November 17th, 2016

the gaping maw

The US elections.

I have a number of friends - who are now more acquaintances these days, I suppose - that get very worked up about certain issues; they are emotional hot buttons for them. OK, I get that. However, it's gotten to the point that those issues are now sacred cows: discussion of them has more or less become verboten - not because anybody has out and out declared them off limits, but the reactions are intense enough that any further discussion immediately stops. This has happened on IRC, on FB, etc; it's a rather chilling effect.

The elections - and in particular, how and why Those People™ voted as they did - has now become one of those issues. I will freely admit that I'm freaked out by some of the results and announced appointments - in particular, that one party controls the House, the Senate, and the White House (assuming that Trump reconciles with the Republicans), Steve Bannon being Trump's main advisor, and Pence being Vice President. I am greatly disturbed by the reports of people doing awful behavior X and ascribing it to Trump giving permission to do so. But, I refuse to believe that the majority of people voted for Trump solely because of odious behavior X, Y, or Z; yes, there are some who did, but I believe this is not the predominant reason. (I've been following Zeynep Tufekci on Twitter; she strikes me as one of the most down-to-earth analysts of what's been going on thus far.)

These sentiments are probably enough to get me unfriended by people on FB; oh well. Maybe they'll take up a collection to get me deported from the Bay Area, too.