Sunday, November 13, 2016

An Open Letter on the Occasion of Our Country Becoming a Farce (at best)

An open letter on the occasion of our country becoming a farce (at best):

Dear millennials who supported Bernie and sat if out since the summer: Ok, can we please find some common ground? We're going to need each other going forward. If we neoliberal Establishment types concede that we should have listened to you about just how unpopular Hillary was, will you agree that we were right that there is, in fact, a big difference between Trump and Hillary, and that you all sitting on the sidelines really hurt? We can table our disagreements on trade!

Dear journalists: No, the Dems did not "ignore" the white working class (as if we have much of a working "class" anyway). Obama bailed out the auto industry, and even though his community college/retraining programs are not sexy or large enough, they have helped a lot of people. The stimulus was the correct policy. Healthcare, as flawed as it, helps working-class families. And the Dems tried to prevent the collapse of unions in WI and MI. (If you're right out of college, maybe Google "Walker and unions" if you get the chance.) I think in the end you are confusing "not seeing eye to eye culturally" with "ignoring."

Dear journalists again: OMG, NOW would you please stop writing those incredibly inane articles about the alleged break-up of the GOP?

Dear European friends: I apologize on behalf of all Americans who can find Europe on a map. And thank you for Merkel, who is now the only significant world leader standing up for liberal internationalism. 

Dear female friends: I thought I got it, but I really didn't. I was aware of rates of sexual abuse before Tuesday, and I teach all my students about the long history of sexism in this country. (And, for example, they leave knowing that gender equality only made it into the 1964 Civil Rights act as an unexpected attempt by a sexist and racist Senator to cynically sink the whole measure.) But I under-estimated the extent to which Americans would tolerate such open misogyny and boasting of sexual assault. My bad.

Dear evangelicals: you have lost any last hint of a "moral" high-ground you once held.

Dear Mormons: you have lost any hint of the "distinctiveness" you cherish.

Dear white working class (such as it exists): Good luck with the trade wars; I'll check back with you in a couple years to see how you're doing. And by the way, yeah, a lot of you now have crappy service sector jobs (and some of you have new decent jobs programming etc.) But the U.S. still manufacturers a couple trillion dollars worth of stuff a year. As Thomas Friedman put it, you lost your job to a microchip, not a Mexican.  But it's hard to scapegoat innovation and efficiency. 

Dear Salt Lakers; be sure to check out the new burger menu at Proper Burger. We added some new ones like the "Bollywood." And of course ...


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