The predictable reaction on the Left to Littlefinger’s election has exploded on my Facebook feed as it has across the country. This sparks a peculiar aspect of my character where I calm down when all around me panics. So despite my complete disgust with the results, I can’t help but eye-roll at the hand-wringing. People seem all-too-ready to build and man the barricades. I resist these visceral reactions, as history is littered with bloody incidents caused by people losing their grip on their critical faculties. Let’s not do that, okay? Let’s keep some things in mind:
One: We live in a constitutional democracy. We have a history of some pretty nasty campaigns going all the way back to Jefferson, and once the dust settles, people tend to get to work. You may not agree with the policy, but it has to be cleared with Congress first whose members will seek reelection in two years.
Two: Federalism is your friend. If you live in a blue state, just that alone will protect you from any perceived threats to your lifestyle. Fret if you want about about your kindred spirits elsewhere, but you and your daughters will not be deprived of an education or reproductive rights. I can’t say the same for those in the red states, but despite what you might read on your alarmist progressive blogs, people in those states mostly don’t care who you share your bed with as long as you keep it to yourself.
Three: The chickens are now roosting quite comfortably. Thanks to the drumbeat of derision expressed by the coastal media, your friendly neighborhood deplorable has finally given the Left its comeuppance. The picture that I see painted by so-called “progressive” media outlets of the Tea-Party-turned-Trump-supporters simply does not fit reality. The media pointed their cameras and microphones at the more outrageous of the bunch because it simply plays better and gets more clicks. The bulk of those who voted for Trump are simply hard-working people in search of some answer that Washington has failed to provide through 16 years of Republican and Democratic promises. Maybe they backed the wrong horse this time around, but to shrug off this election as a mere triumph of the idiocracy speaks partly to your own lack of empathy for their concerns. They may be wrong about a lot, but they don’t deserve disrespect.
Four: Hillary ran a terrible campaign. She was probably the worst possible candidate the Democrats could have picked. Corrupted, unprincipled, and completely unable to articulate a vision for what she wanted to do, she had no business running. She couldn’t win against someone that two-thirds of the county mistrusted. If the left should be pissed at anyone, they should direct their ire at the DNC for attempting to coronate her, save for Bernie crashing the party. He had even less of a chance, so you’d think that among their ranks, the DNC could have enlisted challengers that had a clear message to convey. Instead, the vacuum got filled by a well-meaning and lovable, but ineffectual septuagenarian who like Santa Claus promised all kinds of free goodies to get the kiddies all excited.
Five: I’m afraid too. And disgusted — but not at the people who voted for Trump. I direct my disgust at the process that allowed his ascension. We have an electoral system that all-but-guarantees to exclude anyone with real abilities. This leaves us with candidates who play well in our hyperbolic media environment, and to no surprise, we just picked a product of that environment.
I despise Trump. He turns my stomach. I’ve felt that way about him since his Atlantic City casinos crashed and burned. I think that Obama deserves credit for repairing our standing in the world damaged by his predecessor, but I expect to see Trump undo all that. Having just read Trump’s plan for the first 100 days, I actually see much I like, but I don’t see anything to address the massive debt his proposals could generate.
Let me offer a ray of hope for the Left. Trump wants to spend money on cities, and typically, the Left likes cities. Trump lives in a city, and presumably, he values the urban environment more than the suburban cul-de-sac. Well, it’s something, right?
Here’s my point: No president makes everyone happy. Obama ran on a liberal platform and all-but-promised a new Great Society. How did that work out? If I were a liberal, I’d be pretty disgusted with the last eight years. Seven countries bombed, 300 civilians (at least) killed by drone strikes, expansion of the Patriot Act, more government snooping, anemic economic recovery, and not one Wall Street executive indicted for their role in the housing crisis.
Be vigilant, get involved, stay engaged, but please, calm down and do not unloose yourself from the facts. Maybe go out and find a Trump supporter and buy them a coffee or a beer. Have a chat. Walk in their shoes a bit, people, because we’re going nowhere if we don’t start listening to each other.