It’s being touted now that the once organized Democratic Party (just a week ago) had a huge edge over the Republican Party, who appeared in chaos and disarray in trying to meander through the Trump election minefield, has itself found chaos and disarray. My observation is that both parties have been in chaos and disarray and it took loosing an election to realize it. I also now understand better how Obama got elected 8 years ago, by the same voters who now voted for Trump.
The uniqueness of having a new black president who came on as very articulate, well-educated, well-spoken, AND having experience, gave a promise of potential change in government. I’m sure many of the black folks who voted for him were expecting their own version of a sympathetic and empathic black leader familiar with their specific social, cultural, economic, and racial struggles. When I voted for Obama it was because I saw a smart guy who just happened to be black (and there were no republicans who matched that at the time and I had been VERY disappointed in recent republican offerings). I am sure by now most black voters have been somewhat disappointed that the new black president didn’t chuck “white” issues and devote every waking hour of his presidency to black issues of urban struggle and force-feeding non-whites into some racial acceptance. But the overall idea was that Obama was a man of impending radical change… and both parties missed that by assuming the status quo was important.
Now we see that the idea of change was important. A large segment of the population wants things different… and it’s the white middle class who want to be heard. Neither party has been listening, and black and Hispanic voters just didn’t care enough to even vote in great numbers. If nothing else, this election is a prime example of the idea that each vote counts. Maybe in the future there will be less apathy. But that’s a whole other story.
There is a great gullibility in the voter in believing what candidates promise during an election and if you are aware of this going in you can separate the wheat from the chaff as things progress using fact checking sources and simple common sense knowledge of our system of government. Many times there’s a bit of voter desperation in their own plight and they want to believe what they hear/read because there’s little else to believe in that will make their own lives easier. This is how citizens of any country can become vulnerable to whatever voice comes along promising to be their messiah. In this election 50% of the voters could care less about Trumps political inexperience, moral behavior, outspoken buffoonery, racist comments, overt lies and untruths, and other extreme character flaws… and voted for him because he loudly aspired to just “change it all, tear it down, drain that damn swamp of Washington elites, throw the bums out, and deport all illegals”, whatever populist phrase you want to use. This is astounding to me… and to the other 50% who didn’t vote for Trump.
No.. we don’t need to unite and be less divisive.
Now.. a smart citizen, and a fully represented political party, doesn’t just ignore all this. Actually, you just don’t ignore 50% of what the population just screamed out when they voted for Trump in spite of Trump the person. That’s where debate begins and policy is set and we learn about ourselves as a nation. I’m all for open demonstrations in the streets and I don’t one bit think that the current national discourse and dissent about the election results needs to subside under some pretext that we need to “rally around the new president” as if it’s some patriotic duty. We are a democracy, folks. Differences are normal in a democracy and there will be many differences that will be vehemently debated. No.. we shouldn’t riot and engage in civil disorder. We should also not allow fear to cloud our judgment because there is truly nothing to fear… even for those who fear being on the verge of being sent back to their country of origin.
But when you are taking to the streets you should have a reason. If you believe in the Constitution then right or wrong choice, Trump won according to the rules. Respect the office if not the man. But respect for the office of the presidency doesn’t mean we surrender our opinions. Argue, object, debate the issues.. not the fact he won. For me that’s a tough pill to accept because I would just prefer he resign before taking office. If you truly object to his policies then make your will known… especially to your senators and congressmen. He is NOT going to be able to do the things he sold to that 50% that voted for him anytime soon… if at all. He IS your president… our president. Plan on a strategy to replace him in four years.
Follow my thought process here a bit. Yeah, I know I failed to predict Trump loosing. But like they said way back when I was taught that glorious public school concept of learning, “New Math”… it’s not your answer that’s important but rather how you arrived at your answer.
Even though Trump loudly proclaimed all these “good” things he will change on day one common sense should have been telling you all along that no politician can do that.. not even with the full support of Congress. He can surely try, but there are just too many avenues regarding logistics, legalities, economics, and differences of opinion from Congressional members that have to be worked out. Not every republican in Congress is going to side with each and every issue of his party. There’s lots of compromise required.
The biggest issue I certainly understood during the election is that Trump himself knows absolutely nothing about anything in Washington. Now, many think that’s an asset because somehow he’s not “tainted” by the system. Maybe. But that level of ignorance has led to him screaming during the election all these ideas and proclamations off the top of his head.. and actually convincing some people he knows something.. and they have followed him off the cliff. He’s in way over his head.. but his administration members will make him presentable… hopefully.
Case in point. He said Obamacare is the worst mistake in history and on day one that’s being tossed out. Well, typically any half knowledgable person knows Trump can’t actually pull that off. Sure enough, it’s being reported all over that now Trump is altering his stance to actually leave in place certain elements of Obamacare. I am sure some people voted for him because of his desire to kill Obamacare completely because of high premiums. Did he lie to get elected? Of course… because he chose to seek votes using dramatic claims, not knowing himself what he could or could not deliver until he got to Washington. This guy is not going to change the system… the system is going to change him… or he will not even get close to what he wants on day one.. much less day 100. I think 50% of the population has been duped by Trump.. but that does mean something regarding the desperation these folks feel.
Conversely… the 50% that did not vote for Trump have a say in all this too. I am totally embarrassed as an American that someone of his caliber is “my” president. This election IS about character for that 50%. No.. we don’t need to rally behind the new president, or any president for that matter. Yes.. there’s a nice warm kumbayah thing when the country is just moping along all peaceful like, but that could hide just what we experienced in the election… a silent majority feeling disenfranchised.
But there is another bit of fallout from all this. Trump has tuned into the far right and this could lead to a wave of racial and ethnic discontent and certain isolationist policies . I’m not sure how this will play out, but we should be wary of this as a nation… and object to it when it starts to occur.
Another thing any president will feel, as well as members of Congress, and that’s negative popularity polls. Again, while we are stuck with Trump for 4 years Congress has mid term elections in two years. Popularity polls matter and can convert into votes… or no votes. He also has managed to alienate the press which does suggest that if you are expecting any sort of transparency in the Trump government you are likely sadly mistaken. It will be like the Nixon administration; too suspicious of the press.
The important thing here is that NO one party currently has a good grasp on what the public wants. This business about “Let’s give Trump a chance and see how he plays out.” is a bunch of garbage. The 50% of those who voted for him did it based on his bombastic proclamations to get elected. That’s all we have to go on, along with his character flaws. Are you asking me to give him a chance to change everything he’s said, done, and proclaimed? If that’s the case then he’s lied to the 50% who voted for him. Good for those who dislike Trump, though. Sounds like a politician to me.