. I get to decide how I want to be addressed. I am just sorry that you put such a negative interpretation when I set a boundary.

                • I agree with Gloriamarie. Naming is important. And you would think that in a forum where you can clearly see how the name is spelled, and you have the option of copying and pasting, that that would make it far easier to address people by their names. It is simple courtesy.

                  • Thank you, Patricia.

                    I’ve noticed that women are the people who most make the disrespectful remarks when I point out that I am to be addressed as either Gloriamarie or Sister.

                    Makes me wonder why one woman would object to another woman standing up for herself and then I recall the truly hate-filled lies that women have uttered about Hillary.

                    Seems like there are still women who don’t like to see other women stand up for themselves, instead of supporting the women who do, and that makes me sad. Very sad.

                    • Two things come to mind.

                      Perhaps a woman who objects to another woman’s success or to her standing up for herself is too scared to do that for herself and resentful of the other woman’s strength.

                      Another possibility is that she was taught by someone she loves and respects that “this” is how women are. If she changes her thinking, she disrespects that person who was important in her life. She shows her continuing respect for that person by objecting to other women behaving in ways that she was not taught.

                    • Sorry for any offence caused by my comment. It was not intended to be a challenge to your right to have boundaries. Rather to say that many people admire your contribution here Gloriamarie and not all people pay attention to names or spelling. If they make the mistake it is accidental, but the impression I get is that if someone makes that mistake with you, you are immediately offended and no longer interested in engaging them. It may be a missed opportunity on your part. Perhaps I am wrong to say something, but thought I would mention it. I understand completely your need for accuracy. Take care.

                    • I appreciate your critique is coming from a feminist perspective but do you really think this is about standing up for yourself as a women or is it simply about getting your name spelled correctly?

                      I look forward to your response.

        • Kasich behaved like weenie. It was all about him and not the good of the party. Thankfully Trump didn’t need him.

          Fracking should be taxed? Why? Why provide a disincentive to competition and lower prices?

          Things are going to get better under Trump in spite of the doomsayers. Give it a little time. He’s been in office exactly ZERO days so far…

  15. Right, so what’s likely going to happen is that, like all presidents, Trump’s going to make some good choices and some bad ones. Let’s hope the bad ones are no worse than those from previous administrations. If they are not, then — though I voted for Hillary this time — I will likely vote for Trump in 2020 because he will have four years of experience in the office.

    • wish it were so …based on Trump’s words and behaviour….I doubt it
      ….I will consider myself fore warned …..and prepare for the worst

    • Sgt. Rock, Four years is laughably inadequate experience.

      But hey, if you are not in favor of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, and providing for those in need…

      You won’t have the opportunity vote for him because he will have been impeached. His massive ego and the depth of his narcissism convince him he is above the law. As the GOP doesn’t really want him in office, they will impeach when he inevitably commits some high crime or misdemeanor.

      • “compassion” as defined on this website is groupthinked nonsense in no way attached to the God Pavlovitz claims to worship. This site’s devolution into completely partisan rhetoric is bliss to watch on a daily basis, as is those that are the most “compassionate” spew hatred towards any conservative trying to give their opinion. As for your allegation of my need to grow some compassion, I have spent my entire adult life working with the unhoused on the streets, and have no need to prove my compassion to you. Nice try fam.

          • Actually it speaks to a principle of “charity starts at home” which translates over to the moral obligation of the individual to perform charitable works, not to leave it to the State. I am not saying I agree with that approach, merely it exists. It would explain a ‘Conservative’ with James’ viewpoints.

            • If you have a thoughtful contribution to make about your opinion do so with without self-justification Because it takes away from the validity of your point.

  16. Thank you again for your words John. I am just an old grandma but for the first time in my life I cried after an election. Of course being older makes me weaker I guess. I felt like I was so wrong about so many things I had taken for granted for so many years. I felt that no one could possibly be so empty, so amoral, so disgustingly contemptuous of this countryand of its people, tell such outrageous lies, and be taken seriously. Someone who judged women by their face and body in front of an audience and mocked everyone without restraint never fearing that anyone could find him odious and crass. How could anyone see him as as an agent of change for good? He has never hidden what he is and has as of Saturday sided with Putin over his own countrymen and another time implied anyone who didn’t vote for him were losers and his enemies. This behavior is not something we would tolerate in our children or adults or until now elect to office. This will never be normal to me.

    • Joanne…there are a lot of us here crying with you. Not for ourselves but for the kids, the gay and trans folk, the poor, the working people, the sick and elderly, the disabled and challenged, all of whose suffering will grow during the next four years.

      • I would like to see the “anti-gay-and-trans-folk” policy that Trump promised to enact. I hadn’t heard about that.

        • Oh Joe you know very well that is on Republican hit list. Trump said that same sex marriage passed in 2015 was settled law – wonder who is going to win that one. In this same interview he said that Roe v Wade, also on Republican hit list, was settled law in 1973 and should be changed. Don’t quite get his reasoning but, it’s Trump logic.

  17. A ‘resistance’ movement to a democratic election? No ballot boxes were stuffed. No election software was hacked. What is claimed to be hacked by the Russian hackers was’t governmental ~ it was the DNC servers and John Podesta’s e-mails with the added complication there said illicitly gained communications don’t seem to have been altered, just ill timed (for Hillary Clinton) in their release. Zero evidence the President-elect had anything to do with any of this.

    Trump didn’t win the popular vote? Our system isn’t a popularity contest. It never has been. Trump won 46%. Hillary won 48% ~ which is also less than 50% btw.

    I have heard people on this blog call President-elect Trump ‘evil’. This is based on things he has said, tweeted and … done? He hasn’t even been sworn in yet.

    He was accused of raping a 13 year old girl … and that case seems to have evaporated after the election.
    In fact, all the sexual allegations which popped up out of the woodwork in the last month of the run up to the election which every major media source ran with … and are now … gone?
    And you are angry about the Russians leaking … the truth?

    He’s a misogynist … so he would never promote a woman to his cabinet, or the face of the United States at the UN …
    A racist … ugh … has-lost-all-meaning.
    Homophobe – review Trump flying the LGBTQ flag on multiple occasions and the stance of his prospective Sec. of State.
    Islamophobe – because Islamic terrorism is a problem, folks.

    I note I no longer hear Trump is going to repeal the Women’s Right to Vote … yet another gem from the Left during the final month leading up to the election.

    Just so we are clear, a ‘resistance’ to a Trump Presidency is a resistance to the democratically-expressed desires of nearly 63 million of your fellow citizens, not some fascist coup, or military junta. The rules of our government have not changed. Don’t cloak yourself in morality. You have become the Enemies of the Republic.

      • Yes, I am fully aware the illegal accessing and downloading and/or altering of data on any computer system (aka hacking) is a crime. In this case it was a crime involving a non-governmental agency & private citizen with the suspected culprits being foreign nationals who may, or may not, have ties to a foreign government.

        Your point would be?

        No governmental databases were compromised. Normally this would be a matter for the FBI and State Department. INTERPOL might be brought in except, if the intelligence the Obama Administration is receiving is to be believed, the Russia government is behind the hacks. In such cases, diplomatic measures ~ such as expelling diplomats and business-folks ~ could be taken. Problem solved.

        None of this invalidates the US Election though.
        Trump did nothing wrong.
        His staff wasn’t involved either.
        Trump, while he may admire Putin, isn’t in his pocket (unless you have EVIDENCE to the contrary).

        What did happen was the US public was given access to data the DNC and Hillary Clinton didn’t want them to have. None of the information has been declared false. Perhaps the truth hurts? Perhaps Hillary and the DNC shouldn’t have screwed over Bernie Sanders? Odds are excellent she could have beat him in a fair fight yet the leaders of the DNC didn’t want to take the risk. Are we going to hold the accountable for that? On what grounds? The DNC is NOT part of the US government. It is the Democratic National Committee ~ a fund-raising organization.

        Perhaps of CNN, CBS, NBC and MSNBC not all been out to ensure Hillary Clinton become President and done some investigative journalism themselves we wouldn’t have had to learn this from foreign hackers – who broke our laws.

        In conclusion, this wasn’t hackers/whistle-blowers running to Wikileaks releasing NSA, DOD, DOE and State Department data which is covered under a whole different series of laws concerning espionage … and treason. In this case, Wikileaks didn’t even break the law by publishing the e-mails because they neither tried to make a profit off the data (technically DNC work-product) nor was it copyrighted.

        • I think Hillary’s cavalier attitude about email Security had a trickle down effect. [Huma being the worst.] Having emails between Hillary & Huma showing up on Anthony Weiner’s (scuzzy) lap top. It’s no wonder it was so easy to hack. [Whereas, the RNCs emails were Secure and unhackable. I guess someone over there was smart after all? ]

          • That they could be so easily hacked tended to make me be a little leery about entrusting them with our national security.

            Didn’t one of the emails say something to the effect of “Hey guys we need to worry about or emails being hacked so here is our new password…”

            LOL

            Thankfully the adults are in charge.

            • Don’t brag

              Trump said the other day emails are not secure and they should correspond via courier like in the good old days.

              So he’s afraid of hackers.

          • I guess you and Joe can’t keep the facts straight or willfully ignore the facts. Private emails were used by a lot of politicians in important secure offices and they were Republicans to boot!

            Jeb Bush (R)
            Condalezza Rice (R)
            Colin Powell (R)
            Scott Walker (R)
            Marco Rubio (R)
            Chris Christie (R)
            Rick Perry (R)
            Bobby Jindal (R)

        • I am not against Wikileaks, I read some of the emails many of which are boring messages about meeting with people and Happy New Year greetings and such. What I am against is that they chose to release Democratic emails and not both parties. They could have held out for that and then let the public see how both sides really work behind the scenes. Now that would be interesting.

          • That actually may have more to do with the differences between the RNC and DNC. The DNC is WAY more centralized and critical to overall Democratic Party strategy while the RNC is more of a central gathering point for the more powerful State-run Republic Parties during the General Election.

            Yep, as crazy as it sounds, the Big Tent Democrats are far more organized than the normally lock-stepped Republicans. That does explain the Tea Party and Trump phenomena though and why the Republicans couldn’t stop Trump early in the primary. The RNC doesn’t have that kind of power of things like State-by-State donor lists. This also explains why PAC’s are more dangerous in the Republican primaries than the Democratic ones – again, the DNC can counter a PAC ‘they’ don’t like in the various States. The RNC has no such authority.

            Of course, after Trump, the RNC may start rethinking things. But then, they didn’t learn their lesson with the Tea Party so …

            If the ‘Russian hackers’, or WikiLeaks was going to hurt Trump, they would have to release his campaign donor lists (if his public ones were inaccurate), or his tax returns … which would mean hacking either his accounting firm, or the IRS (which would be a whole new nest of ugly for us to contemplate).

            • I am sure there is a lot that would ‘hurt’ Trumping emails or tax returns or Apprentice tapes but people would vote for him anyway.
              In fact he could shoot someone in the street and get away with it.

  18. I too have been very depressed since the night of the election. At first I was confused by this after all at 61, I’ve voted in a few presidential elections where my candidate did not win. Why was this one bothering me so much. I finally realized it was everything that I saw in the lead up to the election followed by everything I’ve seen since. My country was not what I had always believed her to be a place of welcomed diversity but instead a place where large numbers of people still harbor ill will towards their fellow citizens over surface things; like color, creed, gender or sexual preference. For all those on this thread who insist that racism is not a factor in the reaction some have had to Obama’s presidency have only to read the threads in Facebook, yahoo news or on you tube where
    the level of animosity is for me at least disgusting. 2017 and still this kind of ignorance persists. It’s enough to make one wonder if humanity will ever evolve beyond fear, greed and self interest. I don’t have any answers but I will say I truly fear for the future that future generations will inherit.

    • Not only have I never said race and racism were not factors, the majority of people I’ve dealt with over the past 9 years have felt the same way. The difference is between the people who agree racism is an issue and people who see it as the ONLY issue.

      Ms. Raymond, it simply became commonplace to accuse opponents of racism when they took an adversarial toward President Obama. Unless the voices came from beyond the Progressive Left ~ every time.

      In the same way there was a push to vote for Hillary Clinton because we ‘needed’ to elect the first woman President. Why? Why elect a candidate solely on gender? After all, it would have been insane to say ‘don’t vote for her BECAUSE she is a woman’, right?

      Trump was accused of antisemitism … which ran completely contrary to him having a wonderful relationship with his Jewish daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.

      Misogyny? His daughters received every educational and economic opportunity his sons enjoyed. If you want to see how a person really thinks, watch how they treat their children and how happy those children they are as they reach adulthood.

      If you are unhappy with the over sixty million votes Trump earned, perhaps you should consider why both President Obama and Candidate Clinton failed to such a degree he was their choice. And not just against Clinton, but against a field of fifteen Republicans before her.

      Please take into account the majority of media outlets were pro-Hillary and had Hillary winning the election up until Election Night. As we now know, they were wrong.

      They were wrong because far too many Americans were tired of being lied to, tired of having their vote taken for granted and their needs not being addressed. More women and minorities voted for Trump than either McCain, or Romney. Why? Could it be that life for both groups is not better now than it was in 2008? Because it is not … and Hillary was promising more of the same.

      Was Trump going to make their lives better? Unsure, but it appeared Hillary was going to keep making things worse for millions so they voted to take a chance for change opposed to a definite series of political promises which hadn’t worked in the past.

      A note on diversity: while diversity is a wonderful thing, what diversity had become in the past few years wasn’t all that diverse. It was blanket “non-heterosexual White maleness”. An endless litany of pin-prick abuses have rained down where any insult was okay as long as the target was White and male ~ grounds for ostracization and job termination if not. It wasn’t a good time to be a White male. I was a truly unhappy time to have a White male child knowing the diversity we looked forward to as a young adult wouldn’t be shared by them … that ‘your’ diversity didn’t include our ‘sons’.

      Now think of all those White mothers with White sons and White sisters with White brothers … and you might get a better handle on why more White women voted for Donald than Hillary. I have heard multiple White female commentators declare how their fellow White women ‘let them down’ ~ betrayed their gender by voting for Trump. Perhaps they might want to consider the possibility some of those women voted to defend a son, brother, husband, or friend who they knew wasn’t going to be welcome in Hillary’s America.

      And if you are going to say “White men have it the best in the US”, ~ we do and we also fill the most war graves, voted to give everyone else the right to vote at some point in our Nation’s history (even the majority of White males), do the most on-the-job dying each year and make up the vast majority of homeless utterly bereft of the American Dream.

      • Our ‘millennial’ sons are black, & they are entrepreneurs . They all voted Trump because he is Pro-business, and they like the idea of border security. [They never voted for Obama.] They easily convinced some of their friends to vote Trump as well. I think if the election would have been postponed, even more minorities would have voted for Trump.

        • You have black sons who voted for Trump?!

          How does a liberal deal with that one? That’s enough to make their heads explode. Who do they get to call a racist in this case?

            • Racism is still an issue.

              And, Trump who knows how to use people and know how to pander to the crowds, behind close doors can still be a racist, bigot, Islamophobe.

              Here are some facts for you:

              “The first-person account of at least one black Trump casino employee in Atlantic City suggests the racist practices were consistent with Trump’s personal behavior toward black workers.

              “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor,” Kip Brown, a former employee at Trump’s Castle, told the New Yorker for a September article. “It was the eighties, I was a teen-ager, but I remember it: they put us all in the back.”

              Trump disparaged his black casino employees as “lazy” in vividly bigoted terms, according to a 1991 book by John O’Donnell, a former president of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.

              “And isn’t it funny. I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it,” O’Donnell recalled Trump saying. “The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”

              “I think the guy is lazy,” Trump said of a black employee, according to O’Donnell. “And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”

              Trump has also faced charges of reneging on commitments to hire black people. In 1996, 20 African Americans in Indiana sued Trump for failing to honor a promise to hire mostly minority workers for a riverboat casino on Lake Michigan.”

          • …hi joe. yes, our sons are black, african american, ages 23-26. They have a discerning ear when it comes to truth. It’s a gift from God. [Not something that I could have bequeathed to them.] They like African-American Economist, Thomas Sowell, he’s 86! [Hoover Institution] who writes about race, police, the Left, & why Trump is better than Hillary.

        • Back in 2008 I talked with others about the “betrayal of the Black Republicans” aka the historic branch of the Republican Party which had voted Republican either because they came from historically Republican areas, or they were part of the New South ~ Black professionals who ‘returned’ to the South in the late 1980’s and 90’s and voted their economic (upper, or upper-middle class) interests.

          A Black Highway Patrolman I knew told me with a straight face ~ “When are we going to get another chance to elect Black man as President?”
          My reply ~ “Colin Powell?”
          Him ~ “His wife will never let him run.”
          I had no comeback to that.

          The fact was in 2008 and again in 2012 thousand upon thousand of Black Americans voted AGAINST their economic and religious interests because of race. By religious I mean those who were opposed to things like same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

          I didn’t like it. I understood it, but I didn’t like it. Sadly, I felt it would make race relations in the US worse, not better … and I take no pleasure being right about that either. The problem was it was OBVIOUS what had happened and once it was ‘okay’ for any group vote their race (or ‘okay’ again), what was to stop White people from going ‘hey, what’s going on?’

          Saying “well, historically White men have dominated politics” does little to mollify young White men who are being marginalized for something they didn’t do, nor personally gained advantage from. After all, when you tell Black people they must vote their race, you are also telling them to NOT vote for the White person, no matter how qualified … solely because of their skin color.

          The thinking being the elected Black politician will then help his/her Black supporters.
          But what about the Whites? In essence, you are also telling them the Black politician will not provide for them because they are the wrong race.

          Addressing this ‘problem’ is painfully obvious as well. Vote White … and boy, isn’t that screwed up? Do we want to go back to the 1960’s?

          The problem with the ‘solution’ is it ISN’T racism. It is common sense.
          Pro-Choice folks don’t vote for a Christian Fundie.
          Gun-owners don’t vote for a ‘Gun-Safety Advocate’.
          Bankers don’t vote for a Marxists.
          Why? Because those people don’t represent their interests.
          If a candidate is going to support one race’s agenda at the expense of yours, you don’t vote for them. It is only racism if the instinct is irrational. If one race is putting their well-being over yours … the common sense thing to do is not let them. In a democratic republic, you do so at the ballot box.

          Of course, we could simply STOP telling people to vote race and vote for a host of other issues and suddenly ‘Vote White’ is racist again. Ta-da! See how easy that is?

          • Thanks for you revealing comment James . You said:

            “Sadly, I felt it would make race relations in the US worse, not better ”

            “…once it was ‘okay’ for any group vote their race (or ‘okay’ again), what was to stop White people from going ‘hey, what’s going on?’

            “But what about the Whites? In essence, you are also telling them the Black politician will not provide for them because they are the wrong race.

            1) The black vote is not that powerful

            2) If it was a whim i.e.: We want to make history by electing a black man then Obama would have lasted only one term

            3) whites voted for Obama

            4) You have identified that in you opinion race relations got worse as a backlash from disenfranchised white men who hated having a black President because they think a black president cannot have their best interests at heart.

            You are a racist after all

            • Okay ~ the first bit you quoted from me was political theory, not my personal belief. I personally think voting solely on a candidate’s race is idiotic.
              The theory, as I presented, is valid. Also, according to the theory, it would be White People, not just White Men.

              1) Nope. The Black vote is concentrated in certain states so they can be VERY critical. In the same way the Hispanic vote, while also a minority, is critical in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and California. I would point out Hillary Clinton’s inability to galvanize the Black vote to the same degree as Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 most likely cost her Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and thus the election.

              Who cares if there aren’t many Black people in Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota? Those States regularly go Republican anyway so those Black votes wouldn’t have made a difference whether they came out in the same way who cares how many Angry White Men are in California? Their vote never counts on the national stage either.

              2) Nope again. Having invested in Obama once, there was a heavy impetus to not make him a one-term President because that would be seen as him being a failure. In the same way, much of the campaign was about calling his opponents racist yet again instead of issues like the economy and foreign policy. Essential it was ‘doubling down’ and hoping his second term would be remarkably better because the Global economy from 2008 thru 2010 was HORRIBLE and not his fault.

              3) Yep. Being the majority race in BOTH parties White had to elect Obama to office twice. I never thought differently. In fact, politically, Obama was as much a ‘White’ candidate from Chicago as a Black one. He didn’t have roots in the Civil Rights struggle like Jesse Jackson. Obama was an intellectual with a background contrary to the Chicago Daily Machine thus he appealed to the East Coast Liberal elites.

              4) Not completely. I think the ‘racial tipping point’ happened around the time of the Baltimore riots. On-line, I really began to see opinions about BLM harden – were they effectively domestic terrorists, or warriors against systemic police brutality.

              The Dallas Police shootings were simply too much for too many White middle class voters and I don’t think there was a way for President Obama to repair the rifts which had developed after that.

              There was this sense – fanned by various alternative media to be sure – law and order was breaking down and the perpetrators were getting away with it solely because of race.

              The Well of Sympathy, for a plight most White Americans hadn’t and still don’t understand, had run dry.

              Worse, the application of the US Justice Department in matters was now seen as completely biased … because it was by the simple metric of ‘how many times did the Justice Department investigate the murder of White people by Black people?’

              When you combined the appearance of BLM rampaging across the country and the Justice Department’s indifference to White deaths … the Obama Administration was not representing the interests of White Americans.

              And the bizarre part of all this is … the only racial group to truly recover from the 2008 Recession was … White people. By 2012 they had pretty much recovered the ground lost in 2008 and by 2015 they were in full recovery. Did ANYONE credit Obama for this? Nope.

              Why? What were the Democrats going to say? Thanks all you Brown and Black voters. Things haven’t worked out for you as nearly as much as the White folks, but keep voting for us anyway? The Republicans certainly weren’t going to give him credit.

              I think the Atlantic did an article about why this happened and most if it had to do with the Black middle class being mired in Home Loan debt in neighborhoods which had not rebounded like their adjoining White neighborhoods so their effective net worths were still depressed.

              5) So you think I’m a racist … okay. I consider there to be one true litmus test for racism and I’ve done pretty well by it. Here is mine ~ what is your gut reaction when your child introduces a person of another race and says they want to marry them ~ what is your instant reaction?

              My daughter comes to me with our mixed Black/Puerto rican neighbor’s boy and says they are getting married … while they are both still in elementary school … and I was okay with it.

              In comparison, what an person named ‘Red’ on the internet thinks of me … meh.

              • Well Red could mean a lot of things. It could mean I am Republican, 🙂

                I think this is a worthy discussion and open to debate. There are prevailing perspectives based on social consequences and realities that shift from time to time. I can tell you are one of those who reads the current literature which examines this politically. Yet at the personal level we all experience life outside the data complied by researchers. If you ever studied sociology statistical research is compiled both as macro and micro observations. The macro looks at social movements and processes while micro examines interactions between individuals or group dynamics in specific areas. A good sociologist balances the two. A good metaphor would be to study the flow of water and it’s undercurrents and how they play differently along the coastlines.

                • I agree. My first sociology study was the evolution of the Hungarian government from late 1918 until it was overthrown in mid-1919. It was a struggle on both the personal level among the people of Budapest and on the continental level in Central and Eastern Europe as new and old nations dealt with failed monarchies and new Communist regimes. People had to grapple with nationalism / national identity and internationalism / globalism. Fortunately, many folks from the time kept journals and news reports from multiple sources are in archives so we have a good picture of what was going on.

                  You had people bereft because they had lost everything in the Great War, while others had great hope for the future. Some were trying to save lives and ‘restore order’ ~ the best of intentions.

                  Others had an open and callous disregard for human life and were able to rally others to their beliefs ~ the Cause was more important than any life … though the leaders rarely ended up dying for said ‘Cause’ ~ be it Christ, the King, Marx, or the Magyar people. They usually ended up in exile, writing their memoirs.

                  My professor cautioned me when reading when reading any accounts, even data, regard the authorship. The greater and more varied the sources you get, the better viewpoint you get. As an example, the reports of the Italian military attache in Budapest as the Romanian Army enter was a “tad” different from what was being posted in Romanian papers (military censorship and propaganda being what it was). Even then, the ethnic, ideological, religious and political motivations of the authors make very interesting reading.

      • Wow I can honestly say I have never heard that opinion about white men. Interesting. I have to confess I have a white husband and 4 grown white sons and never even thought of the disadvantages you see. I voted for Hillary because I always have and always will feel that no one’s voice should ever overrule any woman’s voice over her own body and that any 2 consenting adults have the right to love and marry. I never saw her as a threat to white men. But again just my opinion. Again, very interesting. To me every soldier is a hero and we owe them all so much. But might the death toll have more to do with the percentages of the minority population and the decision in the early wars that only allowed white men to fight. Personally not excited about giving white guys a big attaboy for waiting over 50 years to give women the right to vote which included some women giving up their lives for that right. In the last 50 years rights of woman have advanced even further but I remember what it was like before.

        • Women and the right to vote … White woman have been the largest voting demographic since 1980. Not just registered voters, but those who actually cast a ballot. Not only do they seem to be somewhat more motivated to vote when younger, they also live longer. There are simply more of them. It is virtually impossible to win the Oval Office without their support. It sometimes surprises me more people don’t know this.

          Also, I did not mean to imply a woman would vote the way her ‘man’ told her to. That is rather ridiculous. My wife would ‘Gibbs’-slap me for even suggesting it to her and she’s rather mild mannered.

          What I was suggesting is that while people have suggested various political, economic and other social reasons for why women might vote the way they do, they also might vote as parents and loved ones. In fairness, I should have also suggested men should and could vote as fathers, husbands, sons and brothers as well.

          I look at it from the perspective as a Father with a 15 year old Daughter and 13 year old Son and the World they are growing up into isn’t the one either you, or I grew up in, I believe. In the 1980’s when I went to college it was a very real fear for parents that their daughter could be the victim of sexual assault, go to the authorities and NOTHING would be done, or she could even be expelled. In 2017, the ‘rights’ of a boy accused of sexual assault on campuses are very dependent on the individual university and as several legal proceedings are starting to shed light, very biased against them.

          Reality: if both the male and female student claim to be drunk when the sex act happens, the male student is considered the attacker and the female student is considered the victim. Fair ~ it ain’t.
          I am unsure why, in the 21st century, so few people believe a woman can initiate sex and that alcohol only renders the woman unaccountable for her actions.

          Reality: when accused, the male’s name is released to the public while the female’s name isn’t, even if the accusation is somehow deemed false. Even if found innocent, the damage to the accused never really goes away as copious internet searches have proven.

          Beyond that, the number of men in relationships suffering from domestic abuse is rising while the number of facilities to deal with them is not. Most shelters won’t take both men and women for safety reasons.

          Boys in high school are over three times more likely to commit suicide ~ and no programs exist to address this.

          Noticeably more women than men are now going to college ~ more so than the population equates ~ and still we worry about women getting into STEM programs … but nothing about men not going AT ALL.

          Women are making gains in leadership roles, but men remain dominant in the professions most likely to get them killed.

          Do you want to look at the huge differences in the profile and government funding aimed at Breast Cancer vs. Prostate Cancer. Sure, women can’t get Prostate Cancer, but only a tiny number of men get Breast Cancer so …

          Then there is the reality women live longer anyway, but who cares, right?

          As for the Women’s Right to Vote in the US … actually, if you know your history, it was removed at the birth of our Nation in several States. Yes, some women died for the Suffrage. I don’t recall them storming the barricades around D.C. though.

          The fact is White men realized their promises of freedom and liberty were hollow if anyone was denied the right to participate in our Republic. Sure, it took some time. Mistakes were definitely made. It wasn’t like there was a road map to follow. It took a Civil War to fix writing slavery into the Constitution.

          And it didn’t stop there, or with the Voting Right’s Act of 1965 ~ again a room full of White guys. And it still isn’t over and probably won’t even end even if we somehow get around to passing the Equal Rights Amendment. Basically because ‘rights’ are never free.

          It is truly pathetic that this election, with all its supposed passion had a whopping 55% turn out. That is just … SMH. So many posters here are angry, or depressed … and 45% of your fellow citizens simply couldn’t be bothered to decide whether, or not, Donald Trump became President – so he did.

          My State – North Carolina – had a week-long early voting period. My little town had a record turnout … and it went for Hillary, but at least they bothered. I stood in line for 45 minutes on the day the wife and I went. About 1/3 of us were for Trump, the rest were for Hillary (though I suspect we had a closet Green Party supporter among us) and we were all happy we were making a run of it.

          Again … SMH.

          • Men only feel threatened because of their history of priviledge; having always been in the position of power and authority. It’s understandable to feel deprived when you start to see power and authority being shared with a woman who is equal to the task. Biology doesn’t mean men are superior rather different. We are different: men and women and transgender.

            • Nope. Having been born to privilege does not blind one to equality, or inequality. While it can alter your perception, it is not guaranteed. More to the point, knowing nothing of my background …

              I’m an author (in the days of on-line publishing anyone can be) and often write about women drawing on the many, rich experiences I have had in my life (I’m 52) with strong, independent ladies starting with my Mother who raised me alone from when I was 8 up to and including my wife and daughter. I never felt threatened to share my lives with any of them as friends, or more than friends. Mainly because the word – share.

              Female sexuality ~ been down that road many times in many different directions up to and including my daughter’s first girlfriend ~ a laugh-riot … God, I miss her … High School … crap happens.

              Male sexuality ~ yep. Learned I’m a confident heterosexual by putting it to the test – having great gay friends who liked me.

              Transgender – several good friends in person and on-line over the years. Things like trans-guy-to-girl lesbian … because a person’s gender identity and gender preference are two separate things.

              Lastly, one of my current projects has led me to dealing with modern day Amazons ~ women in stunt work, weapon-crafting, horsemanship, falconry, archery & horse-archery and scholarly works … great stuff.

              If you have the chance, look up the Kurdish Women’s units fighting against ISIS right now. They have been fighting for several years with virtually no recognition for the risks they take and sacrifices they’ve made.

              Being a ‘man’ comes from within. It is a matter of your personal honor, integrity, self-discipline and responsibility. Whether you are a nomad, or a Father working an 8-5, as long as you own up to what you do and where you are, you are a man.

              You co-exist with women. You don’t need a woman to be a man and a woman doesn’t need a man to define who she is. Together you can make a greater thing ~ a family, but it is a bringing together of two forces – the sharing of responsibilities, toil, joys and sorrows which makes it work.

              That is what life has taught me and what I have taught my children.

              • You sound like my brother, now I understand, haha!

                I am trying my best to see form your perspective. You said,

                “Being a ‘man’ comes from within. It is a matter of your personal honor, integrity, self-discipline and responsibility. Whether you are a nomad, or a Father working an 8-5, as long as you own up to what you do and where you are, you are a man.”

                I could say the same thing about being a woman.

                But here is the thing :

                – personal honor,
                – integrity
                -self-discipline
                -responsibility
                -whether you are a nomad
                -or working 8-5
                – or a father or mother/parent
                -as long as you own up

                ….are all HUMAN traits !

                There is a wise quote in scripture,

                “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

                • Thank you, Red. I am sick nugh unto death of ““Being a ‘man’ comes from within. It is a matter of your personal honor, integrity, self-discipline and responsibility. Whether you are a nomad, or a Father working an 8-5, as long as you own up to what you do and where you are, you are a man.”

                  limited to maleness.

                  • Ms. Amalfitano, I wasn’t under the impression I was limiting the traits I personally define as what being a ‘man’ is all about as being solely the territory of men ~ maleness. That was not my intent.

                    I simply don’t feel qualified to define what makes a woman, even in general terms.

                    A) a woman shouldn’t define herself by what a man thinks.

                    B) each woman should decide what traits define her ~ no one else.

                    C) expect to be criticized for your choices. What some may applaud, others will try to tear down. Remind them you are you, not them. They are themselves, not you. If we were all the same, the World would be a terribly boring place.

                    • Thank you for spelling my last name correctly.

                      The issue is that since we are Christians, there is no male or female. We are one in Jesus.

                      Men do not have exclusive rights to the qualities you list and indeed, from this feminist’s perspective, only those who participate in male privilege claim those are exclusively reserved for males.

                      For too long the world has driven women into a second class citizen status.

                    • Ms. Amalfitano … as for your last name … all I do is ‘swipe’ and ‘copy’ … btw, Gloriamarie is a beautiful name. I’ve only run across it when research the names of nuns though.

                      Christianity has such a bizarre relationship with women … one of the things which drew women to it during the 1st century CE was its message of equality. That was why you had so many early female martyrs. They were told to “go back to being women” and they replied “I’d rather die as an equal in Christ’s Grace, thank you very much” … and they did along with the ‘uppity’ slaves and other outcasts.

                      Then one day the Church become the power within the Empire and all those bishops went “what were we thinking? (treating women as equals) So many of the early female saints have since been swept under the rug.

                      Neither the Greek, Roman, or following Germanic cultures were ‘female-friendly, but I personal like to blame St. Augustine for breaking away the early Church from the dominant message of acceptance, tolerance and equality in this life to one of penance in this life in the hopes of salvation in the Afterlife. I think he should have been tossed into a bathtub full of starving voles, but then I’ve been known to harbor a grudge, or two, in my day.

                • **There is a wise quote in scripture,

                  “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”**

                  Precisely. I wish I was that wise. Maybe if I live to be 100.

                  I do not feel I can adequately describe the traits which define a woman, being a man. I know the traits in a woman I like and admire and I know the difference between the three.

                  • I think the difference can be fluid and our society has been designed to impose norms that are superficial. This is a longer discussion and I have run out of time but I appreciate your thoughts. And, I want to say sorry for using an absolute when I said “Men only feel threatened because of their history of privilege” That’s an over- generalization and I should have worded it differently. But, that is of another time. All my best .

                    • Red, thank you for your time, consideration and words. Best wishes for you in the upcoming year.

                      **
                      “I [may] disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
                      (paraphrasing Voltaire)

              • I grew up before Roe v Wade. There always was abortion because there always was desperate women in desperate situations. There was no support system for an unwed mother. They were usually labeled as loose while men were studs. As a women you lied to an interviewer about the possibility of becoming pregnant if you were married because you would not be hired. Woman were the primary caretakers and housekeepers. I loved every minute of it. It was just the way it was. When I see my sons sharing so much more of family life I see that it brings only good things for the children. When my first husband walked away I had 2 children under 8 and an infant. I did not have a job at the time. When he just stopped paying I applied for food stamps to feed my children. Luckily I found a job In the meantime but I would have used those food stamps if I hadn’t. It wasn’t until years later that the DA set up a system to garnish wages of fathers who disregarded divorce agreements. My point is many good things happened for women since Roe v. Wade that had less to do with abortion than with women owning their own bodies, of being their own person. Last year there was this beautiful story of an adoption. The punch line was to shame all pro-choice women. When I read the feed it was full of accusations of being sluts, whores, killers, etc. Not once in those hundreds of posts was there a mention of the male part in this. I felt like I had gone back 50 years.

                • Yep.

                  Boys make babies, men are Fathers. I don’t suggest you frequent any MRA (Men’s Right’s Activists) sites. A few can be reasonable, but so much of it is women-bashing. I think most of those guys can’t recall they had mothers … or maybe it is better they don’t recall their mothers?

                  I feel a child deserves to grow up with both parents. This does not mean they have to stay in a love-less relationship (though they should make the effort), only that they both devote time to loving and raising the child equally.

                  Somewhere along the way I feel we have forgotten the importance of Fatherhood. Men should stand up and support their partners and offspring to the best of their ability and other men should hold them to it.

                  I feel divorce has become ‘too easy’. I personally have suggested to both my children they move in with their perspective spouses for one full year before marriage to work out the kinks before taking the plunge. If they discover things about themselves in that year ~ breaking up is less damaging than a divorce by a long shot.

                  As for girls and ‘sluts’ … my first GF:
                  GF: “I’m not a virgin. Are you upset?”
                  Me: “You are not? Have you been with multiple guys?”
                  GF: (sigh) “Yes …”
                  Me: “OH! Thank God! At least one of us knows what they are doing!”
                  (she hugged me)

                  If a guy has been with other girls ~ women, call those other girls to see if he was any good. A quick reference check can save your entire date night! 😉

  19. You describe so accurately how I’m feeling. I can only shut the reality of a trump presidency out for brief periods of time. I’m meditating more often and that helps and watching the news only minimally on my computer. Watching T.V. is out of the question.

  20. For God’s sake, John! We “allowed” him to come to office? Really?
    If the fact that this “madman” has become President, makes you recoil into depression, you clearly have some issues to work out. (Either that, or you’ve figured out a way to gin up enough hits on your blog to attract bigger advertisers.)

    It’s time to stop bitching about the President-elect and start praying for Him.

    • “It’s time to stop bitching about the President-elect and start praying for Him.”

      No reason I can think of why we can’t do both.

  21. Thank you for this. I think about it before my eyes are even open every day. Today was a rough one — it’s not the holidays, there isn’t the magical thinking of an Electoral College save, there’s just nothing. I’m trying to be functional but it’s rough.

  22. “I appreciate your critique is coming from a feminist perspective but do you really think this is about standing up for yourself as a women or is it simply about getting your name spelled correctly?”

    Why does it have to be an either/or? It’s a both/and. Happens to be that one of my boundaries is my name. If you were really that concerned, you would put yourself in my shoes for a minute and imagine what it is like to grow up with such a first name.

    It is my feminist and human right to choose how I wish to be addressed.

    Yes, I do find your very personal remarks about my character to be offensive.

    • How is this a remark about your character? Tell me what I said that disparaged your character so I can correct it. I mean this sincerely.

      • Nothing is wrong with it. My issue is what has been to it and what people have called me.

        Glo, Glor, Gloria, Glory, Glory Hallelujah, Gloria in Excelsis, sic transit Gloria Mundi are just a few that come to mind and I am just sick and tired of it.

        • I am really sorry you’ve gone through that. I am a big fan of yours and love your comments. Anyways, accept my apologies and know that only Joe and some anonymous idiot are being disrespectful to you, most people from what see have complimented you and misspelled you name by mistake not on purpose. God bless !

  23. Dear people,

    The groceries are still coming! Today I received 4 cans of tuna and a simply enormous bag of cat food.

    Thank you.

    There doesn’t seem to be any other way to let you know your gift was received and how much it is appreciated.

    I am going to have to find a place to put that huge bag of cat food because Young Master Colby wants into the box. The Lovely Miss Lily is content with the food in their bowl.

    Despite the fact that Colby is a year older than Lily, he is the more mischevious cat.

  24. Love your posts and your type of Christianity. Your voice is so needed. This article perfectly describes how we are waking up. It is a national depression. I share all your posts with a large group of FB friends. However, because of FB algorithms, I have no clue how many receive. But for lose who receive and read, the feedback is great. Today I received this message: “thank you for sharing this article. I so needed this.”
    Thank you so much for your contributions to our hearts and minds. God will continue to bless you!

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