I read a Trump protester’s sign that said “We are better than this”. We should be and can be but we are not better than this. We and our system got him elected, the media, the people that are attracted to a strongman, the missteps of Hillary which were in the public eye so long, the sexism and racism that are really the unfinished business of America, the anachronism of the Electoral College.
I was reminded of a meditation on equanimity. I’m aware that as I say these words, many will go away, thinking this is some pointy head sharing his airy fairy bullshit. But, back to that meditation: “Things are just as they are. Things are impermanent. Joy and sorrow arise and pass away.” Maybe it’s a Buddhist version of “This too shall pass”. But the important thing is the first statement: Things are just as they are.
Fact: Donald Trump is now our President Elect. Fact: he lied, slandered and bullied all along the way to get there. Fact: Lots of people liked his message. Many candidates before him have done these things, but he did only these things; he was mean, and lots of people liked it. And too many people who didn’t see the peril in his emergence didn’t vote. One more state in the blue column and he would be giving the concession speech.
In running, and especially in winning, he gives permission to racist, sexist, angry voices who want minorities and women to go back to their former places, who want to believe that Obama (an African American) is ruining America and who long for simple solutions to complex problems like getting steady jobs, pay inequality, immigration and climate change.
He also is promising to allow greed to once again have a voice in the leadership (if you can call it that); voices of people like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and the legislation they want to enact like tax cuts for the wealthy, tossing out all of Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and reopening coal fired plants, maybe even tossing out millions of Mexicans who are IMMIGRANTS, like most of us or our ancestors were.
Mind you, I am not going to be personally the loser in this new world, not in a material way, at least in the short term. In fact, between tax cuts and investment returns, it may be better for me and my family than what is going on now. That’s what most economists are saying. But, I don’t need a tax cut, and if I get one, I wont spend more than I’m spending now. Trickle down, doesn’t work. That’s another fact.
There could be lots more facts, but I’ll end with one more. Washington, as its operating, does not work. Too many people who don’t know how to govern are too easily re-elected to gerrymandered districts. The result is gridlock. So, many folks feel like their government doesn’t care about them and they want to change things. I don’t blame them. I agree. I just wish they wanted a better, more qualified person to promote those changes. It’s too bad Mike Bloomberg didn’t run, or any conservative with a real set of good ideas about what to change and how to get it done. But, as they say “Things are the way they are”. And I’m going to figure out a way to peacefully but relentlessly, make them impermanent.