There seems to be a lot of wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth taking place in some factions of the Democratic party. We seem to be seeing a hysterical reaction to the electoral loss of Hillary Clinton and the poor showing for Democrats in what is often referred to as flyover country.
I admit that when confronted with charts and percentages and the like that my eyes tend to gloss over. This is not the perspective that I am interested in addressing. I want to take a closer look at the bigger picture.
We have just been through an election season which was in no way normal. During the GOP primaries Donald Trump was able to knock off all of his challengers in the most vile ways imaginable and with the help of a euphoric media that gave him endless free airtime with barely a challenge to the things he was saying or the facts of his history.
In the general election the media coverage worsened by creating a false equivalence between the nominees and continuing to dismiss all of the red flags and sirens that were known about Trump and what should have disqualified him. Then there was the FBI and uncovered emails and the meddling of Russia. None of this is normal. All of this is essentially unprecedented. Now we have a president elect who is an unhinged unstable thin skinned egomaniac who has achieved the bulk of his success through inheritance and through being a conman. There will now be a GOP majority in the House and in the Senate. There is no reason to believe that Trump will be able to deliver in any way that will help average Americans. It is known that what the GOP wants to do is strip the country of every social safety net and to decrease people's civil rights of all kinds. They want to do this at a time when the need for the exact opposite course of action couldn't be greater.
When Barack Obama was first running for president it was at a time when it was clear that George W. Bush's presidency had been an utter failure. That opened the door for people who were independents and people who would not ordinarily vote for a Democrat to be willing to take a chance on the black guy with the funny name who was talking about hope and change.
There were a lot of people who understood what then Senator Obama was talking about when he spoke of hope and change. There were many who were deeply inspired by his words. They understood that those two words went together and that if we wanted to move towards hope then we were going to have to evolve and to change to adapt to the needs of a changing world. There were other people who projected onto Senator Obama what they wanted to hear.
Once he became president the GOP did everything they could to keep him from achieving anything and there were plenty of Democrats who became less than helpful or supportive. In the end that he was able to accomplish anything was incredible but the reality was that he was able to accomplish tremendous progress which looking back seems almost miraculous.
Had he been able to do what he set out to accomplish he would have been able to help the people in flyover country in a way that might have made a difference in their lives. But instead the people who live in this area were subjected to nothing but right wing talk radio and religious programs that do nothing but talk about the evils of abortion. Many of them are afraid of change and afraid of people who are different fromthem and they don't understand how the changes in their country and in the world could possibly benefit them and all the information that they ever get enforces their beliefs. Many of them are closed to new information and when Trump came to their area and delivered his message of turning back time they were an easy mark.
I suspect that the only thing that will make a vast number of these people open to a new and pragmatic message is if they become disillusioned enough for there to be a window of opportunity for them to be open to a reality based message. Even if a politician were to drop what people are calling identity politics I doubt it would matter. It doesn't matter what your message is if the people you are trying to reach are not open. Trump knew how to exploit them and that was to perpetuate lies and illusions and they bought it. With the fact that Trump is a conman and that the GOP will likely do nothing but cause further harm to their lives means the potential of reaching a point of disillusionment is a great possibility.
The next thing that needs to be addressed is the alternative left and how it wants to take this moment of chaos and use it to their own ends. What they are trying to sell has no place in the future. It belongs in the past in the same way that Trump and the rest of the GOP along with the Libertarians and the Green Party and all the rest of the fringes. They are all fundamentalist in their thinking. They live a a world of belief and they are shallow and limited in their worldview.
We don't have to look very far to find a solution. We already have access to a path going forward. President Obama laid down the foundation and built the structure. The foundation needs to be based on diversity and inclusion. It needs to be evidence based. It needs to take a sober assessment of the realities that are taking place in the moment and it needs to find solutions that do the greatest amount of good and that cause the least amount of harm.
This is the foundation that has enabled a structure to be built. The structure has been built on that foundation. Both the foundation and the structure are still present and available to us. We don't have to look to the right or the left or up or down or behind the couch. We already have the structure that we need going forward. We don't need to reinvent one. And it is not only the best choice, the reality is that it is the only choice.
It is the only choice that looks at the realities of the day in a broad inclusive way that is not simplistic or fundamentalist in it's thinking. It is the only choice that is inclusive and works towards the good of everybody. All of the other ways will cause division and disparity and division and disparity will cause suffering and therefore it will not work because it will cause strife. It will not work if it doesn't serve the benefit of everybody. If it doesn't serve the benefit of everyone than it is destined to fail.
President Obama laid down the foundation and the structure for our future. The foundation and structure moves us in a different trajectory from the other structures which are from the past and have no place in the future. Being of the past they are in a state of decay. Why would we look for solutions that are in the process of decaying?
Because President Obama laid down the path for our future which is in opposition to the past, his action set off the powerful resistance to change that we are seeing and it has brought it to the surface where we have the opportunity to look it in the eye and be able to see it for what it is and then we can reject it. We are seeing all around us the resistance to change. It's vile and ugly and since it is in resistance it is disruptive but its shelf life is finished. It no longer works. The reality is that it never really did work but now it has reached a level of damage that is unsustainable. The resistance which is from the past is trying to resist death but its time has past. We can help it to be sealed in the past by nurturing the path forward.
Hope and change. We had the revolution. It wasn't Sanders and it isn't Trump or any other of the fringe choices. We had the revolution and now we are seeing the counter revolution or the resistance to change.
What Barack Obama invoked is hope. Trump didn't do that and Sanders won't be able to do that. Libertarianism won't do that. The Green party is clueless. Barack Obama ignited hope in the hearts of millions of people. For those who truly experienced the igniting of hope it is not dead. It is alive and we must not let the counter revolution be able to kill it as that's what it wants to do.
President Obama has said that he plans to work on building the party after he leaves office. We have the structure and we have guidance. President Obama built the structure but the structure isn't about him, it's about us. We already have a path forward. We already have a structure which has been built. It's on us to utilize that structure and it is on us to keep hope alive.