I had a meeting downtown today. I knew there'd be no exercise time, so I decided to just walk the 3.5 miles. I don't have studs on my bike tires and I wasn't sure how icy the trail would be. I know the sidewalks aren't great, so walking would have to do.
Urban hiking is an idea we came up with when we were living in Hong Kong. A three mile hike is no big thing in the woods on a trail, so why not do the same in the city? In Hong Kong we could go explore new places that way and we could always get a bus or train back home if necessary.
Today I just took the bike trail downtown. As I knew it would, an hour of walking through the woods would clear my head.
I even got to see a young moose eating grass at a playground. The trail veers to the right and through a tunnel under C Street.
The meeting was fascinating in a troubling way and one day I hope to be able to post about this project.
It did feel like there had been a death in the family and I wanted to go by the cemetery downtown and hang out a bit with the departed. But the meeting was on the other end of downtown and I was on foot. Like with a death, I was trying to keep busy with my to do list and increase the distance from the initial shock before I deal with it. Though in this case, the magnitude of the loss is going to grow and grow.
Trying to be positive, I was thinking that how I feel now is how many conservatives have felt since Obama was first elected. I'd like to think that my feeling is more legitimate, but feelings are feelings. They may or may not be tied to a rational, realistic assessment. But it's clear that progressives haven't really listened to the pain of the working class. As I walked I thought about Trump's childhood. From what I can tell, it was about always trying to please his father and avoid his wrath, avoid being a loser. I suspect that a lot of families had similar dynamics and that Trump has that in common with many people who come from families with a strict and mercurial father. He understood that pain and his audiences caught that. And his own mercurial behavior - sometimes glowing and kind, as with his first speech as president elect, and other times nasty and insulting and bullying - is something they recognize from their own fathers. What many of us saw as outrageous and unacceptable behavior, many others recognized as very familiar.
People know when they aren't being respected and I think liberal rejection of frustrated white working class was part of their resentment against Clinton. Every other group is given a context - discrimination, poverty - with which to excuse unacceptable behavior. But poor whites are called hillbillies or trailer trash or poor white trash when equivalent ethnic slurs are not allowed. This is why in this blog I try not to use any kinds of slurs, try to respectful of the people I write about or who comment. We need to talk and come together. This is probably a good time for liberals to talk to Trump supporters, because now they are happy and feel like they matter.
Good night. Don't let this fool you into thinking that things aren't going to get lots worse before they get better. That I don't expect the mean and brutish Trump to be back soon. He's 70. He's not going to change. As soon as someone crosses him, we'll see the nasty Trump back.