“How Did We Get Into This Mess” in the Age of Trump

Dear Readers,

Since the election, it’s been difficult to write more than strings of upset tweets as we processed together. I was not shocked that so many people voted for Trump. For a year, I’ve been predicting he’d receive 48-52% of the vote, with most people who voted Republican continuing to do so. I did think, of course, that as the polls consistently showed a Clinton win, a Clinton win was coming. I began to dream of a liberal Supreme Court in particular, something I’ve never seen as an adult. That dream is now dead. I don’t know if RBG or Breyer can hang on for 4 more years – I hope so – but there’s a fair chance they can’t. And then it’s a conservative court until the 2030s, most likely.

I started this blog to talk about the historical context of contemporary events and little pieces about parenting. Gradually, my disability writing evolved from the usual sort of parent blogging to reported pieces around violence and abuse. There’s been well over a million readers, and I’m humbled by this. It was never my goal to become a journalist or even a public intellectual. I just wanted to be a great teacher, a pretty good scholar, work with my colleagues at Dominican and nationally on building good systems, all while playing some music and being the best husband and father that I could be. All of those things still remain important (especially the teaching and family life!), but my writing has changed. Thank you all for reading.

I have a very difficult month ahead. Two major deadlines (an article, a white paper), my book to push ahead, all while finishing up a packed semester of full-time teaching and an administrative role. I am going to try and recharge a bit, though will certainly keep posting relevant links on higher ed, disability, language, and power.

As I move forward into the next year, though, I’ll be back. I am setting up more secure ways to communicate, from the encrypted chat/VOIP app Signal (at six one two three nine six four eight three seven), PGP, a way to send me files and messages, and other standard journalist tools.

I believe that the Paul Ryan agenda will get passed by the GOP House and Senate and signed by Trump. I believe that this agenda will cause direct harm to people with disabilities and their families, liberal and conservative alike. 

I intend to report on those harms. I will ask you to share stories, to share policy documents, to help me draw the links between the things that happen in DC and the state houses and the lives of individual Americans. I intend to push more established journalists to better understand the disability community and to have that understanding inform their reporting. But I will also just personally tell whatever stories I can carve out space to tell.

And if I’m wrong, if the GOP approach makes lives better, I’ll report that too.

I know that most of my readers – lefties – are mourning. Don’t let anyone tell you how to grieve, but try not to aim your anger at other grieving people who you think are doing it wrong. I’ve seen way too many upset people spending their anger yelling at each other, when the fights are just beginning. Time will tell.

Thanks again for reading. The new work begins.

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