Outside it’s America

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Last night at 8:30 p.m. I said, “Ffck this,” turned the TV and laptop off, read Lorrie Moore, and went to bed around 9:30. I slept without moving until my 6 a.m. alarm awoke me. I feel…better? Refreshed at any rate.

Some facts about my state, gleaned in part from The Miami Herald:

* Trump got 52 percent and 54 percent of the Florida Cuban-American vote — compared to the 47 percent support for Romney.

* Although Clinton won the Puerto Rican vote ( 72 percent), Trump still flipped Orlando. Trump won it by 15,00 votes. Part of the problem? Clinton’s history – as usual. She endorsed that debt bill loathed by many Puerto Ricans. I have to admit, I heard this point from more than one of my students – the same way many Haitians were at BEST lukewarm about Clinton because of how poorly they think the Clinton Foundation’s done by Haiti after the earthquake of 2010.

These are the same people, I’ll remind my audience, who helped Barack Obama win Florida twice. They will show up for the next Democratic candidate provided he or she isn’t as compromised as Clinton.

Secondly, this post-mortem published in The Intercept made sense to me:

When and where are the next Democratic and Republican Party meetings in your neighborhood? You don’t know, because neither the Democrats nor Republicans are political parties in the historical sense. Mostly they just demand we send them money and then yell at us about voting every few years.

While it has almost passed out of Americans’ living memory, parties used to have regular, local meetings where everyone got together, yammered about politics for a while, and then drank beer. Elections were the culmination of what parties did, not the starting point.

A healthy political party would foster community and provide people with concrete things to do between elections. Mike McCurry, one of Bill Clinton’s press secretaries, once suggested that Democrats should turn themselves into a pool of neighborhood volunteers “so that when people are trying to accomplish something, they would say: Call the Democrats, they always have people.”

The Hispanic turnout in Nevada made a difference nationally and electing a senator because the old school Democratic machine still works, thanks in part to the gambling and hotel interests. Harry Reid runs the state like a Tammany Hall boss. These ward politics work in amassing coalitions.

But as I pointed out Nevada is closer to what Democrats old enough to remember whom their party represented sixties and seventies. Most of those unions are gone or neutered; congressional representation of the likes of Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale don’t exist.

I’m also feeling these Tweets: screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-11-18-36-amFinally, stare at the photo above. Imagine Barack Obama meeting the man who questioned this citizenship and not reaching for a hockey stick covered in kerosene.

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