I don’t have much in me after Donald Trump’s election Tuesday as president of the United States so this will be a short post.
There was some good news in Oklahoma on Tuesday. State Question 790, which would have removed specific language separating church and state in the Oklahoma Constitution, was defeated. Voters here also started a movement to modernize liquor laws by passing State Question 792. Criminal justice reform got a huge boost when Oklahoma voters passed State Questions 780 and 781 to help relieve prison overcrowding and hopefully started a trend to treat rather than punish drug addiction. The bogus, corporate-sponsored “right to farm” State Question 777 was rejected. Our precarious water supply is somewhat safe, at least for now.
On the negative side, the rejection of State Question 779, which would have raised money for education and teacher raises, is a clear sign for most state educators at all levels here to try to escape Oklahoma as soon as they can if it’s not too late. I feel I have a moral duty to state the obvious.
So to all educators:
Get out of Oklahoma if you can as soon as possible. Other states will welcome you with welcoming arms and pay you a lot more money and give you the respect you deserve. Now is the time for you to start making your move. If you have a decent gig, sure, by all means, ride it out and keep your options open, but a basic college-educated, trained and certified classroom teacher in a public school in Oklahoma needs to start applying for jobs elsewhere. The Oklahoma legislature is not only NOT going to give you a raise or any significant raise next session because of another huge budget shortfall, it’s probably going to even reduce your health insurance benefits.
But the big story, of course, was Trump’s victory. I’ll let the bigwig corporate pundits proclaim their botched narratives for a few days before I weigh in on all of that and also discuss more about the Oklahoma election results. Right now, I’m politically exhausted and, like many of you, I’m extremely discouraged. But I’m not defeated. I’m not giving up.
Right before I sat down to write this, I looked out a big bay window in my house and saw a beautiful mum in a planter on my porch basking in the sun on one of those few perfect weather days in Oklahoma. The leaves in the trees fallen my yard have turned into magnificent, extreme colors. It’s a beautiful day here despite all of the madness of Trump and this last presidential campaign, despite Oklahoma’s continued descent.
Progressives, liberals, Democrats, intellectuals, peace advocates, environmentalists, feminists, lovers of diversity on all levels, righteous fighters for equality, animal-rights supporters, social justice workers, etc., however they, we, want to define themselves/ourselves, have outreach work to do and a mandate to stay calm in what can only be described as a worldwide emergency. The extreme right-wing is on the rise. The so-called “mainstream media” in this country, has to completely redefine itself or continue to die their slow, agonizing death, but that might be already over, anyway. The death knell on the corporate media, “The Hairs,” as I call them, rang stunningly loud Tuesday. This is really old news just confirmed by Trump’s stunning victory.
Yet this is not a time to argue, “I told you so” or “We should have nominated Sanders.” We’re headed for some incredible intense years in this country. Your basic life is going to change remarkably starting in 2017. It might be slow at first, but then it’s going to get really really weird if you’re liberal. But, as the writer Hunter S. Thompson once proclaimed, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” Turn pro, folks. Stay engaged.
I’m taking a day or two to recalculate, enjoy the fall foliage here in Oklahoma, and then getting back to the task of restoration once again. I’m not giving up. I ask you to join with me in getting back up and staying strong after this major setback.