ELDER MUSIC: Singing with Van
John Oliver on the 2016 Presidential Election

An Elder's Notes on the New World Order

We often talk about how time speeds up as we grow older. It's true. Almost every morning when I brush my teeth, I look in the mirror and think, “Didn't I do this just a few minutes ago?” It feels that way.

Quite the opposite last week. After the election results were in, it felt like each day would never end. It must be lunch time, I would think, glance at the clock and see that it was 10:30AM. The next time I had that thought and checked the time, it was 10:45AM. And so on all throughout the week, like trudging through waist-deep mud.

Lifelong media maven that I am – both professionally and personally – I let go of most of it, particularly television news channels because I cannot bear to see or hear that person who is now president-elect.

I do not expect that to change much in the coming months and years and I have plenty of practice. In the two terms of the Bush II administration, I became adept at automatically pushing the mute button when his visage appeared.

That doesn't mean I haven't kept up – mostly via print media - just enough news to know how regime change is moving along in both official circles and among the public.

Along the way, I ran into some interesting thinkers who are grappling with options for those who oppose the new order in government and which I will share with you soon.

Today, however, some scattered notes and thoughts from the past week.

THE TGB CONVERSATION
What an extraordinary outcry from dozens of you last Friday – a record number of blog comments and Facebook likes.

There is a lot of shared pain, confusion and disbelief among us and I was grateful, reading it all, that somehow TGB has become a safe haven for people who reject the bigotry, misogyny, hate and authoritarianism that is the bedrock of the administration that will take power in January.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT COIN
There was an unusually high number of email unsubscribes from TGB on Friday and through the weekend.

The email distribution service I use offers several choices of reasons for people who unsubscribe to let me know why they are leaving and the most popular in this case was “Offensive, strongly disagree or disapprove.”

Some others - apparently lacking the courage of their conviction – chose “Other or will not disclose.”

However, there is a satisfying number of new subscribers too who, I hope, will soon be joining our conversation.

TWO GOOD PROTEST SUGGESTIONS
The Republican party will soon control it all - the White House, both houses of Congress, a majority at the Supreme Court before long and, as of this election, in 24 states, both the governorship and the legislature.

It is a total takeover and that requires response. I'll be talking a lot about what we can do in days and weeks to come but today, two small things from your comments.

ASTERISK *. Last Friday, a couple of people asked what SFV stood for in my post. It is an acronym for “short-fingered vulgarian” which is my favorite epithet for the Republican candidate to come out of the campaign.

I thought I might use it in place of the president-elect's and eventual president's name which I now will not say or write. But several of you used the asterisk a la Doonesbury and that, I think, is a better idea for this blog: * in place of the name.

SAFETY PINS. Several of you on Friday mentioned safety pins and I have not left the house without one on my jacket, sweater, lapel, etc. since then.

If you are unfamiliar with this protest, it began in Britain last June when people who disagreed with the Brexit vote began wearing safety pins to show solidarity with immigrants and people of color who were victims of racist attacks, and now Americans have adopted it.

Safety Pins

(On Saturday morning, MSNBC host Joy Reid took off her safety pin to give to an obviously pleased Michael Moore.)

That same day, I bought a box of safety pins and in addition to always wearing one, I keep a few with me to pass out when people ask what it means. This is a good thing for all of us to do – think of it as today's POW bracelet, a symbol to call attention.

THE ELDER VOTE
There are a zillion ways to slice and dice the electorate. By political affiliation. Gender. Income. Education. Issues. Ethnicity. Religion. Special interests. And, ahem, age.

Pundits and reporters have attributed the outcome of Tuesday's vote to these divisions and others too. As with all previous elections since I made ageing my daily work, elders as a group have again embarrassed: 53 percent of people 45 and older voted for *. Here's the graph:

Vote By Age Chart

We must not forget this – that old people bear some of the responsibility for the fix our country finds itself in. Maybe if more of my age cohort had voted differently we wouldn't be where we are now, facing what is likely to be an unfortunate future for all age groups.

WHAT CAN WE DO?
The last time I felt this strongly about working for change was in the 1960s during the civil rights and women's movements. Like many of you, I marched and petitioned and canvassed and in my case, produced a lot of radio shows to help spread the word.

It's half a century later now and I can't do as much in person as before nor can some other elders due to waning energy, illness, disability and other normal changes of age.

But this time we have a powerful and effective new tool that did not exist 50 years ago: the internet. That is a great advantage. It widens of the field of activists and while we will rely greatly on younger people to show up in person, old people can help too. Watch this space for more to come.

WHAT'S NEXT
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is beside himself with glee at this election. He has wanted to privatize Medicare and Social Security for as long as he has been in Congress and this is his best chance yet.

It is likely he will make his first attempt at about two minutes after the inauguration ceremony ends on 20 January so we need to be prepared and we'll be discussing that here soon.

With Republican control of every lever of government now, we must be vigilant and ready to move quickly all the time.

MEANWHILE
Breathe. It is the healthiest thing we each can do for ourselves and just in time, The New York Times is on it:

”Studies have found...that breathing practices can help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and attention deficit disorder.

“'Breathing is massively practical,' says Belisa Vranich, a psychologist and author of the book Breathe, to be published in December. 'It’s meditation for people who can’t meditate.'”

You can find the story and several simple breathing techniques here but for those of you who do not subscribe to The Times and have used up your monthly allotment of stories, here is the most basic technique:

  1. Sitting upright or lying down, place your hands on your belly.

  2. Slowly breathe in, expanding your belly, to the count of five.

  3. Pause.

  4. Slowly breathe out to the count of six.

  5. Work your way up to practicing this pattern for 10 to 20 minutes a day.

ONE MORE THING
When Time Goes By began 15 years ago, the intention was - and still is - to explore growing old in all its aspects and it has hardly deviated in all that time. But now, an event of this magnitude needs regular attention too.

In no way am I abandoning the original mission – just expanding it to include what I believe is a national, even international emergency. This is a great time to be a white male; not so much everyone else and I cannot ignore that. So TGB will handle both of these issues now.

Comments

Ronni, I am one of those who can't do much outside my home and rely on the Internet for information and ACTIONS. I am still in the "this can't be happening stage".

I am very active on Twitter and Facebook. I unfollowed, unfriended and blocked several people the last few months; pretty sure many did the same to me. I am too old to surround myself with negative thinking.

I got up this morning thinking I must figure out a way to survive, my despair was literally making me sicker than my body could handle. I decided to start looking for humor again. Not humor in *, there is none. But silliness around me.

Thank you for this, Ronni.
I don't expect to speak of him often as I've never thought him to be interesting or important, but I really like SFV or a simple asterisk. There is, after all, a use for an asterisk.

Thanks for your ongoing efforts in helping seniors navigate the political world. I am a minority in a red state (democrat) and really can't say much here due to the backlash. At least I can comment freely on your blog.

I will get medicare in December, and already have SS. I am really scared that Ryan's efforts to dismantle these two programs will slip through somehow. And so discouraged that seniors, of all people, would overwhelmingly elect someone who might just enable Ryan. So I look forward to your blog posts about actions we can take to protect those programs.

Did anyone see the interview of the President-elect and his family last night on 60 minutes? I was a little disturbed that Leslie Stahl (sp?) felt her role was to inflame and stir the pot. I am sick of that arrogance, too. Anyone else have a comment?

Sunday afternoon, a local church livestreamed a Washington, D.C. video event, "Day of Healing and Reconciliation: Reuniting Our Country After the Election", and I had received multiple invitations to attend the viewing. At first I rejected this out of hand, for a number of reasons -- too Kumbaya...too soon...too hokey...too establishment ...too manipulative. In the end, though, I went and with a small group of like-minded people, most of us wearing our safety pins, watched and then had a good discussion, and sometimes tears. The video itself (which I believe is now available and can be viewed on our own personal devices) was some of everything I was dreading, but somehow, overall, delivered some comfort.

The last couple of minutes showed a (prerecorded) very weary looking and sounding Marianne Williamson, who was recorded the night of the election right after the outcome had been announced. I am not a fan of hers, but, still, on occasion, can get something from what she says. She said she had been an ardent Bernie Sanders supporter and the disappointment of the whole thing, from the primaries on through that night. was painfully clear in her face and voice. It was also clear that it was very difficult, even for her, to try to be encouraging and say something that might pull people together, though she tried.

There are many of us who feel not only surprised and disappointed, but shocked and betrayed by the outcome of the election, and it's going to take some time and work to get beyond this, if that's even possible. I'm looking forward to what will be coming here, Ronni. Thank you for putting forth the effort and sharing your knowledge, experience and wisdom in helping us walk on.

Ronni, I just want to say, while I have been silent on this blog recently, I am so grateful for it and all who participate.

There are times I cannot communicate what I am feeling--the mixture of emotions and the invectives that want to be freed from my mind run into the level-headed realization of the power of words.

The anger, sadness, and fear experienced by me, as a white, middle class, educated, U.S.-born citizen cannot compare nor can any of it adequately express what some of our population is feeling.

I have a supply of safety pins (I at sometime bought a bag of small, gold safety pins at a yard sale and have often wondered what I was thinking when I did so.) which I will put to good use for myself and through sharing with those who ask about my wearing one.

I am considering where I can help in the coming days. It is true that the will is still there to do something, the body is less willing to do the physically active, but it is still able to a degree.

For the life of me, I can't understand the "offensive" label given to the Friday discussion. And the "strongly disagree or disapprove" as a reason to tap out of a conversation?

Well, it limits the ability of either side to come to understandings and to relate to the reasons for disagreement.

Sad commentary, but may be quite pertinent to the issue of how best to be out there with ideas--in person, face-to-face in small groups of people willing to take the plunge into an eddy-like whirlpool of differences. Learning to hear beyond the ear and express in the face of disagreement, being vulnerable in community.


On CBS Sunday Morning there was an interview with a number of residents of a small West Virginia coal mining town. They drank the * kool-aid hook, line and sinker. They deserve what they are going to get. Unfortunately, I'm going to get it too. I cannot understand why people vote against their best interests.

Shocked and betrayed...national/global emergency...definitely terms I have been running through my head. I have begun to read and study the book of Daniel in the Bible as to how to live in such a perilous time as this. It has indeed offered comfort to see how the Hebrew prisoners in Bablylon--Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego, handled their life under the crazy Nebuchadnezzer.

Ronni, I took a different tack on my blog after the election of *. It depresses the hell out of me that our nation made such a crazy decision. But I think ignoring the opposition is wrong way to go. I think we need to study why so many people picked *. I saw the same program Judy did in the comment above but had a different reaction. Those West Virginians don't deserve what they got. They voted for * because of desperation. We need to understand that desperation. We need to find real solutions to our problems. I don't think Hilary was offering them solutions either. Bernie was focused on the problems. * lied to get elected, so I don't expect solutions from him.

In my blog reaction about the election, I wrote about how we're still like a tribe of chimpanzees, selecting an alpha male. I think we need to explore the unconscious decisions voters made last Tuesday. We need to understand why a majority of the nation thinks irrationally. I'm I'm including us liberals too. Why did the election blindside us?

I am grateful for this blog, Ronni, as it felt like I safe place where I could post a comment and read comments by like-minded individuals all over this land after so disheartening an election result. So it is a little bit surprising to hear that you had a lot of "unsubscribes". I am not over the despair I feel and continue to turn the radio and television off if *'s voice comes on.

On some level, I am part of the problem, because I am not contributing to the effort (if it really does exist) to unite this country: I don't have any interest in talking to * supporters. Yet how are we to understand them if we don't talk to them? Nor do I have any patience with Bernie supporters who claim he would have won had he been the democratic nominee. Who cares? We are where we are and have to keep moving forward.

Please be aware that there is controversy around the use of the safety pin, from concerns that it is a symbol, not an action, to the fear that it is being co-opted by * supporters to actively deceive people. I wore one on Friday to the Immigration Center where I volunteer, but I have not decided whether to continue to do so.

I have the same shock and despair that has already been stated here. I am especially worried about the freedom of our Press. It seems that * is already trying to intimidate them with his twitter addiction. I hope they remain strong and objective. I think we as a group need to watch Congress and place our efforts there to make changes. They are the one's who legislate - no matter what * thinks or knows about the process. Many of our ills that contributed to this election - poverty for so many in the rural areas and small towns, and middle class neighborhoods - are the result of the actions of our legislators. Our legislators have spent the last 8 years trying to kill anything that President Obama tried to do to help his nation a whole. We need to force our legislators to compromise and that does not mean giving into the Republican agenda. Republicans need to remember they represent all of us not their just their own constituency.

Jim Harris...
I'm going to leave the (undoubtedly needed) naval gazing to others. Yes, some * voters are in deep trouble in their lives and thought he will change things for them. Plenty of other * voters had different, less uplifting motives. Someone should sort out this stuff but it won't be me.

This is a hair-on-fire event and * along with his new appointees and Paul Ryan are already focused on overturning Obamacare immediately after the inauguration. You will recall that the ACA (Obamacare) not only gives elders some important health safeguards within Medicare, it extended Medicare's solvency for a decade.

Now that all may be rescinded. Kellyanne Conway said this morning that * may call a special session of Congress to convene right after the inauguration ceremony on 20 January to repeal and replace Medicare immediately.

I'm all for figuring out what went wrong but not while the house is on fire. Maybe we all can each take a different part of the huge amount of work there is to be done.

I appreciate your blog and I am also worried about Medicare and Social Security. The media focused so much on the reality show of the election that the desperate lives like those in West Virginia were never really addressed. They have not fared well under either Democrate or Republican administrations after big companies abandoned them. They voted for Hope and nothing seem to change. But now inflation, higher interest rates, fewer controls on corporations and more dismantling of social programs will hurt them even more.

Going to support ACLU and Planned Parenthood.

Like you, Ronni, I'm insulating myself from television news and keeping up with * online. I'm weary of it all and thoroughly sick by now of all the pundits' Monday morning quarterbacking. I did find a piece on DIGG from of all places the Harvard Business Review that explains a lot..the point the author makes is this:

". . . the white working class (WWC) resents professionals but admires the rich. Class migrants (white-collar professionals born to blue-collar families) report that “professional people were generally suspect” and that managers are college kids “who don’t know shit about how to do anything but are full of ideas about how I have to do my job,” said Alfred Lubrano in Limbo. Barbara Ehrenreich recalled in 1990 that her blue-collar dad “could not say the word doctor without the virtual prefix quack. Lawyers were shysters…and professors were without exception phonies.” "

Patty-in-New-York...
Not to worry about unsubscribes. There are always new people joining in here.

Toni...
There are always naysayers. The safety pin is a good, simple idea to keep the issue of this new administration front and center. There will be many other good ideas coming along but do not let anyone tell you how to protest. Safety pins began in Britain for the same reason we are wearing them. Just keep telling people that.

I am still having trouble assimilating this turn of events.

So, I'll just say, "Thank you Ronni, for this blog."

Your words and those of the commentators are helpful in trying to understand this event and the potential consequences.

Back in the '60s and '70s I was a newspaper reporter and editor, and I couldn't do any marching or petition-signing. I'm retired now, almost 70, and for the past week I've been feeling so . . . helpless.

So, on Jan. 21, a friend (age 73) and I are flying to D.C. to join the Million Woman March. We're flying up (from Florida) and back the same day.

I just feel like I have to DO something. Meaningless protest? Maybe. But my head will be counted.

I grew up in a blue collar home, and the comments quoted by Jean Gogolin are right on. I lived in western Pennsylvania, and my dad--who had an 8th grade education--worked at the local steel mill along with most everyone else in town. He was able to make a good enough living with generous benefits to raise two daughters with a stay-at-home wife. My parents deeply distrusted doctors, and my father regularly railed at the engineers at work, who he said had book smarts but no practical know-how.

My sister and I both went to college, but I left that area while she remained. Since our childhood the steel mill was sold to a faceless conglomerate and the wages and benefits plummeted. My sister's husband, who worked there, saw his retirement insurance get changed from a very good policy to a crappy one. My sister said to me, "I never expected to be in this position--to not know from month to month whether I can pay the medical bills."

My sister, her husband and probably 90 percent of my hometown voted for Trump.

Thank goodness for an experienced media person like you, Ronni, at this juncture.

Your feelings on the results of the election exactly reflect mine. However, I believe that protesting the results is acting the way *'s supporters would have behaved if they had lost. So I am totally against our lowering ourselves to their level.

Thank you so much Ronni. I feel your pain. I've been walking the towpath in the Cuyahoga Valley in Ne Ohio to escape but now I'm ready to fight.

This is not the first time the "people" have been snookered. What happens when they come to realize what has been done? And why vote for "change" and still vote in the same old Congress?

For Linda C looking for humor: In the NYT comment section on * Steve S from England wrote: Sign in a restaurant in Bath,England: "All Americans must be accompanied by an adult."

June: I saw the 60 Minute interview also but my take was the * entourage for me resembles some strange rendition of the "Beverly Hillbillies" So, so out of sync with the White House. Maybe John Stewart will come back.

Cuyahoga Cat

I sent an email the day after the election to my Congressman (Dem) in appreciation for his efforts and encouragement in the tough job he has ahead of him.

Against my promise to myself i watched the 60 Minutes interview with * because I feel the need to "know thy enemy". My opinion of him hasn't changed. Out of the entire family, his daughter Ivanka was the most level-headed and thoughtful in her responses. I wish her well.

Thank you for this blog Ronni...I consider it my group therapy.

Hope:
The Electoral College has not yet actually voted - December 19.
Many lawsuits against * University.
Some states (California, Oregon, Texas) have filed to petition for secession.
Isn't tax evasion illegal?

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your post along with watching John Oliver last night has helped me in my continuing processing of the election of "he who must not be named" which is what I have started saying - although I like your * better it is shorter and easier.

Most folks are moving to "normalize" the reality and it is not normal! I made myself listen to the 60 minutes interview last night of * and family - I wanted to puke and was yelling at the television in the silence of my living room. The selection of Steve Bannon for chief strategy advisor is not normal. The alt-right celebrating their coming into power is not normal. You have already address all this I don't need to repeat it - I am still distressed.

What Oliver stated is that the majority of Americans admit to getting their news via the internet - we need to have sources that tell us the truth. I believe you do that Ronnie and I am grateful for the time and effort you take to keep us informed along with sharing your perspective. Thank you for your commitment to keep it up - I so appreciate it. Here is a great big hug.

My challenge now is how do I talk with my friends/family who think I am overreacting? We can't just wait while the shit hits the fan.

I've finally come out of my blue funk enough to write a comment. Feeling a little better today. Just so your readers know, people from other countries are profoundly affected by the results of the election, and just as scared. I've commented before, and try to always say that I am Canadian, so my perspective will be understood. I spent the last few days writing an article for my blog, which I posted Sunday morning, and shared on FB today. I attempted, by doing that, to better understand why people voted as they did. The process is not complete for me, I'm sure I may change my mind about some things as I learn more. But for now, it helped me to do that. Thank you for this wonderful space in which to find support and understanding!

Many think signing online petitions is a waste of time, a way to "do something" without really doing anything. Still, there's a petition on Change.org that will go to the Electoral College, imploring electors to vote for Clinton, the winner of the popular vote. (Probably a vain hope, but it's legal and possible.) The petition has been signed by more than 4 million people, the most signatures ever on an online petition.

As for SFV (love it!) and *, I'm inclined to think something along the lines of %^@$#%#!! would be more ... expressive. Now if only we could electronically obscure his face and voice.

As always...........thank you Ronni and commenters...........for me, .this space is a magical way to start the day............... along with some focused breathing.

The segment about breathing is great. There are some good snippets on YouTube with Andrew Weil, MD, on breathing exercises and probably many other resources others might suggest. Dr. Weil notes one of the benefits as being "less reactive in the rest of your day."
A real plus for me in these troubled times.

Thanks to PiedType for the information about the Change.org petition. I will be signing!

RE * or %^@$#%#!!, I'm hoping my next Apple computer will have one key that provides %$^#@!!&@!? in one fell swoop...................it would save so much time!!!!!

Ann


Altho I preferred not to watch last nite's 60 Minutes, I felt I should and was
dismayed to see * shout at the nation's protestors with "Stop It". As tho
that would do any good at all. I find it painful to see his face or hear his
voice spewing more lies.

Can't stomach his sneer, his voice, his hypocrisy, his greed. Although I appreciate the * reference, I use 'Amalek'. Jews are traditionally exhorted to remember to "blot out his name".

After more thought about the unsubscribers from your site: this is going to be a time of discovering who is on which side. America is deeply divided, and this election has made that only more evident. While I can understand the disenfranchised white faction thinking that voting for this drastic change will fix our broken system, I cannot reconcile myself to "coming together in oneness". This is not a time for fence sitting. No deals with the devil. Vive la Resistance!

I am going to try very hard to take President Obama's advice. I will do my best not to live in the bubble of liberal thought and to be an activist whenever I can. Hopefully, with kindness.

Thank you Ronni. I've found (somewhat surprising to me) that I just cannot bear to watch the news or even look at a newspaper yet. When I go on-line and his photo and story line pops up, I almost feel like I've been sucker-punched in the stomach. However, that doesn't mean I'm not ready, willing and able to fight!

I know we cannot change the results but we have to stand up to this. It has been so painful when people tell me I need to "get over it." But that's when I know they just don't understand. This is not about having a tantrum that my candidate lost. This is in response to being asked to support a racist, misogynist and indecent human being. And I'll never do that.

I'm not a leader but I'm a great worker. If you can point us in the right direction or if there is anything I can do to help - research, bounce ideas off of, etc., my time is yours. I hope you'll let me know.

I too was a journalist for 30 years and under the impression that journalists were to keep themselves separate from the story they were covering. A lot of people think this was not the case during the presidential race between now President-elect Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
I am not into politics and prefer to not listen to either Donald or Hillary. Where the voice and picture of one grates on most of the readers of this blog, the voice and picture of both grate on me.
I allow myself to be an equal opportunity "grater."
On another note, I don't know how the safety pin became such a symbol of solidarity.
The first time I heard about it, it brought back memories of my infancy.
Back then, to my recollection, the safety pin was used mainly to secure a diaper around the buttocks of a young child, replacing the diaper that was soiled.
Didn't those people research what meaning it had to a lot of the older generation.
But then again, most momma's and daddy's over the past number of years have been using disposable diapers and didn't realize that.

I subscribe daily to an online recap of the news from the Times-West Virginian, the daily newspaper for Fairmont, WV, the newspaper published in the larger town nearest my tiny hometown. Today they published an article saying that "*" is their hope for saving West Virginia" !! Poor, deluded, under-educated but wonderful people who are desperate for the re-birth of the coal industry ... sighhh

My heart weeps for the older generations who so suddenly had their sometimes generations-old work places go defunct under them due to the rapidity of our changing world. It's far worse than the original rapid effects on farmers, small shop keepers, crafts people during the beginnings of the age of steam and mechanization.

After much thought on the matter I'll be referring to * with )*( because it's a better visual for me to refer to him as the asshole he is, but it's awkward to type so using * going forward. 😜

I spent today gathering articles drawing parellels from * to hitler to *, and there are a lot out there, several by scholars and thoughtful writers. I did this because of an article where he was quoted telling people to not be afraid, he's a sober man and only wants America to be great again... And then names Steve Bannon as a chief advisors - it gave me chills. If anyone wants this list email me at dalvacat@cox.net.

I'm already tired (and scared) of people saying he's not that bad, give him a chance, we have to compromise, we have to work with him blah blah blah. This man is a narcissistic sociopath (see Tony Schwartz - who is leaving the country as a result of the election). * is not a reasonable man, the GOP will get behind him because they will benefit from it, or they're afraid not to... It was undereducated, Christian evangelical middle class white men, white women, apathetic non-voters, and only then white marginalized rural voters who elected this man. All this time we were under the impression we lived in the same country. Clearly we don't. I lean toward a Buddhist philosophy and am reading, meditating, working on raising the love and compassion quotient and will continue that practice. And will resist, volunteer, support younger voters efforts, support climate orgs (359.org), planned parenthood and as others, as much as I can. Because it's not ok that * is in the position he's now in.

Ok, done venting now - sorry!

Thank you Ronni, for all your work!


Most everyone has said the topics I had in mind except for these:

1) I think the safety pin is to signify to immigrants and to people of color that I am someone to whom they can turn for help if they are being harassed.

2) Demonstrations are going to be held all over the place -- one of them on inaugural day in D.C. I have been invited to several being held in other cities, but I cannot travel and have tendered my regrets.

3. My husband is wary of the demonstrations because, he says, the * people would show up and turn the peaceful marching into violent confrontations so that the Republicans would ban future protests or heavily militarize the police and we'd be in worse shape than we are already. He may have a valid point. Isn't that what the Nazi brown-shirts did in Germany?

Hello Ronni,
I am a Somali-Canadian social worker who works with older adults. I found your blog back in July 2016 when I was looking for recommendations on seniors' blogs.
I have always enjoyed your post and appreciated how your stories challenge ageism.
I was moved by this points and wanted to say thank your solidarity. Many vulnerable groups including seniors, will be negatively impacted by a republican government led by the SFV. However, it will probably be worse for those who are members of several marginalized groups and we desperately need allies who stand in solidarity!
Thank you and please don’t stop fighting (writing) for a better world! Peace and love 

I'm a white male, and it don't agree that "This is a great time to be a white male."
I like your other comments, and just got my safety pin, but am disappointed in that comment. It seems sexism can rear its ugly head in unexpected places.

So glad that TGB will be here, NOT normalizing this catastrophe. Many of us may not live to see a turnabout from this white-lash (Van Jones' appropriate phrasing.) But we sure need to do everything we can in our own age group to help people understand that another way is possible. There will be avenues, campaigns, resistance to mistreatment and injustice in which we can participate. We may sometimes feel we have less to lose than younger folks and under conditions of autocracy, that can be freeing.

Thanks Ronni.

Dear Ronni, I am Erin Read's 83-year-old mother. I had the enormous good fortune to live in Uruguay and Argentina in the early 1960s.

One of the stories I learned from my British, Australian and other expat friends was that during WWII the custom was to wear a straight (common) pin. Generally it was worn in the lapel. This was also being done in England.

The reason was to "prick Hitler's balloon."

Imagine how happy I was to see that same spirit come out of England again. But how unhappy that it has to be so.

That people often vote against their own interests is a given in this society. I am nevertheless always shocked when I hear again that, as Jean reports, the working class resents professionals and admires the rich. It is incomprehensible to me that the gold-plated vulgarity of a * can be valued over the hard work and dedication of teachers and professors, nurses and doctors, whose intelligence and energy are used to enhance the common good rather than for personal enrichment.

The saddest aspect of this election is the con that * pulled on those voters who longed for the good old days but who were not smart enough to recognize that sadly but surely they are gone forever. I miss those days too. But these naifs will find out the hard way that * cannot bring back jobs in coal mining or in long-shuttered factories or obsolete steel mills despite his cruel lies and empty promises. Instead he will cut off other avenues out of poverty by defunding access to birth control and by shorting education from K-12 through college and professional school, perhaps leaving some of the fraudulent and money grubbing MOOCs (like Trump University).

I haven't the slightest empathyfor the deplorable faction---the skinheads and KKK and the rich gun lovers---who put the asshole over the top. I wish I could have more sympathy for the voters who got taken by him, but their schadenfreude about their "victory" cancelled out any scrap of compassion I might have felt. They will just have to---as the old saying goes---let this be a (literal) lesson from which to understand who their real friends are and what their values should be.

Anyone who thinks there is hope that * will rise to the level of the Office only has to look at who is on his lists to work with the new order: from the odious Bannon to Guilianni and Gingrich, to John Bolton(remember him?), Jeff Sessions, Pam Bondi, even (OMG) Sarah Palin, Rick Scott, and more, a virtual rogue's galleryof reactionary right wing ignoramuses.

I feel like I'm waking up from a bad dream only to find out that I wasn't sleeping and * will actually be in charge of our country. If that isn't bad enough we now find out that Breitbart's Bannon will be his right hand man. I'm so disgusted by that! Once I process it all, I will get busy in an activist group and hoping you will have some good suggestions for that in the future.

Well, Emmajay, we agree on almost everything once again! Steve Bannon is Captain Deplorable, as I see it, and yet * (aka: TOA, or "The Orange Apparition") appointed him to a position equal in status to Chief of Staff in his administration. So. . .we've got the spokesman for the Alt-Right in the office next to the President of the United States. What's next? David Duke for ambassador to Israel? Any residual hope-for-the-best feelings I might have harbored have been pretty much destroyed, or at least badly damaged. I expect the worst from *.

And those coal miners in Virginia, steelworkers in Michigan and small-town Americans in general will be SO disappointed (and screwed yet again) when they find out that * cannot bring their lost jobs back even if he wanted to. Their jobs weren't stolen by immigrants but, rather, were lost to automation, technology and outsourcing. * cannot change or stop that (in fact, almost nothing that * has ever promoted was made in America).

Yes, maybe it's sexist, but I also believe that white male voters ultimately won this election for * with a lot of help from older people who should know better. Still, old white men (and women) are a dying demographic. Our generation won't live to see it, but America is changing. The likelihood of racist, sexist policies promulgated by * (assisted by Capt. Deplorable) may delay the pace of demographic change temporarily, but they won't stop it.

I am only commenting here to let you know I'm with you, Ronni, and I'm so glad for our community of bloggers. I'm wearing my safety pin and bought a huge batch to give out. The first drugstore I tried was sold out. A good sign? And I will be reading and sending everyone my love, even if I don't always comment.

This weekend I spent time with a friend who has a bi-racial trans-sexual daughter. She noticed I was wearing a safety pin and asked if it was in support of people liked her daughter. I told her yes, as well as others who may be minimalized in this new era.
She said that while some of the LBGT people appreciated it most felt it was an easy sop that soccer moms and other whites-on-top can do to make themselves feel better.
I was surprised but I did see her point. "what can I do" I asked?
She suggested a Black Lives Matter ribbon or a LBGT lives matter ribbon.
Something that actually makes a statement.
I made a ribbon with a sharpie on rainbow tie dye.
I offer this as information from someone who is in the trenches with a 24 year old daughter who is trying to adopt a child with her partner. Another trans sexual man. They are having a very difficult time even though they have a teen mother to be who wants her coming baby to have a pair of great parents.
The whole thing is crazy making for the entire family right now. They fear their lives will really change in the next 6 months.
It doesn't take much to turn your safety pin from a feed good thing, which is how it's perceived my the into a meaningful statement of support for the minimalized minorities of our country, into a statement - into taking a real position that may not be acceptable in the upcoming months.

Elle in Beaverton Oregon

Why don't we consider breaking up? Conservatives and liberals have always had an uneasy relationship and are getting farther and farther apart every year. Conservatives going backward - liberals going forward. Put them together and it's wheel-spinning time. Impossible to make any progress.

We are not united. Why pretend otherwise? I hear they're talking secession in California. Makes sense to me.

Not sure how many of you are on Facebook. You may, or may not have heard of Pantsuit Nation, a closed group of over 3.6 million followers (it has GROWN by over 600,000 since the election I believe). You must receive an invite from a follower in order to join the conversation, or just follow. 3.6 million and growing is a significant number of women and men who (1) are still adjusting and verbalizing about it (2) are vowing in many ways to not be defeated and move forward in small and big ways around this. You may have seen that Vice President Elect "you know who" has received over 80,000 "certificates" of donation made in his name by Planned Parenthood. They are also planning on a March on Washington on January 21. The goal is 1 million people. Not sure they will reach this goal...it is January in Washington, DC for heavens sake...but their intention is clear. Having said all this, look for those around you who may be aligned with this group - ask them for an invite. And like many here...I'm all over this Ryan thing and Medicare and SS. Have a good day all!

Pantsuit Nation is planning a march on January 21 in my city (Phoenix) and I would assume in other large cities, as well. I plan to be there!

I have appreciated this blog for several years and am thankful that it will now help me keep up to date on actions needed in support of equality for all of us. Realizing that only 25% of the population actually voted for * makes me feel better about my fellow Americans. Now undying perseverance is required for the next 4 years to deter very bad decisions. Thanks for your help, Ronni!

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