What next after Tuesday?

Since last Tuesday’s result, many have written to me asking “what should we do now?” We all need to process the events and that will take some time.

I’ll share some of the concerns that are at the top of my mind as a state legislator.

First, there are a lot of people feeling very unsafe right now. Our President-elect said many destructive things as a candidate. With his harsh insults, he encouraged Americans to disrespect one another. His words have had consequences, even on elementary school playgrounds. I will take every opportunity to send the positive message that Massachusetts is no place for hate.

Second, it does look like he will appoint one or more conservative Supreme court justices. He is not, himself, by any stretch, a social conservative, but he made clear campaign promises in this area and seems likely to keep them.

To the extent the Supreme Court peels away federal constitutional protections on civil liberties, state legislators and state courts will become more important in protecting those liberties. I am personally very deeply committed to equality and civil liberty and I believe that other Massachusetts leaders will step up to emerging challenges in this area.

Third, it seems likely that, with Republican majorities in both branches, he will seek to dismantle many things that were built by President Obama and the Democratic majorities he had in his first term, perhaps most notably in the health care and environmental areas.

In Massachusetts, universal coverage is likely to survive – we had our reforms in place before the Affordable Care Act. I do not expect the Trump administration to cut federal funding for health care (most governors would oppose that), but new federal leadership may create challenges for us since we need federal permission for many of our coverage and cost-control initiatives.

Tragically, on the environmental front, we do need national leadership to make real progress. We are going to lose another few critical years in our efforts to reduce carbon emissions. If our new President formally abrogates the Paris agreement, it will set us back even further.

Fourth, immigration policy is another area where state policies will become more important. We may be asked to support increasingly harsh federal enforcement. I will continue to work to make Massachusetts a welcoming place for immigrants — all residents of Massachusetts should be able to trust local enforcement to protect them from crime.

Finally, we do have to acknowledge and respond to the power of Candidate Trump’s economic message. While many in the district I represent are doing well economically, there are many who are not. Establishment free trade policies have devastated the work prospects of many Americans. Many people who had deep concerns about his hateful language voted for him because he spoke to that reality with persuasive passion.

Trade is a national dilemma and President Trump will find that there are no easy answers. But at the state level, I am more committed than ever to looking for ways to make sure that everyone has a way forward in our economy.

Our national leaders have a lot to sort out with the new balance of power. I will be watching closely and continuing to consider how national changes require new responses from state leaders. I welcome your guidance now and at every stage of the process.

What can I do?

Jeff and Linda Levin-Scherz held a wonderful discussion last Sunday (11/20) in Belmont. Congresswoman Clark participated as well as Democratic National Committee member Jim Roosevelt. Our national political leaders are sorting out strategy in the new landscape, but a couple of ways for people to be involved right away came out.

  • First, support the free press by paying for subscriptions to reputable news organizations. There is a lot of unreliable news out there in social media and it is harder and harder for serious news organizations to survive. Their investigate and truth-telling roles are essential in a functioning democracy. Subscriptions make a great holiday gift.
  • Second, join and support advocacy groups that stand for the causes you care about that may be threatened by the new balance of power in Washington. Again, this is also an opportunity for holiday giving.
  • Generally, become engaged and engage others in the many ongoing conversations about the future of our country.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

139 replies on “What next after Tuesday?”

  1. Wonderful statement, Will. Clear-eyed, eloquent and to the point. Thanks. Bill Phillips

    1. Beautifully eloquent, insightful, and balanced. We are grateful for those of you in public service who represent our best selves. Thank you, Will.

      We have so much to learn from this and so much work to do to rebuild….

  2. Thank you for all you can do to protect our human and civil rights during the coming challenging times.

  3. Well first of all I’m in shock. The popular vote was won by Hillary Clinton, and the electoral college as predicted by the press did not. I think the country is reacting to eight years and the loss of one of the greatest presidents we have ever had, and yes he happened to be black and to be born in an island state, but he was kind and funny and generous as was his wife and family. What will happen to him and us?

    We are now faced with the rule of a president who for the first time in a very long time since Reagan, has sons and not only daughters. Maybe we played the feminist card too long in our presidential history, but we are faced now with a man that no longer has had to answer to only daughters but sons as well.

    I am very sorry Hillary lost and like most of the country I am frightened about what lies ahead, but Trump is human like the rest of us, and like most humans, he can be changed. Let us pray it is for the better…

  4. Smug, wine and cheese, out of touch “Dems” saw to it that Bernie was denied a fair chance. Now we have Trump. Congrats.

  5. Pres elec trump made these comments.. i watch all news stations. Liberal media made alot of this up. We will not protect illegals who happen to be criminals.. they should go. And anyone here illegally needs to be registered, if you came over without your parents and you are not 18. You should go back. If you have been here and a respectable citizen then you should have to register and pay taxes like everyone else and be given a work permit visa. The liberal media and people like you who created this false flag of fear should be assamed of yourselves but that is unlike you. You will blame someone else.

    O. The school playground all i hear and my children here is how Hilary is great and trump is a liar so again. It seems the schools and poor parenting are allowing this and I DONT FEEL SAFE WITH LUNATIC LIBERALS. luckily my children will learn the truth. Hilary is a criminal.

    For your environment.. who put the epa together? Why do they go after a farmer fishing with his daughter on their own pond? Why havent they gone after themselves for polluting the rivers due to releasing tons of toxic water from a mine killing millions of fish birds and other wildlife rendering the entire river through several states toxic especially to the native americans who used that water.

    You need to look in the mirror the one polluting and causing harm is you and yhe dnc.

    It should of been a fair election with trump and bernie.. but we know what happened.. liberals didnt care about the peoplenor this country theybcare about money in their pockets. Hilary was a republican and you forgot trump voted demoractic for a long time.

    Get over it and accept your defeat.. there is a paricipation medal waiting for you.

  6. I’m curious to hear what message the politicians of Massachusetts take away from the election?

    Some of the same disparities that drove Trump to victory exist here as well.

    1. I really think the core message is that a lot of people are hurting economically and if we don’t pay attention to that, we are not doing our job. We have to stay focused on that.

      That doesn’t mean there are easy answers. It’s easy enough on the campaign trail to “feel the pain” of the voters. It’s a whole different thing to make a difference.

  7. I wonder if it is possible to do an end run on the environment. We have the scientific genius in this country to make thw advances in solar and wind. What used to take a roomful of mainframe computers now fits on a flashdrive. Can we ask the corporations who opposed this administration to back the R&D?

    1. This i agree with solar is only 22% efficient.. get it to 60 or 70% and then we can use more of it

  8. Will. I appreciate your leadership at this moment in US history. Please consider creating a list of organizations who have established practices to fight against infringements upon civil liberties. There undoubtedly will be significant infringement on fourth amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. There will be reprocusions on those who exercise speech that critsizes the administration. This will include members of the press. Guliani may well create Hoover style lists of those journalists who will be black balled and investigated by DOJ.
    With the defunding of the EPA and reduced regulation the only protection for the environment will come in the form of non profit, private organizations who have been fighting for the victims of pollution for years. These organizations will get no federal funds and therefore will need support from private donations, especially civic minded corporations.
    Along those lines, it would help to have a list of those responsible corporations so that we might patronize them. Obviously, as a public servat you can not sponsors any business over another, however, your constituents may be able to compile such a list.
    Those of us who are appalled by the direction this election is taking the country will need a place to communicate and organize. I believe that your organization and leadership on so many issues makes you one of the people around whom we can take steps to counter the erosion of civil liberties. Thanks for being in there for the people.

  9. I do believe that we must NOT go along with the immigration policy DT has proposed. I am ready to start sanctuaries to keep this from happening. I’m a native born American but my father was an immigrant from Norway during WW11 and he supported full immigration rights all his life. In his memory I will continue to fight for immigrants

    1. Noone has an issue with immigration rights including DT. We are against circumventing the current policies and laws. My family was k ot born here. They came legally from war torn countries. They all served.. i served and will always stand up to free the oppressed however that is not what is going on. We are creating loopholes to bypass many people who came here. Why is it my best friend had to wait 3 yrs.. pass a ton of tests.. has to show his bank statements to work here as a scientist at MIT. But not those who illegally enter. Its backwards. If you are here illegally you meed to register and get work visa or if your a criminal then you go home. Name one country that allows you to cross over illegally? Just one please.

        1. Thank you Senator Brownsberger. I’ve decided to try for citizenship next year. You can definitely count on my vote.

          I remember when ICE raided the factory in New Bedford a few years back, how some of the women ran into the ocean, and that in the middle of winter. That kind of fear suggests an experience far different from my own immigrant experience (which, coming from Canada, isn’t so different from state to state migration other than a whole lot of extra paper work). I feel like there’s a troubling lack of compassion among many on this issue.

          Finally, as a factual matter people should look at the level of unauthorized immigration since the financial crash. People speaking about “illegal immigration” don’t seem to be aware that it has largely ground to a halt as economic opportunities have gone away, particularly immigration from Mexico, which I believe is net the other way lately. If migration reacts to labour demand, then how much of a problem can it really be? You know some day, from demographic change, you may find yourself hurting for immigrants. If you look into the place in Cape Breton advertising for liberal Americans to migrate after Donal Trump’s election, aside from it originally being a joke, it’s now a lot to do with them wanting the economic activity and change in average age the immigrants might bring. (But in my view people who feel this way should stay here and push for the kinds of change they wish to see here.)


    2. Our current immigration policy should be based on what is happening in today’s world, not on family/sentimental reasons, or views of someone who lived in the WW2 era.

  10. Had Hillary won, Belmont would have had to build a large number of apartments and homes to house illegal immigrants.
    I am sure, however, that the good people of Belmont would have taken such immigrants into their homes anyway and provided then food and medical care until they got on their feet in a few years.
    It’s sad that we don’t have more children of such immigrants in Belmont so that we can build them a few more schools.
    It would have meant a property tax increase, but I am sure most Hillary voters would have gladly paid a few more thousand a year in taxes.
    Now that Trump will be president, Belmont may never know these blessings.
    Hopefully we’ll elect Bernie Sanders 4 years from now, so that Belmont can welcome its share of illegal immigrants.

  11. Will, I’d like the State Legislature make a declaration of human rights – free from fear of prejudice & protective of free speech and rights of assembly. Enforcement reform, prison reform, increase support for Soc Security & Medicare .

    How about a Progressive Bill of Rights?

    1. But Trump WAS exercising free speech. The problem is that many progressives are two-faced on the freedom of speech issue. They believe in free speech, but get too much bent out of shape when they hear someone say things they don’t like to hear.

  12. Thank you so much for standing up against the hate. I’d also like to thank you for the strong stand you took for NoOn2.

  13. Hi Will,
    Trump will be a different kind of president and at this time we have no clue how to prepare for anything. We have to wait and react in real time. He is a good salesman, a good actor, and totally unpredictable, especially with some of his reversals after the election.
    My prediction is that he will be somewhat overwhelmed by the job ahead. He may be an effective CEO, but has no experience in managing politicians all over the world. The rules are different, and they are many, elected and appointed politicians do not respond according bottom line results. There are no bottom lines.
    So, until Trump settles in the new job we have be tolerant for a while, and exercise a wait-and-see attitude.
    I do envision a lot of turmoil, resignations in large numbers from the Executive Branch for a while. If his character is what it is he may violate some basic rules of government, some laws, and that will slow down government to the point that he will give up the job or be impeached.

    1. “He [Trump] may be an effective CEO, but has no experience in managing politicians all over the world.”

      Obama did not have that experience either, and not even that which comes with being a CEO.

    2. Ottavio Forte writes “Trump may be an effective CEO . . .”

      That is untrue.

      Trump intentionally, systematically drove 7 of his biggest business ventures into bankruptcy, the latest one just a few weeks ago. Bankruptcy court is a core part of his business plans, because he has no integrity, no morality, and no remorse.

      He also routinely contracts with small, local businesses, and then refuses to pay their invoices, knowing that they can’t afford to fight him in court.

      No nation can run on values like these, or a personality like this.

  14. Well in the beginning it really started as a protest against the Republican establishment. Based on the calendar it was the Republican’s time to win anyway and they did but this should have weakened the Republicans to the point that the Democrats should have won in a landslide. From this rube’s perspective they’re so out of touch, strike that, so much in direct conflict with and scapegoating so many people that they couldn’t even limp over the finish line. I trolled for Bernie and Trump against the mainstream but I threw my vote away because I couldn’t vote for either of the candidates in the long run (good thing my guy didn’t win), and I went to bed thinking another 8 years of the same is not what we need, and we got something different, really different. Honestly for me at least, it was supposed to be a major embarrassment to the Republicans and a shock to the system. What we got shows how bad things really are, not how bad they can become. That’s either being an informed voter or voting in a fantasy world, but the fact that a sane person like me 😉 has such a hard time deciding whether to hit them over the head or make an informed choice for best of the bunch (honestly maybe that’s what we got) doesn’t reflect well on the leadership class.

  15. I’m very concerned about Trump’s presidency. I am coming to believe he meant every word, but is keeping quiet now, until he is inaugurated. When he can do and say whatever he pleases with no one to counter him. If he was sincere about healing the country, wouldn’t he be saying something to convince the protesters he wanted their input and support instead fueling their fears. Wouldn’t he be condemning the attacks on Gays, and Muslims, and Blacks and Mexicans? Maybe I should tweet that as a question. I will keep working on ‘fixing’ his rhetoric, but haven’t seen much sign it is working. Wonder what government (s) will fill the void the US is abdicating? How much of our government can he dismantle? How much will Congress let him destroy? Will the ‘Government By And For the People’ be destroyed over the next 4 years or will civility and reason be restored or will we have another Civil War between the coastal states and the center of the country? Everything I consider makes me more nervous and fearful for the younger people.

  16. Although one reason for Trump’s popularity at the poles was his willingness to speak about focusing on domestic issues, I am worried about our mortal and financial security, both of which have been negatively impacted by the election of a someone facile and familiar with international balance, domestic public affairs, and international financial markets.

    How we are perceived affects how we are accorded and what we can do, negotiate for and avert.

    The scene is also very fast, there is no time to learn and decide what one should do or how to do it.

  17. I would only add to your excellent comments that the Democratic Party needs a complete overhaul – we need to build a ‘bench’ of younger, stronger candidates at all levels of Government.

  18. I agree with your analysis. Let me know as we progress what I can do to help. I run an after school youth development program for teens. Most are black or Latino and they are nervous. Thanks for laying this all out.

  19. Thanks for your thoughts and leadership. If we all do many nice things for our neighbors and lead the fight for equality, we can at least feel good about ourselves.

  20. Hello Senator, I share your concerns about the environment under Pres. Trump. But I’m not comfortable with your statement: “I will continue to work to make Massachusetts a welcoming place for immigrants”. Illegal too?

    I for one am not in favor of Massachusetts being effectively a “sanctuary state”. Wealthy communities are protected from the negative impacts of illegal immigration, but not all of us live in wealthy communities.

    As a naturalized US citizen (legal immigrant) myself, I do not think that any public official should aspire to make Massachusetts welcoming to illegal immigrants. They DO take jobs away from low-skill Americans and contribute to growing costs of the social safety net (thereby putting it in danger). Illegal immigration also strains schools and public services in low-income communities.

    Legal immigration to the US is the highest it has ever been. If we still need additional cheap labor (and it’s a big if), the country should have a properly administered guest worker visa program to ensure that those people return to their countries after some period of time.

    Hillary Clinton’s mistaken assumption that all immigrants and most American-born voters automatically favor all kinds of immigration, as well as amnesty (which encourages illegal immigration), was the reason she lost the election. We in Massachusetts voted for her anyway, mostly as an anti-Trump measure I think, but it does not mean that most Massachusetts voters approved of her stand/pandering on immigration.

  21. Thank you Senator. We need your leadership at the local and state level now more than ever. Hopefully here in MA we can pass even more laws to increase renewable energy and keep our air and water safe. We will look to you for that.

  22. Hi Will,

    I echo your analysis of the challenges presented by a Trump presidency, and the greater need for local and state efforts to balance the more destabilizing and destructive developments to come on the national and international stages.

    All is not lost, as many of my liberal friends seem to fear. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back to find the right way forward, whether a child learning to navigate the family yard, or a nation making it’s way through the world in dark times.

    Hopefully the DNC will learn from this experience that it’s not wise to promote candidates simply because it’s “their turn,” or to pick winners before the people have spoken.

    Many other lessons to learn before the mid-terms, so Progressives can bounce back as a viable political force and help steer the ship of state back on course into calmer, better-charted waters.

    I look forward to your leadership in this regard.

  23. I strongly agree with these remarks, particularly the ‘tragedy’ that may befall our national climate policies. I do hope that innovations and market forces will continue to work in favor of more sustainable energy, but I wonder what more a progressive state like Massachusetts can do to offset the federal retreat? And I do worry that too many advocates rely on the carbon reductions claimed for cheap natural gas without adequately accounting for methane release (which may negate most of the gains). Does the legislature have an approach to this?

  24. A measured and clear summary of the undermining and derailment of important policies we are likely to encounter over the next (sigh) four years. We’re fortunate to have you as our State Senator and thank you for your constancy and determination to fight for the values and policies that we cherish.

  25. The healthcare issue is VERY important to a lot of people, myself included. I hope the costs are not going to get so high that people on fixed income won’t be able to afford health insurance

  26. Hi Will: Thanks for this. One of our daughters has suggested we each pick ONE area of concern and just work on that to the beset of our ability. The one I pick (like you) is the global warming problem. Under these new threatening circumstances, what can I/we do to try to change to minds of the unbelievers in science who unfortunately hold power in their hands? Can’t seem to pull the arrow but the space has enlarged itself ! Best, Kit

    1. Stop changing its name.. thats a start.. noone will listen if you keep changing its name. Man made global warming made several democrats rich.. cant say they donated much just pocketed.

      Admit that as science proved the earth has always beem in a state of change.. its all in the ice cores..

      And make it an anti polution campaign. Though i dont believe in global warming or climate change as you try to push it.. i am against unessary pollution. Go after those trucks that spew tons black smoke. Go after india and china who are polluting more than anyone globally.

      Oh right it wasnunder obama so noone was fired.. arrested.. paying fines..

  27. Thank you, Will, for your level headedness.
    A lot of friends of mine voted for that tramp of a man. They include many dear neighbors on Brayton Road . Friendship like love trumps hate, in my eyes, however, please do everything possible with your position to preserve the nominal progress made during the last eight years.
    Best to you,

  28. There is lot to be afraid of. I am concerned with medicare and medicaid. Senator Ryan said that privatization of medicare was a priority, which would leave millions of people with no heathcare possibilities. Trashing so-called Obama care would leave 20 million without resources. And our war debt is now over $2 trillion dollars. After world war two we had war bonds to pay off and under Eisenhower tax rates were 90% so that we could pay off the war debt. We are in the same situation now, but people worth $1MM or more seem to take no responsibility for paying it off.

  29. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! This is exactly what I’m looking for and look forward to engaging more as time goes one.

    I’m terrified at the thought that so many people thought this foul mouthed reality TV bully was a better choice than a professional, seasoned public servant.

    We have witnessed the erosion of our politics and civility since before the “Tea Party” and we have politely sat by as the talk became louder and more accusatory and violent.

    I firmly believe that the Republican Party, with all of his huge money and time enough to develop deep strategies has done a great job of casting doubt about Hillary and the Clinton’s by buying out the integrity of the FBI, continuing to promote Assange and Wikileaks and have knowingly engaged Russia in disastrous cyber hacking and all of this has created the shadow that Hillary and the Clinton Foundation is crooked.

    Someone tell me Comey didn’t equally divulge his work on Trump University and other matters. And at one point I thought Wikileaks and Asange had altruistic goals, I now firmly believe that he was bought either by Rep. and/or Russian $.

    With all of this ill will the cloud of dishonesty and the doubt overshadows everything else. Much like the tobacco companies created doubt about smoking and climate deniers create doubt about climate change.

    Trump was able to say the media is rigged because he was looking in a mirror.

    Yes, many are feeling the negative effects of jobs lost to automation and trade. Yes, the country needs to pay more attention to these issues and work to incite companies to manufacture in this country. Obama has been doing this. Obama’s record of economic growth has been steady and slow and consistent. But no one can do it alone and true to the Rep. work on day 1 of Obama presidency, they would do everything possible to keep him from getting anything done.

    We have much work to do my friends.

    Will, I need to hear from you where I can be putting my energies because this is going to take all of us working to both pay attention and to speak up loudly and clearly for what our half of the nation wants.

    1. You seem to be in your own world and cant admit Hillary and your party are corrupt. Fight your own party dont accuse others.

      1. Both parties are corrupt to their core, John. If somebody leaks or hacks RNC emails, they’ll ready just as bad if not worse. Voters know it, too, it’s why Trump won!

        Unfortunately, Trump’s personnel choices are dipping right back into the same swamp he complained about. Sad.

    2. Thanks, Deb.

      The FBI role was much bigger than it should have been.

      In terms of what to do, job one is enjoy the holidays. We need to let a little time pass and then we’ll be able to dive in as things become clearer.

  30. Will,
    Thanks for a reasoned and upbeat response to election results.
    Despite my sadness, I note that the sun has risen every day since 11/8.


  31. Will,

    I’ve heard a fair bit of talk on “where did the Democrats go wrong in this election” and similar. On Point on WBUR has had a few shows on this already. Most of the pundits and a number of the politicians (including Senator Warren) haven’t been willing to admit all of the problems. They’ve talked about how this large part of the population in the middle of the country is hurting economically, and yes, that is a big part of why they voted for Trump. Clinton did not speak to them at all. Sanders did but we know what happened there. Frankly, I think the Democrats just concentrating on that sells them short.

    – Yes, these people are hurting economically. You mentioned free trade policies. Here’s the thing though, immigration is also a free trade/globalization policy. The left likes to characterize anyone who speaks out against *illegal* immigration as against all immigration and worse, as racist and xenophobic. That type of talk doesn’t help especially when just 2 weeks ago, Pew came out and said that 5% of of the US work force is illegal. Further, these people aren’t just competing for jobs in farming. I’ve seen plenty of houses built in MA and other parts of the country and guess who does a lot of that construction? I’m sorry but you can’t expect an increased supply of labor to have a good effect on individual wages and increasing the minimum wage (something Warren called for in the last few days) will just make the problem worse if you don’t control that flow. Again, being against illegal immigration because it’s lowering your wages doesn’t mean a person is racist.

    – The candidate and the primary that put her there had *lots* of problems. The Clintons are a dynasty and it sure smelled like the primary was a foregone conclusion. People are now complaining about the electoral college when the ridiculous super delegates were used to put the pre-ordained nominee in place. People can wave their hands and say it was an honest process, but perception is reality. And speaking of problems, the email scandal was a huge one regardless of whether it was truly corruption or not. People want to blame Comey but much of the country is going to seriously question a Clinton’s intentions in this regard. Bill Clinton talking to the AG on a runway doesn’t help. Would you use a private email server, or even a private email address, in your official duties? You certainly don’t seem like someone who would.

    – A final point that I doubt most in MA will like to hear, but I travel a fair bit as part of my job to the middle of the country and out west. These people truly care about their 2nd Amendment rights and don’t trust Hillary Clinton even slightly on this issue. In fact, they don’t trust your party as a whole on this issue. For Clinton, they hear her say things like the Heller case was decided incorrectly or we should take a serious look at what Australia did, while Trump has a full NRA endorsement, that matters. They hear Hillary Clinton using euphemisms like “military style weapons” in talks about banning them and they know they have an AR15 in their safe that has never hurt anything other than paper or cans, meanwhile they live in areas with effectively no police (that will show up within an hour). They also resent being made to give up a right to fix places like Chicago that they’ll probably never visit. As for your party, they see the laws in places like MA (Healey’s actions are well known there), NY and CA, don’t want them and know they were enacted by Democratically controlled states. In fact, I’d wager that if the Democrat’s nominee had simply been quiet on this issue, let alone embrace the position that people in the middle of the country hold, they would have won. Bill Clinton understood this and your party has lost sight of it. They feel the same way about this issue as pro-choice supporters feel about Roe v. Wade.

    Frankly, I really doubt the two sides will be reconciled and if anything, the divide will grow. In 4 years, the Republicans will have doubled down on being the party of the religious right and putting their head in the sand on science, and your party will refuse to understand the issues I stated above (especially on the last).

  32. Will,

    Nice summary of what we can do on the state level to blunt the damage we can expect at the national level. I wish I could be more hopeful about the future. Thank you for giving us some hope.

  33. I believe the public reacted–in a time when megatrends of automation/globalization are slowly squeezing jobs year by year–to rapidly escalating costs of these 4 things:


    At root of it is unchecked greed, aided and abetted by establishment politics on both sides of the aisle. A generation ago, lower-middleclass Americans had reasonable access to all the above. I’m seeking to back candidates who will challenge this greed directly. We don’t need to dismantle capitalism, but we do need a well-regulated, level playing field for competition.

    Also, technology has gotten way ahead of public policy. One last point: echo chambers of social media have undermined the resources needed to build a broadly-shared, up-to-date shared foundation of truth. Our democracy depends on it.

    1. Hillary Clinton and the DNC are just as much in bed with Silicon Valley billionaires as the are with Wall Street. In other words, the same companies that working to create driverless cars and trucking. Sure, driverless vehicles are super cool. They are also going to eliminate 3-4 million trucking jobs–some of the last decent jobs blue collar workers can do.

      But hey, the fundraises sure are fun.

  34. Will, many thanks. You are right on all points. We need to hear from all our state leaders. I would like suggestions for how to stand with someone who because of color, or other reason,endures an incident of harassment that we witness. We should step up and stand with them, yes?
    Also, how about holding meetings where voters choosing either side are invited to come together and explore common ground.

    1. I like the idea of having a forum for dialogue with folks from both parties. I’d like to see how other people –not just progressive democrats– react to and process the political events of the coming years. I should add that I mean a face to face forum, not a virtual one.

  35. Will,

    There is a point in everyone’s life where one has to stand up to abuse and exploitation against powerful entities at their own risk.

    The Kennedy’s had a slogan ” Don’t get angry. Get even.”

    Never forget that a self-absorbed cheater, an abuser of workers, a racist, a mysogonist and an a liar is now the representative of the United States. He is your representative.

    I pray for Trump’s conversion. I doubt that it will happen.

    We have become a materialistic country, a “Theme Park” of transparent promises and bankrupt hubris.

    A woman warned me yesterday ” Beware of premature equinimity”

    When it comes to what is right and just, there is no deal making.

    I wish you good luck,

    Webb Nichols

    1. Nice liberal talking points. I assume Bill Clinton gets a pass… or is that who you were referring to?

  36. Hi Will, I am still getting over this, like so many others. The news after the election, e.g. his cabinet and policy changes , is almost unwatchable. I know- people wanted change. I am sick of the analyses. My husband is very upset. His parents and grandparents (Jewish) fled Germany because of Hitler while they could still get out. It was close call for them. He was brought up hearing about a leader that people didn’t think would last. Now we have Trump .His campaign was the most atrocious I’ve ever seen, maybe it was the worst in American history. All he said and did, and now all he is saying and will probably do. I am glad you wrote and glad that people like you can hopefully get us through this. Thank you for all do, John

  37. Agree with your concerns, nevertheless, since this administration bodes ill for any progress in environmental protection, at the state level we must do all we can by funding existing laws and departments and supporting independent action statewide on these issues. (there have been recent cuts that hurt!) We are counting you you and our rep!

  38. I did not vote for Clinton or Trump. I did vote. I was waiting for Clinton to tell me why I should have voted for her. All I heard was her telling me why I should not vote for Trump. Warren waited for the last minute to endorse Clinton. Then Warren was too busy twitting negatively about Trump. Trump did not win this election. The Democrats lost it. I hope Trump succeeds.

  39. You have succinctly analyzed what happened and what we need to do. I always say, Thank God,I live in Massachusetts. We are different here but what I have learned there is still a strong rural vote. Just look to New Hampshire.
    I supported Hillary Clinton fully but I believe the party has forgotten to reach out to those folks who felt the party left them as early as 1968 with Nixon and solidified under Reagan.
    Always baffled me, how folks vote against themselves but they do. However, I don’t want to give a history lesson though it can explain the way Americans have voted. Look into history and you see this pattern over and over especially the War between the States.

    Now is the time to face our future. Stay organized. Email, call, write to our leaders. You need to stay aware and don’t put your head in the sand though I understand the need to stay away from news shows. Two years from now, when the Right Wing knocks away our rights, we must be ready to vote for Democrats and Progressives.

    The comments of all of you have been good and civil. We need to say civil at all times with each other. In the end we are all part of America. Calling each other names never works. Agree to disagree is part of who we are.

  40. Reading most of the responses so far makes me realize how differently we all think. My view for now is we wait and see what the new president gets done vs reacting to all the rhetoric and media.

    The nation collectively sent Washington a message – we want change. We want a stronger economy. We want more effective immigration practices. Trade policies need adjustment. Healthcare needs to be more affordable.

    Let’s work together to get those changes made. We need to work together. Compromise when necessary. But get something done. A big failure of the past 8 years, on both sides, was the focus on “stopping the other party”.

    My personal request – put term limits in place for Congress and elected state officials. I think the call for change wouldn’t be as necessary if the players regularly changed. I don’t think the founding forefathers envisioned public office as a career. Our forefathers were smart about a lot of things, including this point.

    1. I agree there was a call for change and we do need it!

      I’m not a fan of term limits. They are not a way to achieve change. It takes knowledge to make change happen. If the elected officials change all the time, then the permanent bureaucracy has all the knowledge and knowledge is power. The result of term limits is that you have bunch of inexperienced lightweights as elected officials and appointed people with no visibility or accountability run the show.

  41. I’m a firm believer in taking people at their word, so I do not expect anything good to come from this election result. Nonetheless, the states have for many years been the incubators for many of the policy innovations we see at the national level. Massachusetts has a great track record on health care reform, for example, that precedes the Affordable Care Act — in fact it became the model. There is much that we can do in Massachusetts, Will, that will benefit our citizenry and set an example for the nation. No need to stop innovating and working toward positive change that benefits more people’s lives!

  42. Hi Will,

    Processing catastrophic events is always difficult, but when they are incomprehensible, it does challenge our minds. I’m interested in seeing some psychologists explaining the phenomenon of why some people can know awful truths about someone yet brush that aside and vote for him. How strong is denial?
    It’s not just the policies, although they are paramount but the meanness, the nastiness of Trump, not ever seen by most of us, that is hard/impossible to comprehend.
    We have to get rid of the electoral college; there are no equal votes among states. There also is an individual worm in the Republican party, in 2000 Katherine Harris, and this year, James Comey, who can bring down an entire election. How can one individual have this much power? Even when the FBI is prohibited from interfering within a certain time period before an election, how was this allowed to happen? Comey knew exactly what he was doing.
    I am making it a point to find one bright light, one moment of happiness in every day, to light a candle not curse the dark, and commit to extending kindness in every way to others.
    Cynthia Tollen

  43. Thank you, Will, for your service and your reasoned approach to the results of the election.

    Facts are sometimes inconvenient or ignored, but the majority of those who voted wanted Hilary Clinton to be president. An antiquated, archaic artifact of the 18th century, the electoral college, has prevented the candidate the people chose from taking office twice in recent memory. How did George W. Bush work out for the nation and the world?

    Will, will you work to put an end to the electoral college or see that MA’s electoral votes go to the winner of the popular vote nationally?

    Trump, according to what I hear in post-election analyses, promised blue-collar white men that manufacturing jobs would come back once he is in the White House. It will be the 1950’s all over again. Folks, as has been pointed out many times, the Steel Belt is not coming back, and Trump is dreaming if he thinks he can make that happen. The post-World War II economy was not normal and will not be seen again. We have got to prepare ourselves for a new and constantly changing economy and world, and windy rhetoric about “making America great again” is not going to get us there. Gobalization and international competition will increase, not disappear. Those are the issues that all of us, young and old, are going to be dealing with, and nostalgia will not help. Not enough politicians from both the left and the right have told those unemployed and underemployed workers that the factories are not coming back. They listened to the one person who made them feel better, even if he was/is a sexist, racist, xenophobic, lying, tax-dodging, vapid con artist.

    Leadership means having to tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. Trump and Hilary both failed in that respect, but Trump made those people think he cared about them. Donald Trump has spent his life caring about one thing — Donald Trump. As Hilary Clinton said, we owe him an open mind, but that will not keep me from fearing for the future of my country.

  44. Thank you for your thoughtful response to the election results. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, and my question is “When are we going to abolish the electoral college?” This is the fifth time in U.S. history when the winner of the presidential election did not become president.

  45. I wrote this in 2000, after Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election by the Supreme Court decision:

    Safe Harbor 2000

    This last safe harbor
    The High Court of the land
    Now lies in waste
    Its precious haunt polluted
    By stench of hypocrisy
    And narrow aim
    To dim the light
    Of freedom.

    Not blood, nor terror
    Have stained our country so
    As have these few
    Whose deeds defy
    Their sacred vow
    To hear the governed

    All is H O L L O W.

    For logic, now turned in
    Upon itself
    Has shaken, has cleaved
    These stones of history
    Now tumbled to a Broken
    Valley of Despair.

    Cunning rules and Shame
    Is exiled
    By writ of hand
    And ghastly pale hangs now
    Our patriots’ wretched shadow.

    What darkness loosed throughout
    The land
    Not seen in centuries two.
    For not by unleashed waters dammed
    Where all fair eye must knew,

    But silently, this poisoned cure
    Drop by drop,
    To still the sacred flame.

    copyright 2000 By Cynthia Tollen

  46. We are lucky in Mass to have a strong
    legislature unlike so many states which have been taken over by tea party governors and legislatures. Keep up your goo work in the Senate.

  47. I can’t help feeling that what happened on Nov 8 is a much greater threat to our democracy and our country than 9/11 ever was. It seems that Trump and his mob were willing to lie and cheat their way into taking over the executive branch of our government and in the process they did not demonstrate the slightest interest in abiding by the basic principles upon which our country was founded such as .. all men are created equal … innocent until proven guilty … freedom of religion and expression … a free press. They are more than willing to insult, threaten and denigrate those of us who don’t agree with them and those who they perceive as standing in their way. What would my parents think now if they were alive, as first generation Americans and children of immigrants who fled persecution and poverty in Europe? America isn’t perfect, but during their lifetimes, it survived a depression and a world war, civil rights were extended to all and laws were passed to protect our citizens from racial and ethnic discrimination. Things were definitely heading in the right direction. All of a sudden, it appears that we may be turning back to those rather dark days … with people being attacked or singled out because of their race, religion or ethnicity, with woman’s rights being curtailed, etc. I intend to continue to speak out for the America I believe in and I am hopeful that this is the case for many of my fellow citizens.

  48. Thank you for your thoughtful and eloquent message.
    I’m devastated by not only the election of this racist, misogynist and corrupt individual but also genuinely horrified by his choice of extremists for his cabinet. I will also never feel completely certain that he was legitimately elected given voter suppression, the questions about Russian hacking and other shenanigans.
    Grateful that my native state (CA) and adopted state (MA) did not go the way of so much of the country.

  49. Hi Will,
    Thanks for your thoughtful comments, as always. My vote for Clinton was a vote against Trump. Although I’d give anything to see a woman president in my lifetime, I am sick of the Clintons, and I think many others are as well. I supported Sanders in the primary because I feel that the democratic party needs to get back to its liberal (grass) roots. But the liberal bubbles on the coasts have lost touch with the rest of the country. I’m not sure if Sanders was the “right” candidate, but Clinton was definitely not.

    I kept asking myself how so many people could have voted for such an ignorant, ostentatiously and crookedly wealthy person. I believe it was a class issue before a race or gender issue, although both those had something to do with it. I think many people felt he was telling it like it is, which is why every time he said something that should have did him in, it instead worked in his favor. Hilary just responded with those stronger together platitudes which looked insincere.

    Within a week, Trump has already hired many of the kinds of people he criticized Hilary as cultivating. He is a liar, but also a performer. Maybe when so many of his promises go unmet, we’ll have a revolution from the other side. Hopefully the democratic party (that includes me) will be ready. The millennial voting map gave me hope.

    Some big worries:
    –the environment and the disappearance of other important species.

    –real immigration reform and fairness without pandering to illegal immigrants.

    –the electoral college reconsidered. It doesn’t seem to be all that relevant to either party.

    –the tilt to alt-right is happening in many other places in the world and Trump’s election gives credence to those elements. Let’s hope that a national catastrophe doesn’t lead to an international one.

  50. Since you started with people who feel uncertain and unsafe right now, let me offer a few words on behalf of immigrants, legal and otherwise, in our country and communities. I work with them, and have enjoyed their kindness, consideration and dedication. Some of the ones who are here illegally came as children, from some very violent, incredibly poor places. We, as a society, have benefited from their hard work. At times exploited and disrespected due to their precarious situation, we are lucky to have them and they would be outstanding citizens given the chance.

    While we may revert to Romneycare once Obamacare is repealed, the healthcare landscape in the Commonwealth is different from what it was in 2010. The MA exchange implementation was a disaster, I heard this first-hand from friends. This time the transition needs to be better. Quite frankly, most did not like Romneycare and Obamacare even less. The reason was the cost. Many prefer to pay a penalty and do without.

    Given the prominence of Pence, I am not sanguine that battles over social issues will be confined to the Supreme Court. Trump’s Cheney, with a focus on social issues instead of foreign policy. I wonder how this could play out the state level. This applies to climate change and the environment as well. Paul Ryan has had an agenda to go after Medicare and Medicaid for years, and I am sure he sees this as his moment to strike. This will affect our citizens, and I hope Massachusetts is able to counteract what may come from Washington.

    The only possible bright spot is a possible surge of infrastructure spending. Can the state plan and position itself to benefit? Rebuilding the MBTA’s physical plant would be my priority.

    Finally, on a lighter note, this Facebook post from a friend made me laugh: “ I PICKED A HELL OF A YEAR TO STOP SMOKING WEED.”

  51. DT won fair and square. Because DT and HC each had great baggage, the voters voted on the issues of greatest concern which are the $20 trillion deficit, the economy, national security, illegal immigration, and waste/fraud/abuse of tax dollars. Although you may disagree, the country voted DT is best able to handle those issues. Give DT a chance.

    1. Trump did not win “fair and square.”

      Firstly, Republican lawmakers passed voter-suppression laws in 13 states which each state formularized to always block more Democratic voters than Republican voters.

      Secondly, as it always does, the electoral college unfairly weighted voters in the rural Republican states more than voters in the urban Democratic states.

      Finally, regarding his tax returns, Trump violated long-standing American political tradition for all presidential candidates to voluntarily publish their returns. Trump made 3 astonishingly contradictory claims:

      1. “I’ll surely release them.”
      2. “Only after my IRS audit is over.”
      3. “No one’s business but mine.”

      These are not the comments of someone who is honest, serious, or reliable.

  52. Dear Will, secretary Clinton won the popular vote. 10 states and the District of Columbia have in effect put the popular vote ahead of the electoral college. The latter doesn’t count anymore. Is MA among those 10 and if not why not? It is high time we do away with a process that is so undemocratic. And we purport to go around the world like bullies to teach democracy! How ironic. The second thought I have is that a Secretary Clinton was not likable.

  53. One of the (presumably) unintended consequences of employing demonization as an election strategy is that if your opponent prevails you have to live with the fears—false and otherwise—that you tried to create in others. If you prevail, the fears will inform your governance.

    Demonization is corrosive; it rots the social fabric. Its use in elections is, I believe, one of the contributors to our polarization. That it works—and, undeniably, it does—is, in my opinion, not a admirable comment on who we are as a society.

  54. We should be prepared to shift more economic rebuilding to the state level.
    We need to address climate change here as well, as best we can at the Commonwealth level. We must do everything we can as individuals to conserve energy. State policies are going to be critical. We cannot control what other states do, but we can be a beacon of hope.

    1. Climate change has been happening ever since the Earth was created. Man and industry was not around to cause the North American Glaciers to melt. You, dear lady, would not be here if it was not for climate change, or global warming.

  55. I am wiling to give president-elct Trump a chance; his 60 Minutes interview showed him to be be more sane and conciliatory.

    All campaigns are rough and abusive.

    I would like to see democrats speak more to the idea of higher training, vocational work for young people, rather than insisting of the right to a college education.

    Few people in this country know how to build or fix anything in this country, including computers, elctric work, plumbing, carpentry. I suspect that unions have excluded a large group of young people from entering well-paying trades work.

    In addition, I believe much of the electorate does not understand the college electoral delegate system which appoints presidents without a popular vote. This should be changed or abolished. It happened with Gore, and now Clinton. What ever happened to every vote matters?

    I agree with Trump that every illegal alien active in criminal behavior should be deported, and their own country of origin should pay for their incarceration. The cost of incarcerations in this country is already too high for citizens here.

    I supported our new so-called Obama care health system, but with rates suddenly increasing by about 25% I need to question that also.

    Although I voted for Clinton, the United States needs major change in a different direction, and if Trump can deliver some positive change. I support him in his presidency (even if still a bit concerned about him).

  56. How about we work on outlawing negative ads and attacks on our candidates and force them to all talk about the issues that face us all as Americans. I found it very hard to concentrate on what was important to me with each candidate spewing negativities about one another. That, I believe, is the only way we will really be informed.

    PS. Everyone has skeletons in their closets.

    1. Indeed, we are all human and vulnerable. It did get ugly. I’m not in favor of outlawing negativity though. Sometimes one has to talk about the negatives (although I completely agree we’ve seen too much of it).

  57. 1. Tell bourgeois Dems Whole Foods shoppers to stop contemptuously lecturing working people on their manners. Pro-Wall Street policy + identity politics no longer = victory. It’s all just cheap social-justice-warrior virtue signaling and anti-white rhetoric, and it does not address legitimate civil rights concerns at all. If Dems don’t get themselves on the right side of the class war, MA could go red: Trump got 40% of the vote in deep blue RI. If your “Progressive Bill of Rights” turns into one big self-congratulatory middle finger to the working class, expect them to flip you the finger right back.

    2. Do something to cut healthcare costs now. They’re killing the middle class. We self-employed workers combined with the people we hire make up 30% of all U.S. jobs, according to Pew. I’m self-employed and on Obamacare with no subsidies. I pay $13K each year for a single individual before I see the first dime of coverage. I couldn’t even get Obamacare until awesome Andrew from your office helped out. We need immediate cost reduction measures (as opposed to massive transfers from middle-class policyholders to the poor). Explore single payer, maybe a plan run through a consortium of multiple states, if need be. But something needs to happen.

    3. Stop ignoring the the rest of the state. Outside of 495, MA is literally dying; the opiod crisis is just a symptom

    4. Introduce ranked choice voting like Maine. All the establishment Dems will be horrified to see their gravy train end, but getting a few Greens or whatnot into the legislator could be a lot better than the alternative that may be shaping up

    5. Accept that we’ve got a constitutional crisis on our hands. The system has failed (and not because Hillary lost). We are looking at electoral college reform at minimum, and at the far end, potential for violence and/or breakup. This is enormously complex and somebody at the state level should be dedicated to studying how to protect our interests against an unpredictable and potentially unstable federal government

  58. Yes, I’m waiting for Trump to make good on his pledge to “Make America great again” by bringing back offshore jobs.

    Will- WHAT ABOUT eliminating the Electoral College that delivered Bush II and Trump , whose opponents won the popular vote?

    We must work together to change this archaic system. If California had its 200 proportional number of electoral votes instead of 50, the outcome would be much different than the nightmare we’re in now.

      1. Dear Senator,
        I respect your opinion, but I disagree that the National Popular Vote movement is a “gimmick.” I feel like as a voter in this blue state, my vote is worth less than voters in other parts of the country, with a disastrous result. Unfortunately, I think your hypothetical of George Wallace isn’t far from what happened in this election…

  59. Hi Senator. After watching Trump on 60 minutes, I would say that we now have a new Trump; a chameleon, who is a good guy. But, then, today, we find out that he appointed “Brennan” a white supremacist, as one of his team.So, this confirms, that Trump is still the guy who showed us originally, who he was. And that is clearly, no matter what he says, someone who depends on lies in order to convince people that he is likable. So, my response further, is that we’re on a roller-coaster ride for the next 4 years. So, we better become extremely energetic and clever to find someone like Bernie Sanders for our next attempt at winning the White House. In the meantime, we’re still awaiting the results of “Moveon.org’s” petition to have the delegates vote for Hillary on Dec. 19th. I trust all of your constituents are signing up to do just that.

  60. Thanks for your perceptive commentary which I fully support. But I would like to add to your burden by listing several state wide
    issues. First, increased education funding such as monies for early education, after school enrichment and even summer programs for failing schools. Public transportation. Okay effective management is necessary, but that is an ongoing and lengthy process. We desperately need additional monies for improved maintenance and more and better equipment. Criminal justice reform. This is an area I know you are well acquainted with and a leader in this area.

  61. Well said Will. Thank you for all your good work. May everything proceed in Peace as superbly as possible.

  62. If every vote counts, why do we have the electoral college delegate system appointing presidents without the popular vote of USA citizens?

    Feel free to explain this discrepancy to me.

  63. We’re with you Will, thank you for the clear analysis. I think we need to focus on the local and we need to unite–not only with those who agreed with us during this past election but with all of our neighbors. Actions speak louder than words! WE are the people, and if we don’t like the election results, it’s up to us to make changes in 2018. Keep the faith.

  64. Concise summary of the bad news. Get someone to explain to you what “cooling out the mark” means. To turn Keynes upside down, if we survive the short run, in the long run we’ll all be dead. A last note. Foreign competition and technology is going to lead to permanent low employment. So take a leap frog forward and pass a guaranteed annual income, which I have seen somewhere is not economically impossible – just politically. I am so glad lyou are doing yo9ur job and that all four members of the peoples republic of NH in Congresss are Democratic women!Best, John M.

  65. Anyone posting or reading to Sen Will’s site should be aware that members of congress have the best taxpayer health coverage in the world for themselves and their families. The coverage is all inclusive.

    In addition to their salaries, taxpayers spend approx, $100,000+ for their office budgets.

    While they argue about what health care option should be available for ordinary citizens, I suggest a petition to cut their health care benefit down to the same options as the citizens they allegedly represent.

  66. Please speak out, and encourage your colleagues and our governor to do the same, against the appointment of Steve Bannon and the proposed Muslim database and do everything in your power to stop both. The canary has died in the coal mine. The time to act is now.

      1. Maybe so, but please speak up loudly and do all you can to oppose Bannon and Trump’s other cabinet nominees anyway! Thank you for your commitment and

  67. You may have seen Timothy Egan’s 8/26/16 NYT column about the state of civic literacy in the US:

    I can’t help but wonder what real civic literacy would have affected the entire election process. An informed public would have demanded –and gotten– serious attention to issues that affect humanity today. An informed public would have pressured the media to present serious information.

    Is it possible for you to develop a civic literacy program so that citizens –as well as prospective citizens– could learn how government works (or is supposed to work)?

  68. I too am very concerned about the people president-elect Trump has put into office with him, they worry me because they seem hateful & ultra conservative. I and many other advocates are trying to make other senators in MA aware of the need for prison reform, especially Raising the Age Majority. Doing away with LWOP, & definitely getting rid of the death penalty. Do you foresee any of these newly elected individuals Trump has chosen pose to be a threat to make it more difficult for future legislation to pass hope for positive prison reform? These appointed individuals have me deeply worried.

  69. Thank you for your commitment to the people of MA and throughout the US, as well as to other important issues, including protecting the environment, which is in many ways also a human rights issue.

    What can I do as a constituent?

  70. I want to commend you on this powerful statement defending civil rights. I feel the Massachusetts legislature is our defense against unwarranted federal actions. Thanks for making your position clear.

    Also, I want to support your backing of Senate No. 808, an act to decriminalize being in the presence of heroin. This is very important and thanks for being a co-sponsor.

  71. Thank you so much for your response and advice. I will do as much ch as I possibly can. Happy holidays and may love and peace prevail.

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