BINGEwVANDEE Podcast to Launch Soon

Podcast Logo

By Vandee

Hello VanProver readers (whoever you are).

I just wanted to apologize for lack of content in 2017 – I’ve been hard at work prepping my upcoming podcast BINGEwVANDEE.  I’ll be releasing the first wave of episodes pretty soon, and I’ll be sure to include links on VanProver.

Big thanks to VanProver contributors Dan and Felicia for maintaining their blog Time Well Spent , and allowing me to feature their content on VanProver.

As always, VanProver is open to contributions from damn near anyone.  Vancouver-centric material is preferred, but I’m not picky.  Email submissions to vandees.email@hotmail.com .

Thank you all for your continued support,

Vandee

Vandee and the #XMasMythos 4: On Christmas Perfection

norman-rockwell-freedom-from-want-1943

By Vandee

Christmas Watch List recent activity:

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Star Trek Generations
  • 30 Rock – S5E10 – “Christmas Attack Zone”
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – S6E14 – “A Very Sunny Christmas, Parts 1+2”
  • Blackadder’s Christmas Carol – 1988 Special
  • Clone High – S1E11 – “Snowflake Day: A Very Special Holiday Episode”
  • Community – S1E12 – “Comparative Religion”
  • Family Guy – S3E16 – “A Very Special Family Guy Freakin’ Christmas”
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – S1E15 – “Deck the Halls”
  • Friends – S3E10 – “The One Where Rachel Quits”
  • Full House – S2E9 – “Our Very First Christmas Show”
  • The Mindy Project – S3E11 – “Christmas”
  • That 70’s Show – S3E9 – “Hyde’s Christmas Rager”
  • The Office – S3E10 – “A Benihana Christmas, Parts 1+2”
  • The Office – S5E11 – “Moroccan Christmas”
  • Seinfeld – S9E10 – “The Strike”
  • Sherlock – S2E1 – “A Scandal in Belgravia”
  • South Park – S18E9 – “#REHASH”
  • South Park – S18E10 – “#HappyHolograms”

 

A merry and joyous December to everyone reading this!

I hope your halls be decked as fuck, and I hope there’s a suitably seasonal drink resting in your hand.

…so if you’re halls are not decked, and if you’re not sipping something festive, know that you’ve killed my Christmas dreams and you’re a terrible person.

That’s how Christmas works, right?

I look deep inside myself, and conjure that one request of fate on which my holiday season will pivot.  If I get what I wish for, Christmas can be deemed “successful”.

Anyone who stands in the way of a reasonable Christmas wish is a Grinch, a Scrooge, a motherfucking humbug – a terrible person.

Years ago, I’d be wishing for a specific Lego set or Xbox game.  Santa usually abided.

These days, I find my Christmas wishes ambiguous – harder to pin down and harder therefor to determine whether or not Christmas is “successful”.

My Christmas season starts on the first weekend of December with a huge holiday bash.  Each year, more people show up, and my turkey scales in proportion.  Like all Christmas wishes, I have expectations around this party – that everyone be fed, that everyone be merry, that I get loads of compliments for my attention to Christmas detail and my bacchanalian commitment to good times.

By all accounts, 2016’s Christmas bash was a success, but not so much so that I can rest on my Christmas laurels – it’s only December 9, and there’s still so much to do.

Gifts, travel, seeing friends and family, watching Christmas movies – so many boxes to tick, and I’m not sure which is the most important.

I don’t know what my Christmas wish is…

…except maybe, succinctly, to have The Perfect Christmas.

My watch list is full of examples of how likely this is to blow up in my face, but I’ma focus on 2001’s “A Very Special Family Guy Freakin’ Christmas”.

In this entry, Lois’ Christmas cheer comes as a kind of aggressive selflessness: she has a Norman Rockwell holiday in mind, and scurries around trying to make everything perfect for her family and friends.  Peter, meanwhile, embraces the holidays like a kid in a candy store: chasing one Christmas distraction after another to Lois’ frustration.  Predictably, Peter’s selfish desire to drink with his buddies and watch Kiss Saves Santa destroys Lois’ many attempts at holiday perfection.

Admirably, Lois maintains her holiday cheer as everything falls apart around her.  Channeling the spirit of Whoville, she convinces herself that the warm glow of a “Perfect Christmas” doesn’t need material trappings so long as her family is committed to the idea of the season.  She loses it when – after the Griffin’s house, presents, and food go up in flames – she finds out there are no paper towels left to clean up the mess.

Lois rampages around the city, tearing down anything that reminds her of the empty promise of Christmas:

“So you can cook your own damned turkey, wrap your own damned presents – and while you’re at it, you can all ride a one-horse open sleigh to Hell!”

After she terrorizes the town, she is tranquilized, and spends Christmas Day zonked while her family enjoys the simple pleasures they had previously been denied as a result of Lois’ zealous commitment to holiday perfection.

Most likely, the Family Guy writers were trying to make a point about the unappreciated people in our lives that “make Christmas happen”.  The moms who cook for hours, the dads who drive all over town hunting gifts – the Loises of the world who selflessly work behind the scenes of every family Christmas.

Peter is the selfish, unappreciative viewer whose carelessness leads to the mental breakdown of the aforementioned Christmas heroes.

…that would have been my reading of the episode last year…

This year, I’m inclined to think of Peter as the hero of the story, and Lois as the villain.

Perfection is a lie, and a “Perfect Christmas” may be one of the most poisonous lies of all – the idea that everyone enthusiastically submit to the Christmas spirit to satisfy the expectations of the holiday facilitators of the world.

Families feud at Christmas, friends argue at Disneyworld, people are unsatisfied mid-orgasm.

Gathering people together with the demand that everyone be 100% happy for hours on end is an unreasonable expectation – one that will inevitably blow up in the face of the Lois who puts their faith in it.

Better to be the Peter, whose holiday wishes, though selfish, are small and reasonable and lack the existential heft of a “Perfect Christmas”…

So this Christmas I’ll be wishing for safe travels, hearty food, premium whiskey, and time spent with family and friends.  Most importantly, I’ll be working to avoid the temptation to wish for Christmas Perfection.  Hopefully I can lower my expectations of myself and others, and simply enjoy the twinkly distractions of December.

Vandee’s Christmas Watch List 2016

doctor-who-the-snowmen-gallery-1

Pre-season’s greetings everyone!

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to cleanse my pallet of this terrifying election business by embracing the warm glow of commercialized Jesus.

My Christmas fanaticism continues in 2016:

This year, I’ve been learning to play the fiddle with an aim to deliver a set of Christmas tunes on December 24th.  A special thanks goes out to my wife for her patience through many screeching strings and fumbled notes.

Supplementing my decked halls and jolly tunes is my annual Christmas Watch List!

The scrooge narrative seems to resonate this year: a greedy miser lords over us, unwilling to let the warmth of the holiday season melt his icy heart.  Maybe if three ghosts pay a visit to Trump Tower this Christmas Eve, we can get some resolution in 2017…

In the meantime, order your preferred Starbucks holiday bevy, put on your favorite knitted turtleneck, and cozy up with some holiday favorites.  You’ll notice a few repeats from last year, some episodes that are yet to air, and one Czech Christmas special, “Morozko”, which is available on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hw2DN4335hU .

I’ll be posting my musings on the Meaning of Christmas as I go through my list.  Feel free to join in, or deride me to your hearts’ content.

Movies A-Z

  • Batman Returns
  • A Christmas Carol (1938)
  • Die Hard
  • Elf
  • Ernest Saves Christmas
  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  • Little Women
  • Love Actually
  • Morozko (1964)
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Prometheus
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Scrooged
  • Star Trek: Generations
  • The Star Wars Holiday Special

TV Episodes A-Z (By Series)

  • 30 Rock – S5E10 – “Christmas Attack Zone”
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – S6E14 – “A Very Sunny Christmas, Parts 1+2”
  • Blackadder’s Christmas Carol – 1988 Special
  • Bob’s Burgers – S7E7 – “The Last Gingerbread House on the Left”
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine – S3E10 – “Yippie Kayak”
  • Clone High – S1E11 – “Snowflake Day: A Very Special Holiday Episode”
  • Community – S1E12 – “Comparative Religion”
  • Community – S3E10 – “Regional Holiday Music”
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm – S3E9 – “Mary, Joseph, and Larry”
  • Doctor Who – 2012 Special – The Snowmen
  • F is for Family – S1E6 – “O Holy Moly Night”
  • Family Guy – S3E16 – “A Very Special Family Guy Freakin’ Christmas”
  • Family Matters – S2E13 – “Have Yourself a Merry Winslow Christmas”
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – S1E15 – “Deck the Halls”
  • Friends – S3E10 – “The One Where Rachel Quits”
  • Full House – S2E9 – “Our Very First Christmas Show”
  • Futurama – S2E4 – “Xmas Story”
  • Happy Endings – S2E9 – “Grinches Be Crazy”
  • Lost –S4E5 – “The Constant”
  • The Mindy Project – S3E11 – “Christmas”
  • New Girl – S2E11 – “Santa”
  • That 70’s Show – S3E9 – “Hyde’s Christmas Rager”
  • The O.C. – S1E13 – “The Best Chrismukkah Ever”
  • The Office – S3E10 – “A Benihana Christmas, Parts 1+2”
  • The Office – S5E11 – “Moroccan Christmas”
  • Orange is the New Black – S1E13 – “Can’t Fix Crazy”
  • Parks and Recreation – S5E9 – “Ron and Diane”
  • Saved By The Bell – S3E24 – “Home for Christmas, Parts 1+2”
  • Seinfeld – S9E10 – “The Strike”
  • Sherlock – S2E1 – “A Scandal in Belgravia”
  • South Park – S18E9 – “#REHASH”
  • South Park – S18E10 – “#HappyHolograms”
  • The Weekenders – #34 – “The Worst Holiday Ever”

Election 2016 Anthology

usaBy Vandee

November 2016 is on its way out, and good riddance to it.

I’m keen to move on to my Christmas material, but wanted to organize some of my thoughts re: US election.

First, Trump is horrible and terrifying; members of his inner circle are horrible and terrifying; this whole situation is horrible and terrifying.

Second, I must admit the issue I’ve had the most trouble grappling with has been making sense of 60 million Trump voters in a moral context.  Should we on the Left be willing to listen to the concerns of folks who voted Trump, (if only to win their votes at the next election), or should we call them out as terrible people and continue the progressive struggle?

I still don’t have an answer.

Finally, I’ve written six pieces on the election, and have gotten feedback in the form of WordPress comments, Facebook replies, and IRL conversation.  Hearing from other people has been instrumental in helping me make sense of this whole election business.

Thank you to everyone who commented and contributed – if you didn’t, I’d never learn.

I’ve had a bit of a change of heart concerning a few points I’ve made – especially those found in my “live reaction” piece See, Mirror, Darkly.  I considered pulling the piece, but thought it best if it remained as a reference for Future Vandee.

Placed in the context of the other five election pieces I wrote, those live reactions make some sense, at least in terms of the emotional journey this whole rotten business has become:

 

Trump’s Funnel: The Flipside of Feel Politics – June 1, 2016

Vandee muses on some of the less intuitive aspects of PC culture, and explores how the reaction to political correctness helps to fuel the Trump movement

The Declivity of Demonization – June 6, 2016

During the California primaries, Vandee reflects on how both sides put Godwin’s Law into practice

Tripping Over the Line in the Sand – September 20, 2016

Vandee reacts to Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” statement, and explores how the Dems’ tactics could backfire

See, Mirror, Darkly – November 9, 2016

In a whiskey-fueled live reaction to the election, Vandee blames the Left for Trump’s victory

Into Muddier Waters.. – November 15, 2016

Vandee struggles with divisions on the Left, and wonders how Trump can be defeated in the future

Better Behind the Curtain? – November 18, 2016

Vandee reacts to Trump’s first cabinet appointees, and sees an opportunity for unity in the darkest place imaginable

 

 

 

Better Behind the Curtain?

man-behind-the-curtain

By Vandee

Trump is horrible and terrifying; members of his inner circle are horrible and terrifying; this whole situation is horrible and terrifying.

No one in the internet news-o-sphere seems to disagree.

Even when I plug my nose and dive into news sites that are pro-Trump, I don’t get the usual post-election gloss I’d typically expect.

Usually when one side wins an election and starts filling cabinet positions, there is an effort by the victorious party to sell each cabinet appointee as the best option for the whole country – even if they’re not.  In other words, GOP wins of the past have brought cabinet shuffles backed with justifications that “so-and-so is getting the position because they are the most qualified person, and the whole country will benefit from this person’s expertise”.

Of course, this is often a lie, and it’s the other side’s duty to show how Secretary So-and-So is really just a partisan insider who is going to advance the party line.  Predictably, debate ensues.

As is typical with all things Trump, the usual kabuki of decency has been shed.

When I read the meth lab of hatred that is the alt-right news, no attempt is being made to say that Trump’s cabinet picks have the best interests of all Americans in mind.  Rather, they are open about how Trump’s cadre of deplorables are going to fuck their political opponents whether it benefits a majority of Americans or not.

For example, on the subject of newly-appointed US Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, Breitbart today did a repost of a critical piece from Huffington Post:

(…aside: it should be illegal to appoint someone to a cabinet position when they are named after two Confederate leaders…)

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/11/18/media-meltdown-continues-hysterical-huffington-post-says-sessions-racist/

“Back in the mid-1980s, when Sessions was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, President Ronald Reagan nominated him to become a federal judge. But during the nomination process, allegations emerged that Sessions had called a black attorney “boy,” that he suggested a white civil rights lawyer was a race traitor, that he joked he liked the Ku Klux Klan until he found out they smoked marijuana and that he referred to civil rights groups as “un-American” organizations trying to “force civil rights down the throats of people who were trying to put problems behind them.”

Wow, what an asshole.

So, to recap: the quote is from Huffington Post – a bastion of the Left that seeks to defame all things Trump.  The quote was republished on Breitbart – Trump’s propaganda ministry.

The latter published the quote as is.  They did not include a rebuttal.  They did not attempt to re-contextualize Sessions’ statements.

The Huffington Post said that the newly-appointed Attorney General of the United States is a terrible racist, and Breitbart simply said “Yup”.

Wow.

Here’s where my brain goes:

It’s entirely conceivable that a Romney administration, or a Jeb administration, would also appoint terrible racists to key positions.  However, when making such appointments, the GOP and their media outlets would try to downplay past racial indiscretions, and parade said racist around with their “one black friend” (Michael Steele?) in an attempt to maintain that veneer of decency – at least attempt to make the case that this person is not racist, and will benefit all Americans with their hard work.

Not so much anymore.

The racists are out of the closet.

…and not just in the Capital…

Every day since the election, my newsfeed has been filling up with reports of increased rates of intimidation and harassment of minority communities across the US – hate crime is on the rise, it seems:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-hatecrime-idUSKBN13D1WU

http://jezebel.com/tracking-racist-incidents-and-hate-crimes-in-donald-tru-1789058519

…just terrible…

It makes me wonder: these folks weren’t born last Tuesday – they’ve presumably been festering with their racially-charged butthurt for a long time, and have only just been inspired by the asshole-in-chief to come out of the bigot closet and let their assholery play out in public.

I’m about to cross into controversial territory – please comment, or I’ll never learn…

In a terribly twisted way, I wonder if bigotry coming out of the closet actually benefits the progressive cause?  Isn’t it easier to champion the rights of marginalized people when their opponents are easily identified?

The immediate answer my Left wing gives me:

“Not when it’s at the expense of marginalized people.   Gaining a rhetorical edge should not come at the cost of the lives and well-being of the disadvantaged.”

True.

Still, I want to walk through this thought-experiment:

Racism and bigotry live here in Canada, too.

It can sometimes be hard to spot when we’re so busy congratulating ourselves on being more progressive than Americans, for having an official policy of multiculturalism, for having a 50% female cabinet, and for our lack of high-profile police killings.

I’ve heard it argued that Canada’s blend of aggressive politeness and progressive rhetoric shrouding the inequalities in our society is actually worse than the usual state of affairs in the US – at least America’s problems with inequality are out in the open.  At least Americans are forced to acknowledge their checkered past (and present):

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sarah-beech/canada-hate-crimes-post-election_b_13021394.html

http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/out-of-sight-out-of-mind-2/

In other words, Canadian progressives would seem to argue, at times, that maintaining the veneer of decency is actually worse than a state of out-and-proud racism.  The lines are murkier, the rhetoric less direct, and problems easily overlooked.

Does this logic apply to the Trump situation?

Would progressives rather have their racist, bigoted opponents out and easy to spot?

Depends on the cost, I suppose…

Surely, members of minority groups would rather have a neighbor who acts polite and keeps Confederate paraphernalia in their basement than one who sits on their porch with a shotgun shouting bigoted statements…

…although when I read that back to myself, it seems obvious that those are both shitty options…

Here’s what set me down this road:

http://jezebel.com/white-middle-school-teacher-in-baltimore-fired-after-sc-1789120094

On Tuesday, a white, middle school teacher in Baltimore lost her temper and went off on a horrible racist tirade.  The incident was recorded and posted to social media.  The teacher has since been fired.

Her racism didn’t just appear on November 8.

Is it better to have a closeted racist teaching children, occasionally letting her views seep into lessons, subtly advancing her bigoted worldview for thirty years, or to have her show her true stripes in one terrible incident that sees her fired and barred from teaching?

My privilege means my well-being will never depend on the lesser of those shitty options…

I’ll try to wrap this up…

At some point last Tuesday evening, the American Left started mainlining nostalgia for the Obama years.  Already, we are seeing the time between 2008 and 2016 as a series of triumphs for progressive values.

A few months ago, I wouldn’t have thought we were all that progressive…

My daily dose of everydayfeminism.com had me convinced that veiled bigotry and microaggressions were the real enemies of the progressive cause.  Here is a site that regularly publishes articles criticizing self-proclaimed “allies”:

http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/10/counterproductive-allyship/

http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/09/middle-class-good-intentions/

…something tells me that over the next four years, microaggressions will lose airtime as actual aggressions become more high profile…

The more horrendous shit the Trump camp does, the less divided the Left will become.  No more will the progressive side be split along identity lines, witch-hunting the microaggressive allies in their midst.  We can seize this opportunity to say in a united voice that no matter our differences, we can all agree that this Trump shit is horrible and terrifying and needs to be stopped.

Final note:

I admit I’ve been conflicted on the issue of how to view 60 million Trump voters – should we cynically court them as a means to win the next election, or should we label them as terrible bigots for supporting Trump?

The answer in my mind: time.

In the next year or so, we are going to see Trump appoint more horrible and terrifying people into positions of power.  Then, we’ll see those people start to do some horrible and terrifying things.

There will be a narrow sliver of time for the lightbulb to go on in the minds of those “ignored, working class, anti-establishment voters” who, by their reckoning, did not vote for Trump’s bigoted policies, but supported him to “send a message to the Washington elites”.  As Trump’s rhetoric turns into reality, those 60 million voters will have a chance to recognize their mistake, and join the movement to oppose Trump by any means.

Anyone who continues to support the blatant bigotry of the Right as words turn into action should be given no quarter or sympathy.

When the Right finally sheds its cloak of decency and shows its true colours, I’m hopeful that the majority of those 60 million voters will tell them to go to hell.

See, Mirror, Darkly

creepy_mirror

By Vandee

Please comment or contribute – pluralism breeds understanding

I have tried to write a coherent piece a few times today, but coherence and order seem distant after the events of last night.  If I wait for my thoughts to organize themselves, I’ll miss a chance to document my raw reaction.

Here’s what I think – sorry for rambling:

 

This morning I feel like a veil has been lifted – like I’m stepping outside my bubble of online confirmation bias for the first time in a great while.

It started last night as Trump’s numbers surged.  My Facebook feed was lighting up with friends posting that all white American men are racists, that Hillary losing is a case of sexism pure and simple, that the entire United States are nothing but immigrant-hating dudebros…

Fair play for raw reaction –I’d expect kneejerk responses like that from anyone on a losing side.

But the numbers kept coming in…

Now it looks like Hillary won the popular vote (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-elections/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-us-election-results-latest-popular-vote-electoral-college-a7407826.html), but only by 200,000 votes or so.  The Dems are not contesting this race: Trump won fair and square.

59.2 million Americans voted for a bloated orange comb-over.

 

I have been groomed by media outlets on the Left to reject the opinions of folks like Sam Harris, who claims that there is a fundamental flaw with 1.2 Billion Koran-believing Muslims.  I’ve been trained to believe it is wrong to apply blanket statements on an entire religion because of the behavior of extreme elements.  Sam Harris’ anti-religious argument is at its strongest when he cites global Pew poling that suggests a majority of Muslims worldwide believe homosexuality should be punished by death, or that the Koran should be treated as the ultimate authority on all subjects.

Even if his Pew numbers are right, I am trained to believe that Harris is wrong.

By the same logic, I cannot accept that 60 million Americans are, as Hilary put it, “irredeemable deplorables”.

And yet that’s exactly the narrative my media bubble continues to push.  Prior to the election – even at noon yesterday – the New York Times gave an 86% chance of a Hillary win.  I, and many others, were convinced that the Trump camp consisted only of stay-home GOP voters and the dregs of humanity.

Yet the election numbers show that there are almost certainly folks who voted twice for Obama, and cast their ballots for Trump yesterday.  Irredeemable racists?

This morning, I open my usual news sites: Vice, Slate, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Vox, Jacobin, Jezebel, and Everydayfeminism.com.  The tone is apocalyptic…

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/11/things-are-about-to-get-much-worse-for-poor-americans/507143/

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/11/09/donald_trump_s_victory_proves_that_america_hates_women.html

http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/i-look-to-america-and-all-i-see-is-the-end

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/9/13572172/donald-trump-white-working-class

http://pictorial.jezebel.com/the-symbolic-victory-we-lost-1788760845

Slate: “Trump’s Victory Proves America Hates Women”

Vice: “I Look to America and All I See is the End”

…60 million Americans disagree…

Is it sour grapes, or anti-democratic angst that’s being channeled here?

For all the shittiness of Trump, last night certainly saw democracy in action.

Were all the demands and expectations of those 60 million Trump voters malicious/racist/deplorable, or are they channeling legitimate anti-establishment angst?

 

I think writing off everyone further right than you are is a convenient cop-out.  It shows you’d rather call someone a “bigot” and walk away than engage in any meaningful dialogue.

A polarized (and polarizing) US political system, coupled with the growing influence of Godwin’s Law played a huge role in getting us to this point.  It’s further exacerbated by the media feedback loops most of us exist in:

We subscribe to news outlets that generally bolster our point of view.  We block or delete Facebook friends that challenge our assumptions.  We construct entire worldviews, dialects, and causes in a microsphere, and spurn anyone who does not comply.

 

I am gonna come right out and say it: the Left has made me incredibly uncomfortable these past few years.  Daily, articles are published in the above-mentioned news sites whose moral is consistently “White Men Bad”.  Stories range from genuine abuse of power and outright murder committed by law enforcement, to Starbucks microaggressions committed against female or minority members of the educated upper classes.

I am willing to submit to the authorities on the Left.  I am willing to admit my privilege, and to accept a state of unending self-flagellation for having been born a white man in the West.  I am okay being uncomfortable.

Not everyone is – and I imagine a lot voted for Trump yesterday.

Cause and effect.

 

There’re the accusations of outright sexism on the part of the American electorate.  This despite over 50% of white women and over 25% of Latina women voting for Trump (https://mic.com/articles/158995/more-white-women-voted-for-donald-trump-than-for-hillary-clinton#.rsen7ryC2). The above Slate article dismisses white female Trump voters as racists – more allied to their bigoted male partners than to their gender.

Isn’t that attitude a little sexist?  Doesn’t it suggest that women’s opinions are only “woke” when they comply with the agenda of the Left?

And there’s the argument that goes:

“Hillary was the most qualified candidate for the office of president in American history.  She had to meet unreasonable standards as a woman, and if she were a man, she would have won easily.”

Maybe…

…but consider if Hillary were a man, we on the Left wouldn’t think of her as a shining light meant to break the glass ceiling, we’d see him simply as an uncharismatic Washington insider who is hawkish on foreign policy, friendly to Wall Street, eager to reignite the Cold War, and willing to pay only the most passing lip service to America’s minority communities.

A male Hillary would not have a lot of support from the Hard Left, or the Fem Left.

Would the Fem Left be swayed by a female GOP candidate poised to break the glass ceiling?  What did feminist media outlets make of Carly Fiorina, Sarah Palin, Condoleezza Rice?

 

I’m rambling…

 

Yes, I think that Donald Trump is a huge piece of shit.  Yes, I would have voted Hillary.  Yes, I think she would have made a very competent, effective president.

But I am far from letting the Left off the hook.

 

Imagine two people arguing on the street over the issue of global warming.

Neither of the people arguing on the street are scientists.  Neither has spent time counting polar bears or measuring glacier decay.

Both get their information and news online, albeit from different sources.

And they start firing at each other with salvos of stats grabbed from websites who have political agendas and the overriding goal of driving readership.

Out there, somewhere, is the objective truth: glaciers are crumbling, sea levels are rising, polar bears are dying.  Between that objective truth and the person arguing on the street are layers of bias, interpretation, translation, and storytelling.

Is the Lefty who acknowledges global warming because they read one Vox.com opinion piece the intellectual superior of the Righty who spent months hunting data to support his climate-change-denying gut instinct?

I honestly don’t know.

I feel like we’re all of us grasping at straws, defining our version of reality with websites and twitter feeds we find agreeable.  To lend any validity to the other side’s outlets (Fox, Breitbart, Drudge Report, Post Media) is sacrilege.

All of us have both used, and cringed at, the phrase “I read it on the internet”: in an ocean of facts, truth is …….

 

After last night, I want to look in the mirror and recognize the darker parts of myself.  I want to step outside my self-affirming media bubble.  I want to admit that I, like everyone, have the capacity to demonize those on the other side of the aisle rather than engage with them – to triumph my truth and deny the truths of others.

The lesson of Election 2016, it seems to me:

The more you demonize your opponents, the more they’ll demonize you.

A world populated by demons has a name…