I need to write this down just to sort it out. Everyone says it’s not a “big deal” and that “life will go on”. I don’t know. In elections prior, I have been disappointed but I never grieved. I thought America was headed, or at least heading (however haphazardly) in a direction where we didn’t care about each other’s race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation. I thought that we were poised and ready to tackle the problems of this new century. Then this happened. Instead of policies, we were literally debating a candidate’s fitness for being President. Instead of merely deciding the direction of this country, we were deciding its character. I never thought that we would elect a man who categorically stated that he wanted to ban an entire religion from this country. I never thought that we would elect a man who is a bully. I thought that we valued experience, knowledge, and intelligence in this country. I never thought we would elect an inexperienced man, who, based on all we know, is not even a successful businessman. I thought we valued pragmatism, poise, and compromise, if not in Congress, at least in the President. I never thought we would elect an immature, thin-skinned man, who goes into an apoplectic fit just from a mean word.
Growing up, we’re taught things by our parents to help us become civil, productive members of society. We are taught to say “Please”, “Sorry”, and “Thank you”. We are taught to respect each other. We are taught not to bully each other. We are taught not to discriminate against each other. We are taught not to take advantage of each other. We are taught not to lie. We are taught to work hard. We are taught to be good people. This election changed all of that. How can a man who disregards the social contract of a society ever be fit to lead that very society? I think those on the other side think I’m sad or disappointed because my party lost. No; it has nothing to do with being Republican or Democrat. But it has everything to do with deciding who we are as a country. Our principles. Our values. Hillary may have been a flawed candidate, but I don’t think that she is fundamentally a bad person. Think about someone you disagree with; an acquaintance, friend, or even a family member. Simply because you disagree with them, do you consider them a bad person? This is how I have felt about every candidate I didn’t support. I disagreed with Bush, but I never thought he was a bad person. I disagreed with McCain and Romney, but I never thought that they were bad people. They never did anything that ever made me feel that way. Think about Bush’s statement to Cindy Sheehan, his statement about Muslims after 9/11, or McCain’s response to a woman attacking Obama. They were respectful — that is how the people who want to be leaders of this country should behave. As much as I disagreed with any of them, I was confident that they have the best interests of the country at heart; but not Trump — he only cares about himself.
How do you explain something like this to a child? If you voted for a person who does everything you tell your child not to do, how do you explain yourself? A Trump supporter told me that one shouldn’t look to politicians for moral guidance. I’m not sure if they understood my original argument. This is not about having a source of morality; it is about an example. Think back to our earliest lessons in morality — fables — if you do bad things, you get in trouble. If you do good things, good things happen to you. Trump contradicts this most basic axiom. His character contradicts it, and now so does our national character apparently, in that a significant part of the country is not just fine with,but wanted a man like this to be president.
As a rebuttal I often get questions as to how I could support someone shady like Hillary. This usually comes with a gish gallop of numerous conspiracy-theory articles. But in general you can sum it up to the following: she lied about Bengazhi, she is corrupt, and of course, her emails. None of those paint her in a flattering light and in isolation they may be concerning. But it turns into a matter of priority. This is what Trump supporters need to understand: she is flawed, but she isn’t talking about banning a whole religion from the country. She may have made shady deals, but she isn’t talking about how it is ok to sexually assault a woman. She is establishment, and she may care more for establishment interests, but she isn’t talking about inciting violence or questioning the foundations of our democracy; she isn’t talking about using nukes or blowing ships out of the water.
I have never felt scared in this country before. That’s different now. Trump’s senior-most advisers are alt-right fanatics. He has regularly courted the white-nationalist and white-supremacist segments of society. He refuses to disavow them as well. I’m not white and I’m an immigrant. How is that supposed to make me feel?
My opposition to Trump is not simply policy. It has nothing to do with the fact that he was on a Republican ticket. It is something far more fundamental; it is about what it means to be an American and a good human-being. It is about how we treat each other. It is about transcending our differences instead of magnifying them. It is about who we are as a society. It is about staying true to the principles that founded this great nation. It is about the statement that we make to the world about who we are as a country. It’s not just about the next 4 years, but the next 400 and where we need to go as a civilization. I really thought we were there. I really thought we were close this time. I really thought that we could start fixing some of the brain-dead decisions that got us here. I really thought that we could actually tackle climate-change. I really thought that we could do it right this time. The irony of all this, is that Trump supporters will never realize that they not only voted against my interests, but theirs as well. And that is why this hurts so much.
41 thoughts on “Final thoughts”
Final thoughts https://t.co/Rf1pyLeNvl
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Maybe you should run for office. What was that Ghandi quote – you must be the change you want to see in the world
Probably the most direct way to have an effect. But I am scared I will lose whatever little faith in humanity I have left.
I’ll find another way.
The very fact that vivin speaks so directly would make him ineligible for politicking. Normalement. Mais ce n’est pas une année normale.
I’ve been telling him for years he should run. I would campaign for him and be honored to serve under him again.
Grieving with you … so many feelings.:. So sad..: your last words are so correct
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Well written..Vivin..can understand your concerns..but politics and politicians always have strange bed partners..hopefully Trump will change he have to otherwise world will be doomed, China will start next world war….he have to change..he will..and he will promote what the forefathers..lived for.. I dont support him or his policies but there is truth in some what he said during the campaigning..hopefully he will live to the expectations of the rest of the world.
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Cheer the fuck up Chaps ! If you guys feel so strongly exercise your 2nd amendment right. Sheesh poor sports. And yes I would vote for V.
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I’m as shocked as you are that such a reprehensible person is now our president. And it *is* a big deal because Republicans will control all branches of government for at least two years.
But I think we have to be careful about reading too much into what this says about the American people, or we’ll miss the real lessons. Don’t forget that a plurality of Americans actually voted for Clinton, not Trump. If they had been distributed just a little differently, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
It’s important to realize that xenophobia and racism were only part of the story. Most states in the US did pretty much what the pollsters had predicted. The shock came from the “rust belt”. After decades of supporting Democrats, they reversed course and backed Trump. And they did it at the last minute (reluctantly, it seems to me), with little warning.
Clinton lost many counties that her husband had carried, that she had carried in the 2008 democratic primaries, and that Obama had carried by large margins twice. But in 2016 they switched to Trump. So what happened?
Some months ago I heard a young (white) man with no college degree, at a Ramadan gathering say to a couple of women (after much prodding) that he was going to vote for Trump because “something has to change and if Hillary wins nothing will change”.
It’s easy for those of us with a good education, particularly in the tech industry, to forget that our experience in this economy is not universal. Things look very different to a person with only a high school education from a dying industrial area that used to be the engine of the American economy. “Learn to code” just isn’t the answer for everybody.
Hillary explained it very well in one of her best speeches, — where she said “you could put half of Trump supporters into a basket of deplorables… But the other basket .. ” and then went on to explain that the other basket feels let down by the government, let down by the economy and that nobody cares about them.
But even after articulating that so well, I didn’t see her reach out to that other basket. To paraphrase something I read elsewhere “Trump’s job plan is immigration reform, protectionism, and tax cuts. That doesn’t sound promising but what is Hillary’s job plan?”
My take on this election is that the rust belt supported Democrats for decades while being relentlessly hammered by the economy. Some voters (and just barely enough) ran out of patience and switched allegiance to the worst individual to run for president since at least Nixon, just to see what will happen. And now we’ll see what happens.
Who knows, since they got the presidency back the Republican Congress will finally stop holding the country hostage and might do some good. If Hillary had won she’d be taking the blame for everything while controlling only part of the government. In any case, I hope the Democratic party learns from this, regroups, and comes back with a message that actually appeals to people who feel left out.
In the meantime we have to ride out the sense of entitlement some of the “basket of deplorables” will have since their candidate won. I believe it’s a temporary situation.
Great post and I completely agree. I have always felt that some Trump supporters have legitimate concerns – exactly those ones that you articulated so perfectly. I agree that Hillary also didn’t reach out to them as much as she should have. The cruel irony of all this though, and this is what bothers me, is that it is Republican policies that have put these people where they are. Yes, manufacturing jobs have declined. But the political climate is *so* hostile to any sort of welfare or socialized system, that it is near impossible to pass any sort of legislation that would help these people. I’m worried that things have to get much worse before these people are convinced that they should really support these policies. What they also need to understand is that this is insurance for the future. The benefits won’t be realized in our lifetime. The hope is that this investment now will pay off in that each successive generation does better and better, leading to a point where only a small fraction of society needs these sort of programs.
Nicely summarized, Vivin. You just read my mind, and probably several others’. Just wait it out, and see how things unfold. Be optimistic. Some conflicts resolve themselves if given some time.
“Final” thoughts… (fry..notsureif)
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