Fear and Loathing

So, the unthinkable happened and here we are facing down the idea of a Trump presidency for the next four years. Clearly it is the most deeply divided that the nation has been a long long time – certainly since the Nixon era, possibly since the Civil War and Reconstruction. It is bringing out the worst in our nation already and signs are that it will simply continue to spiral downwards with both sides getting more entrenched and extreme. I’m no fan of Trump, voted for Hillary even though she has her flaws, but it is over with now and we have to live with the results, so I’m trying to look for some good things to hang on to for the upcoming four years. So here goes – some thoughts on the silver-ish linings in the storm clouds encompassing our nation:

1. Neither party is going to be able to ignore the result of this election or the concerns of ‘the little people’ be they liberal or conservative. If they do, ‘the little people’ will rise up and hand them big surprises in any future elections.

2. The Republicans now control the mechanics of governance, both at the federal and largely, also at the state and local level, more so than at any time since the 1920s. So, now, they will have to actually govern, not sit on the sidelines and obstruct. While some (or actually, most) of their agenda isn’t something I support, at least they will have the chance to break the gridlock, and they will be accountable for the consequences of their agenda and people will have a chance to see how their policies actually impact the lives of ordinary citizens. In short, they are the dog that actually caught the semi they were chasing – let’s see what they do with it!

3. It seems inevitable to me that once in the highest office in the land, Trump will be incapable of restraint and that, finally, he will be seen for what he really is, and, one hopes and prays, impeached. Don’t really like Pence, but at least he seems sane. Or at least saner.

4. Millenials, minorities of all stripes, and, indeed, everyone else out there on both sides of the political divide have seen what can happen if you DON’T vote, so maybe they’ll get out there next time and cast their ballots. Our voter turnout in this nation is disgraceful. Maybe this will be the cattle prod necessary to get people to the polls.

5. The patently bizarre Electoral College has delivered the second president who didn’t receive the majority of the popular vote in 20 years. It is time it was revised or scrapped in the entirety.

6. It is also time to remove the setting of congressional districts from the hands of self interested legislators and put it in the hands of a computer, although since both 5 and 6 favor the party currently in power this isn’t likely to happen, but the election brought the flaws in both systems to the forefront, and perhaps they will become agenda items for the loyal or not so loyal opposition.

7. In one area where I DO agree with candidate (now president elect) Trump – we need to really ramp up our investment in America’s infrastructure – roads, bridges, train system, schools, municipal water etc. etc. This could also bring new jobs and improved economies to some of the hardest hit areas of the nation. ┬áLet us hope that this is one campaign promise that WILL be kept.

8. America’s place in the world order may get more realistic. That is assuming that President Trump doesn’t blow it up, of course.

9. This too shall pass. No matter how bad it looks now, it will end and we will all go on to whatever is next.