Media Myopia

Mainstream media learned nothing from the last election. Still missing the mood of the country outside the beltway. Completely in denial that their polls and data were grossly inaccurate. Pushing Hillary’s dominance swayed the results more than Russian interference. Yet. That’s all they are focused on. Like dogs with a bone. Constant coverage of Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Putin. Once again they are living in the Northeast elitist bubble. Thinking that the rest of the country is similarly outraged. They are not.

Economy. Jobs. Infrastructure. Healthcare. Terrorism. They still care about things like that.

Sonnet Sets On 2016

The sun finally sets on this quake year
Disruptions left fissures as yet unclear
Nation shaken by Heartland’s frustration
Rally-rocked stadiums in rural towns
While shuttered Main Streets heaved up in despair
As tone deaf hunkered under safe bunkers
Beneath cloistered thought-gated college lawns
In cocktail cult kissass-disguised newsrooms
Consulting class glass shattered on both coasts
Hit by a political tsunami
From Brexit to Nexit the EU cracked
Populists tilted globalist axis
Expect tectonic economic shifts
And frequent volcanic Trump eruptions

Local Reflections

A glimpse of Election Day on the Upper West Side, a hyper-liberal urban enclave. I overhead the Hispanic doormen and porters in our building say they voted for Trump. Most of these guys have 2 jobs to take care of their families and send their kids to college. Later in the day, as a movie was being filmed on our street, I was surprised to see many of the grips and other crew members wearing red hats that said “Make America Great Again”.

Then after the election, a 10-year old boy who lives on our floor said to Dr. Husband, “I hit myself on the head with my lunch box because Donald Trump is President”.

Election Elegy

Whatever the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election, there will be a deep collective sigh of sadness. For the loss of comity and civility in politics, journalism, society as a whole.

The Republican Establishment will have to find a way to acknowledge and address the anger of Trump’s supporters. J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is the most glaring glimpse into generations of cultural and economic suffering in rural America. The country has reached a true tipping point.

Democrats have also left a large swath of its voters in the lurch. Clinton’s coronation was baked into the entire primary process cake with Bernie Sanders’ followers remaining disgruntled and disaffected. Big money interests will endure.

Either way the scales stay unbalanced. We’re left with a lament.

Family Matters

In a poignant and important memoir, J.D. Vance tells the story of his Appalachian white working-class life in the context of this year’s angry crude political mood. Futility is the focus in a tale of the generational subculture of poverty made worse by addiction and abuse. Hillbilly Elegy

Like Glass Castle and Blood Bones & Butter, Hillbilly Elegy portrays individual triumph over family dysfunction beyond belief. In Vance’s case he makes the miraculous climb to become a Marine, Ohio State grad, Yale Law scholar. Even with all of that, he cannot escape his roots. They remain current in his struggle to overcome bouts of ire at the bleak prospects left to the kin, classmates and community he left behind. Add drug epidemic to the scene as in every small town America today. It puts into sharp focus the reasons for this election year’s desperate yearning for change.

Bad seeds dominate Netflix Happy Valley’s second season. Families in crisis tinged with pure evil and violence in rural Yorkshire, England. Addiction plays its part as well. Repeat the theme with Ray Donovan’s clan. It’s always about family matters.