It’s late November, and our Indian Summer has officially taken its leave. A chill is in the air, and we find ourselves once again preparing to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving. For many of us though, this is a tough time to be thankful. This last two weeks has been an alarming preview of what a Trump administration might look like, and it’s a lot to process–especially for those who didn’t at all expect the outcome.

I’ll say it right now, I got it wrong. Most people did. Confirmation bias had a field day in California, and we looked askance at any source that claimed Trump had an edge. Statistician Nate Silver ( discounted the LA Times poll in his late campaign analyses because it was, as he put it, an outlier:  in other words, the poll had shown Trump in the lead from the beginning, so it couldn’t be entirely trusted. On the night before the vote, Silver called the election for Clinton.

Thanksgiving Joe Content
Of course, we now know the LA Times had it right, one of the few polls that did. Electoral college grumblings aside, the ascendance of Trump to the presidency is now all but assured. We now get to watch the presumptive President-elect choose his cabinet, which by all early indications may be painful for Democrats and Republicans alike. I find myself in the awkward position of rooting for Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who has vowed to block Trump’s more antediluvian cabinet appointments.

When the pretenders are done monkeying around with the gears, we’ll have our turn at the wheel again Click to Tweet
And we heard yesterday that Trump held an off-the-record meeting with dozens of national press honchos, including NBC News President Deborah Turness, CNN President Jeff Zucker and anchors George Stephanopoulos and Wolf Blitzer. According to those present, he castigated them as a group, singling out CNN and NBC as the worst of the lot. He reportedly called Zucker a liar to his face, and said CNN was a network “full of liars”. The same day, Trump canceled a meeting with the NY Times, claiming they tried to change the terms of the meeting, that their coverage had a “nasty tone” and that they were “not nice.” Just hours later, the meeting was back on and Trump was in the NY Times boardroom, calling the paper “a great, great American jewel.”

It truly beggars the imagination. This guy is going to put The Onion out of business.

But in truth, and in spite of all this, there is plenty to be thankful for today. For instance: I’m very grateful that our government has a complex system of checks and balances, which was carefully built into its structure to prevent abuse by corrupt or despotic leaders. I’m also extremely thankful for the many progressive public servants in office today, people who dedicate their careers to fighting for fairness, justice and equal opportunity. These things help me sleep soundly at night, and they are some of the things I’m reflecting on as we head into Thanksgiving.

I also think of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, both of whom were just elevated to Senate leadership positions in the Democratic ranks. I think of former Somali refugee Ilhan Omar, Muslim and mother of three, who was just elected to the house of representatives in Minnesota. I think of all the good work so many Americans do every day, and of our sheer potential to do much more.

We’ve got a pretty good life here in California. Make no mistake: our job, as ever, is to show the rest of the U.S. the way forward. No, we aren’t going to secede, and we aren’t going to join Canada either (although they are so  nice!). What we’re going to do is dig in our heels, and go back to being Californians. When the pretenders are done monkeying around with the gears, we’ll have our turn at the wheel again.

Next week, we get back to work: artists and activists, cooks and coders, brewers and politicians. No doubt, a lot of us will have new challenges to face. But for the next few days, let’s enjoy this time with one another–and be thankful for all that we have.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.