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Post-Election Resources for Understanding, Healing, and Moving Forward

In the recent U.S. presidential election, given the diversified field of candidates originally running, millions of people didn’t get their first choice of candidate. Many felt like they’d settled for a candidate they weren’t enthusiastic about. Presumably there was a minority of people that were excited from the start to see Hillary or Trump win, but that’s not representative of the majority of Americans. For the millions of people who represent a majority of Americans who lost in this election, here’s a list of post-election resources that provide some helpful analysis for understanding, healing, and moving forward.


Some of the articles below are hopeful and inspiring. Others may not necessarily help us ‘feel better’ but they can help us understand better why the election turned out how it did, and how to move forward.

  • 10 Ways to Cope With What Just Happened,” by Fran Korten, Yes! Magazine, 9 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “As did many of you, I watched Tuesday night’s returns with a mix of horror and fear. Fear for our warming planet, for our sense of decency, for our future. Those feelings are real and justified, so we should all take the moments we need to understand what has just happened. And then? There is much to be done. Here are 10 things I will do to ready myself for what lies ahead. You may find them helpful, too.”
  • Break the Cycle – Just like the ‘war on terrorism’ we are creating more of the fear, bigotry, and hate we profess to be fighting against,” by Charles Eisenstein, 18 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “Millions of Obama voters voted for Trump (six states who twice went for Obama switched to Trump). Did they suddenly become racists in the past four years? The blame-the-racists (the fools, the yokels) narrative generates a clear demarcation between good (us) and evil (them), but it does violence to the truth. It also obscures an important root of racism—anger displaced away from an oppressive system and its elites and onto other victims of that system. Finally, it employs the same dehumanization of the other that is the essence of racism and the precondition for war.”
  • Clinton and Trump supporters come from different Americas. Between them lies bitterness and distrust,” by Noah Bierman, Joseph Tanfani and Jenny Jarvie, LA Times, 9 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “The election made clear that, in many cases, Clinton and Trump supporters came from two Americas, with different life experiences and mutual distrust. Clinton won the popular vote with supporters packed tightly into diverse urban clusters, with heavy immigrant populations, looser religious affiliations and greater educational and economic opportunities. Trump’s electoral path spanned the country, largely bypassing those metropolises as it meandered through religious Southern towns, the vast rural heartland and the old industrial belt in the North that once provided the bedrock of the Democratic labor union coalition.”
  • Dear Democrats, Read This If You Do Not Understand Why Trump Won,” by Trent Lapinski, Medium.com, 9 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “In an attempt to inform my friends, family, and followers I posted dozens if not hundreds of Wikileaks e-mails, and tweeted alt-right news just as much as I did liberal news. I did this because most of my followers are liberals, and I realized they were all living in an echo chamber on social media where they were not being exposed to differing opinions or news. I was mostly rejected by liberals for doing this, they didn’t understand why I was sharing things that made them uncomfortable, but now they know why.”
  • Dear Neoliberal Democrats: This is Your Mess, Own It,” by George Ciccariello-Maher U.S. Uncut, 9 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “The final election results are not in, but one thing is crystal clear: Hillary Clinton is a failure. And so is the neoliberal establishment. Even if she narrowly manages to defeat Donald Trump, she has still lost. Her failure is not individual, however, but a failure of Clintonism, the Democratic Party, and decades of failed economic policies. According to some exit polls, Clinton is losing half of union households and getting routed in a rust belt abandoned by Clintonism: in Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, a state that she took so much for granted that she didn’t make a single campaign stop there. All this against a racist misogynist with no ground game, hemorrhaging the support of his own party leadership, with far fewer resources and a thousand character flaws and weaknesses to be exploited. All polls show that even many Trump voters doubted his qualifications and character, but they voted for him anyway.”
  • Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit,” by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, 9 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “The indisputable fact is that prevailing institutions of authority in the West, for decades, have relentlessly and with complete indifference stomped on the economic welfare and social security of hundreds of millions of people. While elite circles gorged themselves on globalism, free trade, Wall Street casino gambling, and endless wars (wars that enriched the perpetrators and sent the poorest and most marginalized to bear all their burdens), they completely ignored the victims of their gluttony, except when those victims piped up a bit too much — when they caused a ruckus — and were then scornfully condemned as troglodytes who were the deserved losers in the glorious, global game of meritocracy.”
  • Donald Trump is moving to the White House, and liberals put him there,” Thomas Frank, The Guardian, 9 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “There is a darkness about Trump that negates that sort of humor: a folly so bewildering, an incompetence so profound that no insult could plumb its depths. He has run one of the lousiest presidential campaigns ever. In saying so I am not referring to his much-criticized business practices or his vulgar remarks about women. I mean this in a purely technical sense: this man fractured his own party. His convention was a fiasco. He had no ground game to speak of. The list of celebrities and pundits and surrogates taking his side on the campaign trail was extremely short. He needlessly offended countless groups of people: women, Hispanics, Muslims, disabled people, mothers of crying babies, the Bush family, and George Will-style conservatives, among others. He even lost Glenn Beck, for pete’s sake. And now he is going to be president of the United States. The woman we were constantly assured was the best-qualified candidate of all time has lost to the least qualified candidate of all time.”
  • Don’t Panic,” David Wong, Cracked.com, 9 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “Don’t panic. Or rather, don’t keep panicking for too long. We tend to have a fairly left-leaning readership here at Cracked, just for demographic reasons (lots of college kids and such). So a lot of you reading this are outraged, sad, disgusted, terrified, and/or physically ill right now. Lots of you also use the stuff I write to feel better about the world, so let me give it my best shot. First, understand that the opposite of panic is not blithe acceptance of the situation — it’s clear-minded, positive, day-to-day action. Panic makes you do stupid shit or, even worse, curl up into a ball and do nothing. Don’t tell me you have reason to panic. You never have reason to panic. You have reason to act. So yeah, be upset for as long as you want. Get drunk. Do whatever you have to do. After that, I want you to sober up, splash water on your face, and consider some facts…”
  • If anyone doubts Bernie Sanders would’ve crushed Trump, show them this,” by Zach Carwright, U.S. Uncut, 10 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “While we can’t unfortunately travel back in time and give Bernie Sanders the nomination, one thing to take away from this data is that the tide is shifting in America toward a new form of politics that eschews global capitalism and yearns for economic populism. Whoever challenges Donald Trump in 2020 should pay close attention to these numbers.”
  • Many of Trump’s sweeping promises will be hard, if not impossible, to fulfill,” by Sean Sullivan and Dana Priest, The Washington Post, 9 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “Some of Trump’s most dramatic undertakings — such as canceling Obama’s “illegal” executive actions — can be done in his first hours as president. Other priorities, such as repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act or building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, will require the approval of Congress, which will be controlled by Republicans but could still squabble over details. Others still could run into political or legal obstacles that may be difficult to overcome. For Trump, the transition from proposing severe changes on the campaign trail to trying to navigate the complex gears of government to implement them will serve as a jarring early test of his tenure in the White House.”
  • “Please Stop Thinking You’re Better Than Trump Supporters,” by Charles Eisenstein, published in Yes! Magazine and also shared on ResourcesForLife.com, 18 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “Millions of Obama voters voted for Trump (six states who twice went for Obama switched to Trump). Did they suddenly become racists in the past four years? The blame-the-racists (the fools, the yokels) narrative generates a clear demarcation between good (us) and evil (them), but it does violence to the truth. It also obscures an important root of racism—anger displaced away from an oppressive system and its elites and onto other victims of that system. Finally, it employs the same dehumanization of the other that is the essence of racism and the precondition for war. Such is the cost of preserving a dying story. That is one reason why paroxysms of violence so often accompany a culture-defining story’s demise.”
  • Red, Blue and Divided: Six Views of America,” The New York Times, 13 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “In some ways, the echo chamber was the winner of this election. Here we are, deeply connected. And yet red America is typing away to red America, and blue America is typing away to blue America.”
  • Sanders Statement on Trump,” by Bernie Sanders, Senate Website, 9 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids – all while the very rich become much richer. To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.”
  • Something to Celebrate: 6 Women Who Won Historic Firsts,” by Liza Bayless and Paulina Phelps, Yes! Magazine, 9 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “Last night’s results took us by surprise. Like so many others in the media, we were preparing to celebrate the historic election of the nation’s first female president. Despite the upset, one loss does not devalue another victory. Across the country, women of various backgrounds shattered the status quo. They ran on platforms of equality and progressive reform against long-time incumbents in historically conservative states. And they won. Here are the stories of the women behind some of last night’s notable firsts.”
  • Stop Panicking and Start Inviting Donald Trump Supporters to Your Next Shabbat Dinner,” by Sigal Samuel, Forward.com, 9 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “Donald Trump has won the 2016 election, so by all means, take the next 24 hours to cry, mourn, scream, panic, and beg your Canadian friends to marry you and run away together. And then, if you can, please get back to work. Now that America has elected a racist, misogynist emboldener of white supremacists and anti-Semites, we should be terrified — and that terror should push us to do the hard work of healing this country, so that this never, ever happens again. We can’t leave this work up to the politicians. If we really want to change minds, if we really want to sway the (predominantly white, male, non-college-educated) voters who went all in for Trump, we all need to step up, starting now.”
  • Stop Shaming Trump Supporters,” by Michael Lerner, 8 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “The left needs to stop ignoring people’s inner pain and fear. The racism, sexism and xenophobia used by Mr. Trump to advance his candidacy does not reveal an inherent malice in the majority of Americans. If the left could abandon all this shaming, it could rebuild its political base by helping Americans see that much of people’s suffering is rooted in the hidden injuries of class and in the spiritual crisis that the global competitive marketplace generates. Democrats need to become as conscious and articulate about the suffering caused by classism as we are about other forms of suffering. We need to reach out to Trump voters in a spirit of empathy and contrition. Only then can we help working people understand that they do not live in a meritocracy, that their intuition that the system is rigged is correct (but it is not by those whom they had been taught to blame) and that their pain and rage is legitimate.”
  • The Five Baskets of Trump Voters – The deplorables make up only one basket. If Democrats dismiss the other four, they’ll keep losing elections,” by William Saletan, Slate, 10 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “You’re sick to your stomach at the results of this election. Maybe, like me, you’ve had trouble sleeping and eating. You can’t believe your country elected a transparent bigot, misogynist, and conman as president of the United States. You can’t believe voters rejected a supremely qualified woman. The people who did this, the people who voted for Donald Trump, are bad people. They’ve declared war on you. They’ve declared war on all of us. This country is full of hate, you tell yourself. Racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia. Did white women vote for Trump? Yes, because they fell for his racism. Did Latino men vote for him? Yes, because they fell for his sexism. We need more education about ethnicity, gender, and diversity. We need to talk more about the racism of white America and the misogyny of our culture. By all means, talk about these problems. But don’t pretend that’s how you’re going to win the next election…” [More…]
  • What A Difference 2 Percentage Points Makes,” by Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight.com, 9 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “Clinton leads in the popular vote count. She should eventually win the popular vote by 1 to 2 percentage points, and perhaps somewhere on the order of 1.5 million to 2 million votes, once remaining mail-in ballots from California and Washington are counted, along with provisional ballots in other states. But ignore that for now — elections, after all, are contested in the Electoral College. (Hence the name of this website.) So here’s another question. What would have happened if just 1 out of every 100 voters shifted from Trump to Clinton? That would have produced a net shift of 2 percentage points in Clinton’s direction. And instead of the map you see above, we’d have wound up with this result in the Electoral College instead…”
  • White Women Helped Elect Donald Trump,” by Kate Rogers, New York Times, 9 Nov 2016. Excerpt: “More than half of the white women who voted in the presidential election cast their ballot for Donald J. Trump, according to exit poll data collected by The New York Times. The data indicate how deeply divided Americans are by race and gender: 94 percent of black women who voted and 68 percent of Hispanic or Latino female voters chose Hillary Clinton, but 53 percent of all white female voters picked Mr. Trump. The data can be broken down further: 51 percent of white women with college degrees voted for Mrs. Clinton, while 62 percent of women without one voted for Mr. Trump, a reflection of his success with working-class whites.”

Concluding Video Messages From the Candidates

President Barack Obama Sets Tone For Trump Transition

For those who admire and respect Barack Obama, this speech helps set the tone for a transition to a Trump administration. The volume on this video is low up to

Hillary Clinton Concession Speech

For those who admire and respect Hillary Clinton, this speech helps set the tone for a transition to a Trump administration.

Donald Trump Victory Speech

This is Donald Trump’s first speech that we can presume wasn’t motivated by a desire to win. It’s not politically motivated at this point, so we can assume he’s being sincere and genuine.

Bernie Sanders says he will work with Donald Trump

Sen. Bernie Sanders told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer he will work with President-elect Donald Trump on certain issues.

Republicans Respond to Bernie Sanders

The following is difficult to watch, but it shows the many positive things that Republicans had to say about Bernie Sanders. It’s an important indication of how conservatives and Republicans can respond positively to progressives and socialists if they respect and trust them.

Republicans Respond to Bernie Sanders from ResourcesForLife.com on Vimeo.

Trump, Obama Meet at The White House

President Elect Donald Trump Meets with President Obama for the First Time at the White House | President Barack Obama called his conversation today with President-elect Donald Trump excellent.

What’s Next For Each Party

We imagine that there are two sides to every issue, and competing political parties will each take opposing views. However, as additional parties gain greater influence, it becomes apparent that there are multiple views. Often, a cause or issue that’s of great importance to one group is simply ignored by another which has its own agenda and priorities. We don’t have competing political parties, but each party specializes in an area of interest and expertise. When Jill Stein of the Green Party expressed concerns about Hillary Clinton, she quickly became an ally of Republicans. Democrats and Libertarians share some common views and goals. These overlaps and uncommon alliances provide a diversity that makes our country better. Republicans are stereotypically considered to be good at business. Democrats support education and the arts. These are oversimplifications, yet they help convey a point. Below are some insights and suggestions that might help each party move forward in the years ahead.

  • Democrat Party. There are some lessons to be learned from the articles offered above. Democrats took a hit in numerous down ticket elections from coast to coast as a result of people being dissatisfied with politics as usual, big money influences in politics, and what they perceived to be corruption at the highest levels of government. The Democrat power elites thought that if they would throw Bernie and his progressive followers overboard, they could succeed. Bernie was perceived to be too liberal to win in a general election. That assessment proved to be incorrect as data now shows. A video at the bottom of this page shows how Republicans responded to Bernie Sanders. It’s offered to contrast the response Hillary Clinton had. in the future, the Democrat Party would be well advised to advance progressive candidates that are universally liked. The multiple Wikileaks discoveries showed there is corruption in the Democrat Party. That needs to be acknowledged and cleaned up. There’s a lot for Democrats to work on over the next four years. The Democrat needs to be more progressive to make third party progressives unnecessary.
  • Green Party. Jill Stein of the Green Party promoted a message almost identical to the platform of Bernie Sanders. Due to the contention of this year’s election, many progressive Democrats were to afraid to support a third party candidate. However, the Green Party did see an increase in their national network of supporters. For the 2020 election, the Green Party needs to begin campaigning now and choose a candidate like Jill Stein who is similarly qualified, knows the issues, and has the right positions on the issues. They need to build up their ‘brand’ and recognition as the mainstream answer to the problems Bernie Sanders identified. The decision progressives need to collectively and openly make is whether or not they will try to dominate the Democrat party, or will they all leave the Democrat party and strengthen the Green Party. This year, the Green Party along with Libertarians found some common ground, and supported each other somewhat for their mutual survival. Third party candidates were told this year that they shouldn’t run if they can’t win. Yet, supporters felt the third party message was an important one.
  • Libertarian Party. A big surprise this year was the popularity of Gary Johnson and his ability to pull votes from both Trump and Clinton equally. The Libertarian Party offers a fusion of conservative and liberal policies. For some people that’s appealing. Their party needs to expand their base and raise awareness of their ‘brand’ and message.
  • Republican Party. The Republican Party became splintered in this election. Perhaps Trump is responsible for the divisiveness in the party, or perhaps his campaign made it more apparent. Despite the damage Trump supposedly caused the Republican Party, the eventual outcome was a huge political win for the party nationwide. Even so, Republicans have much work to do in order to gain back the disenfranchised Republicans who left to support Gary Johnson (Libertarian) or Evan McMullin (Republican independent). In brief, the party hopefuls lost to Trump because Trump began taking on one candidate at a time when they individually had little support from the party or voters. If Trump had to go up against any one of the 17 original candidates in a one-on-one Primary race, with the full support of the party behind the other candidate, Trump would have lost the Republican Primary. However, by taking out the weakest limping gazelle from the herd, he was able to eventually take out all the opposition. To prevent this in the future, Republicans may want to strategize a little better, and support stronger candidates early on.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

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