Saturday, November 12, 2016
My intention was to not write about the aftermath of the recent United States presidential election. I felt it had been so acrimonious that better to go with positive things-- with an onward and upward attitude. I changed my mind as events began to unfold that disappointed and frustrated me. So...
Reading, the many hate and fear-filled posts on Facebook, the articles promising damnation, and then the people taking to the street and actually rioting in cities like Portland, has been educational. I guess I thought the left would behave better than the right when they lost an election but apparently not. The vitriol is way beyond just at Trump but at any misogynist, bigoted, ignorant so-and-so who wickedly voted for him-- dooming us to become Nazi Germany... And yes, in the past, it has gone this way on both sides of the partisan divide, where one side is acceptable and the other deplorable.
If I thought this would get better after the election, it was apparently a pipe-dream. The vitriol was actually worse and at Facebook I had to unfollow some I'd made it through the election with but finally couldn't take more of the hate.
It wasn't just rage that was out there but fear and grieving. The latter is a logical reaction to a loss. Hillary Clinton spoke of it in her final speech. She had won the popular vote, even if only by 2% or so, but she lost the Electoral College (228-290) which happened through strategy and the Founders giving power to the states and small regions of the country. Of course, the loss hurt-- especially for women who think this was a repudiation of women, as they felt her election would have been a validation.
Because of a different result with the popular vote and the Electoral College, petitions are already out to end the Electoral College. If that ever happens (unlikely since it'd take a Constitutional Amendment which requires 2/3 of the states to sign on-- those pesky states again), it would then give the big cities, like NYC and LA, control, to their benefit and for their causes. The cities are where we are seeing demonstrations, some rioting, and threatening words as in-- I'll never accept him as my President or worse, death threats. Deva vu since it went the other way when Obama was elected-- but then it was not so much demonstrations that burned things but rather tea party hats and gatherings in town squares to listen to patriotic songs, wave flags, and listen to speakers. The insulting words were pretty much the same.
We are called the United States, something one might think about when wanting to take the rights of the states to have a voice in who is President. We have been divided from our beginning. The Revolutionary War had those who wanted to stay with Great Britain. The Civil War had 500,000 men die in combat over our division. We vote pretty much 50-50, well more like 45-45 since third parties get some votes. Since about a third of us don't vote even in an election year, it's hard to say exactly how divided we actually are. Why don't people, who are registered, vote???
These are sobering numbers. Clinton (with not all votes counted) had 60,467,245 votes and Trump had 60,071,650 votes. In 2012, there were 235,248,000 eligible voters. That means about 100,000,000 opted to not take a voting responsibility as a citizen even with so much at stake. This is a disgrace frankly.
Anyway, here we are, divided country and now a President, who as Obama did, is about to enact his policies, the ones he ran on. He's going to hit the ground running with the Democrats determined to block him and establishment Republicans probably not on his side either. He won without the elites of the media, intellectual and celebrity world, or the political establishment. He won by the ones he says have been forgotten, who are directly impacted by immigration policies, by loss of jobs overseas, by inflationary policies that make their dollars lose value to cover a massive debt. They voted for change-- many of them just as they had for Obama in 2008, who was also something of an outsider with his only recent election to the Senate. Sure, some Trump voters are bigots, misogynists, etc. but most are good people like the ones who voted for Hillary, some even knowing the crooked things* she has done because they felt she'd be best for the nation.
Something particularly negative grew this year where the voters were being attacked in the campaign, where Hillary called half of those voting for Trump as being deplorables and irredeemable. When you attack voters who disagree with you, you attack the very fabric of democracy!
So mourn for awhile, but this fear talk is over the top. What do you honestly believe he can do? Assault all the women of this country? I heard the nuclear button talk but for heaven's sake, how many fistfights has he been in? How many people have died mysteriously when they were his enemy? I did a search on this for my rant blog and found a lot swirling around the Clintons but not one around Trump-- yet anyway. He fights with reckless words and lawsuits. He is not going to push the nuclear button just because some tyrant insulted him. I think she was more likely to get us into wars based on being a globalist and what she did with Arab Spring and Libya (not talking Benghazi but our intervention there to overthrow a tyrant and help the rebels-- maybe also getting guns to rebels in Syria where they ended up in the hands of ISIS).
In this volatile aftermath, it's difficult, but try not to insult Trump voters or encourage unrest, work for the country to go the way you think is best- but we are a representative Republic and now it's time to let those leaders go to work while we keep an eye on what they do. We on the left probably will not like much of what is done in a Trump administration, but he won and won by working hard. He went out on the stump and made his case directly to the people. You might even like and know some of those people.
We, meaning progressives, won in '08, hopefully we will have a stronger candidate, without all that baggage and '20 might see it turnover again... or not. It is after all a place where we vote and accept the outcome of our elections to go on as one people... or we always have. If anarchy becomes the future, my guess is right or left will neither win!
I just wish the angriest ones would stop trying to destroy the fabric of our country based on their rage. Work instead to educate, get more voting, and keep an eye on what is done next-- a responsible citizenry should never do less. Rioting in the streets is nothing of which to be proud. It allows anarchists to slip in among them and make it all worse. Nobody should be proud of passing on threats, insults, or disgusting displays of being a lowlife (one photograph I am still trying to get out of my head). It's like some people have lost all sense of decency. We should not let them drag us down with them.
A brief footnote on crooked for those who don't see Hillary that way.
*For anyone who is about to say the vast right wing conspiracy is why Hillary was thought to be crooked and nothing ever was proven-- not being found guilty does not make you innocent. Follow the money trail with the Clintons. And sadly, even the thing that the Clinton camp let Donna Brazile do, feed questions to her that CNN would be asking, using a woman I had believed was honorable. What Brazile gave were very specific questions that were asked pretty much word for word. For you who want to think Hillary has acted honorably, cheating is not honorable. For those who believe she's been a loving caring person, I suggest you read the Wikileaks. Whoever might have gotten them to Assange, those are the words from the Clinton camp. If those words hadn't been there, there'd have been no story... And that said, I voted for her but at least I wasn't fooling myself. I did it based on issues. I saw us with two undesirable candidates and just had to choose the least undesirable-- based on issues that mattered to me. I suspect a lot voted that way.