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Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Election 2016: The Day After - Buyer's Remorse
I should be wearing black because I am in mourning. The American voter has chosen. The voter has voted against his/her own interests and put the Republican Party in charge of the hen house for at least two years with Donald Trump at its head. Entitlements are in jeopardy. Social Security is in jeopardy. 85 years worth of gains in civil liberties and progressive reform may well come undone. The position of the United States in the world theater is now shaky. I was certain we would not take this route, but we did. Seven million less democrats turned out to vote in 2016 than in 2012: it is our own damn fault.
Maybe I should be happy. The American voter gassed up his big pickup truck, slipped into 4-wheel drive, and went off road. It will give me four years of things to blog about and comedians four years of constant material. It may galvanize liberals and progressives into something resembling a movement. Instead, I am scared. I want to believe it's a good thing. Maybe Trump will surprise me. Maybe he is a hidden progressive in conservative's clothing. Maybe more people will watch the Trump Show as broadcast from the White House and become more interested and involved in politics outside their own back yards. Maybe progressives will unify in opposition. I doubt it – more likely, as with the Brexit vote, Americans will suffer from buyer's remorse but do nothing.
Politics as usual appears to be dead, but it's not. Gridlock seems to be dead, but we shall see. The Republican Party now effectively controls all three branches of government once Trump's first Supreme Court justice nominee is approved. There are no checks. There are no balances. The Russians and the Chinese are happy: we just passed the hat to them. Corporate America is happy: we just improved their bottom line. I, however, feel miserable. But who cares? As for the American people, they know not what they have done. White America has said: I am still powerful; do not ignore me. But we were played.
I am certain that America will slip into an also-ran status on the world economic and political scene. I hope I am wrong about that. I hope I am wrong about all of this. So much seems at risk, placed their by an electorate that chose celebrity over experience, the past over the future, the rich over the citizenry. God help us.
I was born in Holland in 1950. My parents immigrated to the US when I was two. I have many close friends and family on both continents. My wife Diane and I have been happily married since 1974. I have four children and one grandchild (two more are on the way). I love writing and sharing what I wrote most of all..