2016

The year that HRC was elected President of the United States. In 2008 and 2012, I made posters and some art. This year, I did some other things.

The Campaign Button Archive

We asked our friends to help us make some buttons. They are somewhat thematically tied to this year’s presidential election. Project led by Cody Peterson.

Artists: Eric Nyffeler, Brett Stenson, Ellen Wilde, Steven Sczepanik, Murphy Phelan, Jonny Ashcroft, Orion Janeczeck, Matt Carlson, Justin Kemerling, Cody Peterson.


Who should I caucus for?

I thought I’d ask my Facebook friends via a T-shirt contest. Sidenote: I did not design these shirts, I only purchased, wore, and posted them.


 

January 27, 2016

Here it is. The type of Facebook post that may lose me some Facebook friends depending on where you fall and if you tolerate swears. But as the Iowa Caucuses approach, I feel like I owe it to myself to put a marker down. Having kept a safe distance from the spectacle for the last however many fucking months this craziness has gone on, I’m at the point now of putting my conflicted, indecisiveness out there. 

So first, the Republicans. I mean holy shit, what the hell is that? I do think Kasich seems like a real human being and Marco can’t throw a football but so what. (Marco, March, Marco.) But the others, holy shit. Ted Cruz might be the worst motherfucker I’ve ever heard. Fuck that guy and all his bullshit. I’d be so happy if someone body slammed him in a ring somewhere. Even more than Trump, who is honestly, sometimes, mildly entertaining. But any of ‘em, it’s imperative none of their craziness and “True Conservatism” get anywhere near the White House. 

Second. The Dems. I love Bernie. For his democratic socialism and really wanting to make Wall Street pay. For being right on the war and on health care and on the environment and hanging out with Killer Mike and speaking truth to power. But there’s just something that’s holding me back. Dear friends, what is that? 

Is it a cynicism with America? I don’t think so. Barack was my guy from the beginning in 2008 and I stuck with him through all the shit and unlikeliness. With America and it’s deep history of racism, that certainly takes hope. 

So why do I feel like I’m with Hillary? It seems to me I should be with Bernie by default, but I’m not. Maybe it’s because Hillary is awesome but I’m often blinded by all the dislike for her on both sides.

I was telling the guys at the office the other day, all distraught, that I just felt conflicted. All around. Who is it that will bring the Democrats to the White House again in 2016? Who to hold up the legacy of Obama? Who to continue to take us into a progressive future? Who to take on our problems honestly and with integrity? 

This person sounds like Bernie. But I think it’s Hillary. Where does that leave me? The Dems need a bigger bench, which is beside the current point. And maybe this conflictedness is all irrelevant anyway because Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina will all play out I’ll get behind the D full on and make it happen. And maybe the Presidency should stop getting so much hype and we should put more of our attention, effort, and resources into getting more stuff done locally. 

But shit man. There it is. My indecisiveness. I guess I’ll just go back to the real loud Rage Against the Machine tracks and not try to get so worried about things that are outside of my control. Just thought you all should know. Obama 2016!

 

Watching the debates was hard

But wait, Twitter makes it all better! As Hillary and Donald brought millions of people together around their screens to watch them debate, Twitter provided the cathartic release from all the insanity. Donald really is a terrible candidate but he certainly makes for great Tweet fodder.


Maya’s Choice T-Shirt

Jane’s daughter Maya came up with this T-Shirt idea for the First Girl President. I designed this one. Chuckin’ those deuces up!


Photo by the great Adam Casey

What enthusiasm gap?

I voted early. And chucked those deuces up. 

2016: Art & Design, Collaboration, Social


 

November 14, 2016

My oh my. What the hell just happened? America elected a bigot. Ah yes, that. Donald Trump is our President. Racist, misogynist, and liar, The Donald. Don’t take my word for it. Just follow him on Twitter. Or go to the tapes, if you don’t “get” Twitter.

The week since 11/08/16 has been tough. Left reeling, sucker punched in the gut, dazed. Fearful about the future. How is this possible? I guess I’m still processing. It’s the processor side of me. 

Why would we do this? Oh right, he’s not a politician. Tells it like it is. The words coming out of Hillary’s mouth are too complicated. She’s crooked! Politician bad, rich asshole good. Though, I’m not sure how rich. He never released those tax returns. I’m big on fairness. Releasing those returns only seems fair. 

Anyway, after my colossal freakout on election night, I sort of got my shit together. I did threaten to leave the country or at least move out of Nebraska. Googled “design firms in Germany.” We’ll see how that plays out. I do have an irrational side. Or maybe it’s the rational side? 

In the aftermath of Election 2016 the hardest thing to be was a Nebraskan. Not only did we overwhelming say yes to Trump, we lost NE-2 and the state of Nebraska can now kill people again. Hooray for Nebraska Nice! I get irony. At least bleeding heart liberals in NYC and California have NYC and California. Jerry Brown!

My shock had periods of wearing off. Social media did sort of help, even as Dems tsk-tsked other Dems. I’m equally open to criticizing both sides for sure. (Especially hipsters who go too far.) But conservatives definitely get most of my ire. The package that is Donald Trump is so wrought with terrible things it seems like explanations are in order. And no, the promise of lower taxes doesn’t count. Obviously. It’s the side of me that wants answers and it wants answers now. Side note: I am pretty low on conservatives in my Facebook network, so there’s that.

I wanted so badly to act like an adult after the results came in. The Electoral College results that is, because she did kick his ass in the popular vote. Which is weird, America. Anyway, in my adulting, I told myself I was so upset because we lost. And since I do like to win, maybe that was all there was. It will take some time to get used to, but ultimately, it will be okay. I actually went out in public. Experienced some architecture, some drinks, some food, some design. I’m a straight white guy with a good job in a lovely liberal enclave, no sweat!

But in my adulting, I am adult enough to know deep down this is not okay. This is really bad. Bad for people who are not straight white guys with good jobs. Bad for the environment. Bad for equal rights. Bad for the middle class. Bad for health care. It feels like the slide backwards is going to really burn all of us badly. And I’m not sure how to deal with it. Don’t get me wrong, I sure as shit paid attention to Republican obstruction the last 8 years. Not a bad strategy it turns out. I can give credit where credit is due. Might be worth giving a try, no?

Along the way to wherever it is we think we’re all going, I feel most afraid for the people who are going to really feel the pain. But I’m also so at a loss for how we’re all going to dialogue about it. There’s my immediate community. The core. The people who are the change makers and do-gooders I love dearly. The people who are building, making, and creating. They’re making our city and state and region and nation better for everyone. Opportunities, possibilities, for everyone. For all. We’re having great dialogue. Tremendous even. 

But outside of that, what is there? I had a conversation with a notable conservative in my life the other day. We talked about the election and America. It was as if we were talking about 2 different places on 2 different topics. It felt weird. And I didn’t like it.

I do like to close my long Facebook posts with zingers. With some sharp wit. But I really have nothing. I wanted to post this just to get it out there. And I’ll definitely be talking to my therapist about it. I’m not leaving Facebook or anything fool-crazy like that. I might just only post things that are about building and making and moving forward in the face of the oncoming backward slide. 

Yes. I do feel a mess, but I also know I can be tone deaf to the folks out there who are really hurting. And that is what breaks my heart. It’s my high empathy side. And unlike Obama’s vision for America, I’m counting on that not going anywhere.

All politics is local. Time to get after it.

 

Editor’s Note: This project was published before Election Day 2016 and incorrectly stated HRC was elected President of the United States. We regret the error. Bigly.

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