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Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Gobsmacked

I didn't watch the election results come in last night. I forebore to check the news or Facebook, both of which have been full of vitriol and largely unsubstantiated rumor for weeks now. Given that I had voted for a write-in candidate for the primary office, I knew there was not even a snowball's chance of that person winning, so I ate dinner, took a shower, watched a K-drama, and went to sleep. And my Internet connection this morning was gummed up, and CNN wouldn't refresh, so it looked like the vote counting was still going on… Until I got into the kitchen and sat down for breakfast, and the website updated. And then I shook for ten minutes in shock. Holy cow. I knew it was close. But the (mostly liberal) intellectuals seem to have deluded themselves with their polling. It's our version of Brexit. Or a national recapitulation of Jesse Ventura's election as governor of Minnesota.

I hope our president-elect will do a better job than I expect. When circus impressario P.T. Barnum, notorious for his exploitation of the gullible and the grotesque, served on the state legislature, he was an ardent civil rights advocate. I will continue to pray. The VP seems like a genuinely good egg. The criticisms that I have heard of him make him sound like he has made all the right enemies, which does signal some hope for the new administration.

About a month ago I was assigned to edit an entry on Shakespeare's three Henry VI plays. In the second, there is a peasant uprising. The rhetoric sounded quite familiar. Human nature fascinates me--and Shakespeare had a divinely imparted gift for capturing it.

We truly have no idea what will happen after January 20. This campaign has been so fraught with personal and legal scandals that I don't recall a single substantive promise made by the triumphant candidate aside from the southern border wall. I mistrust the man's wisdom and sincerity, never mind his morals, but there's no telling but that he may be a Thomas Beckett for our time. Here's hoping!

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