It’s no secret that I am and always was #NeverTrump. But nominee Trump is now President elect Trump and this change of position necessitates some introspection.
There are only a few ways to respond to this. Firstly, you can celebrate. Many people who voted for Trump are doing so, and they have the right to do so. The man they feel most represents their needs and values has been elected to the highest office of the country. Secondly, we can protest, but even here I believe there is a big difference between peaceful protests and protests meant to disrupt the changing of power. We should all heed President Obama’s words;
“The “peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy,” Obama added, insisting that come January, “we are going to show that to the world.” (Kosoff, Vanity Fair, Nov 9th)
Thirdly: We can accept it and hope for the best, while being prepared for the worst.
There is a fourth option of course, we can bury our head in the sand and pretend it didn’t happen. Escapism can feel good at the time but is rarely beneficial in the long run. In fact, it is fascinating to me that just two weeks ago people were worried about Trump supporters delegitimizing the election and now it is potential democratic supporters who are attempting to do so. This is not to say that Trump should not have rightfully be called out for questioning the democratic process of free elections.
Here’s an example of his response to the 2012 election.
Discounting the fact that Trump had his facts wrong and Romney actually lost the popular vote, it was wrong of Trump to tweet these things, and it is wrong for protestors to get violent in their opposition before he has even been sworn into office. As James Madison said, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your point of view, we are not angels and government is necessary. Democracy is the best form of government we have so far been able to create. Until we come up with a better way, let’s stick with it even when we don’t like the outcome.
This is not to say there should not be a word of caution. In recent decades we have invested a lot of power in what has become known as “The Imperial Presidency.” For those unsure what this means, it simply implies that there are a lot more laws passed by executive fiat than by due process these days. Personally, that’s why I am against what Reid did to eliminate the filibuster for most Presidential nominees and appointees.
“Senate Democrats took the dramatic step Thursday of eliminating filibusters for most nominations by presidents, a power play they said was necessary to fix a broken system but one that Republicans said will only rupture it further.
Democrats used a rare parliamentary move to change the rules so that federal judicial nominees and executive-office appointments can advance to confirmation votes by a simple majority of senators, rather than the 60-vote supermajority that has been the standard for nearly four decades.” (Kane, Nov 21st 2013 Washington Post.)
You should never invest in government the power to do do what you don’t want your worst enemy to do once they are in power.
For that reason I support reinstating the filibuster for these processes. Having said that, would it not be a poetic justice to see Republican’s first use it to put in place those they wish. It will make certain that either side thinks twice before taking so drastic a measure once again.
It is essential that we allow checks and balances to be in place. The fact that these are somewhat neutered due to a Republican controlled congress and Presidency does not change the fact they should not be abused. All politicians are up for re-election and the voters can and should hold them accountable for positions they take, laws they pass and the character with which they do so.
Lastly, we owe Trump the benefit of the doubt. He is President and unless we wish to denigrate the 59 million people who voted for him we need to respect and and honor it. My liberal friends so often talk of tolerance, so show the American nation that you believe it. Stand up for your rights, protect those who need protect them, but show tolerance to those who hold different views while pointing out and attacking those laws you deem unconstitutional.
Finally – we are one America. If our fellow men and women are voting differently to how we would like it is because our leaders, our families and you personally have failed to persuade them there is a better way to live and believe. That should convict us all.