I have been chewing over yesterday’s thoughts and have a few additions that might help some folks deal with the amazing overturn of our national apple cart.
First: We are certainly the first large country in the world to have an election decided by such a narrow margin to be able (so far) to have a peaceful transition. We should be proud and happy that our DEMOCRACY—with all its faults—can WORK to avoid serious social /political disruptions!
Second: It is already clear that the Clinton campaign made a massive, fundamental error. They featured her 30 years of experience in helping to run the country, when that simply painted the bull’s eye on her as the problem. That is to say that, she was the perfect poster child for dysfunctional government. Right or wrong, the way many people see things today is that a continuation of the status quo simply meant more stagnation and gridlock. Bernie Sanders proved that but she never ‘got it’. And amazingly, 60% of those who voted for Trump told the exit polls they did not believe he was fit to be President. Hopefully, he will hear that and take it to heart and mind and compensate?
Third: This may have been the last election in our history in which whites, almost exclusively, dictated the outcome. The demographics of this nation are changing, and the Democrats depended on Obama’s coalition to bolster Clinton’s numbers. Perversely, there was backlash and that did not work. Everyone thought women everywhere would be so outraged by Trump’s misogyny that women would vote heavily against him. If women had voted according to that expectation, the outcome would have been different. Racism is still active and alive and looks to be more powerful than sexism.
Fourth: A man I met a week ago—well educated, very successful, and at 58 about to run the Marine Corps marathon—said he was voting for Trump. I was astonished and asked why. He said “I can’t stand either of them, but I can’t stand her more. And I believe the system can manage him better than it could manage her.” I queried him as to how. His answer was that the military would never execute his orders if he was wrong. I still doubt that seriously, but now I think I get the other part of his point. Since she is from the system, he did not see ‘that system’ as being capable of reining her in. He had a point there.
Fifth: Correct or incorrect, a lot of people “out there” felt they are left out, looked down on, and not getting their fair share because Washington is not working for them. No doubt when that happened in primitive times, people who felt that way took matters into their own hands and upset the applecart in the weekly market place to get their apple. That pretty much is what is happening. And the devil takes the hind most.
Sixth: The biggest risk today is that the Supreme Court could become stacked for 20 or more years. Let’s hope the oldies stay healthy until 2018 and then the Democrats must regain control of the Senate and can reverse the Republican waiting game! Start digging deep for that goal NOW!
In one sense, I think most of the 120 million people who voted would agree [if they ever thought about it much] that there are a lot of major forces at work in our lives that no government can do much about—globalization of economics, global warming, global and regional conflicts that effect national security, and the changing composition of our own population. We may simply have to learn to manage and live with those realities that are, as Milton Berle liked to say, ‘bigger than all of us’.
Perhaps –even though Trump did not win the legitimizing flag of a plurality of the popular vote by over 200,000 votes nationally—upsetting the apple cart might yet turn out to have been a surprisingly healthy wakeup call. It forces us to address the state of our politics and the engagement of our electorate in a very new way.
While that may be difficult to see clearly today, it should make us stronger and safer in the long run.
Bush II left us with some terrible legacies- in life and purse; Trump will no doubt do some of the same which we must deplore and work to avoid.
But, remember an apple a day is said to keep the doctor away!