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Living through the days that followed the Democratic Convention, we get a good idea of what the period immediately after Hillary's election as President will look like. There will be an orgy of self-satisfaction and mutual congratulations. "The system worked," we will be told. With our deep democratic insights we rejected a truly evil man, a potential dictator, like Saddam Hussein, someone who would rule us. Truly-- heave sigh--America is the greatest country in the world. And not only that. We also have elected the first woman president, after having elected the first African-American President. Hillary Clinton is be the jewel in America's exceptional crown.

The only problem is the system will remain broken. This is not only a matter of the points that Sanders raised in the primary: the rigging of the economic system, fraud as Wall Street's business model, an economy that generates wealth almost wholly for the already rich. Beyond all that, the combination of the Trump and the Sanders insurgencies pointed to an underlying crisis in the system. The economic transformation that set in in 2007 was not simply a business downturn, from which one can recover. Rather it was a structural transformation of the American system, comparable to those that occurred in the 1890s, the 1930s, and the1970s. Addressing this transformation should have begun with the election of Obama, but it did not. Therefore it has to start now, but hasn't. Let us begin to think this through with the coming triumph over Trump.

It is very important that this victory takes place in a way that respects Trump's followers, and that requires respecting Trump himself. The President of the US has no business suggesting, as he did yesterday, that if Trump were elected he would have a problem urging Americans to follow and support him. Trump, to be sure, invites negative energy, but insofar as this takes the form of massive, highly personalized horror at his very presence in the race, or of the exaggerations and distortions that have marred the New York Times' coverage of the primaries; I have in mind here its essential cheer-leading for Clinton, exemplified by its refusal to cover her claim that the FBI described her as "truthful," but also by the continued marginalization of Sanders and the politics he represents. This type of coverage creates a huge problem for the future in the form of a resentful third or so of the population. Trump's followers are the people of whom Barack Obama said in 2008 "the jobs have been gone now for 25 years [33 now] and nothing's replaced them. ... It's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." If we do not understand the extent to which elite rule, stagnant wages and the desire for a President who truly has their back underlies the Trump insurgency, we will lay the ground for a real fascist movement, which the Trump campaign is not.

Nor is this a matter that Clinton can address with a jobs program alone; rather, cultural issues are equally important. But we cannot frame this election in terms of a struggle between the people who believe in tolerance, equal rights for women and gays and racial equality and people who don't, even if that is a part of the story. In addition, the Cultural Revolution -- the revolution of women, gays, racial minorities and immigrants-- that we have been living through since the 1960s has to become more self-conscious, more tolerant and dialogic. We need a more nuanced approach to racial and sexual change. There are areas where the wrongs are so entrenched, that we need to push ahead aggressively. Black Lives Matter is one such. There are areas where our advance is largely secure, but requires vigilance, such as marriage equality. And there are areas, such as the efforts to regulate male/female sexuality, exemplified in the idea that the universities are "rape culture," where we need to be sure that we are describing a real wrong involved before we mobilize. We cannot act as if we will lose our newborn rights unless we keep a vast portion of the American people -- essentially the white working class-- out of power. Albert Camus warned of the danger that victims turn into executioners. Bob Moses spoke of this in Mississippi. It remains an important caution today.

Finally, Trump has put forth many important ideas, which the media-- notably the Times-- has treated as examples of his ignorance and out of control behavior. Most important has been his questioning of NATO and the US Russian policy. Trump is not the only ill-informed bully to get close to the Presidency. In 1945 Harry Truman replaced Franklin Roosevelt, and under the influence of the Wall Street bankers and lawyers who always surround the President, he reversed the policies that had defeated Nazism and initiated the worldwide crusade that has brought the US to its current troubles. In the 1980s, when the fall of communism made a new world possible, the US clung to its anti-Russian stance, in the form of a reaffirmed and expanded NATO. The ignorance that clouds this question is not Trump's. It does not even occur to Americans that the language we use to describe Putin is the same language we used to describe communism. Here we have a fundamental difference from Clinton, who is an interventionist and a believer in American exceptionalism, currently supported by all the right wing Republicans that-- like her-- supported the invasion of Iraq.

After Clinton is elected we will see a massive economic program enacted, in part because the world capitalist system is in such difficulties, in part because the Trump insurgency has destroyed the old Republican ideas of small government and austerity, which to a great extent pervaded the Obama presidency. Immigration and the place of the working class will be at the center of this program. But there are crucial questions to be addressed as to its design. We can build a program that begins to work with the rest of the world to address common problems, not just climate change but the building of an economy that works for people. Or we can continue to build on the toxic mixture of American exceptionalism, high finance and political correctness that Hillary Clinton at present represents. If we are to move the country in a better direction, the present hysteria over Trump has to give way to reasoned outreach to his followers.

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