End of Week 232 – Observations On Our National Disaster…

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Since I have nothing of consequence to report on the weight loss front  (except that I got sick and lost 4 pounds that way), here are my observations regarding the election that just ended.  I followed it very closely.  And, yes, it will sound partisan since I had a definite preference. LOL!

*Of course, there were winners and there were losers.  Winners: Trump and those who voted for him.  Or, at least they think they won.  More on that later.  The winners consist of several types of voters including a large block of uneducated (not my word) blue-collar voters, both male and female; those who feel threatened by minorities and immigrants; those who want to regress to the 1950s when America was “rich, white and male”.  That is Trump’s definition of “great”.  He benefited especially from the Rust Belt where he convinced voters he will restore manufacturing, and thus their jobs.  They think they will all have those well-paying jobs again and will sell their goods in America because Trump says he is going to tariff the hell out of imports.  They don’t seem to realize that due to increased expenses associated with making things in the US, including union-negotiated pay, these products are probably going to be priced out of the reach of many of us.  To whom will they sell their goods once Trump puts a screeching halt to both imports and exports (once he expands tariffs the other countries will not want to buy from us)?  Our only hope on this point is that Congress may have more sense.

Losers: Clinton and those who voted for her – people in groups labeled “different” by some.  We are still working through the fear, panic, and resentment caused by this result.  A bully has “won” the White House.  There has been a spike in hate crimes since the election.  Is Trump to blame for this? Yes, indirectly.  Not all Trump supporters are acting badly, but those who are have been emboldened by Trump’s campaign rhetoric and poor behavior.  It makes them think, since he won, it is ok to do what he talked about at his rallies – punch them in the face and other unacceptable suggestions.  I’m afraid we may be at the start of a roll-back of civil liberties unless, again, the Congress has more sense.

*Trump did not get a mandate. This is the “more” referenced above.  He lost the popular vote, but won the election through a rigged system (see my Addendum from earlier this week) that concentrates power in a few states.  Over half of those who voted did NOT want Trump, so, I fail to see that this result tells us anything about what the populace wants going forward (except that we are divided).

*Have you noticed that now that the election is over Trump is sounding all “warm and fuzzy”?  Suddenly he is saying everyone is “gracious” and is complimenting them on their behavior.  He now sounds quiet and controlled, saying he will be a president for all the people and that we will all come together for the good of the country.  This is the same man who could not say “Hillary” without also using “Crooked”.  The same man who said he was “going to drain the swamp” of Washington DC.  I hope his supporters are noticing how quickly he has learned to behave like a Washington insider – the same people he claimed to detest.

*Then there are all the sanctimonious clichés that we always hear after an election.  There have been calls for “unity”.  We are all supposed to “come together”.  Even Obama said “We are all on the same team.”  I really like Obama, but on this I have to disagree.  Just because the other side won does not mean the losers simply sit back and say “Ok, do whatever you want and we will approve.”  Of course, Obama is just trying to have a smooth transition, and that’s fine.  But if I could talk to him I would tell him no, we aren’t on the same team.  That is why there are two sides of the aisle in Congress.  There will always be a “loyal opposition” to challenge the ideas of those in power, and this is important in a republic like ours.  To paraphrase the cliché, “We are NOT on the same team.  We are different teams in the same league.”  There will always be argument and contention, and that is the way it should be.

*Finally, a bit about my personal reaction.  My first reaction to the results was, “Trump will never be MY president.”  I vowed to never listen to him, never watch footage on him, to mute any news story about him, etc.  Then, upon reflection, I decided that is exactly the wrong approach to this disaster.  He is still not MY president, but he is going to be THE president.  I, and others like me, need to pay close attention to every word that comes out of his mouth, to every idea he floats and every action he takes.  That is the only way we will have the information we will need in four years.  I just hope I’m around to fight the battle.

I also think a lot of changes may happen in the Democratic Party over the next four years, but that is a subject for another time.

Until next week…..

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