* Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens. (Origin: Greek kakistos: worst, superlative of kakos, bad; kratia: power, rule.)
I started the Sweaty Knitter blog in 2012 and have enjoyed researching and writing fiber arts/crafts posts that I hoped were engaging, informative and educational. Since the recent U.S. presidential election (November 8), however, I have lost my interest in sustaining a blog on fiber, arts and craft. Don’t worry; this is my first and last post of a political nature on this blog site.
As a former professor with a doctorate in political science (U.S.), I endeavor to stay current with politics, policy and economics – daily listening to PBS’s Nightly Business Report and NewsHour and reading an array of reputable news sources, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, The Economist, The Atlantic Monthly, and Mother Jones. I value the economic and political insights of knowledgeable experts and columnists such as Robert Reich, David Brooks, Paul Krugman, Mark Shields and Noam Chomsky. (In fact, Chomsky’s “Requiem for the American Dream” and Reich’s “Inequality for All” are two films I believe every American should view.)
On the morning after the election, after only a few hours of fitful sleep I stared at the ceiling stunned that a candidate without political experience, with scant political and/or policy knowledge, openly hateful and discriminatory (not to mention predatory) who mocks the scientific community’s warnings on climate change, will be sworn in as the 45th president of the U.S. next month.
I understand why many people voted for a candidate they saw as having no political baggage or history: They were tired of, among other things, “politics as usual;” of seeing a once attainable (or at least hoped for) standard of living (depending on race, sex and ethnicity, of course), slipping away; of feeling they have no say in political decisions; of politicians making decisions that benefited the wealthy (especially the extremely wealthy) – to the disadvantage of every other socio-economic class. They didn’t like or trust Hillary Clinton for various political or personal reasons, real or imagined.
What is difficult to fathom, however, is why these people swallowed Donald Trump’s ludicrous campaign promises and tolerated his open hate speech and insults. How the same people who claimed they didn’t trust Hillary Clinton were willing to trust Donald Trump. Skipping over his failed business ventures and his status as a complete political neophyte, Donald Trump is unlikely to be their savior if only because he is a vacuous, a filter-free, narcissistic showman. I assume his supporters expect him to fulfill his campaign promises (including his oft-repeated promise that if elected, Donald Trump would then release his tax returns). When he doesn’t, what will they do?
I expect this unabashed plutocrat will cause more failures than solutions.
I shudder and my eyes tear every time I think the of the world, with Trump at the helm of the U.S. government and the posse of mean-spirited Republicans currently dominating Congress, my grandchildren could inherit: Revitalized institutionalized sexism, racism, religious discrimination and nativism; health care affordable only by the wealthy; clean air and water for nobody; corporate giveaways extraordinaire for business; a tax code benefiting a minority of citizens.
This morning I read Charles Blow’s column in today’s The New York Times. He argued that “resistance isn’t only principled, but essential and even existential.” Blow captured my feelings with these words:
“We are not in an ordinary postelection period of national unity and rapprochement. We are facing the potential abrogation of fundamental American ideals. We stand at the precipice, staring into an abyss that grows darker by the day.”
People who share my concerns face two options: Either ignore all things political, social and economic and float along hoping things will work out somehow until the embrace of death, OR become more politically, economically and socially aware, involved and active.
The first option is morally and ethically repugnant to me. As I decide how I can be actively involved for positive change, you will understand if my fiber-related posts to Sweatyknitter.com become sporadic (and no, I won’t post any more posts of a political nature to this blog).
I, of course, am still weaving and knitting, but my thoughts are preoccupied with my grandchildren’s future.