I can say that I'm disgusted and depressed by the election and what it portends for the future of political discourse, not to mention the future. On the one hand, I am relieved not to be in the Homeland, but on the other I feel like I'm shirking my duty by not trying harder to educate fellow citizens of the empire. I'm afraid, and who wouldn't be, that I partially agree with Trump and his sycophants that the media is a morass of crap. While "alternative facts" is not helpful or very descriptive, I think alternative realities are very much a part of the problem with our current discourse. Objective truth certainly exists and shouldn't be so hard to ferret out, but it comes covered with layers of interpretation that affect what we conclude from that truth. That 50 million Americans were without health insurance before Obamacare, for instance, seems like objective truth. While this truth may well be a tragedy for the millions of uninsured, it seems equally valid to interpret it as a tragedy for the insurers. Voicing this interpretation, and questioning the real beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act, however, is regarded as heresy. This same kind of conundrum applies to quite a bit of recent political history. Exegesis is everything, after all. Alternative sets of facts also play a large part in the political illiteracy that troubles me. Fear of Trump and a desire to resist what he appears to stand for is perfectly reasonable. The lack of a corresponding fear and desire to resist the Clintons seems best explained by a profound ignorance of them, their party and policies. Without re-running all of the arguments of the campaign, I'm convinced that all of the fears of racism, misogyny, fascism, tyranny, militarism, etc., etc. should equally apply to Mr. and Mrs. Bill. Unfortunately, by ignorance I don't mean the usual pejorative connotation of poorly educated and uninformed, and certainly don't believe it's willful; that's what worries me so much. Almost all of the people I know well enough to argue politics with have advanced degrees (mostly liberal arts) and better access to information than I have, and make heroic attempts to be informed. And still we reach very different conclusions from the sets of facts available to us. This is where the combination of media and exegesis is at fault. While the idea of "the liberal media" is easily disproved, media manipulation by the wealthy and politically powerful is fairly apparent, given your exegetical bent. Most recently, right here in my adopted Homeland, the Abe administration has spent about $4 million this year on public service alerts regarding what to do in the event of a North Korean missile strike. The duck and cover campaign (honest !) has been derided by most as an example of incompetence that serves to weaken the government but a few on the fringe of politics have pointed out that the Abe government is providing millions in desperately needed advertising revenue to the media that will report on its policies, and has increased the amount spent each year of Abe's tenure. These fringe sites also point out that the very few media outlets still critical of the government don't get the contracts to publish the "public service" announcements. At the risk of being accused, yet again, of political conspiracy, I would recommend a reading of the FCC deregulation during the Clinton administration as well as the DNC e-mails published by Wikileaks regarding the media celebrities (especially news) who contributed to both the Clinton campaign and the Clinton Foundation and suggest that there is a quid pro quo there similar to what Mr. Abe seems to be attempting here. You may have inferred from my tone that I'm angry at Democrats. Yes, I've become increasingly sceptical of what appears in the most well known media outlets like the NY Times and NPR and Japan Times that so many of the friends I'm at odds with rely on, and which I suspect are freely available where they teach. I don't believe there is an historical precedent for the press being so one sided in its coverage of the two parties while maintaining the usual black out of any alternative. We have reached the ludicrous point where Democrats mock the foolish Republicans for voting against their own interests while simultaneously castigating the holier than thou purists like myself for refusing to vote against our own interests. "Sure he's an asshole, but he's our asshole" was always stupid and the current iteration is obscene and dangerous.