Editor’s note: I once had a couple of million regular readers, but I sense those numbers are down by a few hundred thousand, thanks in part to my recent stream of politically charged material. I just can’t seem to help myself, so I’ve decided to seek some outside assistance. Voices is a new occasional series in which Americans express their feelings in the wake of the presidential election and what many perceive to be a drastic change in course for America, and not for the better.
By Carolyn Pullman
I was distraught and inconsolable, for the better part of yesterday, the day after Donald Trump was elected, and I am sure that feeling will come and go in the coming days, months, and years, but I do have a few thoughts that have helped me to imagine life will go on without dramatic interruptions, and there is a path to the world becoming a better place, at some point, in my, or maybe my children’s lifetime.
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote: Yay! There are more individuals of like mind than there were people who wanted to see “change” in the form of a non-politician, in the White House, there is a hope! They just didn’t live in the right states, sadly.
Maybe they will get rid of the Electoral College now, once and for all, so the world’s greatest democracy will lead the way with one person, one vote: I understand the arguments for a more even distribution of power (what presidential candidate would ever go to Iowa, otherwise?), but particularly in close, hotly contested races, shouldn’t the majority will of the people prevail?
We need to come together as a nation, to heal, and find peace: Had Hillary won, this would be even more difficult than it will be now. The riots in the street would be worse, the level of discontent among those 50 million people would tear this country apart. We would spend millions defending and explaining the whole legitimacy of our elections. There still may be questions, but I do not see signs of the bitter, and violent, battle that would have ensued, if things had gone the other way. They would have been worse losers, and we all would have suffered from it.
The potential for Donald to disgrace himself, via a horrific scandal, which gets him thrown out of office, maybe even in jail, are greater now: Think Nixon; maybe he won’t do too much damage before that happens? We will all see his true colors, and perhaps learn from this, and he will reveal, for the world, his inappropriateness to lead, in ways his pundits, it seemed, could not. The worse he is, the better off we are, in the long run, because that will make his reign shorter and limit his influence.
We will get to see Donald’s tax returns, at long last (won’t we?): Let’s hope there is nothing illegal going on there (wink, wink). I suspect he’s not as rich as he’s implied, and wouldn’t it be amusing to see all his “business savvy” is just more bluster?
I do not believe Donald is taken seriously enough by foreign powers to give up on the whole of the U.S. because of it: Think Brexit; we are allowed one tragic foible, right? Countries are not unaccustomed to waiting for the next administration to get things done.
Donald’s incompetence, ego, and laziness may result in inaction on things the Republicans want that they cannot get done: This would please me, and benefit the country. Hillary may have had to compromise with them on things that he will reject out-of-hand for some petty, ridiculous reason of his own.
The reign of conservatism may end here: There will be sacrifices, and difficulties, but perhaps things have to go that wrong, to get right again, at long last. It could be the dark before the dawn we are seeing.
The illusion that sexism, racism, and bigotry are fading in this country is shattered: We were not ready for a female president. I thought we were. But, now we know, and with that knowledge, won’t it be easier to fight this now starkly seen enemy?
It would have been a difficult job for Hillary, given the current climate, and our first female president may not have been successful (through no fault of her own): The riots, the push-back, the antagonistic Congress, this could have set us back even further, into the dark ages, than this (hopefully short) dance with the devil. The country would have been further divided, and it wouldn’t have ended until she was out of office, and maybe not even then.
In all likelihood, the economy will tank, it will not escape people’s notice, that Donald will be rightly blamed: I think unemployment will skyrocket, and the buck will stop with him. I am hoping these are the things that will distract him, and keep him from getting too involved in the social issues, that I care more about (and I think he only pretends to occasionally care about).
People were voting against government gridlock, when they voted for him, and I think they will be sorely disappointed: Donald is not a true conservative, he does not really care about most of the issues. Bush had to be vocally anti-choice, he had no say in that matter, because of his constituency. Trump does not have any illusion of moral fiber to worry about. He won’t be able to get stuff done because he cannot negotiate, and that will reflect badly on him. In turn, he’ll get petty and stop others from getting things done. Republicans dislike him perhaps more than I do. Do you think their ability to play nice with others has improved? I am hoping not.
Trump is not a competent politician: The implications of this could turn out to be favorable, since things he says he wants done I want to see die on the vine.
Trump might be right about one thing, the Mexicans may, in fact, be happy to build a wall: This will be more to keep us out.
In the spirit of full disclosure, let me confess: I am of a liberal political bent. I once heard it described, “I land just left of Gandhi,” and that would be me. I have not liked, and would not like, most any Republican candidate, though Trump seems somehow worse than that. My fear of what his election means is greater. I think, “Would he really be that much worse than Bush?” and I can say, I am just not sure. Uncertainty breeds fear.
When I think of unity and bringing the country back together, I think about what I would say to a Trump supporter, if Hillary had won? “Suck it up, cupcake, thems the breaks!” Maybe I would be kinder than that, but would I say, “Don’t worry, Hillary will be a good president, for you, she understands your complaints about a corrupt, unchanging government machine, and taxation beyond your limits.” Well, did she? More than half the people that voted Trump wanted nothing more than change. I bet more than a few were trying to send a message, not thinking he would win. They wanted to feel their (increasingly higher and higher) tax dollars were going outside of the DC beltway. Lots of them don’t even know their distrust of her came from an underlying sexism (though, of course, I believe it did), and lots of them don’t know that much of what Trump professed he could do was hooey. But, they voted, and their votes were counted, and he won.
The potential upsides are minuscule consolations, I admit, an attempt to put lipstick on the [sexist] pig, but we have to do something to move forward. It’s the best I can do.Would you like to add your words to the Voices series? My contact information is available under the About Me link at the top of this page.