Seven Things I Know After Seven Days and Seven Stories

In these times of introspection, blame, and fear, we can’t help but strive for a little clarity. Here are seven things I know:

1) Trump’s election won’t be good for America, the world, or the planet.

2) Trump may or may not be worse than a generic Republican would have been.

3) If he is worse, primary responsibility for that will rest with the more than 20 million college-educated, white Republicans who voted for him, endorsed him, and did not stand up to him.

4) Democratic responsibility for Trump’s victory is largely a matter of poor tactics; it does not reflect any fundamental disconnect with working class interests nor any lack of empathy for their plight.

5) To the extent that there’s a disconnect between Democratic elites and the white working class, it resides on the level of values, not interests. And this disconnect is a function of a) the vastly different material conditions in which the two groups find themselves and b) a decades-long effort by Republicans to foster white working class resentment and channel it toward Democrats.

6) The resentment of the white working class is highly justified, though unfortunately and predictably misdirected.

7) Political correctness may be an obnoxious, overly zealous response to racism, but racism is by far the greater societal ill.