Foggy view to the west from Council Crest park toward Mt. Hood


Published 2016-11-10

As an exercise I'm breaking down my anxieties into a handy list, from approximately least to most stressful. Maybe I will expound more on these later.

  1. Republicans won a clean sweep & will do a lot of things I don't like.

  2. Our president-elect is a dreadful role model

  3. The guy we hired to do the hardest job in the world is temperamentally unfit to do that job.

  4. Our president-elect has opaque business interests that his presidency can enrich, at the American people's expense. He has refused to clarify those interests or put them into a blind trust. We won’t know if his policies are for his benefit or ours.

  5. Some of the people who voted for this outcome will become emboldened to commit atrocities. In parallel, our culture will become coarsened and cruel; it will become acceptable for the strong to brutalize the weak

  6. That I, and people I love, & especially my children, will have to adopt that culture as a matter of survival

  7. Small-c conservative fans of a stable status quo (mainly establishment politicians & media, but also technocratic small-e elite folks like myself) have been & will continue to be complacent or even complicit in the face of mounting worldwide forces (see #12).

  8. Blue America and Red America are increasingly self-sorting and insulated from one another.

  9. Our president-elect will target political opponents and certain groups of the population for retribution and scapegoating

  10. Our president-elect has known ties of uncertain strength to authoritarian regimes, particularly Putin’s. These ties are almost certainly financial (see #4 above). They may lead him to withdraw from beneficial international relationships

  11. The president has unilateral power to order a nuclear strike. (This is always true BTW and has been a source of anxiety for me since I learned about it.)

  12. Worldwide there is a tidal wave of populist/nationalist/revanchist political movements; it was just “our turn.”

  13. These movements & their vague (non-)responses represent the triumph of fantasy, untruth, propaganda & unreality. We are all increasingly living in our own particular, self-reinforcing fantasies. Nationalists live an externalized fantasy of brutality; everyone else is withdrawing into a fantasy of hugging the hurt away.

  14. Our civilization and species may have already passed an ecological/technological/systemic point of no return. In light of which #13 might be the best possible reaction.