last election thoughts (?)

So, I’m still kinda mourning.

Anyway, I heard this article on one of the news channels the other day, and I can’t stop thinking about it: Taking Donald Trump Seriously, Not Literally:

“First of all, the country is divided, and we have no leadership,” [Trump] said. “You would think we would have the perfect leader for that but we don’t.”

He hammered at the importance of better opportunities in black communities as a remedy to quell today’s unrest: “We have to have education and jobs in the inner cities or they are going to explode like we have never seen before. You already see signs of that already all over the country.”

The best way, he says, is to provide good education and good jobs in these areas. “Fifty-eight percent of black youth cannot get a job, cannot work,” he says. “Fifty-eight percent. If you are not going to bring jobs back, it is just going to continue to get worse and worse.”

It’s a claim that drives fact-checkers to distraction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the unemployment rate for blacks between the ages of 16 and 24 at 20.6 percent. Trump prefers to use its employment-population ratio, a figure that shows only 41.5 percent of blacks in that age bracket are working. But that means he includes full time high-school and college students among the jobless.

It’s a familiar split. When he makes claims like this, the press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.

And there’s the election, in a nutshell — how many times did I take what he had to say literally, but not really seriously? Whereas his supporters were just the opposite — they’re happy to take him seriously, but not word-for-word. I’ve been obsessing over this chiasmus all day.  I think it’s the 2016 election results in a rhetorical nutshell.

Then again, while I didn’t take him as seriously as I probably should have — part of me thinks that I just couldn’t allow myself to see him as an actual president — I think more of my disappointment this week is in that so many of my fellow Americans voted to have him as a leader.

Which brings me to this article I posted earlier this week: We Who Choose to Fight

You know, some folks will say that liberals and progressives were too smug and that we underestimated him. But I don’t think that’s quite the whole story. The real story is that we recognized him for exactly who he was, and shall forever be. We overestimated the goodness and decency of a lot of Americans.

I will choose to fight. I just have to get over being so devastated, first.

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