And Now for Something Completely Different

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Gentle Reader,

I have wrestled with what and even if to write following the results of the election.

I’m not thrilled with the outcome. Wouldn’t have been thrilled with a Clinton win, either. It greatly bothers me that my fellow countrymen and women continue to back the Democrat/Republican duopoly. I grit my teeth when people tell me, “Well, I didn’t know about anyone else” because that means they chose to be less informed voters. Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Darrell Castle, and Evan McMullin were all flawed candidates (as every candidate is) but their platforms and ideas were only a mouse click away. Not one of us had to choose between the lesser of two evils (which is still an evil, by the way).

Some are saying that Clinton’s loss is the fault of independent voters like me. It’s not. The numbers don’t add up. Leave us alone. All we’re trying to do is break this country out of the deadlock that everyone complains about but keeps voting back in every few years.

Okay. The election process played out. Trump won.

Here’s where I’m at with that.

Please, Those of You who Want to “Make America Great Again”

I know and love people who voted for Trump, which means that I know it’s not true that every person who did so is a racist. So I want them to loudly, roundly and flatly condemn the disgusting words that some now feel free to hurl at minorities. I want them to physically place themselves in the path of anyone who would do harm to someone who looks different.

Because it’s happening. People who are racist feel more comfortable in expressing themselves. Tell them they are wrong. Tell them that you stand with African, Asian, Latino and Native Americans.

Please, Those of You who Said “I’m With Her”

Depending on which generational model one uses, I’m either the very end of Generation X or the very beginning of the Millennials – and I’m disgusted with how those around my age and younger are reacting to this election. Peaceful gathering and protest is your right, but blocking streets? Destroying property? Rioting? Please. That does nothing. And I probably shouldn’t even start on the way some college campuses are operating right now. Cancelled classes? Take-home tests instead of finals? Double please.

Your candidate lost. You can be upset about that. It’s okay. But you know what? The world doesn’t revolve around you. Don’t throw a hissy fit. Dust yourself off, square your shoulders and move forward.

Class Warfare

I fully believe that this was all about the “have nots” flipping a giant middle finger at the “haves.” Racism and misogyny are mixed in there, no doubt, but this was large sections of the country screaming in protest. The government doesn’t work for them. The current administration spent time waging war over transgender bathroom issues while they struggled to feed their families. The President played rounds of golf while single mothers worked two and three jobs to try and make ends meet. They may have access to healthcare now, but they can’t afford to pay the premiums (or the penalties).

I’m one generation removed from small farmers and lumber workers. I get it. My father’s hometown hasn’t seen any kind of growth in decades. What are you supposed to do when you go to work in one sort of system and that system abruptly changes, ejecting you because you’re no longer needed? How are you supposed to get the job training you need for a new economy when you can’t afford to pay for college? Or when there isn’t a college anywhere near you and its just not feasible to move your family? Yes, Mike Rowe is right when he says that there are “dirty jobs” available, but do they pay enough? Will they break the body in a few years, leaving one to start again? What’s the answer? (Side note: the jobs that “those people” are always “stealing” – they aren’t jobs that Americans want to do. At least admit that).

Trump does not have the power to change any of this. He can’t force companies to shut down their overseas factories and bring them back to the United States. If he does find a way to create jobs, will they be the sort that calls for unskilled labor? How long will the jobs last?

There are answers to these questions. I don’t know what they are, but I do know they’ll only be found by the “average Joe and Jane” coming together with the “elites.” We have to work as a team. We have to remember that we’re all Americans.

Listen Up, Congress

If you get nothing done in the next 4 years, blame yourselves, Republicans. You have control of both the House and the Senate. You’ve shown yourselves to be blatantly obstructionist for no other reason than to be obstructionist. Now’s your chance. Since most of you have been in Congress since the dawn of time because we stupidly never put term limits in place, I’m not expecting much from you. Surprise me. Surprise us.

Personal Concerns

I worry that the Affordable Care Act legislation will be repealed without thought. My frustration with the ACA has never been centered around the gross belief that everyone doesn’t deserve equal access to healthcare. I believe the exact opposite. Anyone should be able to go to the doctor at any time for any reason. My issue with the ACA has always been that it’s not real reform. The government adopted the private insurance model and offered it to people who couldn’t get private insurance. Patients can still be denied medications and services.

Please, Congress, have some kind of plan before you put the ACA to death. Either decide to go over to fully socialized medicine and put the insurance companies out of business or open up state borders, increasing competition so premium prices go down and insurance companies are forced to get better at what they do if they want to stay afloat. Please, please don’t take us back to the days of “pre-existing conditions” or those of us with chronic illnesses are nothing short of screwed.

I worry about internet regulation, the pet project of some conservatives. Leave the internet alone.

I worry that the rich will get richer and the poor poorer, further deepening the divisions across this country.

I worry that we will continue to involve ourselves in foreign wars.

I worry that some Christians now mistakenly believe themselves to be the dominate force in society. No. Evangelicals who uncritically supported Trump or played on fears over the Supreme Court have done damage to the testimony of the Church. Naked ambition won out over the sharing of the Gospel. There is repenting to be done.

In the End

God is sovereign. He will accomplish His purposes. We can feel secure in that when all else feels shaky.

I am ready and willing to pray for President Trump and support him in the ways that I can, and, when I cannot, be honorable in opposition – just as I have done for President Obama over the last eight years. I genuinely hope that something good comes out of this.

This, difficult as it may be, is where we all must land.

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6 thoughts on “And Now for Something Completely Different

  1. I will note quickly on the college thing that while my classes were not cancelled, I know a number of people including myself were threatened on campus the day after the election in Trump’s name. The fact that universities now have to deal with that is terrifying and I have no doubt that this is going to probably get worse before it gets better. A great many of the people I know who fall into those categories have been threatened. These are people who rarely travel alone, particularly at night, even more so now that Trump has been elected and the KKK has become active on campus. A lot of my student’s were scared to death of other people on campus because of the election and the select few Trump supporters who took this as validation that they should be allowed to threaten people of color, LGBT people, and non-Christians. I think it is short sighted to argue that they were being sore losers. These are people who are legitimately scared for their safety and Trump is not speaking out against these acts of violence, so for the time being it is hard to feel safe.

    Take home finals have become pretty common, in part because of the way students treat Christmas break. Having students write final papers is often easier than trying to accommodate students whose parents bought Christmas tickets without any concern for treating school like their son or daughter’s job. Unfortunately, the move to a higher education model where it is treated like a business and the students are consumers of educational degrees and not actually there to gain knowledge ends with these sorts of things as the norm.

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    1. I know that there have been threats against minorities. A Latino couple I’m friends with shared that their children were harassed at school the day following the election. That is why my first “please” was directed at Trump supporters who find such things despicable.

      My second “please” was directed at those who are being sore losers, because that is a factor, too, and it’s related to what you said at the end of your comment – people no longer go to college to be challenged, to learn to think and to grow. There’s a big difference between someone who has actually been harassed or threatened and someone who is simply howling over the election results.

      Basically I wish that everyone on all sides of this thing would calm down. Take the foot off the gas pedal.

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  2. Wise and thoughtful words, Marie.

    As things have developed, I’ve been moved to see the results as something of a revolution against the cultural movement in the US over the past eight years. I don’t think there’s much racism or misogyny involved, and far more of the ‘hate’ is directed toward those who – like me, as I voted for Trump – are wrongly derided as racist. Sure, there are racists out there – on both sides of the colour divide.

    Part of it is the erosion in religious liberty – not being able to mention Christ on college campuses is wrong, and the removal of Bibles from VA facilities is unconscionable – but I think it goes deeper in that a lot of people are very, very tired of the totalitarianism of political correctness. I know I am, and if I were given my health back on the condition that I return to academia, I’d decline. The PC enthusiasts are something like the Sith – those who disagree with anything they say are the enemy.

    And the actions of the ‘losing side’, in vandalism, hatred, and calling for an overthrow of the system to prevent Trump from taking office – does seem to validate my choice, at least in terms of ‘anyone but these people’.

    That said, I don’t agree with some of Mr. Trump’s remarks, and some of his behaviour has been boorish in the extreme. But I didn’t vote for him as a role model. I voted for him as someone who would set the country on a better path. (And to be fair, if we’d known about JFK what we know now, he’d have been excoriated as well. He was not a whole lot better, and in some ways, perhaps worse. As was – and is – Bill Clinton.)

    I do agree with you on the need to find some sort of healthcare solution, but the AHCA is a mess. The premiums are unaffordable, and the deductibles seem to assume a large line of credit, or rich friends. Paying the penalty costs me a few months’ worth of pain meds, but buying a policy would ensure that I would afford none. Some form of National Health Service would be great, but I suspect the support just isn’t there, either in Washington or in the hearts of the majority of the electorate.

    On the Supreme Court, I’m optimistic, because we do have the promise of a return to strict constitutionalism rather than individual interpretations of a ‘living Constitution’. The latter makes the court a de facto unelected legislative arm, appointed by and putting too much power in the hands of the Executive. The Warren court is a salient lesson.

    On the whole, I think we’ll do OK.

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    1. I have my concerns, but the bottom line is that I’m quite willing to give our new president and his advisers a chance. Would have done the same for Clinton. As I said to Crystal, I would like everyone to just calm down some.

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  3. I haven’t commented on the election outcome, but I think you said darn near everything I’ve thought, and far better than I ever could have. Thank you. Wherever we were before the election, now we’ve got to be Americans, work for the good of our country, work together to heal hurts, and to call out hatred wherever we see it.

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