Last night was a slap in the face. The kind that shakes you out of that parallel universe so many of us fall into in this hectic world we live in.
The Donald Trump victory shows that we’ve become a nation that talks too much and listens very little. It reminds me of an old friend, no longer with us, who once complained of the myriad communication gadgets we use to talk over each other. Nobody listening to what the other is saying…
The signs were there. And yes, possibly, I’ve become so involved with what is “normal” that I didn’t see the forest for the trees. My approach was one of anybody but Trump. The country answered back that Hillary was not the solution.
This morning I still believe that Trump is the wrong man to lead this country. I just hope he comes to his senses and becomes less crass and vile, put aside that mean streak, and evolve into a more empathetic human being. A person able to suffer that knot in the stomach for those who may not have had access to that gold spoon he grew up with.
It was Barbara Bush, the former first lady, who had it right all along. The kind of right that America wants. The genius of a system that rights itself from within. Mrs. Bush, as far back as 2013, said: “I think it’s a great country. There are a lot of great families, and it’s not just four families or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified and we’ve had enough Bushes.” She may have added Clinton, too.
There had been a Bush or a Clinton in the White House for 28 straight years — before Obama. And lest we forget, the great George Washington, father of the country, shunned the idea of a king. And historians tell us that Washington was the only president elected unanimously. And he did not rejoice upon his election.
As for Democrats, the party of which I am a member, who lost big last night, maybe this will open our eyes to the fact that we are as corrupt as the Republicans we demonize. Surely not as mean, and just a tad more progressive, but not the answer to the future so many of us want for this country and the world.
Let’s face it. We continue to stand with Democrats because it makes life easier. But the work of democracy, the hard work of forging a future that makes life better for all of us, takes constant and persistent toil. For too long we’ve left the heavy lifting to others. And many of those others have been compromised and fueled by the same big-business, monied-special-interests that we were supposed to be fighting against.
An yet we’ve elected a big business businessman expert at gaming a system that’s been broken for too long. The question to ask: Will he work against his own interests? He says he wants to make American great again. Will he go against himself to do so?
Up for discussion is what black activist and CNN commentator Van Jones described as white-lash. Was it an enraged white America reacting to eight years of a black president? Is racism still that prevalent in this country? It is something to consider and a point of attack going forward if we are to create a more progressive country and a better world.
Finally, voters expressed the same message they’ve been sending since 2008 when they elected a black president who was not seen as part of the Washington elite, and a man who offered hope and change to a country fed up with politicians they view as more of the same. And whether we wanted a Hillary victory or not, Clinton was more of the same. The only difference this time around, she was a woman.
It may have come from different angles, but the message was the same. Americans want change in their politics and they are not getting it, and did not get it — even with Barack Obama.
I repeat, I do not believe that Trump is the answer. I despised his campaign of fear, hatred and insults. But even Saul was changed on his ride to Damascus. The great persecutor later became St. Paul.
My hope is that I am proven wrong and that Mr. Trump becomes that agent of change this country desperately needs. But that change must come based on love, compassion and inclusiveness.