I’ve posted a bitter and scathing piece on Donald Trump becoming President-elect of the United States. On the surface, it implied that I am very much Anti-Trump. I won’t deny the fact, because it’s very much true. That aside, I can honestly say if former Secretary/Senator Hillary Clinton had won the presidency, I would have posted an equally scathing piece about her. She didn’t win, and the piece was never published, so you’re just going to have to take my word that I was also very much Anti-Clinton. Roll the calendar back to the morning of Tuesday, November 8, 2016, and consider both scenarios as equally possible, and think of it as Shrodinger’s Commentary.1
Trump’s victory came as a surprise to everyone, the general electorate, the political cognoscenti, the world in general, most certainly Hillary Clinton and arguably even Donald Trump. How it came to pass has been discussed, dissected, and debated to the point of exhaustion. In the end, it comes down to the simple fact that out of two flawed candidates, one was more flawed than the other. It was a false choice, either way there was going to be a river of shit flowing through my yard. The only question was if the river was going to flow from the left or from the right. The world of politics is full of such choices, tantamount to being allowed to choose your mugger, and nothing more.
Protests against the general election results were common over the following days, of course. People were pissed and they wanted to exercise their constitutional rights to assemble and speak freely. That’s all well and good because it’s part of the American way. What these folks didn’t have a right to do was to smash windshields with bricks, trash store fronts, and act violently toward other people. Sadly, that kind of behavior is also becoming part of the American way. What exactly did they hope to accomplish, overturn the results of a free and democratic election? If that were possible, then there’s a real problem and our society becomes even more unstable and divided than it already is. Unstable to the tune of tanks in the street.
“Not my president.” Guess what my precious little snowflake, Donald J. Trump is the President-elect, and in about two months he is going to take the oath of office and indeed become “your” President. Nobody is saying that you have to like it, but reality is not subject to approval. Deal with it, preferably without clubs and pitchforks. My local university is offering group therapy sessions for those traumatized by the election. Grief counseling, so to speak. It may come with soft, furry stuffed animals to cling to, and they might even let you hold a puppy. Whatever it takes, just put the bricks down.
There are indeed ways to confront the coming Trump Presidency, and they involve awareness and education. Pay a little less attention to American Idol and Monday Night Football. Forget about the Kardashians and learn more about your Senators and Congressmen, both on the state and federal level. Concentrate a little less on your fantasy football team and a little more on the local school board. Kill your television. Evolve from a “sound bite” mentality, become familiar with issues and policies. Ask questions and demand answers. Demand answers rather than clever statements that may sound good but in the end mean nothing, statements like, “there, there…” and “Mommy will fix your boo-boo.”
Real, surprising change can be affected, and the recent election stands as proof. In a perverse, discordant way, Trump’s rise to the Oval Office was a kind of grass roots movement. The roots may have been in the corn and wheat fields of the flyover states as well as the abandoned, decaying factories of the rust belt, but they took hold and suddenly a man nobody thought had the proverbial snowball’s chance of winning emerged victorious. Granted, the November 8, 2016, outcome is a grotesquely twisted and deformed example, but the concept holds true.
People can and have affected dramatic change. They were sick of politics as usual, wanted something different, and they got it. Be careful what you wish for, but they got it. The elite media, all the experts and those that shape opinion got it wrong. That fact alone may be the harbinger of a quantum shift in the way “facts” are dished up and the way the populace distills those “facts.” That in itself can be a positive, depending on which direction we choose to take it. The old, tried and true assumptions of those that seek office and the pundits who steer our views have been thrown out the window and now lie bleeding in the streets with shards of broken glass imbedded in their twitching bodies. It’s a wake up call. Turn off the sitcom, lose the laugh track, and buckle up for what promises to be some truly interesting times.