What now?

Across America, the end of the election looms with a question: What now?

LosAngelesTimes, Nov 6, 2016

Across the broad swath of America that will decide the next president, the mood is bleak.

An uncivil war of rhetoric and resentments has scoured the country, unearthing deep ruptures. The candidates are unpopular and disdained for their shortcomings. Voters are fed up, mad at each other and despairing that anything can stem the corrosive animosity that will trail the winner to Washington.


And what happens after Tuesday? Can Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump put a fractured nation back together?


Pennsylvania and Ohio are neighboring states where the two parties held their nominating conventions in July and have bombarded voters ever since, to a sour end.


Along the roughly 380 miles from Pittsburgh to Cleveland to Cincinnati, dismayed voters abound. Ask them if either candidate can restore some tranquility to the country, and they answer as one: It’s hard to see how.


Taysha Jacko can’t even pretend to smile when she ponders the presidential contest in Alliance, a railroad-built town in northeast Ohio. She is 22 and, she said with a curt shake of her head, she does not plan to vote. She is sick of it all.


“It’s a lost cause,” said Jacko. Almost nothing she can think of would bind the nation’s wounds, except maybe for the candidates


Halfway across the state in rural Ostrander, Crystal Shock’s had similar somber words. She and her family have been through the ringer — lost jobs, uncertain housing, persistent economic worry.


So how does the next president glue together the shards of a divided America? Crystal looked downcast. “It’s a struggle to make it every month,” she said. “Come down to our level. Know what it’s like to struggle.”


The presidential campaign eight years ago is forever wrapped in the soaring and optimistic Obama slogan: “Change we can believe in.” This one’s imagery is the detritus of FBI investigations, a candidate’s vulgarities, accusations of dishonesty, racial dog whistles, misogynist insults.


In an October tracking poll by SurveyMonkey, 50% of Americans said that the country was more divided now than ever before and that the splits would persist “far into the future.” Another 30% agreed that America was more divided than ever, but said the nation could knit itself together in the near future.


That left fewer than 1 in 5 people to assert that the country hadn’t actually sunk to its most divided state.


“Even when the news is good, people don’t trust it,” said Nathaniel Persily, a Stanford law professor and political scientist who has studied the national mood.


The sense of pessimism and dislocation is particularly strong among America’s shrinking white majority.  “Whites are feeling like the earth is moving beneath their feet. Whether it’s an African American president or immigrants, they feel the meaning of America is changing for them,” he said. “And it’s heaped onto the other insecurities.”


Dave Gedrock, an attorney and Trump supporter, was loading campaign signs into his car in Medina, Ohio, a historical town southwest of Cleveland. “America’s frustrated,” he said. “It’s a protest. They don’t trust the current politicians, they don’t trust the insiders.”


Gedrock’s opposite is Sayisha Wall, standing on the bank of the Ohio River in Cincinnati. But while Wall’s political persuasion could not be more different than Gedrock’s, her yearnings sound a lot like his.


“The majority of people are not billionaires, they’re just trying to live and have a good quality of life and raise their kids,” she said. “It’s not even the American dream of having a big house and a fancy car. It’s just being able to pay our bills and be happy. To have a decent life.”


Wall, who is African American, said racial tensions have risen during the campaign. When she went to vote the other day, she said, a man asked her to move her car because he said it was blocking his vehicle, which bore a Trump sticker.


“I said, ‘You have 3 feet in front of me; I don’t need to move my car’,” she recounted. “And I heard him say [the N-word] as he got in the car.”


At a convivial street fair in a strip of shops along the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, Jeanne and Chris Stephens were not feeling doomed. But neither were they thrilled with the presidential race or optimistic about what follows.


“He has a great software job,” she said, pointing to her husband. “I’m a lawyer. And we’re still fighting [to get into the] middle class. And the more money we make — I don’t mind paying the taxes, but you still feel like you really can’t get ahead. And I have student loans. I’m 40 now, and I have six figures in student loans still.”


She is not confident that anything will improve if Clinton is elected, “because so many people hate her, so politically it’s going to be a stalemate.” But she cannot abide Trump.


“I’ll vote for Hillary because I have no other choice,” Jeanne says. “I’m voting for her to vote against Trump.”


A friend wanders by and overhears political talk. “Who ya voting for, Bill?”


“Well I’m not voting for Hillary, Frank,” Bill Rielly replies.


“ I didn’t say I was voting for Trump. I said I’m not voting for Hillary. … Nobody wants to admit it. I think the Republicans are embarrassed. But by the same token, nobody wants her.”


Once it’s all over, he wants the same thing that all the others want, regardless of their candidate, except that no one really seems to know how to get there.


“I hope the country comes together,” he said.


Уроды США: Obama и Bush, Trump … а Порочная Баба Clinton Хуже Всех!


Правительство США жестоко нарушило мои права человека при проведении кампании террора, которая заставила меня покинуть свою родину и получить политическое убежище в СССР. См. книгу «Безмолвный террор — История политических гонений на семью в США» — «Silent Terror: One family’s history of political persecution in the United States» — http://arnoldlockshin.wordpress.com


Правительство США еще нарушает мои права, в течении более 12 лет отказывается от выплаты причитающейся мне пенсии по старости. Властители США воруют пенсию!! Всё это — ещё доказательство, что настоящий действующий закон в США — Закон джунглей.

ФСБ — Федеральная служба «безопасности» России — вслед за позорным, предавшим страну предшественником КГБ, выполняет приказы секретного, кровавого хозяина (boss) — американского ЦРУ (CIA). Среди таких «задач» — мне запретить выступать в СМИ и не пропускать большинства отправленных мне комментариев. А это далеко не всё…

Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США


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