The Storm is Brewing, Yet the Media’s Missing It

Is it just me?  I keep looking for media coverage of what I think is a “yuge” story about how many people are newly minted activists in the wake of the Trump win. But the media seems to be asleep at the wheel — again.

Pieces of the puzzle have been covered, yes — the protests, the donations to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, the increase in NYT subscriptions. But there’s something so much bigger out there that I haven’t seen covered in the press.

Here’s the thing:  I personally know of dozens of people — like myself — who are, historically, politically interested, but not really activists in general, but who are now actively using words like #TheResistance and #NotMyPresident. Not 20 year olds either (no offense, 20 year olds), but middle aged professionals like me — lawyers, scientists, professors, business people, healthcare people, many of us parents.  In other words, people with a lot on their plates already who are prioritizing this issue, every single day, to stay active and outraged, and to absolutely reject what Trump ran on and stands for.

The talking heads on the Sunday morning talk show I saw this week were all smug grins and normalization.  I could barely stand to watch because it is increasingly clear every day that Trump is #NotNormal.  For christsake, I read today that since being elected Trump has spoken to Putin twice per day — two times per freaking day!  — more than to any other world leader.

I guess our journalist friends — who I generally admire tremendously — are not seeing what I’m seeing.  Example: soon after the election, I joined a new private FB group for progressive lawyers; 20 days later that group has over 120,000 members!  The media kinda missed white rural outrage, so we know they can be clueless.  But how can they miss this level of activity and outrage and resistance? How can they miss the fact that many empowered and educated people are now getting activated in full blown opposition to Comrade Drumpf and his band of cronies and haters?

Of course, I realize there’s an echo chamber with like-minded people rallying each other on.  I live in an echo chamber, too.  But because I live here, I can tell you that I know my people and I have NEVER seen anything like this tidal wave of opposition from my peers and cohorts.  People who have been more or less on the sidelines are now attending organizational meetings, making daily phone calls, writing letters, planning strategies — and not just for today, but for the long haul.

I’ll say this:  though Trump’s election is a travesty and reflects horribly on our country, the people who are standing up to oppose him make me incredibly proud.  And hopeful.

Was the Election Hacked?

No one knows yet if the 2016 presidential election was hacked, but it’s not so far-fetched an idea. There’s historical precedent according to Alex Halderman, a U. of Michigan Computer Science Professor: “In 2014, during the presidential election in Ukraine, attackers linked to Russia sabotaged the country’s vote-counting infrastructure and, according to published reports, Ukrainian officials succeeded only at the last minute in defusing vote-stealing malware that was primed to cause the wrong winner to be announced.”

Halderman and others have noted a statistical anomaly in some swing state counties where voting was done electronically instead of with a paper ballot.  Specifically, there was a higher percentage of votes for Trump in the electronic voting counties, where some type of hacking could have played a role.

Of course this finding raises alarm, given that Russia is known to have hacked the DNC and other political organizations with the apparent purpose of skewing the election results. I have heard from informed sources that Halderman is not an activist, either, but a hard core reputable scientist.  If he’s concerned, we should be, too.

Halderman and others have been encouraging the Democratic party to ask for a recount, but party leaders apparently are hesitant given the turmoil that might result if the recount finds that Clinton actually won the election. Used to playing the role of gad-fly, however, Green Party candidate Jill Stein has jumped in on this issue, officially asking for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, three key swing states that went for Trump by narrow margins.  Her fund-raising site to support the recount effort is at $2.8M as of this morning, with a goal of raising $4.5M.

Make that $2.8M plus $20.



To Tweet or Not To Tweet

Trump and his Twitter account continue to reveal the inner workings of his mind – and it ain’t pretty.

Thin skinned as ever, he tweeted a complaint about the NY Times, while at the same time cancelling a scheduled interview with them.  Of course, a President Elect attacking one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world via Twitter is #NotNormal. But this is more nefarious as it dovetails with Trump’s repeated attacks on the media and his failure to offer transparency to the press corp during his transition to office — the first steps toward more seriously harming our precious #FreedomofthePress.

He’s also childishly tweeted complaints about SNL’s skits mocking him — thank you, Alec Baldwin — and about the Hamilton cast’s impassioned message for equality when Mike Pence was in attendance at the mega-hit Broadway show.  (A show, afterall, that celebrates the contributions of immigrants to America.)  Yet, when it comes to speaking out against his white supremacist supporters — who were recently recorded giving the Nazi salute and shouting “Hail Trump!”– Der Trump relied on a stiff message from a spokesperson.  Apparently hatred and bigotry are just was not worth tweeting about.