Last night my husband and I woke up in the middle of the night to talk politics. We didn’t talk about how surprised we were. We went through the list of people we know who voted for Trump but wouldn’t admit it. We know a lot of them because we don’t live in California or New York. We live in The Rest of The Country.

If you live on the coasts you probably don’t understand what it’s like to be surrounded by Trump voters, so I’ll tell you.

First, there’s no discussion of politics except to say platitudes that everyone accepts as true. Because outside of the coasts it’s not polite to start disagreements. So a political discussion goes like this:

“Everything fell apart with NAFTA.”

“Uh huh. That’s for sure.”

“Hillary’s a liar.”

“Yep. She’s been lying forever.”

“That video of Trump in the bus was so sad.”

“It was so sad.”

Conversation among people who are not New Yorkers is not really give and take, so much as it’s call and response.

No one tells you they are voting for Trump. Instead, their kids tell you.

As typical homeschoolers, my kids know no typical limits for intellectual discussion. So they talk politics with other kids, and most kids my kids talk to say they support Trump. And let me tell you, it’s not because they are reading CNN.com voraciously. It’s because their parents support Trump.

My niece, also living in a state that does not have an ocean front, had a mock election in her high school. We are not talking impoverished and uneducated here. This is a high school with a ski team. And it wasn’t just that Trump won the mock election that made my niece leave school early. It was that her classmates were chanting, “Build that wall! Build that wall!”

What I want you to know is that Trump voters don’t tell you they are Trump voters.

It shouldn’t surprise you because the only people who have a voice in the media are in New York and California. And look, I’m not telling you this as a Trump voter. I’m telling you this a member of the media.

Does it shock you to hear that 80% of the writers for high-end magazines come from Park Slope or Montclair? I made that number up, but I dare you to spend a day reading the bylines. You will be completely shocked by how many writers live in these towns. The reason is that being a writer is a glamorous job that doesn’t pay enough to support a family, so the only people who can do it have spouse making a ton of money. And those writers live in Park Slope (Brooklyn) or Montclair (New Jersey).

So if you want to be a member of the media, you have to talk like them. Act like them. Or you are a loser in a small-town and not really counted as media. I’m telling you this to let you know how out of touch the media is with America. Mainstream America doesn’t go to spinning classes. They go to casinos.

We lie to ourselves when we think we know how the US thinks and votes. We lie to ourselves when we think there is anything in the media reflecting The Rest Of The Country.

Rural people lie to each other when they pretend they are having real conversations. And city people lie when they pretend they can represent the US in the media.

But there are more lies.

The Democratic Party propped up Hillary as if she was the people’s choice. She wasn’t. Even laudatory writing about Hillary was lukewarm. Poll after poll showed that Bernie Sanders could beat Trump and that Hillary would have a harder time beating Trump.

And I don’t know if Russia hacked the DNC or Comey is working for the RNC or what, but it’s clear that the Democrat Party didn’t plan for a fair primary. The Democrat voters don’t like Hillary. Why is this a shock? We knew this during the primary. Why are we pretending that the DNC didn’t throw this election away? American voters want change, and people do not perceive Hillary as change. We don’t need polls to know this.

And now, a word from South Park. I watch South Park with my son every night, so you can imagine that we have ended up watching many episodes more than once. Which means we are excited when a new episode comes out. And a recent South Park episode pointed out that Republicans didn’t throw a fit when Trump repeatedly said slurs against the Hispanic population in the US or against the Muslim population at large. Republicans didn’t distance themselves from Trump until he talked in lewd ways about women. Which tells us that the Republicans think it’s fine to be racist.

We live in a racist country. We live in a country of arrogant city people. We live in a country with corrupt parties. And we have open elections but we don’t have open discourse.

I think about Nazi Germany all the time. What would I have done? Now I know. I would have lied to myself just like everyone else lied to themselves. That’s how democracies crumble: under the lies we tell ourselves.

I think you read this blog because I spend a lot of time calling out people for lies. Here are some things I’ve said that people hate me for saying:

Don’t report sexual harassment.

Don’t hire for diversity.

Marry for money.

You put your kids in school because you are cowardly.

You are not going to earn any more money than you earn now.

Your graduate degree is worthless.

This is not controversial stuff. I mean, in terms of research and data it’s not controversial. But we don’t let people say those things because they offend our sensibilities. People feel compelled to tell me I’m hurting someone — their wife, their daughter, their career, their ego, whatever — because I’m telling the truth.

That’s why we are all shocked that Trump is elected. Because we are so comfortable hiding from the truth.

Do you want to know how to have a safe, secure work life and a personal life that is stable and fulfilling? Stop lying to yourself. Put your outrage aside and open your eyes to reality. Learn to understand why people do what they do. Just because the world is not how you think it SHOULD be doesn’t mean you can’t see it for what it actually is.

Redirect your election incredulity. Try to find your part in it. Try to find where you lie to yourself. Try to be more honest about your own life. The best way to fight a failing democracy is to try radical honesty. With everyone.

242 replies
Newer Comments »
  1. Kaitlyn Kramer
    Kaitlyn Kramer says:

    For the record, I don’t think people who voted for Trump are racists, sexists, whateverists. Americans wanted a change, some change, any change, and Hillary is just same old, same old.

    • Jon
      Jon says:

      Yeah, they wanted a change from the Black president and the Female candidate – they wanted a White dude, something they were used to and comfortable with. The country is still racist and sexist and those on the right will laugh at millennials over “politcally correct” stuff like trigger warnings and safe spaces. Those people have lived in one big safe space their entire lives and they were pushed out of it recently with Obama and the prospect of a Clinton presidency, so they sought to build that bubble back up around them – and they succeeded.

      • Pro Bill of Rights
        Pro Bill of Rights says:

        What a crock of crap to pull the race or sex card.

        I voted for Obama the first time BECAUSE he was black (I guess I could call that racist of me if I was into the race game).

        I didn’t vote for Obama because of what he stood for or what he was going to do to keep America free and independent. I voted for him so we could finally have a black president.

        So, in your mind, was that a politically-correct thing for me to do? Or was it flippin’ ignorant to not study up on what he was really about?

        I voted for Trump this time because I educated myself this time around, and this time I *didn’t* look at race or sex.

    • Nikki
      Nikki says:

      Except when someone supports/endorses a person that is all those things, they are absolutely supporting/endorsing all those things. You don’t get to pick and choose the traits that are ok with you. All of him, every facet and nuance, is now president elect of this country.

  2. Dave Gordon
    Dave Gordon says:

    I’ve offended a lot of people via Facebook and other online and in-person venues over the last 18 months. As an INTJ, I think and speak in data, and so I have been alienating virtually everyone I know, to the point where it has made me persona non grata almost everywhere. So last night, when I was listening in on the unmedicated response to Trump’s win by the bloviators on CNN, I nearly rolled my eyes out of my head when one of them claimed that The People wanted someone who would tell them the truth.

    Plainly, the American people wouldn’t recognize truth if they found it in their corn flakes.

    • #INTJ
      #INTJ says:

      As a fellow INTJ, I experienced this same exact thing. So did all the other INTJs in my life, in fact. This leads me to believe that all INTJs knew Trump would win.

        • bea
          bea says:

          Oh god! Yes! I’m an INTJ and knew deep down in my gut that we were in completely uncharted territory, and the data I usually relied on to assuage my irrational fears in normal circumstances could not be trusted…because there was nothing normal about these circumstances.

          Data did not win the day here. I gave up on Fivethirtyeight weeks ago. And what a nightmare for folks like us. I am somebody that never, ever trusts my gut. I always have to look around for empirical evidence to inform how I proceed in forming an opinion. But here I was, not able to ignore what I felt in my gut to be true depsite 90% of the polling data I was bumping up against.

          Yesterday I spent the day stress eating and staving off a raging headache as my head and my gut engaged in a battle royale. I kept thinking: Is this what folks who lead with their gut (or their heart, or anything but their trusty brains) go through constantly? How in the hell do they do it?

          I’ve had no sleep and enough coffee to kill a donkey, so I’m probably not making sense. I just find myself wanting to reach out into the ether and connect with my INTJ people.

          • AK
            AK says:

            I guess I’m the only INTJ who’s surprised, so maybe I was just blinded by the polling data and my own love for Hillary. At about 9:00 EST I looked at The Upshot, and that’s when I knew. Then I wept.

          • May
            May says:

            I TOO AM INTJ BUT I THOUGHT HE WOULD LOSE!! :D

            I was comforted by poll numbers and very much underestimated the emotional pulse of America, a lot of which is rural or would vote with their gut and a bit of fear in their hearts instead of intellectualizing pros and cons like an INTJ would. Hahah.. A costly mistake.. (I’m pretty sure Hillary is also INTJ, and made the same error).

            But I’m also young and Canadian, so I guess I wouldn’t have that much American insight. I was hoping for a Liberal-Democrat partnership between our governments for a few years, but now I suppose.. I have to focus on keeping vigilant over my own country’s possible relapse, and right-wing sentiment grows all over the world.

          • Jennifer
            Jennifer says:

            Penelope, you’ve been driving me nuts lately with your link-baity headlines & articles, but in this post you are nonetheless correct, and thank you for saying it: It’s rare to find a national news outlet which realizes there is a “The Rest Of The Country” and elevates their voices — *their* voices, and not mouthpieces who claim to represent them.

            As a person who is coastal and urban at heart, but who lives in the rural midwest — is married to a farmer, and is raising children on a farm — you have the opportunity to explain how rural folk think. You can explain where they’re coming from, and why they reach the conclusions they do. You are in a position to speak about rural people with respect & understanding.

            I’d love to hear it.

            (Says the INTJ. Your blog is the only place we’re a majority!)

      • Adam James Proulx
        Adam James Proulx says:

        I’m INTJ and I voted for Trump, I was about 95% sure he would win if there was no election fraud and 50% sure in reality

        • Michele
          Michele says:

          Same. I am an INTJ and voted for Trump. I am not a racist and didn’t vote for him because the color of his skin or his sex. I voted for his brain. He is an ENTJ, who will run the US like a business and will make decisions on what will be best for us as a nation. He will take advice from the pro’s who will surround him. People shouldn’t vote for someone because of their sex or skin color – that is true racism. People need to get past what the mainstream media shouted out for the entire year and understand people patterns. Penelope, you are just talking to us like a staunch democrat and you are not making any sense by grouping Trump supporters the way you are. You are not right on this one. (About me: I have been on welfare, have used Medicaid, food stamps, raised 2 kids as a single mother, went back to school for a BS degree, work as a environmental conservationist, am very close to someone who was born in Mexico and is not a citizen, who has all different races and colors within my family circle.) I have experienced more than most of you folks who are calling me racist and sexist. Hey Hillary supporters – don’t be over educated know-it-all loudmouths.

          Trump will do a great job. I slept well after the election and am thrilled about the future. Suck it Trump haters.

    • Derek Scruggs
      Derek Scruggs says:

      Reminder: Hillary won the popular vote.

      The Republican presidential candidate has won the popular vote just once in the last six elections.

      • R.C.
        R.C. says:

        Reminder:

        Neither Hillary nor The Donald was trying for the popular vote. Had they been attempting to get the popular vote, they would have campaigned differently.

        Trump, whose positions/attitudes in this race have no prior expression in his biography and were probably adopted entirely for salesmanship purposes targeting disaffected demographics (with an eye to cracking the Rust Belt firewall), could easily have sounded like the second-coming of Bill Clinton, if he been campaigning for popular votes.

        (Not sure why more people don’t get this. What, do they think Trump has always liked wearing baseball caps? Or that he even likes them now?)

        Anyway, since the candidates and their positions are tailored for electoral vote advantage, they’re constantly willing to risk unpopularity with more numerous demographics in order to capture loyalty from strategic demographics.

        Consequently, the winner of the popular vote — especially when the margins are so slim — is a random and comparatively meaningless artifact of the way the campaigns were run.

    • Barbara Taylor
      Barbara Taylor says:

      In case we’re taking an informal poll: I’m an INTJ and would have put money on Trump to win months ago. Part of this may be because I moved from Seattle (blue, urban bubble) to NW Arkansas in 2003, and am therefore intimately familiar with how The Rest of The Country thinks and feels. Michael Moore said it best: “Everyone must stop saying they are ‘stunned’ and ‘shocked.’ What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair.”

      • bea
        bea says:

        Yeah, we should’ve placed our bets. I even started looking at bookie data to see what their odds were for a Trump win and they weren’t any more illuminating than the polls. But I thought more than once: I should place a bet here. I’d win a shit ton of cash. I know how cynical and terrible that sounds.

        In the past few weeks, I started relying more and more on anecdotal and qualitative data (anecdata, as I refer to it) to inform my opinion on what I knew was going to happen. I started haunting right-wing, conservative blogs and news sites, and I started talking politics to my relatives who live in the deep South (something I usually avoid at all costs). I found myself listening to a lot of talk radio that I would never ordinarily show up for.

        I swear, when it was finally over, I felt a tad bit of relief bc it has been absolute hell to live in a steady state of foreboding for weeks on end.

        I think the good thing about being an INTJ in this post-election season, is that we’re not ones to wallow and tantrum about what happened. I’ve already started placing this in a larger, historical context and doing all the things an INTJ does to make sense of the universe and move on.

        That being said: Please somebody, anybody, before 2020 start a political forum for INTJs.

    • Chantell
      Chantell says:

      I’m another INTJ who predicted that Trump would win. Also I’m a Hispanic mom with a(n overpriced) graduate degree earning a six figure income who voted for Trump. Confounding the polling data is my job.

      • Michele
        Michele says:

        Yep – I confound the data too: university educated, female, lives on the west coast (blue state), environmental conservationist, who hates war. I did my research and voted Trump.

        • Shelly
          Shelly says:

          I want to know what that research was that let your conscience off the hook to vote Trump?
          I’m a female voter who voted Obama (vs Hillary) because of his policy positions. Also I never trusted Bill and was tired of the Clinton neoliberal DINO policies, and their amazing ability to put their foot in it, and their resulting paranoia. Hillary proved herself (to me) as Secty of State as a smart, reasonable candidate who would work hard for America, so I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt in light of the options.
          But Trump? He MAY not be a racist – I’m not really willing to bet on it – but the degree to which he leveraged racism even before this run (with his Birther nonsense) was almost as disgusting as if he was. Same with the misogyny – and don’t tell me “he hires women” should be enough for me to let him off that hook. That just says he hired women who may have been very capable that weren’t likely to challenge his sense of power and superiority. I work for one of those and I can identify a duck when it quacks most of the time.
          I wasn’t shocked that Trump won – as PT observed, we’re masters of self-delusion in the US, that we act as if we know better than whatever the other group may be. (While at the same time blaming that group for all our woes, as if we were children with no agency.) We refuse to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge our bigotries and prejudices. We often confuse the forest for the trees. And all you people who think the looked at the facts, and did your research, and STILL voted Trump – I hope you’re right FOR MY SAKE. But I think you’re absolutely wrong. The Repubs would often mock Dems regarding Obama, “How’s that Change working out for you?” Shoe might just be on the other foot.

    • EstimatedProphet
      EstimatedProphet says:

      Also INTJ. Not political. Asperger’s data junkie. Also knew Trump would win. I won so many lunch bets, I won’t pay for a meal until August.

    • JoEllen
      JoEllen says:

      Stability is a myth. The world is a rough and tumble place. There are no “safe places” to be cuddled and hugged until you calm down. Grow up, learn from your mistakes and go on.

      One thing I loved about Trump is he NEVER gives up. He fights and I want him fighting on my side of the economy and getting the government back to a nominal size.

      • Ann
        Ann says:

        What is nominal? When was the last time the federal government was nominal? I contend that you lack an thorough understanding of how the federal government works and the many ways that you and your family and your neighbors use various parts of the federal government.

        • JoEllen
          JoEllen says:

          And he’s still a successful, billionaire businessman who just won the presidency. I’d call that a winner.

        • Michele
          Michele says:

          Morgan, have you read anything about the Clinton Foundation? And the many questionable maneuvers that have been executed there? How did the Clinton’s get rich if they have only managed a non-profit? And/or worked in government? Come on people.

          • Rachel
            Rachel says:

            That you don’t know that the answer to that question is book deals and speeches, 1) you don’t pay attention, and 2) you’ve been drinking way too much anti-Clinton Kool Aid

    • Jim C.
      Jim C. says:

      COWBOY? That’s a misnomer. Donald Trump is from Queens, NY, and he talks like a dude from the big city.
      Cowboys are a lot more polite than city slickers, especially New Yorkers.

    • YeaRight
      YeaRight says:

      Stability is temporary. Chaos is forever. Human beings are hardly stable. They’ll say and do anything to get what they want. Like spill out platitudes like “I want stability” minus what it takes to achieve it, which is coheasion. In other words lose in order to win and cooperate with difference. Humans only want to win and in fact have a low tolerance for difference, thus unstable. Emotions are hardly stable. Ask the other woman.

  3. Laura Parrino Byxbe
    Laura Parrino Byxbe says:

    Penolope I’ve been following you for a long time, and I appreciate your refreshing honesty and directness. This is the first time I am commenting on your post because you nailed it: “Conversation among people who are not New Yorkers is not really give and take, so much as it’s call and response.” I think I’d modify it now to include everyone, including New Yorkers, as people unable and unwilling to have conversations, and only able to communicate by call and response. Oh and one more thing – definitely talk on top of everyone else talking at the same time because that’s the only way to tell the world they are wrong and you are right.”

      • Yvette
        Yvette says:

        give & take: when in conversation, each person contributes their views and listens to the other’s views, alternating; back and forth.

        call & response: 1) in music when one section calls out, then another section calls out the same words and tune, alternating; 2) in rural life (where I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, also Trump land btw) we would call to each other outside, and others would call back, the same words (not really conversation, just keeping track of each other).

  4. Rob
    Rob says:

    Great article Penelope.
    There is a huge generational divide in the US and here in the UK. I think that older people feel that they have what they have because they’ve ‘worked for it’ and younger people feel that they are getting a rough deal and too many older people (and senior executives) have too much, at the expense of the under 30s.
    I actually agree with both points of view but I worry that Victoria’s analysis of trends (above) may be overtaken by ‘stuff happening’, which may not be what any of us want. Bridges need to be built and that is between the generations and between East/West coast and the rest.

    • jessica
      jessica says:

      Hard work is required everywhere for success. The difference in the UK and elsewhere is that what is valued and paid for has changed, yet the systems were built on a past economy.

      In short people have two choices- Stay safe now or take a knowledgeable risk that actually leads to greater security. If safety is the first choice don’t be surprised and wallow when the level of entitlements and short term incentives keep you exactly where you want to be- stuck.

  5. Anony
    Anony says:

    I reluctantly voted for Clinton after being enthusiastic for Bernie, but I completely understand why people voted for Trump. It’s killing me that the media, so far, are failing to self-examine and honestly understand why Trump won, and what the Democratic party needs to change for next time.

    Everyone is forgetting that no one likes to be called a racist xenophobe—including voters who were drawn to Trump’s message for reasons other than racism. Radical truth: Some people hate his racism but will overlook it due to his talk on trade and on bringing back jobs. Does that make them KKK members?

    Choosing between two candidates means having to compromise. Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that some people ranked the issues as follows:

    1. Their own economic security
    2. Terrible talk about women
    3. Racism

    The kicker is, there are people who hate him for #2 and #3 but still voted for him because #1 outranks everything else when they are forced to choose.

    Here’s what I think the Democrats and media need to do:

    1. Stop the constant articles demonizing working class whites as racist xenophobes simply because they put their own economic interests first. Yes, racism is abhorrent and needs to be stopped, but the extremist rhetoric alienated people and is part of why we are now stuck with President Trump. Instead, try the radical honesty that Penelope wrote about, and also remember that some Trump voters were once Obama voters. Were they racists? And remember that most people don’t consider themselves racists and will rebel when faced with that accusation. For people who hate racism and misogyny, it is so incredibly offensive to realize that the whole country is calling YOU (by means of Trump) a racist. Those people will shut up and not tell you how they’re voting for fear of being publicly shamed. And there will be no honest dialogue that truly moves this country forward.

    2. Nominate a charismatic candidate. Look back at past elections. Candidates with charisma (either party) typically win.

    3. Hope that that charismatic candidate is someone who represents an authentic populist progressive message. AKA Bernie Sanders or the next person with his charisma/message combo.

    I ultimately voted with my head, for Clinton, but many will vote with their hearts. As they did for Obama. As they hopefully will do in four years for someone like Bernie Sanders.

    • Gayle S
      Gayle S says:

      Uh huh. You can keep preaching it but I’m not buying it. And it’s just not because Trump won the election, but because I have lived and moved among white, working class no education in Indiana (still a KKK stronghold), Illinois and Wisconsin (when I was married) and have heard racist, sexist diatribe my entire existence…some of coded, a lot of it open and hostile. It has grown louder, more forceful since Trump came on the scene and made it okay. And even when white folks aren’t saying it, you’re showing it with your feet…more than one or two blacks move into the neighborhood (makes little difference if they are doctors or Section 8), you retreat further and further outward. We have a joke in the community that if we keep on following you, one day you’ll fall right off the edge of the planet. And now they’re out of the closet, brazen and emboldene, we see that if anything we under-estimated the numbers. I’m trying to use this election as my own moment of truth and I don’t get complacent but still radicalized.

    • anoymous.
      anoymous. says:

      Unfortunately the divide is not along economic but racial lines, and partially gender line negating the argument it was about (mostly) personal economic situation.

      Also – Trump is among all who entered the primaries in both parties the LEAST honest person by far. The number of lies he told despite having knowledg of facts exactly telling the opposite is truly staggering. It is beyond me to see why people can call Trump honest and Hillary Clinton a liar. Just because you feel free to express your need to kiss women whether they want to or not, or because you think every inner city everywhere is like a third world country populated by african americans does NOT make it so.

      Not shouting out every thought which comes to your mind is sometimes just a question of human decency not one of political correctness. Having supporters who wear T-shirts reading “tree.rope. journalist” is not a liberation from political correctness but horrible. And a reminder that this is how things started in Nazi Germany. And fascist Italy. And Stalinist Russia.

      • Anony
        Anony says:

        I don’t deny that there were a large number of actual blatant racists and even KKK members who supported Trump. And it’s scary and sad to embolden those individuals. The problem is that it’s wrong to assume that everyone in a broad, patchwork coalition has the same exact views. Guilty by association doesn’t work if you think it through. For example, evangelicals supported Trump, and they have some crazy views. Using that logic, does that mean all Trump supporters believe that evolution is wrong just because they voted for Trump?

        What I’m arguing, though, was that Trump and Republicans always had the true racists. The election was tipped by the people who voted Obama to be inspired, who voted Bernie for the same, and who subscribe to what used to be called moderate views (like not wanting complete free trade, wanting some more focus on border security but not actually wanting a physical wall and mass deportations). Those moderate views are now demonized by the left as racist and thrown in the same bucket with the disgusting KKK and their ilk. It’s extremely offensive to be told you’re in cahoots with the KKK, and a xenophobe as icing on the cake. Some people I know in the PA outer suburbs have expressed these views privately. They are the voters who once went for Obama and this time went for Trump.

        • AK
          AK says:

          Yeah, I’m hearing this in PA too, and now I want to get the F out of here. Please, this country is not even 250 years old. “Secure borders” is moderate? Only if this country didn’t exist. The problem is stupidity and enablemebt resulting in racism. So if you act like a racist, does that not make you a racist? Also are you really seriously arguing that Trump will be good for the economy? As a well-off white woman, my stocks are the only thing I have to worry about. Problem is I guess I have empathy for what others have to worry about. Manufacturing jobs are not coming back. Statistics show that undocumented workers boost the economy. You give me a headache.

      • Adam James Proulx
        Adam James Proulx says:

        The lines of the divide is not among racial gender or economic status, they are among urban and rural, the poor and the rich both live in the big city’s while the middle class live in the open country

        • anonymous
          anonymous says:

          About 8% of the african american population voted for Trump and less then a third of the traditionally conservative (at least in Florida) hispanic population. Trump voters are overwhelmingly white men, and more often without a college degree then not, and living in a rural area.

          I fully understand the economic desparation and that Hillary Clinton was not able to really make her plans and policies palatable and understandable beyond the large volumes of policies written on paper. I understand that there are issues which stopped people from voting democrats – what I do not understand is how it is still possible that many voters claim Trump is the honest candidate. How can a coal miner favor deregulation which will make his boss rich and give him black lung disease. Trump spews a lot of empty words and constant repetition does not make them true.

          • Eric
            Eric says:

            I can answer that one…if Hillary is president the coal miner will be unemployed. I know many coal miners. Every one of them voted Trump because Hillary is blatantly anti coal.

    • NJ
      NJ says:

      Thanks for this and your follow up response. It was really helpful for clarifying my unease with how quickly the left has turned to name-calling. Great comments

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      The sad fact of the matter is that unless you are a white male, prioritising your personal economic situation over your race or gender is actually impossible. Of course no one wants to believe that they are racist/sexist, however choosing a path that will perpetuate a system of biased privilege at the expense of a multitude of “others” is still racism. In a country that is stratified on so many levels, Penelope is spot on in her assertion that true dialogue is the only way that we can move forward as a nation that is united.

    • Another INTJ
      Another INTJ says:

      1 There are two FBI investigations. One for the email server and one for the foundation. There has never been a more corrupt candidate.

      2. The democrat party primary was rigged. Bernie received the majority of the vote and Hillary received the delegates

      3. The media was biased and only promoted Hillary. Thank God for Wikileaks.

      TRUMP drew tens of thousands and Hillary could not draw flies.

      The rest of the country is fed up with the corruption, lies, over regulating big government. I am looking forward to jobs, prosperity and no infrigements of the bill of rights.

    • Mew
      Mew says:

      Well if you really read the blog post you would rethink the statement: this is already a racist country. So what’s the point of redefining and explaining that people don’t like being accused of being racist…?

      On the side note I’m laughing at the INTJs’ comments.

    • Rachel
      Rachel says:

      Overlooking racism is saying you don’t care that someone is racist. Saying you don’t care that someone is racist and voting for them anyway is enabling that racism.

      Endorsing racism indirectly is just as bad as, if not worse than because it’s insidious, being racist.

  6. Tim Moseid
    Tim Moseid says:

    Penelope,
    Because a person is against illegal Hispanic immigration doesn’t mean that person is a racist as is readily apparent with the American’s of Hispanic descendants who voted for Trump.

    Attributing racism to a person who is against Muslim immigration also doesn’t mean that person is a racist. This again is readily apparent by observing many Muslim’s who are of different races including those who are the same race as the person who you call racist.

    • Morgan
      Morgan says:

      The correct term for Trump’s public opinions about immigration is ‘xenophobic,’ which is by definition equally destructive in that is reflects clear prejudice.

      • Pirate Jo
        Pirate Jo says:

        Nonsense. The stance on immigration boils down to two issues:

        1) Each year, ever since the year 2000, there have not been enough new jobs created to mop up all the additional people trying to get into the work force. That is already the case for people born in the USA, before we allow any new immigrants inside. Shouldn’t we make sure our own kids can find a job before we allow a bunch of new people to come in?

        2) What can our infrastructure support, such as hospitals, roads, schools, assistance programs, etc.? We are “full” already.

        This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with the carrying capacity of our economy and infrastructure.

        • Morgan
          Morgan says:

          Restricting immigration is rooted in irrational fear as you have just so beautifully illustrated, but to your point, there will soon be an immigrant taking the job of FLOTUS.

          • Pirate Jo
            Pirate Jo says:

            If you don’t believe there’s a limit to the population level the U.S. economy and infrastructure can withstand, then it makes sense that you would see it as an “irrational fear.” But it’s not racism.

          • anonymous
            anonymous says:

            well – it is not like Clinton advocated open borders, neither has Obama. The numbers of deported illegal immigrants has gone up in the last few years. It is only Trump with his extreme solutions, who drowned out the facts.

        • Rachel
          Rachel says:

          1) Immigration is proven to increase economic growth, including jobs available. By lowering immigration figures, you actually reduce the chances of there being enough jobs for our children. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s absolutely empirically proven.

          2) America is a long, long way from “full”.

  7. Lauren Teller
    Lauren Teller says:

    I knew that it could happen. I knew that there were a lot of people who were lying. And liars believe other liars because lies are smoother and tastier and easier to digest…remember, never go to the sausage factory.
    The media made money on Trump. The more attention they paid Trump, the bigger he became, and the more money they made. The trick of the narcissist is to grow hotter and brighter under our hungry gaze, and the trick of the prostitute is to sell their talents for the dollar and the fame. It all worked together very smoothly, like lying to liars.
    I think about Nazi Germany all the time. The Nazi’s saved the most onerous tasks for the Polish inmates, and for the Jews. Most survivors can’t talk about their experiences. The shame and the guilt is too much to bear, too much to share. I dont know if I would have lied to myself, I know that I would have lied to save myself, and then buried that lie in my gut. Maybe thats the same thing.
    When I was young, I used to lie for approval, and to ease social situations. When I stopped doing that, I lost friends. Later in life I lost a husband too. But I got a new one and we have learned to tell each other the truth. It is a process.
    I will try your suggestion of radical honesty in all areas, I need to do something!
    And thanks again for your rapier sharp honesty and brilliant insights.

  8. Rebecca Stafford
    Rebecca Stafford says:

    Yup. I agree. Hilary over Bernie seems to have been a fatal mistake for the Democrats.

    I live in New Zealand – because my English grandparents took their family to the ends of the Earth in the aftermath of WWII – & I’m depressed about the election results. But I not surprised.

    I didn’t turn a blind eye to the truth of Trump – with a bit of history study & 10 years of psychology study, I understand the mass appeal of sound bites for a repressed population. As Trump did.

    I also understand that NOT standing up to bullies will not keep you safe. So I did my tiny bit – with my HuffPost article “Trump, Hitler, & Me: How bullies are physiologically motivated to bully”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/578f1b2fe4b004b4c9a3b3bb?timestamp=1478718605220

  9. anoymous.
    anoymous. says:

    Unfortunately the divide is not along economic but racial lines, and partially gender line negating the argument it was about (mostly) personal economic situation.

    Also – Trump is among all who entered the primaries in both parties the LEAST honest person by far. The number of lies he told despite having knowledg of facts exactly telling the opposite is truly staggering. It is beyond me to see why people can call Trump honest and Hillary Clinton a liar. Just because you feel free to express your need to kiss women whether they want to or not, or because you think every inner city everywhere is like a third world country populated by african americans does NOT make it so.

    Not shouting out every thought which comes to your mind is sometimes just a question of human decency not one of political correctness. Having supporters who wear T-shirts reading “tree.rope. journalist” is not a liberation from political correctness but horrible. And a reminder that this is how things started in Nazi Germany. And fascist Italy. And Stalinist Russia.

  10. Sarah f
    Sarah f says:

    Obama won because a group of people had been repressed and showed up to vote. Trump wins because a group of people felt repressed and showed up to vote. Both want to be heard. Unfortunately, both want to be heard about hating the other group…..

  11. Mark
    Mark says:

    Penelope – Everything you describe is pretty well true, but these Midwesterner “lies” are just normal neurotypical behavior. I’m an INTJ with Asperger’s and one of my biggest shocks post diagnosis was to learn that telling the truth is a clinical disorder and is categorized as a form of mental illness. Your unfailing honesty stems from your neurological profile and your readers find it entertaining and informative but I doubt that most of them want to hear that type of critique in person. Lying is normal human behavior, but their is a distinct line between polite “little white lies”, and apparent criminal deception.

    I think Hillary got punished for lying in a way that deeply offends many normal people because they know they could never get away with it the same way. You are entirely right that we are all a bunch of liars and their are loads of studies to support that premise, but it might be that the left (media) offended the middle (rust belt) by accepting and portraying Hillary’s potentially serious lies as “normal business” or nothing to worry about.

    Seems to me that without the media’s “help” Hillary would have easily won. Her not so secret allies may have cost her the election by offending the sensible Midwesterners who know an appropriate from an inappropriate lie.

    I am totally with you on the topic of lying in general. Not knowing when, or how, or why people do it is major frustration in life.

    Maybe this time we elected all honest politicians and we won’t have to worry about this for another four years…

    • AK
      AK says:

      Your post is interesting. I’m an INTJ who had to learn to lie, though I am not on the spectrum. There is a degree, or maybe a kind, of lying expected in society, and maybe it doesn’t come naturally to our personality type in any case.

      I disagree that the media has been allies of Hillary’s, though.

      • Anonymous
        Anonymous says:

        Personally I think more honesty in politics would be great. But I don’t get why people think Trump is the pinnacle of honesty – he lies when he opens his mouth. He only clothes his offensive stuff in the cloak of honesty, and then goes on to lie on other stuff. Like how much money he makes, when he was against the Iraq war, how much he donates to charity, that he stiffs people working for him, – he is a con man trying to convince everybody that he tells the truth when he is just very good at lying.

        • AK
          AK says:

          I don’t think people are paying attention to facts and objective reality (in as much that it can be objective). Didn’t Penelope have a post about that once? It sounds like something she would talk about. It’s the media echo-chamber that influenced this, I think.

  12. Cristina
    Cristina says:

    Thank you for writing this post. That’s all I can say. I hope some good will come out of this election. We shall see.

  13. Rita
    Rita says:

    Penelope, I love all your articles. You have a way to bring forth any issues that we might be thinking and or feeling but do not have the guts to speak.

    The only article that hit a nerve with me was the article on the veterans you had done few years back.

    I think you’re pretty much a genius IMHO. You’re welcome lol.

  14. Stephanie Ko
    Stephanie Ko says:

    It doesn’t help that the Internet reinforces the echo chamber. Facebook’s algorithms curate the news feed according to our preferences. We can choose to follow and interact with those who have the same stance as ours, however right we think we are. So it’s easy for us liars to lie to each other and take the moral high ground.

    This morning I woke up to the news, flabbergasted. I’m speaking as a non-American who moved to the UK exactly one month before Brexit happened. And I thought Americans at large wouldn’t make a similar choice Britain had made. I should’ve known better, but I didn’t want to believe it. The election results were a huge wake-up call to me that as much as I tried to understand people from the other side, I had been largely living in this bubble of homogenous culture. Which I guess Penelope would see from a mile away as she often points out the differences between city and rural people. But it’s something easy to overlook because it’s so much more comfortable to cover our ears and only listen to what we like.

    So I’m now reading The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt, who attempted to look at the issue through the lens of moral psychology. Because I realized that until we make the reality crystal clear for ourselves, we can’t fix the problem—we don’t know what the problem actually is.

  15. Sandy
    Sandy says:

    Interesting take Penelope. This time around I found that some of my Republican friends commented they were trying to find something to like about Trump but couldn’t. And they didn’t like Hillary. So I suspect they may have voted for Trump in the end. I also have relatives in northern Wisconsin. We never talk about politics, but I know several of them were tired of Washington gridlock. I’m guessing they voted for Trump too. But nobody is admitting it which is weird. If you’re proud shout it out.

    I don’t think all Trump supporters are racist. But at some of his televised rallies there were examples of racist language from some of his followers. Trump is certainly xenophobic and like many lumps in all Muslims together with Muslim terrorists.

    I’m also guessing a lot of his followers saw job loss through trade deals and/or U.S. corporate offshoring. So if you combine the xenophobia with the anger over trade deals, you have a lot of scared and angry people who were disgusted with Washington and career politicians. That’s the support group that Trump tapped into and Hillary could never win over. She won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote.

    But now the Republicans will have complete control of Washington. Democrats can’t be blamed for obstructionism. If the Republicans don’t build that wall, arrest and deport those Mexicans, and restore the manufacturing jobs lost to trade deals, America will be ready for another sea change. I think at that point a talented, charismatic African-American (or perhaps Hispanic) woman or man would indeed be the candidate for people who would want a different type of change in 4 years.

    The wall won’t be built (and certainly not paid for by Mexico), ranches and companies depend on the Mexican immigrant labor so the illegal immigrants will find a way to come and stay here, and manufacturing jobs won’t return to America. Companies who offshore will pay penalties before they’ll agree to return to higher labor costs in the US. Trump’s platform is a recipe for failure and frustration imo. But it prepares the way for the Democrats in 4 to 8 years, the same way the Democrats (with help from the Do Nothing Congress) prepared the way for Trump.

    • AK
      AK says:

      How did the Democrats prepare the way for Trump? I don’t see the logic in this. The Republican-controlled Congress refused to pass anything without a repeal of ACA included. They shut down the government. They’ve been dog-whistling since Nixon. What did the Democrats do specifically that led to Trump? Pass the recovery bills in 08/09 so that the economy could recover? My INTJ brain cannot compute this.

  16. Jennifa
    Jennifa says:

    This morning I had to go to the Pentagon for work. I have to go once a week. The metro ride in was the quietest train ride ever. I felt very self-conscious, I felt a little scared. But I looked at the black women sitting on the train, and thought if they can get up this morning, and every other day, and go out in this world, I can to.

    Once I got into the building I stopped at the coffee shop, per my usual. As soon as I walked in I noticed that it was all men in the shop. A big panic attack welled up inside me and I frantically looked around for another woman; the cashiers. I felt a little better and got my coffee.

    As I trudged down the corridor, I again noticed all men, I began to wonder if it was always like this and I never noticed. I mean I am in the Pentagon after all, but I swear there were always women around. So as I am noticing this walking down the hall, a woman, about my age, in fatigues, walks along beside me and mentions she needs a big cup of coffee too. This is a little odd since usually no one voluntarily talks to each other trudging down the hall, particularly those in uniform to those not.

    Our eyes met, and I saw the fear in her eyes too. We finished our brief conversation and I couldn’t help it, it all hit me and I starting sobbing right there. I ran into the ladies room and balled for 10 minutes. Other ladies in the restroom asked if I was okay. While I was calming myself down in the stall, and fanning my face so it would not be red and puffy, I heard the other women talking, and being really kind and gentle with each other. It gave me a boost, and I went back out and into my cubicle, and listened to the Tump-men laugh and go on and on.

    Tomorrow should be better.

      • Jennifa
        Jennifa says:

        Agreed, the whole thing took me by surprise for sure. I haven’t cried like that in, gosh, I’d say 20 years at least.

        As far finding what you are looking for, as a person who tries to do my own balancing of the media bias scales, recently I have googled
        Hillary and Huma sex tape
        Obama encourages all illegals to vote
        Busses of illegals voting
        Irate illegal woman votes in Florida and mouths off to poll workers
        Bill Clinton forced Republicans to approve NAFTA
        Obama stating Treyvon Martin could have been his son is a racist statement

        -to try and figure out what the heck people at work are talking about. The list has been endless really, I just can’t remember more at this moment, of stuff everybody at work is talking about and which I have heard nothing. I cannot figure out what media outlets these people are consuming to have daily transgressions the media is not covering. But I think it falls into the same camp, you find what you are looking for I guess.

        I honestly was kinda hoping to find the H+H sex tape, none has appeared, perhaps there is still hope. Maybe they will make one post-election.

    • Marie
      Marie says:

      I really appreciate your sharing this. I’ve noticed an uptick in belligerent behavior (although not at work). It’s like the malevolent genie being let out of the bottle. But I woke up this morning thinking, “we have to support each other” to get through.

    • AK
      AK says:

      I found my inclination was to be extra sympathic to people today too. Maybe the silver lining is we’ll come together on the individual level more.

    • Carol of Kensington
      Carol of Kensington says:

      You should have gone to the 9/11 chapel and said a prayer for the lady generals there. I went to the Pentagon ceremony when Kathleen Gainey got her 3rd star. Her dad, a D-Day veteran, pinned the new stars on her shoulder.

  17. Derek Scruggs
    Derek Scruggs says:

    Reminder: Hillary won the popular vote.

    The Republican presidential candidate has won the popular vote just once in the last six elections.

  18. Tina
    Tina says:

    Long time reader, fist time commenter. I’ve been utterly distraught and crying all day, unable to make sense of this election outcome. I needed the last 2 paragraphs of this post to help me move forward from this. Thank you, PT.

  19. Diane
    Diane says:

    As someone who works in politics I love how you closed this post. So many people I work with think that the rest of the country SHOULD be the way we are (progressive, diverse, feminist) and forget that most of the country isn’t like that at all. It’s long past time we start talking more with people who have opposing views than people who look and think like us.

  20. Jay
    Jay says:

    You said, “First, there’s no discussion of politics except to say platitudes that everyone accepts as true. ”

    In that non-coastal culture, how does an idea get promoted to become a generally accepted platitude?

  21. Roberta
    Roberta says:

    Thanks for helping an Australian understand what happened and how it was able to happen. your analysis is perceptive and spot on.

  22. Caitlin Timothy
    Caitlin Timothy says:

    I don’t think Bernie would have won. His ideas were too radical. They’re fun ideas, but I don’t believe the entire country would have gotten behind them.

    You’ve been making good points about the concerns and POVs from people from The Rest of the Country (I myself am from Silicon Valley and now Los Angeles so perhaps I’m too distant to contribute here), but I still think you and The Media have a problem of giving nods to Poor White People From “Fly-Over-States” while simultaneously suggesting they’re ill-informed racist xenophobes. I’m not a supporter of Trump or a Republican, but really? Is there no other reason that a person could possibly support “building a wall” than that he/she is believes that the Mexican race is lesser? Coastal liberals think about identity politics so much that they assume everyone else thinks about that, too. But plenty of people yesterday were voting for jobs, tax breaks, lower health care costs, and smaller government and decided that it was worth electing Trump to do it. It’s insulting to suggest that people voted for him because they’re ignorant-albeit-polite racists.

    Also, every Media outlet I’ve been listening to has been scathingly critical of Trump and his supporters and have consistently highlighted that he is a bully. Last night CNBC kept cutting to a montage of all of his racist, sexist statements and tapes. In painting him, and all of his supporters, as bullying bigots, Media Collective has been publicly insulting the intelligences and motivations of hundreds of thousands of people across the country with whom they’re tragically out of touch. So out of touch they now have no idea how to explain this “surprise victory.” It’s so absurd.

    Shaming large groups of people- how they live and how they think- is asking for misunderstanding. Calling people “racist xenophobes” does not count as adequately representing the other side’s thought space.

    • Shannon
      Shannon says:

      Agreed. As a midwesterner who for the last 15 years has lived in very liberal areas amid a sea of Red voters (and whose families probably voted for Trump, though I kept my mouth virtually shut on that race) I would also say that calling people racist, etc, is the quickest way to shut down the conversation.

      I think people would be happy to have real conversation, want it, CRAVE it, but know that they will be shut down, shut out, by being called racist. I’ve heard so many conversations and debates, where people spoke their minds and then were told, “You have valid points, but you’re just wrong, and it’s racist.”

      And frankly, that’s exactly what it seems liberals want: to shut people down who have dissenting viewpoints, and the quickest, most effective way to shut people down is to call them racist. I think they are learning the hard way that shutting people down is not the same as winning them over.

  23. Truth hurts
    Truth hurts says:

    I’m a black woman and not at all surprised that Trump won. I’ve never underestimated the racism and misogyny that exists in this country. And it’s dangerous to think that only old, white men hold those views. I’d like to believe that most people that voted for Trump aren’t racists and were worried about economics but it’s hard for me to see how anyone with a brain thought that his “proposals” would fix the US economy. Hyperbole is his middle name! I would really love for a Trump supporter to explain his economic policies to me because I’m clearly missing something. Y’all really believe that a man that hasn’t paid taxes because he found the loop hole is going to now close said loop hole…ha! You really believe that he cares about a fair, livable wage for all Americans and equal pay for women when the facts are that his corporations employ illegal immigrants and don’t pay small business contractors?!? What America are Trump supporters living in? I know the answer to that but I’ll wait for the white women that showed up and showed out for Trump to explain it to me.

    To the women that have posted here about crying and not feeling safe due to the election outcome, go talk to your mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmas that voted against your best interest. Black women have always known that this system and country were not built for us and our children, so no, I’m not surprised White America and I think it’s hilarious that you are. You’ve elected the president you deserve.

    • MMJ
      MMJ says:

      Excellent points. I’m a white woman and not at all surprised that Trump won. I didn’t vote for him, but all of the older relatives and neighbors who aren’t afraid to express anti-woman and anti-anyone of another race/religion/ethnicity views surely did (and there are plenty of them), and anyone who thinks that the US is “beyond” racism and sexism in 2016 is hanging with a very sheltered crowd. Plenty of racism (and sexism) still to go around…

  24. Lynne
    Lynne says:

    Trunk & Trump: Courage.
    The courage to be authentic and 100% transparent at any cost and against all odds.
    The courage to say the unspeakable truth.
    The courage to defy the norms.
    The courage to say what we’re all really thinking.
    The courage to be human.
    The courage to just be you.
    The courage to walk the talk.

    The true soul of our nation has revealed itself. For if all we truly wanted was just more of the same ‘ol rhetoric, HC would have been elected.

    Rather, the risk of electing another four years of what we already know was a much greater risk than taking the leap to elect not just change but unknown change.

    Thank you P. We love your blog for many of the same reasons. Your voice cuts through the bull and just tells it like it is. Our silent voices are often validated within your posts. Authentic. Human. Courageous.

    • Derek Scruggs
      Derek Scruggs says:

      “100% transparent”

      Give me a break. Trump is the least transparent candidate of my lifetime.

      * Did not release his tax returns, and gave BS reasons for doing so
      * Lies about his net worth and business success
      * Forces himself on women (as a woman surely you recognize the kind of guy who thinks he’s God’s gift to women)
      * Insults and bullies the powerless (disabled reporter)
      * Sucks up to the powerful (like he did Hillary in 2008, and Putin this year)
      * Zero empathy
      * Scared to death of what reporters will find out about him, threatens to sue when they do

      In Illinois the Republican Senate candidate gaffed by questioning the ancestry of the Democrat. He lost as result. Trump made literally dozens of similar gaffes and won.

      This is not about transparency or authenticity. It’s about alpha male bluster, and people aren’t will to admit how persuasive it is.

      The emperor has no clothes. He will demonstrate it within the first two years of his presidency.

      As with Nixon, no one will admit they voted for him.

  25. Confused
    Confused says:

    I’m confused… didn’t you write a post a few weeks ago about how voting for trump was your political fantasy?

  26. KR
    KR says:

    I’ve read you for a long time and I have no idea what this means. I’m exhausted of opinions at this point. Be honest with myself? Radically honest? Trump spoke the truth for a lot of people I don’t know or interact with regularly. Obama looked like the truth to a lot of people I do know and interact with regularly. In both instances, establishment was rejected. A Bush and then a Clinton. There were Trump supporters who yelled their racism, misogyny, and xenophobia loud and proud and then there are those Trump supporters who chose to overlook his hateful, dangerous comments because they couldn’t stomach any more establishment garbage. You can ignore racism and xenophobia when it’s not your issue. This post is just your opinion with no solutions. The bottom line is it’s always the economy, Penelope. Dems did not address it, they just kept on talking about demographics. We need jobs and ladders for people to live their long lives in security and with purpose. That’s the problem that needs to be solved.

  27. Christopher Chantrill
    Christopher Chantrill says:

    From: http://www.cnn.com/election/results/exit-polls.

    56% of whites voted for Trump. Are they racist?
    88% of blacks voted for Clinton. Are they racist?

    63% of white men voted for Trump. Are they sexist?
    94% of black women voted for Clinton. Are they sexist?

    No information on the haters, xenophobes, and Islamophobes.

    Lee Kuan Yew, once prime minister of Singapore, said that in a multiracial society, people vote by race. So there is that.

  28. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    The lame-stream media was the biggest loser in last night’s election. The CNN newscasters’ faces last night…priceless. #DrainTheSwamp And, if you are “protesting” today, then you are a sore loser and should go back to Kindergarten. Be the change you want to see and do some good in the world. America has spoken. Move on.

  29. Rob
    Rob says:

    To help you understand the result (and Brexit) and to follow Penelope’s advice in the last 2 paragraphs, look up ‘Filter Bubble’ on Wikipedia. It’s the way we live now and will lead to more and more ‘unintended’ and surprising consequences in time to come … after all, we all know that we are right and you are wrong …

    • KR
      KR says:

      Yes, Rob, and we should all be challenging the major distributors of media about it. Facebook much? Those algorithms are about commerce not conscience. Turn off your Facebook. Tell them their algorithms are failing to inform you. Stop giving them your data. Data is the new power. First it was land, then it was manufacturing. Now it is data. Protect your data.

  30. Tracy
    Tracy says:

    Great post, thanks for demonstrating leadership in this arena.

    Trump, Brexit seem inevitable if we look at history, and the 4-cycles of social moods/behaviour:

    1. Unraveling
    Institutions are weak and distrusted, while individualism is strong and flourishing.

    2. Crisis
    Institutional life is destroyed and rebuilt in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s survival.

    3. High
    Institutions are strong and individualism is weak.

    4. Awakening
    Individuals try to recapture a sense of self-awareness, spirituality and personal authenticity.

    Guess we somewhere are in the unraveling to crisis stage. I guess that is my response to the ‘What is this world coming to’ – it’s just how we are and the seasons we go through, again and again. Let’s just try to get through this stage with as little damage as possible.

    (Think I learnt about this on this blog too.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss%E2%80%93Howe_generational_theory)

  31. Arielle
    Arielle says:

    I like your writing alot but I do need to comment that, while Bernie Sanders may have been a popular choice (and many Democrats werent big fans of Hillary) the Democrats didnt “rig” the primary.
    I dont know what is with all this selective amnesia but seems like much of the world (including you) forgets that Hillary Clinton was also the “established” candidate and “DNC Favorite” of the 2008 Democratic primary.
    If the DNC was hell bent on fixing primaries and pushing a disliked candidate on people than how do you think an ‘outsider’ candidate like Barack Obama got the Democratic Nomination?
    Look Bernie supporters were loud and attention getting but in the end the primary numbers (votes) went to Hillary.

    • John
      John says:

      Obama is a team player for the DNC. The DNC preferred him over Clinton so he got the nomination.

      Bernie didn’t fit the DNC mold so they had to go with Clinton.

      • arielle
        arielle says:

        Of course, another conspiracy theory to prove the first one
        Go google how primaries work and the actual vote tallies.

  32. Jennifa
    Jennifa says:

    I was not surprised, but still upset.

    My brain says this is a great opportunity for Republicans to get some things done.

    My gut says this is the beginning of the end. A long drawn out affair that ends very very badly.

  33. Candice
    Candice says:

    Wow. Just wow. I stumbled on your blog when researching careers and wanted to see what you had to see about the election. You my dear, are disconnected with the Republican views. You’re just like all the other news reporters and media. To sit and accuse the middle class American whites of being racists is the most ignorant excuse for why there isn’t a Democrat holding in the government. We are not racist. Yes we want change, but change in what matters to us & what we want for our children. I guess when you live in your own world, in your own head, you fail to see what others are living. Our biggest issues reside in taxes, our rights (which were being taken away), and our say in our governments role. As a mom, I would think you would want what is best for your children. We want labeling on our foods that we buy for our families, we want protection from illegals who come in and steal jobs, drive healthcare costs through the roof because they live on state aid, kill our job placements for our graduating college students because there’s a demand in the market and not enough jobs to fill them. We want change for our country to help increase the good, not have to work 2 jobs in order to support our kids, our parents, ourselves and the rest of the country who thinks it’s ok to live on aid from the government. So, when you want to wake up and smell the real reasons to why Trump was elected instead of making assumptions (because I’m sure you didn’t go out and interview 1000 ppl to come up with your racist mentality of the Rep.), you may be able to find that we do have a heart, we do have a vision and it’s not to hurt other people but to get this train wreck back on track. SMH, you really are just another blinded Dem who wants to find an excuse rather than see things from another view point.

    • AK
      AK says:

      I really regret subscribing to this thread because of people like you. As an INTJ, I cannot let it go when people spew out opinions or wrong assertions and treat them like facts. Do your research, and you will find out that statistics show that illegal immigrants boost the economy, for one thing. I’m sorry your kids can’t get a job making below minimum wage cleaning people’s bathroom? WTF?

      Healthcare costs are about to get way worse with the end of Obamacare, for everyone. As a public health professional, I know the statistics that show how these costs were outpacing inflation (the problem ACA was set to resolve) is going to be painful. You may be mostly insulated from it, as am I. But my sister-in-law with a fatal condition and coffeehouse job will not be. The owner of the small business my husband works for, who’s wife is battling cancer and is on ACA, will not be.

      God, what I want for my son is to have some empathy for other people.

      “I guess when you live in your own world, in your own head, you fail to see what others are living.” Is this meant to be ironic? White people are not the only “people.”

      Brown people are not to blame for poor pockets of the economy. Nor is the president of the whole damn country. At most, your local politicians are to blame. At least, the inevitable globalization of capitalism is. If you like capitalism, you’re supposed to like progress, because it’s a necessity. Am I the only one who read freaking Das Kapital? Geez.

      The poor racists with their hurt feelings about being called how they are acting are really coming out of the woodwork. Now I guess they don’t need to hide.

      • Sandy
        Sandy says:

        AK I agree. Just some random thoughts here.
        1. Illegal immigrants are hired to work by countless farms, ranches and businesses throughout the country. They don’t get benefits and the employers don’t pay the usual payroll taxes etc er employee. Obama’s plan was in part to give these people a path to citizenship, accelerate it for their children who completed college or served in our military and get them on the tax rolls. I forget the estimates but it would have been a lot of tax dollars for the country. Trump and the Republicans just want to kick them out.

        2. This part will impact anybody who is on Medicare or Medicaid. There is some portion of the ACA that has helped to keep Medicare costs down. If that part is dismantled, expect to see big increases in Medicare Part B and perhaps an impact on benefits. Also, Paul Ryan has wanted to cap the governmental contribution to Medicare for years which would result in a BIG jump in Medicare costs. Another approach they may pursue is to privatize a portion of Medicare which will also likely increase healthcare costs for the elderly. With Medicaid, there seems to be a desire by the Republicans to pass it back fully to states with some sort of annual subsidy. Speculation is this would lead to reduced health benefits for the poor who are on Medicaid. I know one person with a chronic medical condition and another woman, recently divorced, working and struggling who are both on Medicaid and would be impacted. They’re not deadbeats. They’re just in difficult positions.

        • AK
          AK says:

          Thank you.

          I can’t stop commenting here and on Wonkette. I guess it’s the only thing making me feel better. And I keep forgetting that Trump’s rhetoric did not just included illegal immigrants, but all. I’m reminded of that every time I talk to or hear about a family who is scared right now. I’m just so sad for everyone.

          • Sandy
            Sandy says:

            AK yes I think talking about it does help. I’m also personally looking forward to the midterm elections when we can hopefully elect more Democrats to Congress. I would really like to see a mixture of control in Congress.

  34. Joyce
    Joyce says:

    Isn’t this a worldwide trend already? Democracy can result in tyranny. Open borders can lead to closed walls. In your generational theory, it seems we’re approaching a time of crisis.

  35. Betty Peterson
    Betty Peterson says:

    This blog post demonstrates perfectly why there is so little political discourse among civilized people in our country anymore. You bemoan the fact people won’t talk about the issues, but then turn around and refer to Donald Trump as a racist. That’s textbook on how to stop political discourse: by labeling people and calling them names. Conservative people, most of which are really decent folks, aren’t fond of being called racists, islamophobes, homophobes, fascists, misogynists, and bigots simply because they oppose open borders, or are concerned about Islamic extremism, or aren’t ready to accept some of the modern social values that were unacceptable just 10 years ago. These people are publicly excoriated, shamed, and labeled for their views. Thousands of people march down streets shouting “f-you” at them. Is it any wonder that these good, hard-working people, most of which are kind, respectful, and generous to a fault, retreat back into their, neighborhoods, churches, and family circles, where they are known and valued for who they are, not unfairly judged and labeled by the press and others.

    • AK
      AK says:

      “Racist” means something. It’s not a random insult. Here is a dictionary definition for you.

      racism
      [rey-siz-uh m]
      1.
      a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.
      2.
      a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
      3.
      hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

      Using a word correctly by its definition is not “calling people names.” Calling someone “retarded” when they do not have a such a clinical condition is “calling people names,” by the traditional way we teach our kids not to do. Does that make this more clear to you?

      I have no interest in getting into arguments with Trump supporters. Intend to tell my family to STFU around me and my son if they want to see him at all, because it will be hard enough to raise him as a good person in an overtly hateful world. Except I am sick of people denying the reality of themselves and the society we’ve created. You and the candidate that exemplifies and will carry out policies of your hatred are so “tough”? Then own what you are. You like that Trump tells it like it is? I am telling you like it is.

      “Is it any wonder that these good, hard-working people, most of which are kind, respectful, and generous to a fault, retreat back into their, neighborhoods, churches, and family circles, where they are known and valued for who they are, not unfairly judged and labeled by the press and others.”

      The same could be said to you from a family like the Khan’s.

      Dominant cultural actors holding up the hegemony and engaging in racism, in whatever forms, makes them a racist.

      Period.

      • Caroline
        Caroline says:

        I’m so glad someone offered a valid definition of racism. I assume ENTJ Penelope understands what the word means too. Now, please, logically explain how Trump supporters are subscribing to a belief that considers the white race superior to other races.

        • Ak
          Ak says:

          You are sarcastic, but I was completely serious. But why would I waste my time logic-ing you out of your illogic? I would love to, actually. It would be an academic challenge to me. But are you sincerely open-minded here? Even though I am explicitly calling you out as a racist? I thought not.

          And no, I don’t need to be open-minded to your racism. You don’t need to be opened-minded to my anti-racism either. But only one of us is striving to understand an objective reality not based on knee-jerk reaction and emotion.

  36. Quinton
    Quinton says:

    “Which tells us that the Republicans think it’s fine to be racist.”

    This divisive, binary thinking over-simplifies the matter.

    The truth is, a lot of my friends who went for Trump, would have voted for Bernie. And a lot of people (myself included) only voted for Trump because we feel that Clinton is evil personified.

    It’s tough: Evil personified, or racial slurs?

    There was no good option. And, in your moment of emotion, your blog forgot how to be gracious for all of us who held our noses and voted AGAINST the DNC’s candidate.

    • AK
      AK says:

      The problem with this is that “evil personified” is not objective reality with a provable theorem. The racism is. I could go into why, but why would I waste my time. I just wanted to make myself feel better by telling you that you’re wrong, even if you don’t believe it. As if “beliefs” are more important than evidential facts.

      • Quinton Hamp
        Quinton Hamp says:

        I could discuss the reasons I and others feel like she is a bad choice. But that gets existential pretty quickly. I’m not here to attack a candidate, but to plea for unity and a willingness to consider the other side.

        What bothers me about Penelope’s article is that she states that Trump voters must be 100% like Trump. And Penelope draws the worst assumption possible, without providing any grace or seeking common ground.

        It is exactly this that we hate so much about Trump. We call that Racism when we stereotyping occurs based on skin color. .

        And, while I can identify with the emotions Penelope is feeling, I would have hoped for a much more level-headed response from this blog.

        Blindly stereotyping is what divides us.

        • AK
          AK says:

          I don’t care to discuss the candidates themselves anymore either. It’s done. But to call for unity after this is a pipe dream, and what’s more, completely tone-deaf.
          Is it not clear that Trump ran on a campaign of hatred and scapegoating the “other”? Do you think you know more than scholars and analysts who have compared his platform to fascism? I will say it again: stating factual evidence is not name calling or being mean to you. It is rational thought.

          No one who is going to lose their health insurance on January 22nd and has to fear bankruptcy and death owes you “unity.” The continued disenfranchisement of citizens based on demographics, such as happened in NC, is not unity. Bragging about sexual assault and treating half the poplulation as second-class citizens is not what unifies us.

          And simply pointing this out is not what divides us. Calling it by its name is not what is divisive here.

          No one owes you consideration of your feelings. And those marginalized groups certainly do not owe it to white people to act for white people’s interets. Maybe the Democratic Party didn’t adequately address the concerns of the populations of marginalized white people that do exist. But maybe we should stop scapegoating those who are historically systematically disadvantaged, and stop voting against our own damn interests.

          I for one would like to throw the world’s tiniest violin at white people who think the worst thing to come out of this is being called racist.

          It is not non-whites’ responsibility to act in white people’s interests for them, just because of cultural hegemony.

          And as a white woman, I have a duty to do my part in not accepting this. If I see someone rip a hijab off a fellow human being in my presence, screaming like a paranoid jerk, I have a responsibility to call that out. I have a responsibility to call actions what they are. As an adult child of an alcoholic, I know the first step to change is defining the problem. Actions taken taken in the name of fear that aim to deny the rights of others to shore up white people’s rights is the essence of racism. If Trump voters don’t see that is what their vote effectively will accomplish, I cannot help them. I am not a coddling person. My aim is to help the people who truly need it, who have been denied the right to help themselves. Not the whiners with all the opportunities and none of the inclination.

          The first thing I can do is call racism what it is.

          Actions are what matter. The concrete consequences of actions make a difference in the world. Not abstract concepts of “unity” based on putting that responsibility all on other people. Take some personal responsibility here.

          If you act for racism, that makes you a racist. This is not what the word “stereotyping” means. The sooner you can own who you are, the faster you can work on doing better. We all can.

          It is odd to me that all these racists are taking so much offense to Penelope’s post, when I read it as defending them.

          • AK
            AK says:

            And to put this more simply: you are fundamentally NOT asking for unity. You are asking to remain comfortably oblivious of the hegemonic status quo. Some people will agree to that, and some won’t. I happen to be making it my mission right now not to. That does not mean I am against unity (or “being mean,” as the voters of our bully of a new president are so concerned with). It mean I am against the dominant cultural hegemony that puts whites’ and white mens’ interests above all others.

  37. Silvana
    Silvana says:

    First, I am from Illinois. I am an immigrant. I am Hispanic. I am hurt. My children were born here, and it pains me to think they will be treated unkindly. Not by Trump directly but those that follow his poor example and think is OK to belittle others.

    If Trump had said :let’s stop illegal immigrants (PERIOD) I would have learned about him. Why only Hispanic immigrants?

    If Trump had said let’s deport people that are a threat to our security (PERIOD) I would have become interested to hear him speak. Why only Muslims?

    If Trump had said better things about women (like we can make our own decisions), I would started sharing about him with others.

    If Trump had said: I did not take the tax cuts/take my steal from China/ or got cheap labor from Mexico, because he knew it was wrong. I would have even voted for him. (He actually blamed Clinton for allowing him to do so… So if no one says no to him who would stop him?)

    He didn’t say any of the above. As a naturalized American citizen I did not vote for him and I am proud to say so.

  38. C.S.
    C.S. says:

    So many layers! Completely leaving racism and misogyny out of it (stay with me here), a bunch of people are “mad” (and BTW, since when does that alone require action of any kind?). They are mad (terrified) because we are racing along in the world of digital, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, etc. and “manufacturing” jobs (the ones done by actual people) are hanging on by a thread IN GENERAL. In the meantime, toddlers know more about digital/technology than many of these infuriated folks and it’s frightening. People would rather be called racists and misogynistic than unskilled or left behind. Perfect time to sell a bill of goods (perhaps literally, the ones being made in China perhaps?) that these jobs will 1. Continue to exist and 2. Be brought “back” to the U.S. Genius (but not unprecedented).
    Unrelated: After reading this article, I read a brilliant long-form investigative piece in a highly-respected literary-ish magazine. Author resides in Park Slope. You kill me, Penelope!

    • Truth Hurts
      Truth Hurts says:

      THIS! manufacturing jobs are not coming back! Donald Trump cannot bring back the industrial revolution. Welcome to the Information Age. The world is changing and so are jobs and the skills needed to get those jobs. Who needs massive factories that emit huge amounts of pollution when technology like 3D printing exists and continues to get better.

      Of course you’re against climate change initiatives if you earn a living working in the coal mines. But that’s also not a sustainable industry if you want a viable planet for our children and grand-children to live on. So instead of adapting, these people would rather cut off their noses to spite their faces. All of our faces.
      Trump supporters talk about what they want for their children. Yet they elect a man that thinks climate change is a hoax – despite all the science that proves its real and dangerous and we HAVE to do something about it or suffer the dire consequences.

      Stop burying your head in the sand and own up to your racist and/or misogynistic views. The most qualified candidate for president in the last 30 years at least is evil personified?!? Or are you too afraid to admit that her vagina scares you because you can’t control it.

      So you don’t think racism is evil, and you voted for a man that clearly is racist (ask the DOJ about his rental practices that they FORCED him to change), but you don’t want to be labeled as such?!? White privilege makes my head hurt.

      But the irony in all this, is that some of the people that voted for Trump are the people that will get hurt the most. When (if) they repeal AHCA, come and post about how your grandmother is making out on Medicaid and if she can afford her prescriptions. Have you thought about what happens when insurance companies can go back to refusing coverage for pre-existing conditions?

      le sigh.

      • Look up.
        Look up. says:

        Dear Truth Hurts: Have you heard of HAARP?

        Have you heard of geoengineering weather modification?

        Do you look up in your skies and see planes making what looks like contrails, but yet the trails don’t disappear within a minute or few minutes? Do you notice how you’ll wake up with completely blue skies, and then you’ll see planes making the trails? Only to find that the trails expand and grow; and before you know it, your skies are completely gray/white?

        Don’t you wonder what the hell is going in our skies? Not one tiny bit?

        • Look up.
          Look up. says:

          Some of the best info I’ve found on youtube about global warming and sky-spraying is called a youtube video called “SKYSCRATCH – The Geoengineering/Chemtrail Cover Up (NEW 2014 Documentary)” Check it out.

          • Mysticaltyger
            Mysticaltyger says:

            Yep, Global Warming is a total scam. It’s designed to get people to support a global government bureaucratic dictatorship. It uses fear to get people to do along.

            David Icke was a former member of the Green Party in the U.K. when he uncovered the scam.

            I really don’t think we fully understand how awash in lies we are from both parties. Even worse, there is an unimaginable amount stuff that never sees the light of day in mainstream media. On some level, I think people don’t want to look because they’re afraid of what they’ll find.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPgRv27lyu4

          • Mysticaltyger
            Mysticaltyger says:

            Oh, and I forgot…it’s not called Global Warming any more. It’s Climate Change. The new term is sufficiently vague that it can mean whatever they want it to mean. This is a classic tactic outlined in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. Orwell, was a socialist, by the way.

            And for those who aren’t familiar with David Icke…he takes plenty of shots at conservatives. He looks at evidence and sees where it takes him. More of us need to do that. That’s impossible to do if you only look at mainstream media.

  39. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    BTW, the use of “Democrat” as an adjective is a marker that the writer has a republican bias.

    What I struggle with, as do the people out of the coasts (I’m in Chicago) is how the Trump voters think. They’re mad about illegal immigration (which hilariously is mostly into the cities who have a lot fewer issues with it), mad about affordable health care, even though they’re uninsured. They actually get back more than they pay in taxes and fight any and all government programs. They voted for trump despite lie after ridiculous lie. They put their faith in a flashy manhattan real estate developer who has been married 3 times and doesn’t go to church. Unemployment is down even in these communities. The self-deception that comes out of Trump supporters mouths boggles the mind.

    I’m an INTJ. I have no idea how to find solutions with people who lie about having problems, don’t put forth any ideas how to solve their problems and then bite the hands of anyone who tries to offer a solution to those problems. If someone has something useful to offer, I’m all ears (I’ve been trying to get a real answer to this for months).

    Manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back. Globalization and increases in productivity have drastically reduced the need for those jobs. They scoff at funding education to better prepare them for the jobs that are out there. Either they’re racist and sexist or they’re just stupidly obstinate. For a group so focused on self reliance, they do a terrible job owning their $hit.

    I just don’t get it. I have absolutely no idea how you could make these voters happy except for a time machine and they aren’t offering up anything but human Molotov cocktails.

    I would love some research on concrete, possible solutions to the issues experienced by these Trump voters.

    Putting an educated white woman with a lot of baggage right after a black president was bad marketing. I grit my teeth to say this, but the democrats are going to have to find some aw shucks while male governor to run. What the exit poll data shows is that the election was lost by voters of color not coming out. The democrats are either going to have to figure out how to please people who are throwing grenades and chanting offensive things, or they’re going to look at the demographics – older, male voters and say screw them. I can win an election in a land slide if they peel off the 5% who just hated Hillary, pick up 10% of the ones who didn’t vote and wait for 1% of the older white males to die. The long term demographics are not on the side of the Trump voters.

    The democrats screwed up and got spanked for it, but a better candidate and better messaging will bury the uneducated white male electorate.

    • jessica
      jessica says:

      Manufacturing certain goods is not coming back. Manufacturing goods for the new ‘made in the USA- I’ll pay a premium for that’ values shift is new and will continue to expand.

Newer Comments »

Comments are closed.