How many times did I hear it yesterday morning?
“What was I going to tell my students?”
“What was I going to tell my kids?”
On my phone and on my email the sadness was palpable.
I had to get out of the house. I went and grabbed my gym bag and went to work out. I put on my boxing gloves and pounded the big bag for 45 minutes.
When I got home I received a text from one of my daughters who teaches in Manhattan that her students had walked out of class to join street protests that were going on all over New York.
“Wow. Where are you u.”
“At school w/ students who stayed behind. It happened really fast.”
Here in Chicago thousands marched in protest to Trump Tower. That same news story was reported in cities across the country.
Trump has made his promises. Hillary made hers. Now it is our turn.
“Not our president,” chanted the protesters.
He’s certainly not mine.
The media has already created a phony meme about this election: A huge rebellion of rural white men and some rural white women against modernity and a changing American demographic.
That meme is not supported by the numbers.
Trump underperformed both Romney and McCain in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and Ohio, the very states that gave him the win.
But the real story is that Hillary and the Democrats did worse.
They got 10 million fewer votes than Obama received in 2008.
They got 6 million fewer votes than Obama got in 2012.
Those voters didn’t turn Republican. They weren’t rebelling against modernity or changing demographics.
They were rebelling against a corrupt and unresponsive Democratic Party leadership.
14% of Obama Democratic Party voters stayed home. The choice of the Democratic Party leadership was such a bad one that even the fear of a Trump presidency wouldn’t move them.
Even the manipulations of Hillary campaign boss John Podesta wouldn’t work.
The Democrats handed Trump this victory by insisting on the worst possible candidate who represented all that is despised by large numbers of what should be the Democratic Party base. And I don’t mean angry white men. Millions of progressive white folks, Hispanic and African American voters would not turn out for the Democrats.
In cities like Chicago, which is the reason our red state is blue, hundreds of thousands of African Americans have been forced to leave. Unions, the traditional base of the Democratic Party in the cities, have been attacked by Democratic Party mayors like Rahm Emanuel. Gentrification has moved poor voters out and turned the central city into play grounds and condos for the rich.
We carried Illinois. But in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, the cities could not save their states.
There’s not much good we can take from Tuesday’s vote.
But the protests in the streets last night are a beginning of our response.
They are the seeds.