9 November 2016
This month I celebrate the 10th anniversary of this blog. It has been quite a decade. Ten years ago I was spending half my time sleeping in a room behind the bar of a restaurant in Siem Reap. Since then I have become a widow, survived a brain tumor and lung cancer, become a war correspondent (twice), made more than my fair share of trips to Bhutan, grown thousands of heirloom tomato plants, written fondly of cheese, told you where to eat from Ukiah to Guilin, and preached several times about guns. However, the single most bizarre topic of the decade has been Donald Trump. Unless The Lord intervenes he will be, for the next four years, the Commander-in-Chief of the world's most powerful country.
I expect that most of America is waking up to a horrible hangover this morning. There is no morning-after pill for this.
How could we? How did it come to this? To begin with, the Republicans in the congress and the Senate decided eight years ago that they would not do anything until they were able to get that nigger out of the White House. The gridlock and dysfunction of Washington "insiders" made many Americans feel like government had completely broken down. This eight year crisis needed an "outsider" that could be fixed only by unlikely non-politician who pledged to end the gridlock--a Republican with a five minute attention span and multiple personality disorders, who has built a career on bullying, revenge, litigation, bankruptcy, and other peoples' money.
The bizarre outcome of yesterday's election was also the reaction of the under-educated white middle class who are terrified of Moslems and people people with darker skin taking over their racist Christian country. Hate and anger have won. Racism, misogyny and intolerance of non-Caucasian non-Christians have become the acceptable norm by vote of the American public.
So what can you expect from the next four years?
There will be fewer new jobs than Barak Obama was able to create. There will be no wall. Hundreds of thousands will lose their insurance "on day one." Many people contributing to the economy and doing work that many other people would not stoop to do will be deported. The rich will pay lower taxes. You will pay more. Trump will continue to pay none. Hard-fought trade details will be lost, and the American economy will suffer as a result. Coal will be king again. It will be OK to sexually abuse women. The United states will quickly lose what stature in the world it still has. It will take fifty years to restore balance to the Supreme Court. (In the mean time LGBT rights will be out the window.) It is about as likely that Trump will be able to fulfill his campaign promises as it is to expect Studebaker and Packard will begin making cars in the rust belt again. Ultimately, those fools who put Trump into office will come to understand that he is just a flim-flam artist. In the end, they will get what they deserve, though it will be at the expense of the rest of us. The world will become a far more dangerous place.
Did you hear that the Canadian Immigration website crashed due to massive traffic on election day? And did you notice that all of the presenters on this morning's news channels were wearing black? Suicide hotlines are working overtime. On a brighter note, Vladimir Putin is ecstatic. But you knew he would be.
But wait a minute. I saw a cartoon on one of this morning's Sydney newspapers. It was just a caricature of The Donald with the quote "You totally fell for it, America." Could it be that everything he has said over the last year and a half was just bullshit and that he may actually have other plans? A return to the monarchy? Or maybe actually governing like a decent human being? Time will tell. But listen carefully--when he starts walking back all of the things he said about building walls, jailing Hillary, killing off Obamacare and bla, bla, bla, you can bet for the last 18 months have been watching a con artist at work.
Time will tell. For the time being, though, he's not my president.
If you are a California voter you may be happy to know that a growing group of people--including some very wealthy Silicon Valley tech moguls--are preparing a 2017 ballot measure for the Golden State to secede from the United States. Sounds whimsical, but I have heard it discussed for the last forty years and I am behind it 110%. California has an economy larger than france. The state's people are among the best educated, healthiest, most diverse, most enlightened, and most innovative in the world. It is culturally completely different from any other state. Before you go quoting what you remember from your eight grade civics class, there are legal precedents, and ultimately the power of the Federal government has its limits. Federal Law makes ingestion of canibus against the law. Yet, three more states (Washington, Massachusetts and Nevada) legalized its recreational use yesterday. Considering the outcome of yesterdays' election, many Californians are ready to stop paying Federal income tax, printing California Dollars, and stopping cars at the border. Actually, cars were stopped at California borders well into the 1960s to keep motorists from bringing fruit, vegetables and agricultural pests into the state.
Read more at the Yes California website: http://www.yescalifornia.org. Sign the petition! You might get the world's first pink passport!