Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Yes, He's Your President

Going from Dubya to Trump is going from C+ Augustus to F You.

I completely share in people's anger and despair and bewilderment.  He is not my role model, not my spokesman, not my leader.

But he is my President.

I understand why people are saying this.  I want to say it, too.  But if you say it, you're engaged in exactly the sort of demonization and division that creates demagogues like Trump.

We don't elect Kings.  Trump will enter office, like Bush did, with a minority of the vote total.  Bush, being a more or less seasoned politician surrounded by seasoned politicians, spent the first nine months with his head down, not taking highly charged positions until the summer when he announced a stem-cell research ban.  His numbers tanked and he lost the trust of the people.  Then 9/11 happened.  In 2005, Bush and the GOP led off with privatizing Social Security and the Terri Schiavo nightmare. He never recovered, then there was Katrina and the following year the Democrats took control of Congress.

Politics works only when you are engaged with it.  That doesn't mean being engaged with only the people you agree with.  I was talking with a Taft security guard on the sidelines of our kid's soccer game.  He felt that Trump could win.  I assured him he was wrong, because data.  Who was right?  If I hadn't been so eager to show off my erudition I might have learned something that afternoon.

There IS a basket of deplorables that support this guy.  There are also a bunch of standard every day Republicans who supported their nominee.  There are also people desperate for change of any kind.

Winning the popular vote and losing the election is a nightmare we've had to endure twice in my lifetime.  The last time led to a disastrous war and a global depression.  I am as tired of this shit as you are.

But simply shutting the other side out won't get us to a place where we can sweep Congress and the White House.  Calling all Trump supporters racists and misogynists won't flip them into your camp.  Besides that, it's beneath you as a person to lump every individual of a group into the same basket as the worst elements of that group.

Donald Trump is going to be our president.  He says everything is a negotiation.  OK.  Let's negotiate.  Let's hold him accountable.  March.  Protest.  Write letters.  And when you engage, ENGAGE.  Don't simply have competing monologues.

Donald Trump exists because there are a large group of Americans who hate and mistrust elites.  That hatred is visceral rather than logical, and expressed itself in an electoral tantrum that will likely crush the global economy and make our country less equal and less welcoming.  To change that in two or four years means we have to move enough people past their tantrum and into dialogue.

No comments: