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A vulgar, colossally ignorant, TV reality show host will be the next president of the United States. The Republican mafia rode his coattails to retain control of the Congress, insuring that he will face little or no opposition in the exercise of his whims as long as their donors get what they want – low taxes and compliant government regulatory agencies. The obscenely rich folks who have for many years been planting the seeds that grew into the coming Trump administration may find the blooms they have fostered garish, but they will get a Supreme Court that will insure that the incipient American oligarchy will keep on keeping on. And the evangelicals will probably get to restore back-alley abortion.

Years ago I grieved when Nixon was elected President. And he did set back the progressive program that the two Roosevelt’s had put into motion. But we survived.

Later, I was dumbfounded when Americans elected Bush Junior. Twice. And he was worse than we had envisioned. He lied to us and embroiled us in an expensive and unnecessary war that we are still fighting in one way or another today. He crashed our economy, leaving millions of Americans worse off than they were before. But we survived.

This evening I learned that Donald Trump would be our next president and I am still trembling.

Americans elected the candidate of the Ku Klux Klan and gave him the power to mete out justice.

Americans elected Putin’s useful fool – or his active accomplice – and gave him the power to direct our foreign policy.

Americans elected an unstable, vindictive authoritarian and gave him the power to declare war and martial law.

Americans elected a failed businessman and shameless grifter and gave him power over our economy.

Americans elected a man facing indictment for fraud and possibly for sexual assault and installed him as a role model for our children.

Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos says we have to regroup, keep on fighting and he’s right. But I’ve been fighting in one way or another since I was seventeen and it’s been many, many years of struggle. It hurts to see so much that we and our parents gained lost little by little until tonight when the country fell victim to the Father Coughlin of our time. It’s hard not to mourn for the American Experiment which may, finally, be irredeemably debased.

But  it may not make that much difference in the long run. After all, Americans elected a scientific illiterate who is too ignorant to understand what he doesn’t know, and gave him the power to determine energy policy during a crucial period of climate change that, if mishandled, could threaten global survival.

Cross posted to Occasional Planet.

Addendum:  When I was describing above the escalating horror I experienced with each destructive GOP administration over the past fifty or so years, I somehow forgot to mention Ronnie Raygun. That fact, in itself, and the psychological state of denial that it suggests, is damming enough. The old New Deal just barely made it out alive, but it and we survived. There’s no more to say.