The Libt@rd’s Recommended Reading List

Will Chase

A couple days after the election — still reeling, heartsick and terrified — my wife stopped me as I was leaving the house for work. “What do we do?” she asked. I thought about it for a second. “I don’t know yet,” I said. “I think we wait, see what happens, figure how we can help, and do whatever we can while keeping our family safe.”

Yeah, it's like that.

Yeah, it’s like that.

But in the meantime, I realized there’s something critical we liberal elites really need to do starting right now. And that is to get off our high horse, shut the fuck up and LISTEN. And when I say listen, I mean REALLY FUCKING AUTHENTICALLY LISTEN. Not to the people in our confirmation bias-ridden echo chamber, but to the others: the (clearly very large) swath of America’s population who don’t see things the way we do. The ones we blithely write off as racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, poorly-educated, Bible-thumping, gun-loving imbeciles. Yes, them.

Because while some certainly are exactly that, the great majority are in fact not. Like you and me, they’re just desperate to find some goddamn security (financial or otherwise) in their future, reclaiming what they’d been told was the American Dream. Just how desperate? Well, they were willing to hand a dangerous demogogue the most powerful job in the world in hopes of getting it.

But rather than arrogantly assume we know them, what they think, and what motivates them (or as some would characterize it, “fucking everything”), we need to listen, understand, and engage them in meaningful dialog that (hold tight now … this is a shocker) actually RESPECTS THEIR PERSPECTIVE. Then we’ll have a hope in hell of establishing some common ground to work from. Because guess what? Ignoring people or insulting them, implicitly or explicitly, is a sure way to get them to stop listening to your point of view and start looking around for a brick to huck through your window — perhaps in the form of a VOTE.

So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m giving us libtards (actually starting to understand that term now, and … psst, that’s a start) some homework. I’m compiling a reading list that’ll shed some light on the folks you’ve forgotten or, just as likely, never knew in the first place. The list is good, but by no means exhaustive. I’d like it to be great, so please email me suggested additions.

And what can you do? First off, share this. Then, think about how you can leverage your skills to foster authentic dialog with the “other side”, reach out and build bridges. Cuz talking past each other and beating each other bloody in the middle of the ring? Yeah, that ain’t gonna do it.

Here’s the list … thank you for reading:

How Half Of America Lost Its F**king Mind
By David Wong

The Awful Secret Behind Trump and This Election (podcast)
with Jack O’Brien and David Wong

The End of Identity Liberalism
By Mark Lilla

Trump Won and I Don’t Understand Why You Don’t Understand
By Akers Law Offices

What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class
By Joan C. Williams

I’m a Muslim, a woman and an immigrant. I voted for Trump
By Asra Q. Nomani

How We Fight
By Tim O’Reilly

Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit
By Glenn Greenwald

The Pendulum Swings Both Ways
By Alex Young

The Unconscionable Abandonment of Rural America
By Jeff Spross

As more move to the city, does rural America still matter?
By Christopher Doering

Trump Woos the Heartland
By Helena Bottemiller Evich

Smallville, USA, Fades Further
By Neil Shah

Tom Vilsack’s lonely fight for a ‘forgotten’ rural America
By Greg Jaffe

Yearning to be Great Again, Rural Iowa Turns to Trump
By Kevin Hardy

Income Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think
By Nicholas Fitz

For Richer, For Poorer
By Zanny Minton Beddoes

Makers and Takers (book)
By Rana Foroohar

Awakening to Ruins (poem)
By Robert Ginsberg

What’s Killing the American Middle Class?
By Richard Eskow

Too Rich to be Poor, Too Poor to Get By
By Lili Holzer-Glier

76 million Americans are struggling financially or just getting by
By Tami Luhby

On Trump’s Final Argument for America: “Corruption”
By Lawrence Lessig

Just How Bad Is Emerging, and How Good Is the U.S.?
By Ben Inker

Globalisation and rapid change sparked populist backlash, says Obama
By Mark Odell

Why Donald Trump Will Win (video)
By Michael Moore

Not Always With Us
The Economist

Rig the Election … with Math!
By Oliver Roeder

We must rethink globalization, or Trumpism will prevail
By Thomas Piketty

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2 Comments. Leave new

Vendetta Jones
November 18, 2016 7:20 pm

*slow clap* The saddest thing about this election, for me, was realizing red hot political rhetoric has become the new hate speech.

Reply
Christopher Thean
November 18, 2016 11:12 pm

Uncomfortable as it may be, I agree completely with this. I am a Brit living in California and I’ve seen, back home, examples of working class people’s concerns being dismissed out of hand by the people in power, a great example being Gordon Brown’s gaffe in 2010 (https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/politics/2010/apr/28/gordon-brown-bigoted-woman%3F0p19G%3De). I’ve said for years we need to have honest open dialogue and the lack of that has driven voters from traditionally strong Labour seats into the arms of UKIP. There are uncanny parallels between the class politics in the UK and USA. That’s quite a reading list but I’ll try a couple!

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