An American Tragedy

Article from today’s The New Yorker news desk by Lee Remnick:

“The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.…”

From my brother Bob

(Let me know if you can’t get the full article. (Maybe you have to be a subscriber to The New Yorker (we are) to get the whole thing.)

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

20 Responses to An American Tragedy

  1. Lloyd – I hurt for you and all of the decent Americans that I have known. The rest of the world will also feel the hurt. I'm still in shock and more numbed than awed.
    I'm going back to building my funky natural house. It has exactly NO deranged orange helmets in it.

  2. Useful info for getting past view limits on websites like the Times: If you open the page in an Incognito window (or private browsing, or whatever your browser calls it — look under the File menu), you're home free.

  3. You had the best president you've ever had, or are likely to have, in Barack Obama, a man of integrity, decency, ability, charm, compassion, with the common sense to see what is wrong in your country. It was just such a pity that your ridiculous system meant that he had no power. If he had been allowed to get on with the job rather than being thwarted at every move by your system you would all be living in a safer, prosperous, compassionate country at peace with itself. But now see what you've done.

  4. Love your blog! Don't love my Ava health premium which is $975./month with a $6K deductible, and my doctors which I have had for over twenty years are not on this plan. Lloyd, you must be on Medicare — otherwise you would also be appalled at these egregious rates. We need to work together to solve some major problems facing this country: $20 trillion debt, Middle East in total crisis, healthcare, jobs, stopping the IRS from being political, education — we need everyone on board to look for solutions.

  5. The system has certainly failed working American's of all races and regions. But the idea that President pussy grabber elect will solve all our problems is such a tragic and laughable concept. There was no good choice in this election but there is no justification for voting a lunatic like Trump into the most powerful position in the world. The American people are about to get what they deserve. They (and the media) have just legitimized massive dishonesty, speech and behavior of the lowest imaginable order by the most profoundly ignorant candidate ever. Many of them are ranting on Facebook that GOD sent The Donald to save us from Obama who was actively trying to destroy America. And some of those are relatives.

    I could see this coming having lived in rural Shasta county. There were no affordable health care plans there before Obamacare and the only the same awful ones were available afterwards but now at greatly inflated prices, premiums of 12000 per year for my wife and I and deductibles of 13000 dollars per year.

    This is like waking up after 9-11. But by now it's pretty clear that the terrorists have truly won due to our hubris and dishonesty.

  6. If I was from California or New York, I would find myself having thoughts of seceding from the union.
    If even Trump proves insufficiently sleazy for middle America, Kim Jong Un might be persuaded to run for president in exchange for regular blow jobs from Melania Trump.
    Jesus Christ. I couldn't conceive of anybody being worse than George W.

  7. Pasted below is a quote from a Wikipedia article about Hitler's rise to power in the 1920's and 1930's. The resonance with Trump is unnerving.
    Adolf Hitler's rise to power began in Germany in September 1919[a] when Hitler joined the political party known as the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – DAP (German Workers' Party). The name was changed in 1920 to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers' Party, commonly known as the Nazi Party). This political party was formed and developed during the post-World War I era. It was anti-Marxist and opposed to the democratic post-war government of the Weimar Republic and the Treaty of Versailles; and it advocated extreme nationalism and Pan-Germanism as well as virulent anti-Semitism. Hitler's "rise" can be considered to have ended in March 1933, after the Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act of 1933 in that month. President Paul von Hindenburg had already appointed Hitler as Chancellor on 30 January 1933 after a series of parliamentary elections and associated backroom intrigues. The Enabling Act—when used ruthlessly and with authority—virtually assured that Hitler could thereafter constitutionally exercise dictatorial power without legal objection.

    Adolf Hitler rose to a place of prominence in the early years of the party. Being one of the best speakers of the party, he told the other party members to either make him leader of the party or he would never return. He was aided in part by his willingness to use violence in advancing his political objectives and to recruit party members who were willing to do the same. The Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923 and the later release of his book Mein Kampf (usually translated as My Struggle) introduced Hitler to a wider audience. In the mid-1920s, the party engaged in electoral battles in which Hitler participated as a speaker and organizer,[b] as well as in street battles and violence between the Rotfrontkämpferbund and the Nazis' Sturmabteilung (SA). Through the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Nazis gathered enough electoral support to become the largest political party in the Reichstag, and Hitler's blend of political acuity, deceptiveness and cunning converted the party's non-majority but plurality status into effective governing power in the ailing Weimar Republic of 1933.

    Once in power, the Nazis created a mythology surrounding the rise to power, and they described the period that roughly corresponds to the scope of this article as either the Kampfzeit (the time of struggle) or the Kampfjahre (years of struggle).

  8. Yes, Hitler was wildly successful in restoring confidence and prosperity to a shattered society (that was in fact unjustly buried under impossible reparations demands as a result of French obstinance after WWI). If he had stopped there perhaps history would have a positive opinion of him. Someone said recently that all authoritarians present a benevolent face at first, it's only when their agendas and desires are refused that they show their ugly face.

    Cable news is taking great pains to point out that it's all polite and respectful today between the Obama's and the Trump's. Obama as always is a perfect and thoughtful gentleman and Trump is on his best behavior and very respectful. He looked rather humble and even overawed sitting there in the Oval Office.

    I really don't think we can comprehend this guy, we can only hope that his abominable campaign rhetoric was just his shrewd way of communicating with the working class males. Having worked a number of blue collar jobs I can tell you that Howard Stern perfectly represents the way the majority of them talk every day on the job. Clearly Trump has decades of fond relations with New York construction workers. Anyone who has worked in that milieu knows that it's largely raunchy baiting and insulting and braggadocio. It's 'The Deer Hunter' for sure but these guys at heart are decent folks. As Hillary said we need to allow Trump the benefit of the doubt and some time to rise to the occasion.

    "I overcame chaos in Germany, restored order, enormously raised production in all fields of our national economy…I succeeded in completely resettling in useful production those 7 million unemployed who so touched our hearts…I have not only politically united the German nation but also rearmed it militarily, and I have further tried to liquidate that Treaty sheet by sheet whose 448 Articles contain the vilest rape that nations and human beings have ever been expected to submit to. I have restored to the Reich the provinces grabbed from us in 1919; I have led millions of deeply unhappy Germans, who have been snatched away from us, back into the Fatherland; I have restored the thousand-year-old historical unity of German living space; and I have attempted to accomplish all that without shedding blood and without inflicting the sufferings of war on my people or any other. I have accomplished all this, as one who 21 years ago was still an unknown worker and soldier of my people, by my own efforts…"—Adolf Hitler.

  9. One last thought… I believe that Hillary was quite capable of being an effective, possibly a great President. Republicans in the Senate privately have expressed great respect and warmth for her in personal terms, almost universally praising her preparation, work ethic and willingness to work with them to find solutions.

    The order of elected Democrats was all wrong. Imagine that Hillary had been elected in 2008 instead of Obama. She had a much better Health Care concept all along and good relations with the business community. No doubt she would be handing over the reins to Obama now after his racking up another eight years of experience in the Senate. He is enormously talented but it's really a shame he was elected so young with so little experience. He grew into the job but he never was able to deal effectively with the Republican Senate or even the Democrats for that matter, for all his brilliance his economic plans and Obamacare were largely unsuccessful and largely blocked by Republican obstruction.

  10. If anyone wants real change, organize locally and see if you can win locally.
    Change that helps everyone must come from everyone.
    The one third who sat out the election defaulted on their responsibility as a citizen.
    Unfortunately, the people Trump has named so far bring nothing but concern.

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