Thursday, November 17, 2016

One week of anti-Trump protests and demonstrations in southeast Michigan

My immediate reaction to the election of Donald Trump was to observe that Kunstler said Americans would elect maniacs.*  I then wandered away from the topic to write about public transportation losing in metro Detroit, good news from last week's election, and minor parties, with a brief return to the topic of Trump at the end of A final 'Hallelujah' for Leonard Cohen.  During that time, other people in the region were processing Trump's victory differently, beginning with protests the next day.  WXYZ has the story beginning with Donald Trump's victory sparked protests.

Donald Trump's victory sparks protests in downtown Detroit.
The action continued the next day as Trump's victory sparked protest at Wayne State University campus.

After the first couple of days of protesting Trump's election, the demonstrators changed the subject from Trump to the actions of the people following him.  WXYZ's More Anti-Trump protests show that pivot as people were objecting to chants of "Build that wall" at Royal Oak Middle School.

This incident hit close to my old home, as I not only lived in Royal Oak, I still work there.  I used to pass Royal Oak Middle School on the way home from work at least twice a week.  Also, the protest march started at my work.

Finally, even liberal Ann Arbor was not spared from supporters of Trump acting out against minorities.  WXYZ has that story in Hundreds gather in support of U of M Muslim community.

A giant rally at the University of Michigan in the wake of ethnic intimidation on the campus.
Good for the students at my graduate alma mater.

That written, I'm beginning to wonder what this will lead to.  I expect it will look like what Charlie Pierce of Esquire describes.
There seems to be little doubt now that the Trump presidency is likely to be marked by large-scale public demonstrations. The prospective Trump presidency already is marked by large-scale public demonstrations and he hasn't done anything yet except run a chaotic transition process and sneak out for a steak.

But whatever demonstrations occur, if Trump makes good on some of what he said he would do during the campaign, those demonstrations are not going to be limited to the streets of the big cities. And they're not going to be limited to angry college students and the Black Lives Matter movement. They're not even going to be limited to Democrats, or liberals, or any of the fantastic beasts of the Breitbartian collective imagination.
The question, of course, is how a Trump administration would respond to widespread civil disobedience and, so far, the auguries are not promising.
No, they're not.  We are still 1968.

*I'm showing "The End of Suburbia" this week and was wondering what the students' reactions would be to this prediction.  Tuesday's students were suitably freaked out.  I'm looking forward to seeing if Thursday's section reacts as strongly.


  1. But the Archdruid will solemnly assure you, with his bare face hanging out, that this is not a reaction to His, Trump's* actual policy-statement-like word-extrusions, but is identical to the motiveless fantasies that the right indulged when Obama was elected.

    Wait, did I say "will"? I meant actually furgem** did, in as much of this week's post as I dared to read lest I throw my phone out a very high window. Having been a driftglass reader long before I started follow Star's Reach and from there got pororoca'd*** into following the Report, I have approximately zero patience for anything resembling Both Siderism, and that was several last straws. I won't be reading the Report again until next week's post goes up, and even then, it'll be to see whether he's starting to realize that the abolition of democracy in America may, as things now stand, be attended with some inconveniences, and perhaps not produce those many good effects proposed thereby, despite the approval of his lodge brothers down at Odd Fellows Local 151 behind the firehouse****.

    * Tip o'the Hatlo hat to Brother Charles Pierce.
    ** And another to the great Richard Lupoff's "With the Bentfin Boomer Boys on Little Old New Alabama".
    *** In the sense outlined by Nozomu Itoshiki. (I'm in despair! The election of Him, Trump has left me in despair!)
    **** "The boy and girl that gather pearls
    Of wisdom falling from his mouth
    Wash off the blood, wash off the 151"
    -- R.E.M., "Odd Fellows Local 151"

    1. I read that blog entry. I found it an amazing, but not entirely unexpected, exercise in denial and self-confirmation. It's a great example of how Greer's strengths and at least one weakness reinforce each other. First, he was right in calling the election when conventional wisdom plus the available mainstream evidence was against him. That was because he was paying attention to his neighbors and figured, surprisingly correctly, that their interests would prevail. Second, he has a lot of mental discipline honestly achieved, as I have discovered by reading his magical practice and theory blog. Those are his strengths. His weakness is that he suffers from Asperger's, which means he has trouble reading social cues. Those of us who are more neurotypical understand that that Trump supporters are threatening minorities and progressives. I don't think that registers on an emotional level with him, so he doesn't believe it's real. It is.

      BTW, loved your footnotes. The one from R.E.M. about the Odd Fellows is particularly apt, as Greer is a Mason. I'm sure he listens to his Masonic buddies, which probably doesn't help on racial issues. My ex-wife's family was heavily involved with the Masons and the Order of the Eastern Star. Even she mentioned how they were racist, even though they were quite open to Catholics and non-Christians in their ranks; it was the Catholics who didn't like them! Things might have changed since her parents' day, but old habits die hard.

    2. So he began as he meant to go on? Now I'm really glad I'm skipping it. Did he say anything that wouldn't get me frothing at the mouth and falling over backwards? (Without going in the opposite direction by being utterly anodyne.)

      I'm closer to allistic* than he is, but I don't think that's the entirety of his problem. As far as I'm concerned, the key to seeing Trump for what he is has nothing to do with one's position on the autism spectrum and everything to do with the ability to recognize a bully when one sees him. (Though, come to that, JMG's vaunted immunity-and-aversion to television probably means he's never actually seen a Trump speech...)

      *bows* Thanks. And yes, that was exactly my point about the Masons. The thing that's gotten me out of the house the last two years** has been my accidental membership in the Franklin County Democratic Committee.*** I suspect his main social outlet is the Lodge, and that this colors his thinking, just as the FCDC reinforces me in attitudes I started developing during the Clinton era.

      (* Coined by the autistic community as an alternative to the term "neurotypical" that doesn't involve the notion of the "typical" or any other synonym for "normal".
      ** Apart from household chores, like grocery shopping and appointments with my therapist.
      *** True story: in May of 2014, at the Democratic primary, I wrote myself in to represent my voting precinct on the FCDC, the post being open and there being no actual candidate. I wound up getting it by default, as the other person to get write-in votes was a resident of another precinct. My dad had two T-shirts made for me -- one that read ONE MAN ONE VOTE, one with the Benjamin Franklin quote "Never seek an office, never refuse an office, never resign an office".)

    3. Probably not. However, it was worth it to click on the link to William "Ferrett" Steinmetz's post at LiveJournal. I hope you do that if you haven't already. Ferrett was one of my favorite people to read when I was active there.

      You're probably right about Greer not seeing Trump on TV. He's probably just reading newspaper reports, which just don't convey all the non-verbal information needed to comprehend Trump as bully. However, even that might not do the trick. He sees a lot of human interaction as baboon behavior and says as much. Trump wouldn't look much different to him.

      Well, I'm glad I was able to read the right information from between your lines about the Masons. It helped to have an inside perspective.

      I wrote myself in as a precinct delegate in 2010 and have been one ever since, including serving on the county central committee for two years. I'm glad to see I'm not alone.

      Oh, and I'm glad to see that Driftglass mentioned you lately as an "astute reader." I'll second that compliment!

  2. My immediate reaction to the election of Donald Trump was to observe that Kunstler said Americans would elect maniacs.

    Caligula put his horse in the Senate. We've put just the back half in the WH. Progress.

    I hope all those folks protesting voted. Glad to see they're speaking out, tho. Just keep it civil and don't give excuses for a crackdown.

    1. I hope they voted, too. Given their ages, that's not a certainty. I also agree about them keeping it civil. If (when) the authorities crack down, make sure that it looks like the authorities are in the wrong, not the protestors.

      By the way, the man I'm referencing, James Howard Kunstler, is a neighbor of yours. According to both Wikipedia and Amazon, he lives in Washington County, just to the east of you. It's a small world.