An American Tragedy

At first, Democrats and Clinton supporters were so stunned that most were silent, probably taking a few days to see how the wind was blowing and whether Trump would start appearing to be a normal political persona. By November 11, outgoing Senator Harry Reid was hardly at a loss for words; see his full no-holds-barred statement, soon to disappear from the Senate site, here.

But no one summed up the disaster of November 8 as thoroughly and swiftly as David Remnick in “An American Tragedy,” The New Yorker, November 9, 2016. The predicted tumbling of markets has not yet happened as of the end of December, and good economic news continues its 8-year trend; we’ll see if that continues after January 20. The rest of what Remnick says is unmistakably on target, especially the right-on characterization, never to be thrown off: “Trump is vulgarity unbounded.”

The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.

There are, inevitably, miseries to come: an increasingly reactionary Supreme Court; an emboldened right-wing Congress; a President whose disdain for women and minorities, civil liberties and scientific fact, to say nothing of simple decency, has been repeatedly demonstrated. Trump is vulgarity unbounded, a knowledge-free national leader who will not only set markets tumbling but will strike fear into the hearts of the vulnerable, the weak, and, above all, the many varieties of Other whom he has so deeply insulted. The African-American Other. The Hispanic Other. The female Other. The Jewish and Muslim Other….

read more at The New Yorker

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