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I feel this needs to be shared.  

I refuse to accept that this "era we're in" is a new normal or acceptable in any way. 

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Right, that's what he's saying now. It's just that Mexico's been pretty adamant all along (and very pointed recently, mentioning things they would do in retaliation if he turns up the heat on them) that they're not going to pay under any circumstances. Yet he persists in saying they absolutely will pay for it (eventually). Of course, from his perspective it's all just part of negotiating, and he's not wrong.

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Mexico has gas riots going on last i heard. I dare say they feel they have better things to do than negotiate with Trump

Like figure out what to do about a campaign against narcotics cartels that is continuing to look more and more like a multi-side civil war. exactly a century since Mexico's LAST civil war.

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Mexico's former Foreign Minister suggested on Morning Edition yesterday that Mexico could kill two birds with one stone:

 

JORGE CASTANEDA: Mexico has paid an enormous price for its war on drugs, which I disagree with, but the governments here have pursued. This has been a costly, bloody war for Mexico. It has done it largely because the United States has insisted, but it has done it because these have been friendly administrations on the U.S. side. It doesn't have to do it.

 
INSKEEP: Let me put a point on what you're suggesting there because I think I hear you saying if the Trump administration plays rough with Mexico, one thing Mexico could very well do is let more drugs flow to the United States.
 
CASTANEDA: Well, not make as much of an effort as it has the last 10 years to stop that flow. There is no good reason for Mexico to pay the enormous price it has paid the last 10 years for an administration in the U.S. that is unfriendly and hostile to Mexico. Nice, good neighbors, they don't build walls, they don't deport people, and they don't take jobs away from Mexicans by enticing American companies to relocate to the United States. Now, the U.S. can do that if it wants to, but Mexico can also do things on its side.
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Having witnessed his complete inability to manage his rage and vindictiveness, I'm now honestly worried that this man is going to provoke a nuclear war, and that he's going to do it sooner rather than later.  Even if he doesn't, the economic, political, and ecological carnage he's going to leave in his wake will be incalculable. Perhaps it's just my pessimism speaking, but I don't think the odds are in our favour at all. 

 

I know that resistance is mobilizing against him, but any successes that resistance might have are not going to happen quickly and in the meantime he's a rabid baboon loose in an ICU ward, with the Alt Right shrieking "more bites, scratches, and feces!"  at the top of their lungs.

 

I am so not prepared for what I think is coming. At this point I'm just going through the motions of living, consumed with bottlenecked grief for a future I think is dying before my eyes. Why the hell did I live long enough to see this? 

 

God, I feel bad for children right now.   

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Having witnessed his complete inability to manage his rage and vindictiveness, I'm now honestly worried that this man is going to provoke a nuclear war, and that he's going to do it sooner rather than later.  Even if he doesn't, the economic, political, and ecological carnage he's going to leave in his wake will be incalculable. Perhaps it's just my pessimism speaking, but I don't think the odds are in our favour at all. 

 

I know that resistance is mobilizing against him, but any successes that resistance might have are not going to happen quickly and in the meantime he's a rabid baboon loose in an ICU ward, with the Alt Right shrieking "more bites, scratches, and feces!"  at the top of their lungs.

 

I am so not prepared for what I think is coming. At this point I'm just going through the motions of living, consumed with bottlenecked grief for a future I think is dying before my eyes. Why the hell did I live long enough to see this? 

 

God, I feel bad for children right now.   

My sister Mary is a Lutheran pastor with three teenage children. I actually asked about this very thing a year ago when the campaign started and before Trumpism was a thing. I expressed my fear of what my generation was leaving my nieces and nephew. Part of her response was a quote by mystery writer and Anglican apologist Dorothy Sayer, written during World War II (a pretty dark time to be British:):

 

:  "A man told me the other day:  'I have a little boy of a year old.  When the war broke out, I was very much distressed about him because I found I was taking it for granted that life ought to be better and easier for him than it had been for my generation.  Then I realized that I had no right to take this for granted at all--that the fight between good and evil must be the same for him as it had always been, and then I ceased to feel so much distressed.'"

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I just have a hard time seeing anything good surviving the next few years intact.  And I think I'm including myself in the category of "anything good." 

 

Thomas Picketty has demonstrated pretty conclusively that the high economic growth rates that built the Western middle class were aberrations produced by the decimation of wealth during the two World Wars and the rebuilding and expansion opportunities afforded by the post-war period. With high growth levels, wealth's power relative to labour's declined somewhat, allowing the working class to gain some real concessions.  Well, the wealth lost in the wars has been restored, rebuilding is long completed, and the global market is saturated.  Growth rates are returning to their historical norms, restoring wealth to its formerly unassailable position, a process accelerated by automation. 

 

Meanwhile, climate change is driving political upheaval, conflict, and mass displacement. If you look at Syria, it's near-collapse had a lot to do with a climate change-induced drought that drove farmers into the cities where they mobilized in opposition to Assad's regime, provoking a crackdown followed by an armed insurgency and pretty soon you had 4 million refugees fleeing their homes.  That number is going to be dwarfed as the years go by: Malaysia alone will produce over ten million climate refugees from sea level rise. When you factor in geopolitical conflicts produced by climate change, the next decade or two could easily see many tens of millions of people on the move, many of them seeking access to Europe and North America.

 

Faltering economic growth coupled with mass uncontrolled immigration is a perfect recipe for the growth of xenophobic movements and the rise of authoritarian political regimes, which is exactly what we're seeing all through the West. The more reactionary governments become the less intelligent they are, and the solutions they pursue just make matters infinitely worse. 

 

And the modern agent of socialization of the body politic has proven utterly lacking. Chomsky is right: the internet doesn't educate anyone, it just generates cults.  People pull together factoids into paranoid conspiratorial narratives that are profoundly emotionally compelling but that lack all cognitive quality control.  Far from helping us search for truth, our collective political consciousness is descending into a vast funhouse mirror maze reflecting infinitely retreating distortions of our own hyperstimulated minds. The retreat of a sizable minority of a populace into xenophobic conspiracy theories untethered from the rules of evidence has historical precedents too terrible to contemplate for any length of time.

 

Speaking of that malignant process--Watching the growth of the Alt Right all around me reminds me of movies like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" or--more to the point--"28 Days Later".  The only thing remotely as disturbing are the spreading cults of histrionic impotence on the Left--cults devoted to sacrificing themselves on the altar of their own virtue without any interest in the means of obtaining and wielding the power that could actually do some good in the world.  Why do we even call them the "Left" and the "Right" any more? We should just rename them "powerless conscience" and "conscienceless power" and be done with it.

 

Russia has undoubtedly exacerbated this problem through its hacking and brilliant agitprop campaign, but the underlying dynamic is massively systemic.  Trump is only a symptom of the disease...albeit a symptom comparable to a debilitating stroke. 

 

Given that this repellent man is about to get control of the apparatus of the apparatus of the American police state, I'm not sure that he can be stopped by anybody. I don't think that he will ever allow another free federal election to take place: he will use voter suppression, changes to campaign finance laws, thuggery, suppression of the press, and--I suspect--outright terror strategies to shut democracy down.  Even if he is stopped, that won't do anything to stop the immiseration of the working class or the destabilization produced by climate change and mass displacement.  It won't slow down the spread of fascism. 

 

And again: he's a malignant narcissistic bully with marginal impulse control who has been placed into the most stressful job in the world and given command of America's nuclear arsenal. 

 

How the hell do you fight this?  How do you preserve anything good in the face of what can only be called a radical evil?

 

I am not prepared to live in this fascist ecohorror timeline: I don't know if it's possible for me to exist in it without losing my mind. I'm realizing that I'm not prepared to die, either. 

 

You know, I used to love the horror genre.  And when I say I "used" to love it, I mean that was just last year.  Now, though...

 

I'm an old agnostic, but I'm finally recognizing the importance of the Christian faith in resurrection, not as a supernatural event but rather as the creation of loving communities following savage violence, communities that reject paralytic terror in favour of a fidelity to a goodness that transcends the slaughter-bench of history.  I can see how that lends people remarkable moral strength and courage. I wish I could access that kind of vision right now. 

 

I grew up in a home poisoned by addiction, vulgarity, stupidity, and bigotry. I've spent my life trying to form an identity built around clarity, compassion, and hope, but in the pit of my soul that miserable household still calls the shots.  And now it's as though the authoritarian pathologies of that household have in the last two months laid claim to my whole adult world. God help me, the spiritual vision I've been seeing the world through for decades turns out to be far more aligned to the Cthulhoid terror of the Greco-Roman tradition than the Abrahamic.

 

Global Neoliberalism has finally given birth to Global Neofascism. What do we do now?

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I don't envy you that discussion, Old Man.

 

Michelle Obama was right: a lot of people are learning what it feels like to lose hope.

 

As bad as things got, I never expected to see this kind of gutter fascism, complete with all of its brain dead conspiracy theories, ascend to the highest positions of power in the world. It's as though that world is rubbing my face in the innocence of my hipster pessimism.

 

God, was this what it was like watching the fascists rise to power in the 30s? Were people as gobsmacked by the titanic stupidity of fascist ideologies? Were they just as certain that these imbeciles would self-destruct or be taken down by sensible adults before they could do real harm?

 

Confronted by such monstrous and predatory foolishness, were they tempted by suicide?

 

Are such suicidal thoughts signs of pathology, rationality, or complicity with fascism's nihilistic ethos? Is the loss of hope not just an injury but also a choice? If everyone despaired as I'm despairing, wouldn't that eliminate whatever redemptive possibility this catastrophe might still offer? Wouldn't that be a betrayal of everyone and everything we love?

 

But what on Earth can we reasonably hope for in this dawning age? The world we grew up in and loved is gone and it isn't coming back. What if we simply don't have the means to make our way in this new world? How do we choose to hope when nothing we want to hope for seems possible? What if the redemptive possibilities offered by our situation are simply too meagre to sustain our sanity? What did compassionate and rational Germans hope for in 1933?

 

Where is the free world that stands opposed to fascism in 2017?

 

I have been insulated by crumbling bourgeois illusions for a very long time. The impoverished in our countries have been struggling against these exact terrors for much longer. I've known too many people who, in the grip of well-earned despair, have either attempted or completed suicide. The economy has been grinding lives into mush for decades.

 

This must be what it's like to wrestle with an angel. No one told me that angels are so terrifying, or reminded me that in such contests they almost always win.

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"Where is the free world that stands opposed to fascism in 2017?"

 

The majority of American voters weighed in against the current Administration, with I believe only the 48th greatest margin of electoral college victory.

That's true of the Italians in the 1920s and the Germans in the 1930s as well. Mussolini came to power in a coup (the "March on Rome") and then briefly made a show of being a civilized Head of Government before he abandoned the facade and started wearing his uniform everywhere. Hitler lost the 1932 Presidential election by twenty percentage points in the only remotely fair election he stood in.

 

Donald Trump did not play fair, but then he never has.

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My point being, most Americans apparently do stand opposed to fascism. A platform of nationalist appeal to anti-immigrant rhetoric did not sell them.

 

A disturbing number were open to voting for this platform, but it should be obvious not all did so for those reasons.

 

I am about as opposed as can be to just about every thing that Mr. Trump espouses. I refuse to surrender my country to these people. There are ways to fight, frankly laid out by the GOP during their time as a minority party. Dig in, obstruct everything, litigate, push state rights, and blame EVERYTHING on the party in power.

 

A lot of damage will be done, but I don't believe this is the end of civilization. The quote above in this thread is apt, the battle between good and evil is as it ever was.

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Confronted by such monstrous and predatory foolishness, were they tempted by suicide?

 

This is the second time that you've mentioned suicidal thoughts in this thread. I don't want to offend you, but if you are having suicidal thoughts -- if that is in any remote way on your current list of options for dealing with any situation -- please seek out help.

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