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What Went Wrong?

November 21, 2016

Aside, that is, from the polling—or wishful interpretation of the polling. For instance, here’s a draft of a page for the day after the election, drafted on election day:

O Happy Day!

Thank Goddesses. Please join me in thanking these female archetypal figures for bringing us through this national ordeal, to sanity:

Thank Athena for her wisdom of alertness and self-restraint, her battle-hardened courage, her leadership, and her protective norm. Thank Ananke for bringing necessity to chaos, giving birth in death. Thank Aphrodite for her beautiful love and loving beauty. Thank Hecate for her howling at the crossroads in the darkest night. Thank Artemis for her accuracy and consistency. Thank Hestia for her family values of adjustment and focus, gathering us together in a centering place. Thank Demeter for never giving up, and Persephone for doing the very best she could.

Thank Ariadne for being ever herself in herself.

And thank Dionysus for her/his turning everything upside down.

And thank so many more.

Well this election was a triumph for American democracy. Now we know that the racists, sexists, xenophobes, and Republican ideologues, plus low information folks who are economically desperate, add up to a minority. Without R voter suppression they would be a smaller minority. Without R gerrymandering we’d have a Dem majority in the House.

If every adult citizen voted? Who knows. That would be something.

Well I’m not going to blame the goddesses; an archetype can only do so much, after all.

And in fact Hillary won! By a lot of votes! Just, not in the Rustbelt.

It seems as though Dionysus appeared quite suddenly, as he is want to do, lifted us very high, turned seeming-reality upside down, and let us drop!

Maybe Great Athena is trying to get us to open our eyes—along with the trickster, Hermes, taking soul on another guided tour of the Underworld.

It takes courage to go there, eyes open.

Maybe the goddesses, in their wisdom, said, “Come with us to an area of America that you have preferred not to see.”

It’s important to look at this through a perspective of the gods and the underworld, to remind ourselves that, in the Rustbelt extremes, this is fundamentally psychological, even more than economic or political. We should not literalize our assumptions, the way polling tends to do. The aggregate does not feel pain; individuals feel pain, and interpret it by imagining it, and imagining what should be done about it, guided by the very complex gods in our complexes.

Again, the first great reality is that many more people voted for Hillary than voted for Trump. But not in the Rustbelt, where former Obama voters, who are working folks, and not only white working folks, voted Trump or Green or just didn’t show.

The second great reality, which must be remedied, hugely and fast, is that the Clintonite Democratic Party abandoned the citizens of the Rustbelt, through collaboration with Reaganite Republicans, especially from NAFTA through WTO to TPP. They threw those workers of the old manufacturing under the bus.

Unfairly or not, in Hillary those workers saw a player in an international partnership: Mr. and Mrs. Globaleyes B. Megawealthy.

The Dems did not understand that reality, and they did nothing significant to mitigate the disaster of that image. They couldn’t.

What remained, then, were desperate people who would not, could not, vote for Hillary. Many of those desperados, who had voted for Obama because they believed his message of hope, had totally lost hope, and now they gambled on what remained for them to believe in (after Bernie’s defeat), Change. Their last hope is that Trump will bring them change, across the board.

But he’s yet another trickster (and can be exhaustingly sordid—so just shut yr yap and sit down).

Or join the resistance. [For instance.]

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