So many people are so distraught by the election results that my New York agent tells me that Los Angeles agents are refusing to pick up the phone and do business, so certain are they that the world is coming to an end.
This blog is meant to be a reassurance to both sides, as well as a practical list of what to do next.
Realize that this bigger than you are – beyond one single election. This is a worldwide primal scream against a corrupt Western system that has benefited only a tiny proportion of the population. It is happening all over Europe now.
Fasten your seat belts – it’s going to be a bumpy ride. But it’s a ride we all have to take right now.
Find common ground. The enemies emphatically are not the people who voted for Trump. They are people whose lives aren’t working who were being ignored by the liberal establishment.
There are some racists and Ku Klux Klan members among that voting population, but they are a tiny minority of the whole. The majority are people who are frightened about the state of their lives, one reason that some Trump supporters worry so much about holding onto guns.
The enemies are the systems we and our Establishment created that are no longer serving us as a whole.
Recognize that Liberals as well as conservatives made these mistakes. The Glass-Steagall Act – the very act was passed by Congress in 1933 under Roosevelt that prohibited commercial banks from engaging in the wild investment speculation that resulted in the financial crisis of 2008 – was not repealed by the Congress under Ronald Reagan, but by the Congress under Bill Clinton.
It seemed a very good idea at the time, and its purpose was to spur on the economy. That it did – by 2008 to disastrous effect.
Liberals as well as conservatives dismantled the checks and balances. The vast, corrupt lobbying system now behind virtually every act of Congress barely existed before the 1980s, but came about in the ‘greed is good’ era of the 1980s and carried on in the nineties.
When I was a reporter in New York in the 1970s, I did a story for the New York Times about the US Food and Drug Administration’s investigations into doctors who were falsifying the results of drug testing.
Believe it or not, at the time there was a special, independent team in the FDA whose job was to independently investigate corruption in the drug industry.
They were such good guys that I even worked on a screen play about them.
Between then and now, like many of the so-called organizations acting in the ‘public interest,’ the FDA became a corrupt body, literally paid for by the drug industry and populated with Big Pharma patsies.
None of these bodies or laws, patched together by both liberal and conservative governments, are working for anyone other than the 1 per cent.
Believe that you still have a voice – and use it. I was a teenager when Nixon came into the White House and a freshman at Northwestern University when four unarmed teenagers at Kent State University were mowed down by the National Guard.
The whole of the student population of 18-22 year olds went on strike, refusing to go to class, shutting down the campus, connecting with other universities and creating major, organized disruption. This wasn’t a ragtag protest, but a highly organized one by a major portion of a generation.
That constant protest became a major factor in ending of the Vietnam War.
In the earlier stage of the war, a friend of mine called Al Lowenstein, a junior Congressman from New York, observing Lyndon Johnson’s escalation of the troops and bombing in Vietnam, started a ‘Dump Johnson’ movement.
Lowenstein had no money or power – nothing but an important idea. His was just a single voice. He spoke at campuses and other venues across the country and mobilized the electorate, largely contributing to Johnson’s not seeking a second term.
Trump has just proved that protest still works. He’s been the voice of the protesting outsider. Your voice counts too, but you’ve got to be organized. We’ve just learned how powerful social media is. Use it.
Get young people involved in demanding change. The millennials have been blighted by our generation’s greed, which has produced corrupt system that ignores values in the face of making a buck (just witness the kind of sexual imagery allowed on rock videos that are watched by young children and the making of young children as consumers). They struggle to afford education or housing. It’s our fault.
The key to your power is a single unified voice. As Elizabeth Warren just announced, ‘We will stand up to bigotry. There is no compromise here. In all its forms, we will fight back against attacks on Latinos, African Americans, women, Muslims, immigrants, disabled Americans – on anyone. Whether Donald Trump sits in a glass tower or sits in the White House, we will not give an inch on this, not now, not ever.”
Trump wanted the job. So let’s hold his foot to the fire, and demand that he become a better person, stand for more high-minded ideals and be a more inclusive President for all Americans.
So don’t mourn – do. Figure out what you can do to make for peaceful revolution. And then go do it.