[Discussion] Post-Election Optimistic Hope-All

This thread is for positive posts for how we'll get by after the 2016 US election. Articles about how we've been through worse and survived, analysis that points to there being a way forward, maybe even distractions.

I like the concept of this thread, but I have given up on optimism at this point. Maybe if the midterms in 2018 change things.

TheGameguru wrote:

http://www.businessinsider.com/trump...

Might be late to the party but his Muslim Ban has been removed from his website.. Some of his more "fervent" supporters might take umbrage with this... if he rolls back the wall.. he might think about doubling his security detail.

It's back. It's temporary removal was chalked up to a 'technical glitch'.

I'm not feeling very optimistic right now, but many of the Amazon reviews for this "ornament" made me smile, so thought it might be something good for this thread:

https://www.amazon.com/Trump-America...

*woops* for some reason I thought I put this in the brexit thread... carry on!

Did they win? I've seen a bomb thrown, but there are serious questions about whether it's going to go off and what it will do... (This, I think, is the insecurity behind the perceived need to rouse the rabble.)

Robear wrote:

Did they win? I've seen a bomb thrown, but there are serious questions about whether it's going to go off and what it will do... (This, I think, is the insecurity behind the perceived need to rouse the rabble.)

Moved my post to the brexit thread. (but yeah you're right about the insecurity part).

It looks like Pervert Pat McCrory has conceded the NC governor's race. He'll probably still try to pack the state supreme court with help from his legislative supermajority, but at least there is some good news. For those who don't know, he was the Duke Energy (coal ash) crony that passed the NC bathroom bill (HB2 discriminating against transgender folks) who was involved in a close and bitter race with state attorney Roy Cooper. It looks like Cooper is in for a rough ride, but at least he won't be a rubber stamp on McCrory's foolishness.

Paleocon wrote:

It looks like Pervert Pat McCrory has conceded the NC governor's race. He'll probably still try to pack the state supreme court with help from his legislative supermajority, but at least there is some good news. For those who don't know, he was the Duke Energy (coal ash) crony that passed the NC bathroom bill (HB2 discriminating against transgender folks) who was involved in a close and bitter race with state attorney Roy Cooper. It looks like Cooper is in for a rough ride, but at least he won't be a rubber stamp on McCrory's foolishness.

It's TREMENDOUSLY good news! Heard about it first thing after getting home from getting groceries. It's going to be really tough because he's not veto-proof at all, but at least it's something and will be good to have someone at least trying to hold things together for the people in this state. We HAVE to get people out to the polls in 2018 because we desperately need strong leadership in NC in order to protect ourselves against the worst of the Trump administration.

So now McCrory gets to just walk away from his claims of massive voter fraud? "Oops, never mind, now that it doesn't affect *me* any longer it doesn't really matter, carry on. These sorts of dangerous, expensive allegations are just part of politics, and aw shucks I guess I got beat this time."

I know there's really not much to do and we should just take the win, but I'd sure like to see McCrory or the GOP paying for this snipe hunt somehow.

One thing I am damn sure of: to whatever degree there is significant voter fraud, it's not the voters doing it.

bekkilyn wrote:

We HAVE to get people out to the polls in 2018 because we desperately need strong leadership in NC in order to protect ourselves against the worst of the Trump administration.

Even better than that--looks like we'll get a chance to elect a new legislature next year!

jonstock wrote:
bekkilyn wrote:

We HAVE to get people out to the polls in 2018 because we desperately need strong leadership in NC in order to protect ourselves against the worst of the Trump administration.

Even better than that--looks like we'll get a chance to elect a new legislature next year!

TRUE! I'd forgotten all about that! I'm sure the Republicans will do everything in their power (and they seem to have a lot of it lately) to block/delay it, but yes, there's at least a chance for 2017!

https://www.facebook.com/DesmondTutu...

Desmond Tutu

As an old man, I can say this again.
Start where you are and realise you are not meant on your own to resolve all of these massive problems.

My heart leaps with joy at discovering the number of people who say "we want to make a better world".

And you will be surprised at how it can get to be catching.

Do what you can, where you can.

It may have seemed like the world fell apart in 2016. Steven Pinker is here to tell you it didn’t.

Several awful things happened in the world’s democracies in 2016, and the election of a mercurial and ignorant president injects a troubling degree of uncertainty into international relations.

But it’s vital to keep cool and identify specific dangers rather than being overcome by a vague apocalyptic gloom. Brexit may be regrettable, but it’s not going to lead to a war between the UK and Germany or France. A closeness to Russia is troubling in many ways, but it may reduce, rather than increase, the chance of a major war (so suggested the eminent peace researcher Nils Petter Gleditsch).

It’s easy to reach for historical analogies and speculate about Russian or Chinese imperial expansion, but as my colleague Graham Allison points out, you must consider the differences between current and past cases, not just similarities, and the differences are substantial.

Beware of headlines. And beware of statistics from advocacy organizations whose funding stream depends on stoking fear and outrage — I’ve learned that they can never be taken at face value.

There are reasons to doubt that we’re seeing a big post-Trump rise in hate crimes. Rates of hate crime tend to track rates of overall crime, and there was an uptick of both in 2015, before Trumpism.

Indeed, Trump capitalized on the crime uptick to sow panic about the state of the nation, and progressives foolishly ceded the issue to him. Moment-by-moment analyses of Google searches by the data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz show that Islamophobia strongly tracks incidents of terrorism with Muslim perpetrators. So hate crimes will probably depend more on overall crime rates and — in the case of Islamophobic hate crimes — on terrorist attacks than on a general atmosphere created by Trump.

More generally, the worldwide, decades-long current toward racial tolerance is too strong to be undone by one man. Public opinion polls in almost every country show steady declines in racial and religious prejudice­ — and more importantly for the future, that younger cohorts are less prejudiced than older ones. As my own cohort of baby boomers (who helped elect Trump) dies off and is replaced by millennials (who rejected him in droves), the world will become more tolerant.

It’s not just that people are increasingly disagreeing with intolerant statements when asked by pollsters, which could be driven by a taboo against explicit racism. Stephens-Davidowitz has shown that Google searches for racist jokes and organizations are sensitive indicators of private racism. They have declined steadily over the past dozen years, and they are more popular in older than younger cohorts.

I’ve never been “optimistic” in the sense of just seeing the glass as half-full — only in the sense of looking at trend lines rather than headlines. It’s irrational both to ignore good developments and to put a happy face on bad ones.

As it happens, most global, long-term trends have been positive. As for the future, I like the distinction drawn by the economist Paul Romer between complacent optimism, the feeling of a child waiting for presents, and conditional optimism, the feeling of a child who wants a treehouse and realizes that if he gets some wood and nails and persuades other kids to help him, he can build one. I am not complacently optimistic about the future; I am conditionally optimistic.

I'm most optimistic about the next four years of entertainment. We're already seeing great comedy, and now some awesome public art!

IMAGE(http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/f04b862e-c683-11e6-b403-64adf107d53a-1560x1015.jpg)

Yeah, bar the door after the Four Horsemen escape... Republicans shut down Acorn and are trying to shut down Planned Parenthood, both through propaganda and literal lies. They will eventually get the idea that the ACLU and others are vulnerable to the same ginned-up attacks.

My only reason for optimism is that perhaps folks will take it less for granted that the work of progress and justice requires actual work and that the entrenched interests of bigots, fascists, and tyrants are always waiting for the righteous to be complacent.

Perhaps too late but at long last.

Paleocon wrote:

My only reason for optimism is that perhaps folks will take it less for granted that the work of progress and justice requires actual work and that the entrenched interests of bigots, fascists, and tyrants are always waiting for the righteous to be complacent.

Perhaps too late but at long last.

I agree. My head has been here for basically most of the last 3 months. I had this idea (coastal elite) that my job was to maintain my career, take care of my family and friends and donate money, pay my taxes, etc. It's clear now that that's not enough. I need to find a way to get more involved. Maybe even change my career at some point to orient it towards something more valuable to society. I just don't know where to start and where to find the opportunities to pitch in. I don't want to just complain on message boards and give money anymore.

You also don't have to do it by tomorrow. Take your time, get your footing, explore all sorts of opportunities, and give yourself some space to relax in the process.

Robear wrote:

You also don't have to do it by tomorrow. Take your time, get your footing, explore all sorts of opportunities, and give yourself some space to relax in the process. :-)

Of course. For me personally I've been debating career change anyway. Now would be a great time to start work for a non-profit or take a contract with an eye on carving out time to help assist people.

Maybe we could start making a list here of things we can do locally to help improve things politically and within our communities. I know I certainly haven't been able to think of everything due my limited knowledge, but if we all pool our ideas together, then will will all feel like we have more options.

Here's some things on my current list:

Volunteer with county/state Democratic party and help decide course of action for the future.
Find candidates we want to support for election/re-election and volunteer to directly help them.
Help progressive organizations like ACLU, NAACP, etc. (Maybe we should make a list of such organizations.)
Environmental protection groups - will probably become crucial in the upcoming years.
Find paid humanitarian jobs that help people (Best methods of doing this?)
Church involvement for progressive-minded Christians (so as to not allow the alt-reich to continue to co-opt Christ's teachings)
Attend town/city meetings, especially if you don't like the current direction.
Calls/letters to local and state reps.
Protests/obstruction to things we oppose.

I know there are loads more things that we can do, but these are the ones that have immediately come to mind. I'm hoping to expand the list a lot since a big problem right now is that people really don't know what to do and have very little direction. Let's help find that direction in more specific ways than just advice to "get involved". People want to get involved but need to know how!

Really good thinking, DS. That kind of giving back is really good for settling the nerves.

I love, love, love the fact that when I opened this forum this morning there were five new posts here and none in the trump administration thread.

From Michael Moore

https://www.facebook.com/mmflint/pos...

Before we get too far away from The Year That Gave Us Trump, I'd like to pause for a brief moment and point out some of the good that 2016 gave us (while acknowledging that 2016 is going to look like paradise after we suffer through the next 363 days of 2017).
But, hey -- enough bemoaning the future! Look at the incredible things this past year gave us:
1. Of those Americans who voted, 54% DID NOT WANT TRUMP. In addition to the nearly 3 million votes Hillary beat Trump by, another 7 million+ also rejected him by voting Green or Libertarian. That's a margin of over 10 million voters who didn't want Trump as their president. That's huge. You must never forget that the vast majority of the people who are your neighbors and your fellow Americans are OPPOSED to a Trump presidency, they despise what he says and does, and they will not support his efforts to wreck this country.
2. The Republicans in November LOST seats in BOTH the House and Senate. Which means the Democrats GAINED seats. Not many, but the Republican forward movement from the past two elections has been halted. We have 7 more seats in the House and 2 new seats in the Senate (for a total of 48, two short of half!). We must continue this trend in spite of the miserable failure of an institution known as the "Democratic Party."
3. America is still a liberal country (the majority still supports women's rights, strong environmental laws, LGBTQ rights, peace, increasing the minimum wage, etc.), and if it weren't for racist gerrymandering and voter suppression, plus an 18th-century plank in the Constitution that doesn't allow us to vote DIRECTLY for president -- a section written to appease the slave states who wanted their slaves counted to increase their individual states population (so they would then be assigned more seats in Congress and on the Electoral College) but without letting their slaves be free and vote -- we'd control Congress and the White House right now.
4. Obama has been doing some pretty incredible things lately. Pardoning and granting clemency to people who shouldn't have been jailed in the first place (please pardon more). Protecting millions of acres of undeveloped land. Standing up to Netanyahu. Behaving with grace and dignity in a way I doubt we'll see again any time soon.
5. Locally, much good is happening. New York state is raising the minimum wage to $15/hr. More states are decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana. Portland, OR, is taxing companies who pay their CEOs more than 100x the average worker. Bernie Sanders got 70% of the primary vote in the Michigan town where I live. I'm sure many of you can add to this list.
6. The New York Times and the Washington Post (and a few others), in a year when the media helped create Trump and fell down on the job, inched their way back to what they used to do - real reporting. They also published a number of important stories this year that weren't about the election. Like the one in the Times about how Harvard scientists back in the '70s and '80s conspired with the sugar industry to put out false studies that said Americans must switch to a "low-fat" diet -- which resulted in fat in foods being replaced by sugar. Result: a country that got really fat and is now 2/3 overweight. Fat in food, it turns out, is good for you - and sugar - added sugar - is the evil one. Somebody should do a documentary on the harm Harvard has done to the world - from Kissinger to this.
7. On a personal note, although as a citizen I am more distraught than you can imagine, I am also happier, much healthier and have more of the fight in me than ever before. I fought for Bernie, fought hard to stop Trump, and when he won at 2:40am on 11/9, I immediately started to help organize the resistance. I had in 2016, for the first time ever, two movies released in one year. I'm fired up and ready with some great ideas for 2017. And I'm committed to my daily walks. With you, if you'd like to join, from wherever you are.
I'd also love to hear about the good things that happened to you in 2016.
So, before we move too far into 2017, let's raise a glass to the good that came out of 2016. We're going to need all the positive reinforcement we can muster in the coming year. Well, actually the coming hours. The new all-Republican 115th session of Congress gets sworn in tomorrow. And, like the sociopath who is their party's leader, they will commence their scorched earth policy without a blink of the eye. Take what you can from 2016 and together we can perhaps pull off what tonight seems impossible.
-Michael Moore

On New Year's Eve, Cmdr. Chris Hadfield posted an optimistic list on twitter:

With celebrity death and elections taking the media by the nose, it’s easy to forget that this year saw a great many positives. Let’s look.

(Spoiler-tagged for space)

Spoiler:

1. The Colombian government and FARC rebels committed to a lasting peace, ending a war that killed or displaced over 7 million people.

2. Sri Lanka spent five years working to exile the world’s deadliest disease from their borders. As of 2016, they are malaria free.

3. The Giant Panda, arguably the world’s second cutest panda, has official been removed from the endangered species list.

4. @astro_timpeake became the first ESA astronaut from the UK, symbolizing a renewed British commitment to space exploration.

5. Tiger numbers around the world are on the rise for the first time in 100 years, with plans to double by 2022.

6. Juno, a piece of future history, successfully flew over 588 million miles and is now sending back unprecedented data from Jupiter.

7. The number of veterans in the US who are homeless has halved in the past half-decade, with a nearly 20% drop in 2016.

8. Malawi lowered its HIV rate by 67%, and in the past decade have seen a shift in public health that has saved over 250,000 lives.

9. Air travel continue to get safer, and 2016 saw the second fewest per capita deaths in aviation of any year on record.

10. India’s dogged commitment to reforestation saw a single day event planting more than 50 million trees, a world record.

11. Measles has been eradicated from the Americas. A 22 year vaccination campaign has led to the elimination of the historic virus.

12. After a century, Einstein’s theory of gravitational waves has been proven correct, in a ‘moon shot’ scientific achievement.

13. China has announced a firm date for the end of the ivory trade, as public opinion is becoming more staunchly environmentalist.

14. A solar powered airplane flew across the Pacific Ocean for the first time, highlighting a new era of energy possibilities.

15. Costa Rica’s entire electrical grid ran on renewable energy for over half the year, and their capacity continues to grow.

16. Israeli and US researchers believe they are on the brink of being able to cure radiation sickness, after successful tests this year.

17. The ozone layer has shown that through tackling a problem head on, the world can stem environmental disasters, together.

18. A new treatment for melanoma has seen a 40% survival rate, taking a huge step forward towards long-term cancer survivability.

19. An Ebola vaccine was developed by Canadian researchers with 100% efficacy. Humans eradicated horror, together.

20. British Columbia protected 85% of the world’s largest temperate rainforest, in a landmark environmental agreement.

21. 2016 saw the designation of more than 40 new marine sanctuaries in 20 countries, covering an area larger than the United States.

22. These marine reserves include Malaysia’s 13 year struggle to complete a million hectare park, completed this year.

23. This also includes the largest marine reserve in history, created in Antarctica via an unprecedented agreement by 24 nations.

24. Atmospheric acid pollution, once a gloomy reality, has been tackled to the point of being almost back to pre-industrial levels.

25. Major diseases are in decline. The US saw a 50% mortality drop in colon cancer; lower heart disease, osteoporosis and dementia.

26. Uruguay successfully fought tobacco companies to create a precedent for small countries looking to introduce health-focused legislation.

27. World hunger has reached its lowest point in 25 years, and with poverty levels dropping worldwide, seems likely to continue.

28. The A.U. made strides to become more unified, launching an all-Africa passport meant to allow for visa-free travel for all citizens.

29. Fossil fuel emissions flatlined in 2016, with the Paris agreement becoming the fastest UN treaty to become international law.

30. China announced a ban on new coal mines, with renewed targets to increase electrical capacity through renewables by 2020.

31. One third of Dutch prison cells are empty as the crime rate shrank by more than 25% in the last eight years, continuing to drop.

32. In August went to the high Arctic with some incredible young artists. They helped open my eyes to the promise of the next generation.

33. Science, economics, and environmentalism saw a reversal in the overfishing trends of the United States this year.

34. @BoyanSlat successfully tested his Ocean Cleanup prototype, and aims to clean up to 40% of ocean-borne plastics starting this year.

35. Israel now produces 55% of its freshwater, turning what is one of the driest countries on earth into an agricultural heartland.

36. The Italian government made it harder to waste food, creating laws that provided impetus to collect, share and donate excess meals.

37. People pouring ice on their head amusingly provided the ALS foundation with enough funding to isolate a genetic cause of the disease.

38. Manatees, arguably the most enjoyable animal to meet when swimming, are no longer endangered.

39. Grizzlies, arguable the least enjoyable animal to meet while swimming, no longer require federal protection in US national parks.

40. Global aid increased 7%, with money being designated to helping the world’s 65 million refugees doubling.

41. 2016 was the most charitable year in American history. China’s donations have increased more than ten times since a decade ago.

42. The Gates Foundation announced another 5 billion dollars towards eradicating poverty and disease in Africa.

43. Individual Canadians were so welcoming that the country set a world standard for how to privately sponsor and resettle refugees.

44. Teenage birth rates in the United States have never been lower, while at the same time graduation rates have never been higher.

45. SpaceX made history by landing a rocket upright after returning from space, potentially opening a new era of space exploration.

46. Finally - The Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, giving hope to Maple Leafs fans everywhere. Happy New Year.

There are countless more examples, big and small. If you refocus on the things that are working, your year will be better than the last.

Katy wrote:

On New Year's Eve, Cmdr. Chris Hadfield posted an optimistic list on twitter:

6. Juno, a piece of future history, successfully flew over 588 million miles and is now sending back unprecedented data from Jupiter.

IMAGE(https://d2xkkdgjnsfvb0.cloudfront.net/Vault/Thumb?VaultID=5725&Interlaced=1&Mode=R&ResX=960&OutputFormat=jpg&Quality=90&t=1482938004)

Nothing to see here, just storms bigger than our entire planet. NBD.

Juno really is a gift that keeps on giving.

I wish the optimistic stuff would lay off the Cubs references. Maybe this is only a thing for folks in Cleveland, half of Chicago, and people who know the story about one of their relievers, but throwing it in at the end of lists with a wink doesn't deliver me the levity that I think is intended. There really was a lot of great stuff in 2016 besides that.