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November 20, 2016 | At 72, I experienced election night with a 103-degree temperature, so it was literally a fever-dream for me. And in a certain sense, it’s remained so ever since. Now that a white supremacist has just been made the next president’s closest White House adviser, and the president-elect has called conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars to thank him and his followers for their part in his election victory, we have reasonable confirmation that we are indeed in a fever-dream America.
Hate incidents are on the rise. It’s easy enough to imagine the Bundy brothers being let loose in the West. A climate change denier is running the Trump environmental policy transition. The candidate himself will arrive in Washington with an enemies list already in formation (beating Dick Nixon to the punch by years). The mainstream media have tied themselves in apologetic knots for believing the pollsters on Hillary’s “victory” and not bothering to talk enough to the white working class voters who came out for Trump (and whom Clinton abandoned for white millionaires and billionaires). And the new president is being normalized by the old one, who previously excoriated him in the name of democracy, while mainstream pundits and journalists desperately look for signs that Donald Trump will be a pragmatic, recognizable American president once he takes the mantle of power.
Rebecca Gordon, a TomDispatch regular, teaches in the philosophy department at the University of San Francisco. She is the author of American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes. Her previous books include Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States and Letters from Nicaragua.