2016 Election

We Need Each Other To Face The Future

It breaks my heart to see so many friends and loved ones grieving for our country today.

I know many of you, like me, are still processing this tectonic shift and what it means for our country and especially for those most vulnerable to the ugly strains of bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, and Islamophobia energized by this election.

We need each other at a time like this. We need each other’s support and care to avoid falling into despair.

But we’ll also need each other’s wisdom and tenacity to strategize, organize and take action.

Please share your thoughts and feelings about the election results below in the comments below, or on Facebook. I want to hear how you are feeling, and what you are thinking about the future.

You can also stand up today, and contribute to the fight for a more peaceful foreign policy that now becomes even more important.

While we grieve the election results today, those of us who fight for peace and human rights are tough and resilient. We’ve had to be.

We fought the divisive fear-mongering of the long Cold War, we fought the high-stakes nuclear build-up of the Reagan administration, we opposed the unilateralist cowboy militarism of the George W. Bush administration. Even during tough times tenacious and targeted grassroots organizing allowed us to secure major victories for peace and disarmament while we blocked some of the hawks’ most harmful initiatives.

Please support our work together, as we take on this daunting new challenge.

Don’t get me wrong. A Trump presidency, a Republican Congress, and the xenophobic elements of Trump’s base all combine to create a unique challenge the likes of which we have never faced. But we must rise to the occasion. We don’t have all the answers today about what strategies will best fit this radically new political landscape. Here at Peace Action, we’re engaged in strategic planning for the coming challenge, and here’s what we’re thinking about today:

  • We’ll have to work in solidarity as never before to protect the communities targeted by bigotry. We’ll continue to mobilize for policies that welcome refugees from conflict zones across the world and support them once they are here. We need to fight Islamophobia on Capitol Hill and in our communities to prevent more scapegoating from being carried out in our foreign and domestic policies.
  • In the immediate term, we need to mobilize quickly to encourage President Obama to take preventative action now. Trump’s finger on the button is the most terrifying aspect of his presidency. We can continue to push President Obama for changes to nuclear weapons policy which could make it harder for any president — including the President-elect — to launch a nuclear attack. We’ll also ask the president to take steps to lock down diplomatic successes like the Iran deal which Trump has pledged to dismantle.
  • We’ll need to amplify a broad-based, public voice in foreign policy debates. The peace movement faces many threats from the Iran deal being gutted to increased Pentagon spending to military escalation in the Middle East. Trumps foreign policy statements have been all over the map. His temperament is chaotic. No one knows exactly how he will approach foreign policy but he’ll be dealing with a base with some anti-interventionist elements. We will mobilize the broadest grassroots movement possible and get our message out in the media to support cooperation and oppose a tilt towards more militarist foreign policies. We will push for vocal pro-diplomacy, pro-peace leadership in Congress, both with progressive Democrats and where possible with less interventionist Republicans.

Again please join the conversation in the comments and on Facebook,and tell us how you are feeling and what you are thinking about the road ahead.

Your contribution today can fuel our long-haul work to block the policies of militarism and to create a more peaceful foreign policy.

Jon Rainwater
Executive Director
Peace Action

13 replies »

  1. I could not have voted either for HRC or Trump. Both would employ a muscular posture with regard to foreign policy. Please recall HRC’s ‘annihilation’ comment with regard to Iran during her stint in the State Department. She has also talking aggressively regarding Russia so it is not only Trump that has to be checked. Finally, she was in a position to vote ‘no’ regarding AMF in Iraq, not Trump, despite the fact that she tried to make him seem culpable by saying he supported war on a radio talk show. So Dems or Republicans, it does not matter in my view. We need alternative voices and choices that include Greens, the CP of the USA, and so on because as you might have noticed, things have not gotten better under the current Administration’s watch. Don’t get me wrong…Trump has no experience and has no palpable foreign policy worldview that we know of other than to build up the military despite the 20T in debt that he hammered over and over again. So it is likely to result in more conflict and protracted wars further bringing terrorism to our shores.

    • We will all help the Donald to finally grow up and become a useful member of our larger society. He has been a troubled child long enough.

  2. Clinton lost because she deserved to lose. Clinton lost because “educated” liberals, read “neoliberals”, are not liberals at all. Rather they are the right wing of the Democratic Party which thought they, with the help of their co-conspirators, could steal the election from the Party’s people’s real choice, Bernie Sanders. Bill and Hillary Clinton have huge amounts of baggage and corruption associated with them everywhere they go. Can you imagine that the real democrats are very weary of tolerating that baggage? I was and I can. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of our now quite established two tiered justice system. That would be a positive outcome of last night. Possibly Donald Trump will see that endless wars spread over the entire globe cannot continue if we are to have the money to rebuild our infrastructure and put people back to work. Maybe he is a man of the business deal and will see that negotiating with other countries for needed resources is far more efficient and “manly” than bullying the small kid and just stealing those resources that don’t belong to us by right. Hopefully, (oh how I hate to use that so tread on and misused word), we will see business deals and true diplomacy as the new norm for our government rather than the overthrow of governments and assassination of foreign leaders which has for way too long been our modus operendi. She came, we saw and now, hopefully, the Clinton’s have been buried forever from our sight. That is the one good thing to come of this. For the second opportunity, if we will just act on it, the opportunity to get rid of the neoliberals who masquerade as Democrats and banish them in disgrace to some far away place where they can chew on the last of their big fat cigars and relish in shameful egotism what could have been for them. Now let’s demand an end to War and get on our ponies and ride up to North Dakota and help stop the DAPL.
    “The war choices of the neocon/liberal-hawk coalition have been disastrous – from Iraq to Afghanistan to Libya to Syria to Ukraine – yet this collection of know-it-alls never experiences accountability. The same people, including the media’s armchair warriors and the think-tank “scholars,” bounce from one catastrophe to the next with no consequences for their fallacious “group thinks.” Most recently, they have ginned up a new costly and dangerous Cold War with Russia.” We have our challenges ahead for sure, stopping all of these seemingly endless wars and seriously addressing climate change are the big two. Nothing can happen without sending the establishment neoconservatives and neoliberals packing.

  3. Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote. That gives her just as much of a mandate as Mr. Trump has. So it means that we have half of this country to fight against anything his administration and the Republican congress does that we feel is not right.

  4. There are enormous numbers of people who would support a progressive agenda but they are scattered among thousands of groups that don’t work together. Remember when you learned about the “committees of correspondence” in grade school? They made the revolution possible because they understood that by communicating and coordinating they would become powerful. The Democratic party has become the party of wealth and privilege. It must be replaced. We all need to coalesce into a new party that represents the %99.

  5. I don’t think this country has been this divided since the Civil War. American Christians are also divided, this way. Sad.

    I am/was Bernie supporter, who voted for Hillary. I have been in severe shock, since all this occurred. Glad that she did win the popular vote, however. Go to MoveOn.org and sign petition to end electoral college.
    I am frightened about the future.

  6. This is what I don’t get and I will never get about so many who voted for Trump. These people from the rural areas of our country, many living paycheck to paycheck, working two jobs to support their families, doing the daily struggle for survival like so many of us…these people expect this billionaire one percenter, who has never lived a second of their lives, to understand what their existence is about and to somehow make their lives better. Guess what people, he manipulated and used your vote, and now that he’s in you’re already forgotten. You are in his rear view mirror. The only ones to benefit from his presidency will be the fat cats…rich richer, poor and middle class poorer. When a person uses hatred and fear as tactics to gain power, the outcome is never good. The person you should fear the most, was just elected president.

  7. I am a muslim, a shia, an Immigrant to be precise.

    Immigration is in my familys blood. My father was only 6 years old, when he migrated from India to current day Pakistan (West Pakistan originally and East Pakistan is today Bangladesh). My father lost his siblings enroute to Pakistan who were older to him.

    The shameful partition of India and Pakistan, un-planned by the British Raj, cost close to 3 million lives. It was a genocide, neighbors turned on each other, mass hysteria as millions crossed borders.

    Many were left thinking how such social cohesion would crumble ? Religious over-tones, economic power, and preservation of the existing Social and Political Order.

    It was in this backdrop that I understood my fathers strivings.

    My father believed in a pluralistic Society, as did Jinnah, the founding father. He served proudly for over 30 years in Pakistans Civil Service. There was a huge non-Muslim populace in Pakistan, especially the Hindus, who also held financial Clout, and when Jinnah made his famous speech for Civility and Inclusivity, it was mostly motivated by Self Preservation, the flight of capital back to India, would be a devastating blow to Pakistan which was in dire needs of such funds

    President Elect Trump’s, musings about Immigrants and in particular the hyphenated-Muslim, and his persistence in addressing the economic factor to return jobs back to the belts where we bled jobs, is a problem that goes back at least 50 years or so. Kevin Philips a Republican Strategist (Bad Money) be-moans the steady loss of manufacturing contribution to our GDP. Financial Services Industry has replaced that and the Year 2008 was also a water-shed given that we survived a catastrophe. But that it has had its impact till today that Salaries today dont even match the Salaries in 2008.

    So much fear and panic and hysteria is swimming to the shores of American Muslims – that this week-end, there are open houses giving currency to this fear. We have lost sight of the institutions in our midst, of the laws that protect us, of the civil Society that supports us, that we Muslims really need to think how we can better yet, give back to America, and let American speak to the contributions from American Muslims.

    Immigrants always need to justify their existence in an adopted land. I learnt this first hand, when my father with the Diplomatic Core travelled across from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Those economic realities, a globalized world were not sunk in yet, and co-existence of different groups, especially like Indonesia (where I lived for 8 years) where the largest muslim Populace (non-arab) and Christians and Buddhists lived together.

    But now in a globalized world, we have to worry about protectionism rather than laise fairre economic policies. We let the manufacturing job sector dwindle and didnt realize the impact it had on those who worked in this sector.

    Trump picked on it and did so quite well

    My mother who is 70 years old asked me from Lahore, why Trump won. I said to her that there were many people voting for their wallets and being indifferent to morals and perceived phobic statements, and many who didnt vote, for they didnt see a viable Candidate.

    Muslims need to be bold, they are highly educated and their average salary levels are higher than the average American. They have a lot to contribute. and can do so without fear reason and practicality.

  8. Brad Lyttle–I was so depressed Wednesday morning when I learned that Trump had won that I didn’t get out of bed for a long time. My first thoughtful reaction (I hope it was thoughtful) to the situation was that I had been wrong about the outcome of the election. I could understand how Trump could have beaten his Republican competitors, but I was confident that he could not defeat the Democratic machine. I was wrong.

    My second thoughtful reaction was to analyze Trump’s campaign. There were several main characteristics to his strategy: First, he was demagogic, appealing to every fear and hatred in United States society that he could find. Second, he attacked Hillary in all of her weak areas: the emails, Bengazi, The Clinton Foundation, etc. Third, he went after the “Blue Wall,” realizing that, if he could fracture it, he might win. Fourth, he was indefatigable, working hard up to the last hour of the campaign. As a Quaker, I believe that, “There is that of God in every person,” and I think that is true of Donald Trump, but, at the same time, I would characterize him as personally ambitious, ruthless, and an extraordinarily talented demagogue. I find his talents as a demagogue comparable to Hitler’s, His potential for social destructiveness should not be underestimated.

    I am happy to see a vigorous reaction to his election by people interested in peace and justice. I hope that there will be public protests against all of the unjust programs that he may initiate. These can be successful only if they are nonviolent, and, if they are nonviolent, they should be able to turn abound the regressive political trends that his election has created.

  9. Of the many things I feel I must focus my time and energy and resources on as we move on, one would be to find another woman to run in 2020. For that makes me the saddest, that there will not be a woman in the White House on Jan. 20, 2017.

  10. I feel completely distraught that half the country made it possible to elect this man and what it means to all of us and our country. I would’ve rather dealt with the status quo politician and keep fighting that good old fight than having to fight all the new implications that very likely can come from a trump
    Presidency. Fights we have already fought so hard and came so far for. I feel we need a lot of support groups and campaigns to keep us strong and untried. We need it now more than ever

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