What creatures of habit we are? Everyone I saw this morning en route to my office spoke those words –I assume without the ‘u’. Is that a good sign? Yes, life goes on and we will survive. Six observations follow.
First: Perhaps a real Trump may now emerge from his ‘reality’ campaign ‘Trump persona’ and say “I really did not like a lot of what I saw of myself during the campaign, but that is what it took to get your attention and support. Now I promise you will begin to see the real me, who truly believes I can get things done for ALL the American people AND uphold our long held beliefs in fairness and honor. I will make Washington work for the first time in a long time. Give me a chance.”
—Am I dreaming or what? Has the alarm just gone off?
Second: Clinton presented her secretive, hectoring personality to a ‘deplorable’ public. And sadly, in many ways she got back what she gave, BUT not what we the people deserved. As it turns out our “system” gave us the worst possible candidate except for the one worse that we came to believe was the only one she could beat. This did not have to be. Her hubris based on her long self-fulfilling career prevented her from not hearing and acting on the best advice from all but her ‘clinging’ true believers who never ‘got it’ about what was going on out there in the sparse countryside.
Third: We so-called elites put too much faith in our view of realism, rationality and reasonableness. What happened was beyond our capacity to anticipate. We now have to cleverly use our best tools to adapt, manage and come to understand finally the anger and distrust about ‘our’ system that we allegedly control.
If we had controlled the ‘system’ –which we did not—then it would be all our fault. Remember, what the Republicans did just after the election in 2008, when they pledged to hobble Obama. Finally they succeeded! And, they managed to pin the tail on our donkey.
Fourth: I remember Wolman Rink in central park in NY that some 20 years ago Trump fixed for NYC in several months after years of failure by the City. He succeeded where the City had failed because he got ALL the rules and regulations SUSPENDED. Unfortunately the country and world he now faces are a bit more complicated than an ice rink.
Fifth: Perhaps Trump will compensate for his lack of knowledge and attention span by using whatever talent he can recruit. Hopefully, as he is NOT a conventional conservative, he may surprise some people and turn out to be a productive contrarian.
Sixth: Trump’s present economic plan would almost surely quickly bankrupt the country. We can only hope when that reality hits him and his team they will rethink that plan. In the meanwhile we all need to go back to work and turn out our daily dozen.
Tears, anger and remorse do not help. It is what it is. It is hard to remember a bigger shock in my life than Pearl Harbor. I think this is harder because we are our own worst enemy and it was easier to build a lot of planes and tanks than it will be to conjure trust out of thin air.
And I beg the Generals and Admirals to do what they can to independently watch carefully when he reaches out to put his fingers on buttons in a moment of pique.
It takes a lot of curiosity, blind faith and living optimism to find any good in today’s mourning news. To do that we need to help align all three sectors –government, not for profit and for profit—in such a way as to find rational answers to all of societies’ most difficult problems.
The good news is that we have had an amazing wakeup call and now we have to redouble our belief in our future, and triple our efforts to make that future better than a lot of us mourningfully expect now.