Don’t panic. Don’t be in denial. Do prepare.

Here are some articles I recommend you read.

On Donald Trump as demagogue. Quotable:

Demagogues, by contrast, are willing to do or say anything to gain office or to consolidate their power. Unconstrained by ideology, they have no concern for the consequences of their actions. Anything that serves to make them more powerful is good enough for them — even if the political system that facilitated their rise should be destroyed in the process.This, rather than some deep similarity to fascism, also explains the affinity between demagogues and political violence. True fascists venerate violence but also want to make it serve a purpose larger than themselves, like territorial conquest. Demagogues, on the other hand, tap into the most violent currents in a population simply to bolster their own popularity.

In the process, they often unleash lethal damage: They wreck the informal rules of civility that democracies require to survive. Once voters are activated along violent lines and fervently believe the myths propagated by the demagogue, the dam is broken; the ordinary rules of democratic politics no longer apply, and there is no telling what might come next.

On what has been simmering for a long time in Middle America. Quotable:

The tyranny of the mob is enabled by those who refuse to recognize the threat, who rationalize the mob’s aims, or who – like the elites of the 1830s – avoid discussion of the racial enmity at its core. That same deep denial is occurring today, over 180 years later. We have a moral obligation to oppose it and document it, as others have in dangerous eras, in the hopes of negating threats to the most vulnerable.As Lovejoy proclaimed, there is no excuse for deserting your post.


On the need to take the warning signs seriously.

It’s interesting; if you study the history of states and a regime knows that it’s going to have fairly absolute power over the people, they often stop being subtle about it. They often stop leaving out what we call “tells” so that people can understand what’s going on. People who are savvy to these regimes can understand what’s going on because they recognize these historical parallels. So when Trump is saying America first, which is a fascist slogan, when his advisors are talking about making the trains working on time, which is associated with Hitler, when they’re talking about draining the swamps, which is a phrase that came from Mussolini, when Trump is tweeting Mussolini, when he’s tweeting pictures of Jewish stars next to piles of money and you combine that with his actual administration, which includes people who have supported neo-Nazis, even extreme right wing people like Glenn Beck has come out and said that Steve Bannon is a neo-Nazi. I think quite honestly, and I don’t mean to frighten people that we need to prepare for the worst. When you start hearing about them making a registry of Muslims; yes, that should make you remember that there was a registry of Jews. There’s an attitude that America is exceptional, that it can’t happen here. It can happen anywhere. All the countries that thought that this could never ever happen, that people would be good, that the government would never betray them like this, they found out the hard way, that it can. So I think that it’s really important that we confront this very frightening reality and it’s not a fantasy, it’s a reality now that he’s the president-elect. I assume he will have the power to carry out this. We need to stop it; we need to stand up for each other. It’s not a matter of partisanship at this point. It’s not a matter of getting Hillary into office or something, but just stopping cruelty, stopping sanctioned, violent, anti-Constitutional acts that greatly hurt the American public. Once this gets going, if you look at the history of fascist of authoritarian states, it moves extremely quickly.

On the need for Evangelicals of conscience to wake up.Quotable:

If, however, Christian conservatives are now making amoral, political calculations, they cannot very well set themselves up as arbiters of values or tell their congregants how faith should influence their votes.We underscore one more aspect of evangelicals’ support for Trump. There is no issue on which evangelical conservatives have been more vocal and indignant than on the issue of “religious liberty” — the First Amendment right of Americans to avoid obligations that might otherwise fall on them so as to preserve their religious tradition (e.g. a conscience clause for doctors who object to performing abortions). However, in embracing a candidate who painted an entire religion as the enemy, for a time wanted to ban all its adherents and favored a “Muslim registry” (!) these evangelicals have been revealed to be egregious hypocrites and, yes, even religious bigots. At least we know with whom we are dealing.

On Trump’s authoritarianism and use of ‘disgusting’ – and where it could lead. Quotable:

Many American voters, Haidt wrote,perceive that the moral order is falling apart, the country is losing its coherence and cohesiveness, diversity is rising, and our leadership seems to be suspect or not up to the needs of the hour. It’s as though a button is pushed on their forehead that says “in case of moral threat, lock down the borders, kick out those who are different, and punish those who are morally deviant.”

Haidt, a professor at N.Y.U.’s Stern School of Business, argues that Trump

is not a conservative, and is not appealing to classical conservative ideas. He is an authoritarian, who is profiting from the chaos in Washington, Syria, Paris, San Bernardino, and even the chaos on campuses, which are creating a more authoritarian electorate in the Republican primaries.

How even Glenn Beck is alarmed. Quotable:

Tuesday night, as it became apparent that Mr. Trump would win, I saw myself as others may see me. … Let’s get past politics and find common principles. Can we all agree that we live in historic times and we are all determined to leave a legacy for our children of courage, kindness and reconciliation that makes their life better than ours?I want to meet with any nonpolitical thought leaders on the left who are sincere and honest in their beliefs — and just listen.


On why urban people need to understand rural people and stop insulting them (and why movies help us understand what’s going on). Quotable

It feels good to dismiss people, to mock them, to write them off as deplorables. But you might as well take time to try to understand them, because I’m telling you, they’ll still be around long after Trump is gone.

On progressive fundamentalism:

Like religious fundamentalism, progressive fundamentalism, at the moment, is far more concerned with going through the motions of a so-called “good” life and belonging to the right movements than it is with actually trying to build relationships with people from outside of the fundamentalist core.We understand the problems of abject poverty, but only abstractly, largely through data or statistics. We have limited experience with what it means to actually live through such a thing, whether in a rural area or an urban center. Similarly, we understand that people who live well outside of our progressive fundamentalist, urban core are people, too, but only abstractly.

When actually confronted with the messy realities — like the country electing Donald Trump president — we shut down just a little bit. We focus on the certainty we feel in our moral and philosophical codes and on that hoped-for future we expect will arrive any day now, but we ignore the very real pain and hurt going on in our own country.

We can’t blame a nebulous “other” for Trump, not 100 percent. We were at fault, just a little bit. We treated him as a joke for a long, long time, and didn’t understand that treating him as a joke only gave him more power, because his core voters thought we were constantly mocking them all along….

…I do believe there’s nothing wrong with stability, or with faith. We are all struggling toward the same answers and hoping for the same things. We just want to be understood, and we just want to be loved.

And I still believe the best way to build the world we want is to invite others in — even if they reject it, again and again. Progressives keep trying, because our America makes room for everybody, and it can make room for those who are receptive to its message in rural, white America too, if we can only bridge that communication gap. That’s not soft. That’s the biggest, strongest ideal this country has ever had.

On why we can’t reason ourselves out of the mess we’re in.

Perhaps there are some kinds of debates where people don’t want to find the right answer so much as they want to win the argument. Perhaps humans reason for purposes other than finding the truth — purposes like increasing their standing in their community, or ensuring they don’t piss off the leaders of their tribe. If this hypothesis proved true, then a smarter, better-educated citizenry wouldn’t put an end to these disagreements. It would just mean the participants are better equipped to argue for their own side….Kahan calls this theory Identity-Protective Cognition: “As a way of avoiding dissonance and estrangement from valued groups, individuals subconsciously resist factual information that threatens their defining values.” Elsewhere, he puts it even more pithily: “What we believe about the facts,” he writes, “tells us who we are.” And the most important psychological imperative most of us have in a given day is protecting our idea of who we are, and our relationships with the people we trust and love.

… when American politics becomes so warped by gerrymandering, big money, and congressional dysfunction … voters can’t figure out who to blame for the state of the country. If American politics is going to improve, it will be better structures, not better arguments, that win the day.

And this, from a friend:

I continue to see misunderstandings of the protesters of Trump. Again, the protests are not over the legitimacy of the election, they are over what they fear President-elect Trump, his chief strategic advisor Steve Bannon, or any of the hundreds-to-thousands of white nationalists will do — and have already done, especially in recent days — to minorities, immigrants, and others in this country.What the protesters — and many opponents of President-elect Trump — see themselves as doing is like what the residents of the French village Le Chambon-sur-Lignon did during their nonviolent resistance of the Nazis. The residents of the village, led by their pastors, hid and aided in the escape of 1,000-5,000 Jews during World War II. They did this without firing a shot. They were armed only with their Christian conviction.

One day a Vichy official visited the village and was presented with a letter that read:

“Mr. Minister, we have learned of the frightening scenes which took place three weeks ago in Paris, where the French police, on the orders from the occupying power, arrested in their homes all the Jewish families in Paris [who were then sent to Auschwitz]… We feel obliged to tell you that there are among us a certain number of Jews. But we make no distinction between Jews and non-Jews. It is contrary to the Gospel teaching.” “If our comrades, whose only fault is to be born in another religion, received the order to let themselves be deported, or even examined, they would disobey the order received, and we would hide them as best we could.” “We have Jews. You’re not getting them.”

The protesters today are saying:

“President Trump, we are Americans of good conscience. We feel obliged to tell you…” “We have Jews. We have Mexicans. We have Muslims. We have immigrants. We have black people. We have women and children. We have the forlorn. We have the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” “You’re not getting them.”

You know how to do this. We have done this before in this country. Now is the time to suit up. Now is the time to hit the long ball. Clergy are going to be the ones to lead this thing, win this thing, and end this thing. Ours is a campaign of moral persuasion powered by Christian conviction and American will. The enemy is us. Change us.

People of good faith, America’s soul is in danger, and it needs saving. Don’t panic. Don’t be in denial. Do prepare.