it’s no secret, i was really disappointed with the results of the 2016 election, but i honestly didn’t think things would end up here. one could reasonably be forgiven for thinking that there would be practical limits to the damage that could be wrought in 4 years. i was incredibly naive. to be fair, i think a lot of us were.

oh the things i’ve learned over the past 4 years. but i’ve been particularly sobered by the following:

  • there’s clearly a divergence around shared values in this country.
  • reality is far more malleable than i would have thought. the number of people who readily accept logic-addled conspiracies in this country is nothing short of stunning.
  • republican politicians have shed all pretense of letting free-market ideas and, small government drive their policy. previously, i could squint my eyes and engage in something resembling a reasonable debate, with respect to monetary policy or big vs. small government, it’s become clear that this is/was all a sham.

some (personally) instructive and cautionary reading:

The Republicans who backed Trump’s effort to overturn the election may have known that it didn’t have a high chance of success, but that doesn’t change the nature of the attempt, especially given their lack of remorse or apology. Unless they are convinced that it was a mistake—unless they pay such a high political price for it that neither they nor anyone else thinks of trying again—they are likely to seize the next available opportunity to do the same. If a future election comes down to one state instead of three, if a future presidential candidate uses lawsuits and coercion more competently, or if a few election officials succumb to threats more easily, they’ll be in the game.

Heather Cox Richardson’s nightly letter begins, “Today the Confederate flag flew in the US capitol.” Which is a reminder that one way all this began was with another election, the 1876 election, where Republicans traded away Reconstruction in return for a presidential victory. It turned out there would be no consequences of note for the white supremacists who had waged and lost a civil war in defense of slavery and no defense of the Black people of the south who had been promised rights and justice. It gave away the victory over the Confederacy for which so many had died, and the principles and promise behind it.