Hundreds gathered at a City Club of Portland Friday Forum on Friday, Nov. 11 to commiserate on the results of the Nov. 8 election.
“Elections 2016: What Just Happened?” was the topic. After an hour of dialogue, it was clear that what didn’t happen in Portland was a new understanding of why vast areas of middle America and rural areas of Oregon rejected liberal dogma and the Democratic Party.
Instead, the discussion swarmed with complaints of racism, misogeny, Islamaphobia and xenophobia by Donald Trump and his supporters.
The panel moderator was Sarah Mirk, online editor of @BitchMedia and host of feminist podcast, Popaganda Backtalk. Her perspective was revealed the night of the election when she tweeted, “Should have brought anti-nausea meds to watch the election results.
The panel included: Jesse Beason, Director of Color PAC; Amy Herzfeld-Copple, co-executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, and; Julie Rabadi, chair of Young Republicans of Oregon.
“So many of us are still reeling today in shock and despair,” Mirk observed in her opening remarks. “No question this election has left us scared, stunned and angry,” Herzfeld-Copple added. “Many of us are grieving.”
Studies showed that Trump supporters were “much higher on the racial resentment score,” Beason said. This was “the first election I can remember where someone running on a racist and misogynist platform wins. Either voters themselves have racist proclivities, or it just didn’t matter enough that their presidential nominee did, for them not to vote for him.”
“…the ugliness and targeting of marginal communities” won’t stop until Americans “who perceive themselves as losing power get to less than a majority,” opined Herzfeld-Copple.
What the panel didn’t talk about
What the panel didn’t talk about was this map of the U.S., showing how the Republicans swept most of middle America and then some:
or this map showing Hillary Clinton’s loss of most of rural Oregon, including Lake County, where Donald Trump captured 79 percent of the votes for president:
or the clear evidence that economically anxious blue collar voters, particularly whites, feel they’ve been forgotten, that America’s middle class is under seige, that many Americans were deeply offended by Hillary Clinton calling many of Trump’s supporters “deplorables” and “irredeemable.”
The Friday Forum panel didn’t talk about the fact that, in contrast to much of middle America, they and their City Club audience were largely higher income, educated, upwardly mobile professionals
What wasn’t discussed was that the Forum participants were largely liberal Oregonians living in a blue bubble. As Michael Moore said, “Unfortunately, you are living in a bubble that comes with an adjoining echo chamber…” and don’t understand the anger of Americans at “… all who wrecked their American Dream.”
What the Friday Forum, taking place in a liberal “Sanctuary City”, didn’t talk about was how much of America is struggling to deal with massive immigration, both legal and illegal, and changes to American culture. Beason even said, “…illegal immigration is actually not a significant issue here in America.”
Finally, what they didn’t talk enough about was the need to listen to and try to understand people not like themselves. “No one wants to hear an opposing viewpoint.,” said Young Republicans Chair Julie Rabadi. “No one wants to consider it, to understand why somebody else thinks a different way.”
Not a good sign.