That Strange Thing About U.S. Elections

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Note — At about 34 minutes or so, when describing the knowledge and power granted to U.S. presidents, I said Trump met with the president, but the name ‘Clinton’ slipped in instead of Obama. (Here is one hosting of the video I mentioned.) Trump was humbled even by his meeting with Obama, an actual president of the United States.

Dear Friend and Listener:

The strange thing about U.S. elections is that the loser can take office. And that’s what we’re now witnessing. The last time, in 2000, things didn’t go well. People were jumping off the World Trade Center just 10 months later (to escape before the towers fell).

Leonard Cohen.
Leonard Cohen.

In tonight’s edition, I look at some of this history, and evaluate what we might have in store under a Trump presidency.

I keep the discussion low-key but in truth, I am concerned. We’ve already lost an 18-month game of chicken, and I reckon we’ll have a few others ahead.

As for what to do about this? I go over some possibilities on the personal level, and we’ve included some potentials for political response in this edition.

My musical guest is Leonard Cohen, who died last week at age 82 after a 60-year career as a poet and recording artist.

I had intended to read his chart — other pressing subject matter got the attention. Here is the chart if you want to have a look.

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With love,

Additional research by Amy Elliott, Amanda Painter and Lizanne Webb.

If you are looking for practical ways to take personal action, here are some ideas:

— Tips from a former staffer on making effective contact with your Congressperson petition urging the Electoral College to vote in accordance with the popular vote

— Illustrated guide on what to do when you see someone being harassed for being Muslim (or for any reason, really) — non-confrontational, effective and sane

You can also make ongoing gifts to activist organizations working on issues Trump and his cabinet may threaten; here are two to start with:

Planned Parenthood (safeguarding reproductive rights)

Southern Poverty Law Center (combating domestic terrorism, hate crimes and the alt-right)

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