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“I did not want white nationalists in the White House. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want to register members of a religion in contravention of the First Amendment. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want to revisit the morality of Japanese internment camps. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want people to make fun of the disabled–to say it was OK for my kid to do it, or for my disabled kid to suffer it. I just wanted change.”
“I did not say it’s OK for entitled, powerful rich men to aggressively try to sleep with my wife. I just wanted change.”
“I did not think it was OK to grab women by the crotch. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want the United States to start torturing prisoners again. I just wanted change.”
“I was not for committing war crimes against the innocent bystander relatives of suspected terrorists. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want to let banks start doing the same things they were doing before the financial crisis. I just wanted change.”
“I did not think it was OK to denigrate a guy who was beaten three times a week by the North Vietnamese as some sort of loser. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want to free polluters and contribute to a global climate phenomenon that is going to affect the quality of life for my child. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want to signal to a president that it was OK for him to basically merge his business interests with his political interests by using his children as a meaningless buffer. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want the KKK to feel emboldened. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want a rude tone set for politics from the top down by a man who made political incivility his trademark. I just wanted the change.”

Congratulations. If all these things became acceptable to you, you’ve changed.

Glenn Beck recently went to CNN to ask the musical question: What are we doing to do about the resurgent racist right?

We’ll drive ourselves crazy trying to ask the question, “Is every Trump supporter racist?” The answer is no. The more important thing is that they are disengaged, unserious, incurious, did not understand the economic forces underlying their problems, and were easily distracted because of their low threshold for boredom. These qualities allowed them to be easily used by Trump, whose tactics are old and familiar to any person who’s taken one history class. And their disengagement will allow them to be used again by a small but dedicated group of ACTUAL racists to rise to levels of power not seen in this country since the 1920s. Trumpites’ unfocused anger was the problem until last week. Their inertia will be the problem now. They’ll say, “This racism talk doesn’t apply to me” without acknowledging that they unleashed and empowered white nationalists and that, if they think of themselves as good people, they are many times more obligated to call out racists in their own ranks than they realize.

A Short Play

My friend: I’m lonely.

Me: I hear you, man.

My friend: So I’m giving $500 a month to a stripper. She says she loves me.

Me: Aw, man! That’s horrible. She’s taking advantage of you, using the oldest trick in the book.

My friend: You look down at me!

The End

This, in its entirety, is my short play, “Listening to a Trump Supporter.”

–*Trump managed to cobble together a unique coalition of voters: the not bright, and the far dumber than not bright.

–*Americans with nothing to lose but low unemployment, a rising stock market and rising wages and health care coverage decided to roll the dice on a tax cut that might get them a new 16 inch television.

–*Middle-class white Americans made it loud and clear that they are tired of nobody listening to them mistakenly blame their problems on immigrants.

–*Americans are tired of the elites looking down at them … so here, elites, this tax cut should teach you a thing or two.

–*Americans in the middle class with stagnant wages are hurting. But rather than a minimum wage increase, they’d really just like permission to use the “N-word” again.

–*Everybody needs somebody to harass and victimize and look down on, and Obama had given middle class whites nobody to do that to.

–*Middle class whites are concerned about the ways skyrocketing debt is going to affect their kids. That’s why they elected a guy mostly known for putting up giant buildings with enormous debt attached to them.

–*The whole, “watch me get drunk and vote for this guy” crowd is bigger than we thought.

–*The Washington and New York government and media establishments are out of touch because they spend too much time reading and analyzing and thinking.

–*Americans don’t like political dynasties. Also they don’t like authoritarian populist regim….never mind. Americans don’t know what they like.

–* … or who they are.

–* … or what they stand for.

–*”Take that, college-educated people!”

Nov. 9, 2016

There’s a game that people like to play or scenario they like to imagine–you see it in movies–that somehow they could go back to 1932 in a time machine and stop Hitler.

Americans were just given a time machine. They went back. And they joined Hitler.

The things we do around the world–the business we do, the stocks we buy and sell, the loans we make and take, as well as the alliances we have built and sign up for–have worked according to a vast social pact, and a compromise and an understanding among peoples since the end of World War II. Those pacts were fragile. You shift one of them, you shift a lot of them. You screw up the valuation of one country’s bonds, and other countries’ bonds follow suit. You destroy faith in the Federal Reserve, it makes people lose faith in the currency.

The pacts we have made to make a society are fragile. The agreements we make with people around the world are fragile. The ways we deal with one another are fragile.

In a fit of pique, with everything to lose and very little to gain–and without even horrific conditions under which Germans lived in the 1920s–Americans in their narcissism and in the arrogance decided to tear those pacts and agreements up as if they were tissue paper.

The people who thought they were being heard finally are going to be those hurt most by this. In the immediate future, however, the most vulnerable among us–immigrants, people of color, transgender people–are going to feel personally threatened and insecure. Those immigrants are among the most productive members of our society, by the way. They are among the biggest launchers of start-up businesses. They pay taxes. They contribute to the consumer base. That’s another thing about the social pact we’ve just thrown away. We used superficial prejudices to feel better about not understanding the most profound things about our country, its economy and its culture.

You, the non-elite (for this is how you implicitly brand yourselves), have decided to get even with elites by giving them a tax break. You, the non-elite, have gotten even with the elite by giving them an overwhelming amount of power to ignore you.

And at last, you’ve been rewarded for not being curious: for ignoring history, economics, science. You had an outside force validate your know-nothingism for his own reasons. I understand. It gives you a short shot of self-esteem horribly lacking in your lives.

It will be short-lived. What’s wrong with you is going to continue to be wrong with you tomorrow. And other people will be harmed for no reason other than your wounded pride.

Good luck.

Last night, Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton faced off with Republican Donald Trump at Washington University in St. Louis for the second debate ahead of the 2016 election. What were some of the highlights?

–*Trump told Evangelicals that, as lord, he would personally put Clinton in hell.

–*Trump upstaged Clinton several times by humping a chair while she did her speech, but that happens all the time in Shakespeare.

–*Trump held a pre-debate conference with several women who have accused Bill Clinton of lewd behavior or assault, showing his supporters that Trump himself is the accused rapist alleged rape survivors are most comfortable with.

–*A fly briefly flew onto Hillary Clinton’s nose during the debate, which I’m pretty sure is a fulfillment of some Biblical prophecy according to a guy in a trailer scratching his ball sack.

–*Actually, the fly, in choosing Hillary’s face, might have reasonably asked, “Which people in this debate are less likely to be breathing through their mouths?”

–*Clinton was put on the defensive about the way she used her e-mail server, Post-it Notes, thumb tacks, brads, index cards and No. 2 pencils.

–*Trump said that the recently discovered tape of him boasting about unwanted sexual advances was just locker room talk. The nation’s water cooler distributors hastily responded that water coolers are still a great place to discuss groping, grab-assing and unwanted massaging.

–*Hillary Clinton was born in 1947. Today, Syria is in ruins. We rest our case.

–*Trump supporters meekly asked him, “When are you going to become the qualified candidate I never asked you to be up until now?”

–*An important thing to remember when considering the nation’s crucial energy policy is that … Bill Clinton is a rapist … and where are the e-mails, Hillary? Thirty-three thousand emails!

–*You notice that the meaningless “socialism” talk suddenly disappeared? You don’t really think about it, but it’s kind of like your ear popped and all of a sudden life is a little nicer because that card has been overplayed. Ooo! That feels nice!

–*Trump said Muslims need to report things about other Muslims. But if you’re white and you report another white person, then we are really just living in a hellish police state.

–*Ken Bone doesn’t know if people are laughing at him or laughing with him.

–*America doesn’t know if they are laughing at Ken Bone or laughing with him.

–*Trump reminds audience that he dates 10s and Clinton’s husband has shown a disturbing propensity for sixes.

–*We all make mistakes and we are all forgiven. But as we forgive Donald Trump twice a week during this election cycle, we must remember that several years ago, Hillary Clinton lost 33,000 emails. C’mon, Hillary! Where are those emails?

–*Has anybody stopped to think that if Hillary Clinton suddenly lied and claimed that Vince Foster was actually alive–alive but that nobody would ever be able to find him or prove it–that this would pale in comparison to the lies regular Republicans regularly tell about her? Yes, that’s actually how big the lies about her are, when you put them in context. Yes! Really! The idea that she radioed from a helicopter and said “Let everybody in Benghazi die!” is a bigger lie than the idea that Vince Foster is running around right now, checking his phone and drinking wheatgrass shots in a villa with an ocean view. That’s how big you’re lying when you say Benghazi is a scandal.

–*Trump manages to avoid the one true thing he could say about Hillary Clinton: “Gee lady, if you had one fluid ounce of charisma, nobody would be actually considering a neo-fascist monster like me for a second.”

Tonight, Gov. Mike Pence, the VP contender on the Republican presidential ticket, faced off with Sen. Tim Kaine in a debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va. What were some of the highlights?

–*Each candidate got only two minutes to yell over the other candidate.

–*Vladimir Putin doesn’t care if you talk bad about him. He just likes it when people are talking about him.

–*Mike Pence says America is a giant about to be unleashed but it can’t help but keep tripping over all these tiny homosexuals.

–*People don’t like it when Donald Trump interrupts them. Tim Kaine took that to heart and interrupted people only while not being Donald Trump.

–*After a campaign season full of tabloid distractions, Kaine and Pence got Americans comfortable wading back into highly superficial policy discussions.

–*America is a great nation with one of the largest economies on Earth, shrinking unemployment, and growing wages, and Mike Pence is sorry to have to call the country an open sewer if only for the purposes of this debate.

–*”Boorish, thin-skinned and intemperate” are not qualities we can trust in the leader of the free world. But in the VP slot, what the hell … “Go, Tim, now!”

–*Mike Pence shows the savvy, calm, even tone that observers often equate with politics or an imminent suicide attempt.

–*Is there a political suicide hotline?

–*Republicans cheer on candidate who demonstrates the glib, tik-tik-tik robot speak of all the qualified people they flushed out the airplane toilet during primary season.

–*Tim Kaine has walked the walk and tonight he wouldn’t stop talking the talk.

–*Kaine is not just making a historic bid with a powerful female presidential contender, he’s also vying for Joe Biden’s job as outspoken, lovable brain-fart mascot.

–*Mad lib fun: People say that Hillary Clinton has got to be in some kind of deep-seated denial to stay married to Bill Clinton given his indiscretions.

… Mike Pence …. …Donald Trump … whole Mussolini thing.

–*Pence makes a winning case for Evangelists being screwed by Trump: “Now you can just imagine my face when he’s doing it to you.”

–*The phrase, “I got suckered into Farmville” is now a twice-repeallant thought.

–*America asks, “Who are these guys to talk so tough?” And by that they mean, “Really, who are those two guys? I don’t recognize them.”