The Aftermath

There have been a great many analyses — and rather more accusations — floating around the ‘net about what happened, exactly, this election year. Some are deeper and more complete than others.

Root cause analysis is a must in the aftermath of one of the most divisive campaigns in American history. Pointing fingers at this group or that will not accomplish the task. There are highly complex forces at play here. Yes, on the surface it’s easy to say that “racists won”, or “I couldn’t vote for either one”, or “Dems didn’t turn out to vote”. But it’s much deeper than these factors, or even a combination of these factors.

It should not, and cannot, be a blame game. Now is not the time for gloating, recriminations, or “I told you so!”s. I’ve unfriended people on various social media platforms whom, in life, I love dearly, because they’re occupied with accusative and gloating statements such as “If we had done so-and-so”, or “I would have…”.

20/20 hindsight about the primary and final election results doesn’t help. It’s not the same as root cause analysis. We solve nothing by pointing fingers and saying “See! If you’d done this thing we wouldn’t be in this mess.” This kind of victim-blaming — yes, you heard me — helps nobody.

The roots of this result go far deeper than whether or not people showed up. Fear and defeatism are what drove this election cycle. If people didn’t show up it was because they were convinced it was meaningless— and they may be correct in that. Mainstream media did a really good job of helping that along, too, but as angry as we might be at the people who chose not to vote, they are not the root of the problem, and mainstream media is still only a symptom.

The deeper causes are the hatred, divisiveness, and most of all, the increasing inequality. We fear what we don’t understand, and fear turns to anger when we don’t understand why something happens. This country— hell, the whole world — has been sinking deeper and deeper into vast inequalities, and people are responding by demanding change. We might not like the answer, but we must understand the root cause.

Anger is a perfectly valid and entirely appropriate response to what has happened this week. It’s a real shit show.

It’s long past time to get pissed (and I don’t mean drunk).

We should be more angry, and should have been more angry all along. Politeness and “chill” are meaningless in the face of the injustices swirling around us. Anger can inform action, which is what we need now. What we do not need is violence and hatred.

Let the Dandelion Insurrection begin.

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