As the ashes gather on the General Election, and the tea leaves start to get surveyed, the realization of the significance of the result are just beginning to emerge. However, something is quite clear. Few of us really know what just took place.
The media on the left suggest that the Klan, and White extremists, racists, sexists and bigots just took over the White House. The media in the right suggest a struggle against politically correct progressiveness resisted, finally, in some titanic struggle. The reality, I am sorry to say, is more mundane than that.
A Trump win has little to do with any sexist or racist or any other extremist view. The facts don’t support the notion that bigots, sexists, and racist groups banded together to beat out the other votes; and this does not fit well with the view of the Left that needs to rationalize its stunning defeat, lest it implode. According to the latest exit pole tea leaves, it turns out that Trump attracted more votes from women, blacks and Latinos than Mitt Romney did. How is that possible?
Today I read an article that suggested the Democratic Party and promise was over; that a lifetime of hope was being sunk. That the right had prevailed and some kind of ‘normality’ had been restored. Again, the practical realities of this election are simpler than that.
In truth there is no need for the Democratic Party to panic. They didn’t lose for any complex reason. Both sides were throwing a decent amount of political rhetoric at each other during the election, let’s be honest. Anyone who still claims Hillary is a crook and Donald is a racist is first barmy, secondly ignorant.
Yes, both sides slandered the other. So what? There is nothing new in that; even if it was pretty keen and even edgy. And the press played its usual role in exalting the excessive claims, since it met with their intended goal (they thought) of securing higher numbers of eyeballs and ratings.
The fact is that this election was not about well defined voting blocks such as ‘Latino’, or ‘black’, or ‘women’ or even ‘disaffected white’ segments; the real driver was more of an economic call-to-arms for families of all colors and styles and sexes. The real winner here were those large numbers of the disaffected population that have seen their opportunities wither and who saw path forward to negate the left/right schism the US has experienced for 12 or more years.
There is no right or left block any more in government. We, the people, have been left behind. The majority of politicians (not all, we hope) are corrupt. They beget regulation only to beget more.
Some pundits have said that democratic progressivism is dead. I don’t accept that. I think it is alive and well and it will be back soon. It is only “down for the count” since family salaries, jobs and standard-of-living concerns took precedence this time around. Such concerns are not a block, or a group, but an economic condition. It so happened that such a forming was somewhat triggered by progressive policies long ago that came about due to a nation being so rich for a long time.
The fat and pork we must have farmed to afford ourselves the time, money and right, to consider the sex classification of national bathrooms for a size of the population impacted that might approach one small town, is telling and damning. We will return to this debate once we solve the real issue: how to regurgitate the American Dream.
Lastly I am being lampooned by friends and colleagues who claim that they cannot explain to their children what happened this week. Apparently some folks are claiming that their children are scared to go to school. Why? This country has not suddenly unleashed a batch of fanatics into the street. The only reason children are scared today is because irresponsility and ignorance is accommodated by a small minority of sore losers, seeking to undermine the rest. Shame on them.
I have faith in the American system. I have faith in a country born of conflict and forged in faith. I believe that a Trump presidency is a huge risk. But I feel that the risk is worth it. We are not afraid. No one should be. If we see racism and sexism and bigotry in our midsts we should all, every one, root it out and eliminate it. That is a given. But to confuse reality with political rhetoric is to suspend reality.
We have a new reality today. We have a chance. Let us unite together and rid the world of extremism and create a place where our children have more opportunity than we experienced. Hopefully that transcends sex, color, race and religion.