things i’m more worried about, things i’m less worried about, and things i’m not that worried about, really, but that i’m worried about them at all is friggin’ terrifying

Trump won. Expertise is useless. Knowledge is perspectival. I am the best race scholar.* Do with this what you will: my list of things to worry about more, less, and maybe but holy smokes that’s scary it’s even possible.

Things I’m Less Worried About

1. The Wall and Deportations.
It’s possible, of course, but it seems pretty clear that Trump actually just wants to maintain what Obama’s doing, which is actually a lot of deportations, but nothing that much bigger. The question is what red meat he’ll throw to his base, because as you’ll see, I’m not sure how much of this stuff he can really do. To be clear, this is not the same thing as the culture of the country: see below.

2. Lock Her Up.
It’s just not going to happen. There might be a special prosecutor appointed, mind you, but I’m not super concerned about finding anything. Still, it will be an insult added to injury.

3. Obamacare.
The key point is the word “replace” in all the language. Don’t get me wrong: it’s going to be worse. But there’s a moral mandate not to go back to a lot of the problems before Obamacare, and I think those are more or less baked into the social fabric. But then, heck, I didn’t think Trump would be elected.

4. Education.
We actually might have a bit more local control now and less obsession with a technocratic elite’s measurements.

5. Freedom of the Press
Trump talks a big game, but enough Republicans care about this stuff that I think we’ll be okay.

6. The Republican Party Being a Complete Doormat to a Semi-Fascist
I think people like Rubio will want to show how they can be the loyal opposition within the party. But I could be totally wrong about this.

Things I’m More Worried About

1. Muslims and Islam.
It seems quite possible Trump will work to stop Muslims from coming into this country in some way, and more importantly, that his language will help ISIS maintain a Muslims/West dichotomy which is a trap that, to W’s credit, he didn’t fall into. I don’t know what the spillover will be into Israel/Palestine, but it can’t make that situation any better.

2. Climate Change and the EPA
We are all kinds of screwed.

3. Trade Wars.
Trump will keep his word on this stuff I think, both because he actually seems to care more about it, and because it’s the red meat he’ll choose to throw. I know very few economists of any sort who think the kind of thing Trump is describing is a good idea FOR THE AMERICAN WORKERS WHO VOTED FOR TRUMP, let alone for the rest of the country or world. I’d like very much to be wrong about this, even just that Trump would do good by the workers of Pennsylvania. But I doubt even this.

4. Women’s Rights.
This is really a Supreme Court thing, and it’s going to be terrible.

5. LGBT rights (most likely)
I just don’t think Trump cares, really. The question is how much the Republican house and senate care and the kinds of judges he gets. So if it’s just up to Trump, I actually might put 5 (and even 4) above in “not that worried” (even if he owes debts to his base on abortion more than gay marriage). But w/ a Republican house and senate and court, well, bad news, I think. The only possibility is we might well get a supreme court justice who is pro LGBT rights even if they remain opposed to abortion. It’s an increasingly common position on the right.

6. Taxes and Federal Revenue.
Trump’s going to supply side the holy hell out of us.

7. Labor Rights.
See number four: Supreme Court.

8. The Middle East and ISIS
Newt and Rudy et al will encourage a sledgehammer rather than scalpel, which will just send the roaches into other houses, where they will breed and infest all over the damn place.

9. A Cultural Mainstreaming of White Supremacy.
Even if I’m not quite as worried about mass deportations, I am very worried about an increasing comfort with a certain kind of (white, native born) American being the normatively accepted one, which has always, obviously been the case, but at which progress had been being made. Folks like Coulter and Breitbart even more acceptable.

10. Russian aggression.
More or less even odds now they go into a NATO country in some capacity (maybe not quite as boldly as into Ukraine). What do we do? Maybe nothing. Then what does Europe say to us? Which brings us to:

11. International treaties in general.
We very well may become more isolationist than we’ve been since before WW2.

12. A war of choice.
Note that becoming isolationist (leaving treaties; not helping allies) does not prevent us from a war of choice, especially one that fights bad guys (Muslims!) and that could gin up popularity once Trump doesn’t build the wall and the jobs don’t come back. Entirely possible that gets him a second term.

13. A Second term.
See number 12, plus the Democratic party is a mess.

14. No change in Congress in two years.
Have you seen the Senate map for 2018? And the house is still gerrymandered as fork.

Things I’m Not That Worried About, Really, But That I’m Worried About Them at All is Friggin’ Terrifying

1. Nuclear war.
Because it won’t be (or probably won’t be) with Russia, I’m not that worried about nuclear apocalypse, but I’ve never been more nervous about us nuking someone again.

2. Global Depression.
There’s a lot of precarious pieces form the recovery, and Trump could just knock over that whole jenga game with a big orange headbutt. In fact, he will. The only question is how many pieces he’ll actually manage to knock over.

3.World War III.
Julian Go is talking a lot about this. Russia could start it somehow, and I’m not sure how we’d get pulled in, especially if we no longer care about alliances, but there are all sorts of ways, especially via the various already existing proxy fights in the Middle East.

4. An end to our democracy.
Look, I don’t think it’s at all likely, but I can imagine it now in ways I could not before. I keep thinking about Spain and Germany.

5. Ethnic cleansing.
Again, I don’t think it’s at all likely, but there’s talk. There’s lots and lots of talk. And I think we can no longer afford to ignore it. If you’re anything but white and male in America, you have a legitimate reason to be afraid.


*I am not actually the best race scholar.  At least one thing is true, despite the angry mass’s protest votes otherwise.


Written by jeffguhin

November 9, 2016 at 4:23 pm

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  1. Re: LGBT rights, Pence is already making noises. Re: Obamacare, I think you may be overly optimistic. Re: everything else, sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    Dan Hirschman

    November 9, 2016 at 4:29 pm

  2. Dan, yeah, friggin’ Pence. The difference is that Rudy and Christie really don’t care. And Newt changes his mind all the time. We don’t really know yet how the cabinet is going to shake up in terms of relative power.



    November 9, 2016 at 4:38 pm

  3. Nuclear war might be more probable (even though still unlikely) in East Asia. North Korea might have just gained a moral license to have actual nuclear weapon, in which case Japan will want to have one (and South Korea will have a license to have one, if Trump keeps threatening to pull the US troops out). It’s back to Cold War all over again there. Many political scientists (very rightfully so) suggested that the balance of power and assurance of mutual destruction during the Cold War is exactly why nuclear war didn’t happen; but nuclear war is only more probable (even if still unlikely) when all actors have nuclear weapon and have some kind of moral license to use it.

    Liked by 1 person


    November 9, 2016 at 5:09 pm

  4. This is what happens when universities is filled with PC liberals who don’t know shit about the world around them. What we need is a counter intellectual revolution – like in the 1960s – a reset the entire academic system and especially the social sciences.



    November 9, 2016 at 7:49 pm

  5. Fabio, “I can’t believe its not better.” The supreme court has afforded neoliberalism with some great victories of late. The court will move radically right for another decade at least. Its not just women’s rights.

    Dewey, Public and its Problems:

    The State is the self-actualization of the public. The State must be able to formulate public problems and actions to redress them. The most immediate threat to the democracy, the source of the crisis, is the weak correspondence between the State and the public, given our electoral process (i.e., how we draw districts, finance campaigns, the electoral college). These “rules of representation” will only worsen, now. And, we have no way to stop it. I know this sort of problem is difficult to see, especially in academic life where there is a weak correspondence between scientific productivity and academic prestige (as you explain pedigree > performance). I think we learned from Trump that elitism creates a lot of blinders. So, the ongoing legitimacy crisis, described above, and the courts are at the top of my list. Gone are all means for correcting this problem through the courts. Are Emirbayer and I the only ones reading the old stuff anymore?


    Gordon Gauchat

    November 9, 2016 at 8:07 pm

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