Rashomon

elephant

Some friends and I gathered on the Friday after the election for a post-mortem. Everyone had a different idea of what had gone wrong.

I ticked off James Comey, new laws in swing states aimed at suppressing Democratic turnout, and the many who couldn’t stand Donald Trump but couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Clinton—or vote at all—because they preferred “principle” over compromise, or didn’t think the outcome mattered either way.

“Stop blaming people for not voting!” one friend countered. “The problem is that it was the wrong nominee, and until the Democrats put forward a candidate who inspires young people, they’ll continue to lose.”

This sparked an indictment of neo-liberalism and Debbie Wasserman Schulz. When someone said the 2020 ticket needed a person of color and a woman, preferably Elizabeth Warren, I asked, “Did you not get the memo from this election?”

We certainly couldn’t conduct a proper post-mortem without a shout-out to racism and misogyny!

Not to mention Trump’s celebrity status and shrewd manipulation of the media, his constant lies bleeding together to obscure the stain of falseness; the lack of civics education; a post-factual electorate; the demonization of Hillary; her failure to reach out to working-class white men or articulate a clear message; the steady drip-drip-drip of Fox News and Emailgate; Anthony Weiner! (Oy vey, Anthony Weiner!)

Our host calmly interjected how hard it is for the incumbent party to ever win a third term.

“Joe Biden would have won,” someone said wistfully.

“Michael Moore nailed it,” said another.

This, and the existence of an empathy gap, was about all we could agree on, though empathy for one another was in short supply.

“We could call ourselves the Friendly Fire Salon!” I joked.

It was like Rashomon, where blind men correctly describe one aspect of an elephant, but nobody sees the whole.

Now there’s not only an elephant in the room, but one on the way to the White House, too.

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Care to add your two cents and what your discussions have been like?

 

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