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What the hell happened?

Posted by Bob Shavelson at Nov 17, 2016 08:47 PM |
That’s the question I’ve heard most since the election. We’ve read a lot of the post-mortems, talked to a lot of Alaskans, and spent many hours thinking, alone and with friends, about our world and where it’s going. This election turned our thinking on its head. All our assumptions about data and polling and analysis were wrong. That’s a pretty big gut-punch. Now, we’ve elected a President who believes climate change is a hoax.
What the hell happened?

That’s the question I’ve heard most since the election.

We’ve read a lot of the post-mortems, talked to a lot of Alaskans, and spent many hours thinking, alone and with friends, about our world and where it’s going.

This election turned our thinking on its head. All our assumptions about data and polling and analysis were wrong. That’s a pretty big gut-punch.

Now, we’ve elected a President who believes climate change is a hoax.

Despite the dark clouds ahead, there’s at least one silver lining: this election revealed in the starkest terms yet the deep rifts that divide us as Alaskans and as Americans.

And now that we can see them more clearly, we can address them.

Fortunately, many of these rifts are the result of an entrenched economic agenda Inletkeeper has been fighting for years.  So, we understand why people are so pissed-off.

We know corporations have a legal duty to pass their costs off to others in order to maximize profits.  That’s why we oppose the type of sweeping regulatory rollbacks pushed by the Resource Development Council of Alaska and other corporate front groups that threaten our salmon and our drinking water.

We know unfair trade agreements drive a regulatory “race-to-the-bottom” that undercuts our environmental, consumer and worker safeguards at home. That’s why we oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and the multinational corporations that worked behind closed-doors to create it.

And we know the richest oil, gas and mining corporations on the planet can afford to pay a little more so Alaskans can have basic health care and transportation and education and emergency response services.

That’s why we oppose the radical austerity program engrained in our current tax system that’s starving public services and giving multinational oil and gas corporations the most generous profits on the planet.

This election was about a lot of things, and it was disgusting and humiliating in its overt racism, bigotry and misogyny.

But it was also about deep-seated frustration with a corporate construct hell-bent on transferring our public wealth to private hands. Because growing inequality drove a lot of Obama voters to Trump.

So, I’m not here to tell you I know how you feel, or that we have all the answers. We don’t.  But we do have a long history fighting over the very rifts that created a President Trump. And that gives us a leg up for the coming fight.

With your voice, and your support, we’ll keep pushing ahead toward a more-sustainable Alaska that recognizes the rightful role of big corporations as providers for the people, and understands climate change is not a hoax but a new reality for Alaska and the world.

Yours for Cook Inlet –

 

Bob Shavelson

Inletkeeper