Horrific outcome tonight. Mass collective action is probably the only path ahead for the next year or two at least. Early thoughts: The number one contingent most responsible for Donald Trump winning is people (not necessarily whom the media expected) who voted for Donald Trump. Don’t blame others first. (This wasn’t third parties and wasn’t about young people.) Second most responsible: All who systematically disenfranchised and suppressed voters over decades or didn’t do much to stop it.
I’ll leave for another time the rest of my reaction but the third most responsible group are the people whose strategy failed tonight as it has failed so many downballot races over the past 22 years. I don’t know what the future direction of the Democratic Party is – but it can’t be more of this. The environment, the economy, and our democracy (including human rights and civil liberties) seem to have gone off a cliff tonight, and I guess we’ll have to assess what the hell happens next to resist that.
Pretty weird how many non-Millennials who support Clinton have decided to attack Millennials for their presidential voting preferences when Millennials are literally the only age demographic with more than 50% support for Clinton across most polling. Maybe first go figure out why 35-48% of your own generations are voting for the candidate of the white supremacists and *then* come back and talk to us about this / apologize. (If you’re 50 years or older, more of your peers outright plan to vote for Trump than for Clinton, by varying margins by generation.) This attitude is not a productive way to garner Millennial votes … or even get young voters to show up for any of our candidates this November.
Anyway, folks, Arsenal for Democracy is back in production — because the entire rest of political media is hostile to our generation.
Last night I attended the Newton MA School Committee final hearing and vote on Massachusetts ballot question 2. The committee voted to endorse “No on 2” (my position as well). Question 2 would vastly expand (without additional revenues) charter schools in Massachusetts.
Pretty interesting that the New York & California money only rolls in to promote charter schools in Massachusetts – supposedly because public schools are failing to educate kids in low-income districts – and never to replace the huge annual funding cuts in the budgets of those districts when revenues run low. It’s almost as if the big donors actually have an agenda more concerned with diverting public dollars to private operators and breaking up unions than with any substantive assistance to struggling districts.
This past weekend amid a tropical storm that hampered turnout, voters in Colombia very narrowly rejected – upsetting polls showing an overwhelming public approval – a referendum to endorse a permanent peace deal between the government and FARC rebels after 50 years of civil war. (Some previous discussion of this here.) The country’s militarized right-wing was joined bizarrely by “Human Rights Watch,” the global NGO, in campaigning viciously against the peace deal.
The Nation detailed this in an article headlined “Did Human Rights Watch Sabotage Colombia’s Peace Agreement?”
HRW has been embarrassing itself very publicly on the global stage for a couple years now, particularly with regard to its propaganda seeking a Western military invasion of Syria. This should be the last straw. They are not promoting a human rights or peace agenda. They are pursuing some arbitrary set of agendas in various countries that is inscrutable to the rest of us and very dangerous for the people’s lives who are affected directly. Five decades of war and HRW is gloating about helping to defeat the referendum to end it? What is wrong with you?
I believe (based on extensive previous evidence) that Burkina Faso would not be getting attacked by Al Qaeda were it not for France’s selfish decision in 2014 to deploy counterterrorism troops to the country indefinitely (and to put them up regularly at the hotel that was attacked on Friday). Burkina Faso is extremely poor and fragile, but it’s working hard to secure its fledgling democracy. Burkina Faso doesn’t bother anyone or get involved in these matters, but France used its influence to meddle and endanger everyone there. This is spreading terror, not containing it.
For some reason last night I was reminded of this August 2010 post my co-founder Nate wrote about the Islamic community center proposed for Lower Manhattan and all the hysteria surrounding it. I re-read it and kept thinking about it in the context of the widespread fear in the past year.
It still holds true:
I definitely understand that 9/11 was a traumatic experience for all Americans and New Yorkers especially. And because the terrorists attacks were carried out in the name of Islam, it is not at all surprising that some Americans would feel uneasy about other members of that religion. But the pain of that day should not blind us to the fact that Islam is the second largest religion in the world and the vast majority of its followers are not terrorists and do not wish to kill innocent Americans. Our prejudices, not matter how understandable they may be, should not allow us to deny fundamental rights to other Americans.
In this case, having the government prevent the mosque would violate both the religious rights and property rights of the Cordoba Initiative (they own the building and are mostly free to do whatever they choose with it). Maybe the Cordoba Initiative could choose to stir less controversy and outrage by building the mosque somewhere else. But if they want to build the mosque there, they have the right to. Don’t like it? Too bad, we live in a free country.
This all brings me back to another point I have touched on several times before: every time we compromise our fundamental rights in the name of fighting “terrorism,” we are in fact advancing the terrorist cause. Religious pluralism, one of the foundations of American democracy, is antithetical to the jihadist ideology and when we compromise our ideals we create an America less free and more like the nation Al Qaeda would like to create.
Read the rest…