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Subject: Re: November 8 and the rise of barbarism
From: Joel Grant <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Joel Grant <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 10 Nov 2016 16:12:10 -0800
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Let us try to guess what a power-mad psychopath does with almost unlimited power.  

-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion of opera and related issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of London Tier
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2016 4:02 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: November 8 and the rise of barbarism

No matter how horrified you feel by this result, no matter how judgmental you are about the people who enabled Trump, you have to hope that the best people available will come forward now and be willing to serve in a Trump administration. People with good reputations and real expertise. We cannot afford to question the motives or integrity of anyone who joins this administration. We want the best people who can get in the door and we have to hope that being president of the United States brings out the best in Donald Trump. Campaigning for the presidency brough out the worst. It showed what he is like as an embattled narcissist and fabulist and demagogue. But now he has won. Now he will be surrounded by people seeking the warm glow of his power. Now he will inspire fear. Actual fear, not merely scorn in his critics. He is no longer just a clown. He is the most powerful clown on earth. We have to hope that winning to this degree will pacify some of his demons.

Is there a historical or psychological precedent for this? We are about to find out what happens to a man with a famously, palpably, visibly unhealthy ego who suddenly triumphs over everyone who ever doubted him. This was a man when he voted in New York at his polling place got jeered by a crowd on Tuesday in a city that voted 87 percent against him. And one he is going to ride back into town on Air Force One. Imagine the way his ego feels right now. Just imagine the satisfaction Trump will feel when he takes possession of the White House and shows President Obama the door. The first black president who humiliated him in front of all the Washington elites at the White House correspondents dinner a couple weeks ago. Go watch footage of that. All of those laughs at his expense. Trump has been a punchline for decades. He has been the Rodney Dangerfield of billionaires. But that moment with Obama at the podium was the worst! And now Trump gets to tell Barack Obama to get out of his house and then tear his legacy to shreds. We have the first black president being shown the door by a man who always questioned his legitimacy in racist terms and who is officially endorsed by the KKK. Only Shakespeare could do this moment justice.

So while Trump seems he could become some sort of Caligula with an iPhone we have to hope that our democratic institutions will restrain him and that the awesome responsibilities thrust his way will bring out the better angels of his nature. I think normalising this mess might be the best we can do for the time being. Needless to say a pendulum swing into left wing identity politics will not be helpful but it seems extremely likely to occur. In fact it is already happening with these ridiculous protests we are seeing in several cities under the banner of 'NOT MY PRESIDENT'. Good luck with that.

What we need are smart ethical people in the political center who can defend freedom of speech and science and the norms of civil discourse from their enemies on both the right and the left.




On Wednesday, November 9, 2016, RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> To amplify on prior comments.
>
>
> America now descends into an age of barbarism. The people have spoken.
> They have failed to heed Benjamin Franklin's warning as he left the 
> Constitutional Convention.  Now they will be punished.  Remember the 
> Wiemar Republic
>
>
> How fitting that the Met is performing Rossini's William Tell this evening.
>
>
> Best, with sorrow, from Boston.
>
> Ray Gouin
>
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