I’ve pretty much stayed silent during the last months of the election cycle, watched in amusement as people remained absolutely confident in the outcome even while nearly every other prediction proved to be in error, and then were stunned down to their toes at the actual outcome.
And I’ve watched them noisily loose their collective minds.
I know that sadness, disbelief, anguish, agony, fear, and anxiety seem to have gripped the very marrow of the bones of so many of you on Facebook since the election; I know too that some have now entertained hatred on a level they previously excoriated others for having, and I know that now, a month after the election it is a fundamentally visceral surprise that the sky has remained pretty much safely overhead, at least thus far. Pretty Amazing.
Meantime in the working parts of the country, a different attitude seems to be taking place as evidenced in the latest release of the Gallup polls. Here are two examples;
The first is a poll taken of small business owners that, we pretty much all agree, is the real backbone of the country. The “Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index” finds that small business owners are more optimistic about the economic future than at any point since January of 2008. Hmmm… interesting date stamping don’t you think?
The second is an equally surprising and fascinating poll reversal. Through October of 2016 the “U.S. Economic Confidence Index” had hovered at the lowest point since 1970 slogging along at -12 to -14. But in this week’s results, that same index was at +8, which is unchanged from the nine-year record high recorded the prior week. I know +8 is, itself, not a spectacular number to boast about, but leaping from -12 to +8 is at least something positive for the first time in a very long time. Strange; that doesn’t seem to fit the narrative of doomsday so many have embraced.
So my point is this. It seems to me we – the citizens — have a pretty simple choice facing us. Nothing on the horizon or in the works seems likely to effect the outcome of the election vis-à-vis who will be the next President. So regardless of our political orientation we can either do as HRC herself asserted (admittedly when she thought she was going to win) and accept the results and work together for the good of the country trying to help make it a success even as the “loyal opposition” or, we can continue to wring our hands, get even more creative at trying to find a scapegoat for the results, totally high center on somehow eliminating the evil Trump Demon from the scene (as some have even suggested doing it literally would be a good thing) and thereby losing our focus on the real dangers facing us on the world’s economic and geopolitical stages.
Hillary wisely accepted the concept of once again demonstrating an orderly handing over of power, one of the unique hallmarks of the American experiment that has happened, even in the face of extremely hostile party oppositions until now. If we set the precedent of overturning that history and showing the world we are willing to spit in the face of the founders and their recipe for the government’s successions, I think we risk doing far more damage to the country in the long run than the current President Elect could manage even if he wanted consciously to ruin the country.
While we might have been quick to denigrate and demonize those who felt the same angst at the election of our last President because they read his book and were terrified his “fundamental” remaking of America was in concert with the “Dreams of His Father” which would take us in a very different direction, and were opposed by many, we have to understand that as we failed to understand the serious reservations some held then about President Obama, we are likewise failing to understand the real worries that gave rise to the results of the election and to the changes in those Gallup polls. We can continue to hide behind the false flags and red herring scapegoats of racial and various “phobic” name calling, feel extraordinarily smug because our choir is all singing the same tune and congratulating our fellow choir members on their erudition and insight, and be totally blindsided by some of the real disasters lurking in the wings.
Our choice… and our consequences to own and accept.
That does not by any means, mean that when we oppose real proposed policies (unlike assumptions as to what those policies yet unmade might be) we should quietly accept it. We should exercise our right to protest peaceably but loudly and vocally such things as offend our own philosophies. But we should do it within the constraints the Constitution has spelled out for us. The provisions to change laws and even Constitutional provisions themselves are enumerated clearly. Suggesting it would be good if someone whacked the President by one means or another is not helpful and does not go very far toward making that opposition sound like it is to be respected and taken seriously.
I did not support or vote for Mr. Trump (not that anything other than a Democratic Party vote actually matters here in California). I think there are, based on listening closely to his own words (not someone else’s interpretation or spin on them) some legitimate concerns for his ideas in conflict with my own political philosophies. But I do not recall ANY president about which I could not say that. However as with President Obama, the resolution of those differences is not likely to come from demonization and scurrilous labeling. It will come only from objective, level headed, calm, and considered debate in front of the whole “body politic” or it will be seen as the childish whining that it is and not taken seriously except by other members of the choir.
Once again, our choice… and our consequences.