Don't get me wrong, Trump supporters have declared a sort of "personal triumph" by besting Clinton supporters, so much so that it is less a partisan victory and instead a historic rejection of what was sold to them as the "corrupt establishment." People wanted change and Trump sold his entire campaign on bringing that change. Unfortunately, his campaign also embraced notions of fear - that those that don't look, act or pray "like us" are somehow the sole reason we have violence, poverty and job loss. I say this is unfortunate because much of what the people want is not going to be what Trump gives them. Although he never held elected office himself, he admittedly took advantage of spending his money in an effort to influence politicians so that his personal interests would be better served. Nowhere in his campaign rhetoric has anyone actually seen policies that will address the concerns of his supporters. In fact, no one but President-elect Trump knows (if even he does).
So I am personally going to engage in a "wait and see" position to decide if Trump is as clueless as has been projected from his campaign statements and complete lack of preparation during the debates. Like many others, I wonder whether his choice of advisers, inner cabinet and actual cabinet are really agents of change or more of the same residents of the "swamp" Trump claimed needed draining. Thus far, his advisors are the same "Establishment" types who represent flame-throwing partisan views and policies that not everyone supporting Trump would feel comfortable with. But like I have written many times, he will be MY president, but that does not mean I will refrain from evaluating him like any other president. President Trump has a lot to prove. If he succeeds, I will applaud him. If he fails, I will express myself accordingly.
The major problem I am currently seeing on social media is the complete confusion of judgment with emotion. Now we have always had "wing-nuts" on both extreme sides of the political spectrum. However, after this election, I have seen countless Americans criticize other Americans for openly protesting Trump in many of our cities. Why criticize them? It was the "right wing" that made it clear they would be protesting if Trump lost - and in fact, many openly said they would use their "Second Amendment Rights" to keep Clinton from being president. What is worse is the notion that we as Americans should all unite behind Trump because he "won fair and square", was "legitimately and duly elected" and anyone that does not support him should consider leaving the country. One posting on social media labeled California as "Californistan" and should be forced to secede from the Union. What is more disappointing to me are some of my former students claiming that "Libtards" should be punished because they aren't "real Americans." These former students happen to all be White and Christian. Huh? I can only think they are too young to remember all of the efforts engaged in by the Right Wing to delegitimize President Obama as "Foreign born", a "Muslim", "Anti-American" and other nonsense. Where are all of those fools that claimed Obama would use an Executive Order to reject elections and remain President for life? Yes, they are fools and they have suddenly gone "quiet" now. Worse yet, the GOP establishment met on the night of Obama's first inauguration pledging to destroy his presidency by obstructing everything - even if his agenda was helpful for all Americans. They fail to acknowledge all of our local billboards that routinely said "Repeal Obama" or the Lyndon LaRouche folks planting themselves outside the local Publix grocery store near the high school with posters of Obama as Hitler. Selective memory? Perhaps. This call that anyone not supporting Trump's transition to the Presidency is fraught with blatant hypocrisy.
Perhaps the biggest divide currently witnessed in this country is the failure of Trump supporters ability to understand the position of those protesting. From my personal experience, I can tell you that most Trump supporters voted for Trump because they each have some sense of personal angst. They don't like "Intellectuals" looking "down on them" and their notion of "taking their country back" is to take it back from immigrants, gays, lesbians and LIBERALS who have given too much away. They want Jesus back in their classrooms because they believe their religion is superior to any other. It's all about a sense that "something was taken from ME and I demand I get it back!" When I ask a Trump supporter, it typically comes down to a fear of strangers and a loss of what we used to know - a country of average folks that look and pray like us. On the other side, the reason so many are protesting is because those on the Left side of the spectrum do not think everything revolves around themselves. They fear there will be a backlash against all folks that are and may become more vulnerable under Trump. A fundamental difference exists between those that care and worry about everyone else colliding against folks that care only about themselves. "MY JOB, MY WAGES, MY COUNTRY vs. OUR COUNTRY, OUR ECONOMY and OUR SOCIETY!" This unfortunately appears to be the basic differences between the two sides in America. To claim it's all about racism ignores the fact that so many of Trump's supporters are actually not racists. They are just tired of what the media has told them to be tired of. It's the perception that we must protect everyone at the expense of the American middle class that caused this "movement." And this election made it real!
The dog whistles from the Trump campaign actually scare people, while it empowers others. We fear Blacks living on "Hell Street" in urban centers. We fear immigrants that "take MY job", we fear "Globalists" and "Elites" - code word for Jews. We fear ISIS because they can corrupt the minds of all Muslims - even though that alone is illogical. Instead of voting for what IS great in America, we voted with emotion and vitriol towards our fellow humans. Just look at Climate Change. Although some dispute its existence, anyone with more than a couple of brain cells can see that it is REAL. The cause for it may be in dispute, but efforts to protect the planet should not be a partisan issue. So why do we allow both parties to exploit it?
As I have said. Americans have a right to protest. Anyone telling them they can't are the ones in denial about what is happening in America. Hypocrisy reigns as does ignorance and apathy. For my friends that supported Trump I warned "Be careful what you wish for". I can only hope his rhetoric will not find a way into his actual policy positions. For those applauding him for pushing jobs bills and infrastructure spending - you got conned. Obama had sought these for years only to be blocked by an obstructionist GOP Congress. Expect the same from the Democrats in Senate - unless McConnell and his "swamp dwellers" change the filibuster rules to eliminate the minority from blocking appointments and laws. And if they do - watch this country swing back like a snapping rubber band in 2020. Yes, our country needs to heal and I congratulate all those that feel their support for Trump is somehow legitimized by his victory. But rubbing the noses of those that "lost" the Electoral College into the mud reflects much worse than the protesting currently underway. The childish glee of victory always proves in the long-run to be the result of poor sportsmanship devoid of any actual patriotism or love of country (no matter what party you vote for). To those actively engaged in such efforts to blast Clinton supporters, I say this - "back off!" Anyone that actually knows me, understands I would be writing the very same words had Clinton won and Trump supporters were taking to the streets. We need to heal our nation - and that cannot happen if some gloat and boast and engage in blatant hypocrisy. To the losers AND to those claiming some personal victory - work harder, gain more political support, educate the ignorant, empower the apathetic and work towards making America better than the divisive rhetoric so many seem to be embracing.
As President Thomas Jefferson once wrote; "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government." We must care for one another, worry for one another and work for one another. It's high time this country appreciate this need and engage in it, no matter who is residing in the White House. Have a great week!