Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Shapes of Discontent


There’s a word for the ages. Who has never been discontented at one time or another? In fact, it’s what makes the world go ’round. If not for discontent there’d be inventions, no explorations, no revolutions — in short, no progress. And election time is a bellwether for discontent.

Throughout this campaign for president we’ve heard that word a thousand times: The Sanders supporters are discontented; the Trump supporters are discontented. True enough, but the reasons for discontent go from A to Z. There are laudable reasons to be discontented: unemployment, low wages, housing shortages, racist oppression, inadequate health care, etc. And there are bad reasons — which include hatred and fear: racism and xenophobia to name two.

Based upon Trump’s campaign — which was a mishmash of populist proposals as well as insults, bigotry, and obviously crazy ideas like building that wall on the Mexican border — I must conclude that those who voted for him either overlooked or agreed with his outrageous statements and behavior. That is very troubling.

It is one thing to be understandably discontented, but quite another to be indifferent to or in favor of hateful ideas that create division, not unity; that augur chaos, not progress.

We will be making a big mistake if we overlook the evil aspects of Trump’s drumbeats, which made hatred an integral part of his campaign. We must take seriously the embrace of Trump by David Duke and his racist ilk, by the so-called “alt-right,” a neo-fascist crop from which Trump appointed Steve Bannon, the head of Breitbart News, to be his campaign manager.

I could not agree more with the following excerpt from a post-election statement issued by Elizabeth Warren:

“The Democrats’ first job in this new era: We will stand up to bigotry. There is no compromise here. In all its forms, we will fight back against attacks on Latinos, African Americans, women, Muslims, immigrants, disabled Americans – on anyone. Whether Donald Trump sits in a glass tower or sits in the White House, we will not give an inch on this, not now, not ever.”

We are stuck with four years of Donald J. Trump as president. How those years play out must not be left to him. There's no question in my mind that there will be much disillusionment among many, if not most, of those who voted for him. It's up to all of us to channel that discontent and move the country forward, despite the man with the funny hair.  


  1. Couldn't agree more. We need to organize and become a force powerful enough to watchdog and hopefully curtail any destructive action he makes as president.

  2. We're fired up, vigilant and ready to take action!