Monday, November 14, 2016

Time to Take a Deep Breath


I’m breaking a commitment to never write a political post, knowing I will receive criticism and likely lose readers.  Still, I can’t sit idly and watch the reactions to our recent election by rioters, failed politicians, and the left-leaning media without expressing my thoughts.
Let me start by saying that I voted for Donald Trump.  As with many voters, it wasn’t a stress-free choice. The options were limited to two, flawed candidates.  While Hillary Clinton presented the better image of a president, her past careless actions and double-speak were troubling to me.  I also didn’t appreciate Mrs. Clinton trying to make this an "-ist" election, painting her opposition as sexist and racist. Our economy has struggled for too long, and I felt it was time for a change.           
It’s easy to point out the hypocrisy of the media and demonstrators protesting the election of Donald Trump.   In the days leading up to the election, Trump was being chastised by the same groups over fears that he and his supporters may not be willing to accept the outcome. “How could he not agree to a peaceful transition of power?” they argued. “He’s mocking the very foundation of our election process.”
Those protesting President-elect Trump seem to be primarily college-age students and Millennials of all races.  They justify their protests by claiming Trump was elected by an under-educated, white male backlash through Trump’s deliberate appeal to racists, sexists, homophobes and xenophobes.  Running to the moral high ground and attempting to label opponents as evil and ill-informed has lost its effectiveness for the left.  In desperation, they are no longer protesting peacefully; they are rioting, destroying property and businesses.  If anything, their outrageous actions convince those watching that the voters who’ve elected Donald Trump did the right thing.    
The time to make your voice heard is prior to and during elections, not after.  If Hillary Clinton was the superior candidate, voters should have turned out to elect her as they did President Obama.  They didn’t.  Now a generation of young adults who grew up receiving “participation awards” and fleeing to campus “safe zones” to avoid differing opinions are experiencing what it’s like to lose.  They aren’t handling it well.  
Oddly, the states that elected Trump were the same states that elected President Obama: Iowa, Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan.   Voters in these states weren’t accused of being sexist or racist when they elected Obama, but somehow, they’re now being labeled by many in the media as the ugly underbelly of President-elect Trump’s white backlash.  It’s just not true.  What is true is voters in these states who elected Obama in prior elections stayed home, either because they were not impressed by their candidate and her past activities, or because they expected Mrs. Clinton to win easily without them, encouraged by the erroneous polls touted by the media. In the end, more than four million fewer voters cast votes for Clinton than did for Obama in 2012.
Calls to reject the Electoral College by Eric Holder and others in favor of the popular vote are futile and self-serving.  This isn’t the first time the presidential candidate with the larger popular vote failed to be elected by the Electoral College.  It’s happened four other times.  Those election results weren’t reversed.  This one won’t be either.  If popular vote decided national elections, California and New York would always choose our president, thereby leaving the vast majority of the states without representation.  (Mrs. Clinton may end up with 0.6M more popular votes, but she won California by nearly 2.8M and New York by 1.5M. That means she lost the other 48 states by 3.7M votes.) Fair representation is the primary reason the Electoral College has stood the test of time, originating in 1787 and existing in its current form since the 1880s. 
I have concerns as to how President-elect Trump will govern, but I’m willing to give him a chance.  I believe he was elected by a broad base of people, many with backgrounds and views similar to mine: 
  • I have a college education and have voted in every presidential election since 1976 for both Democrats and Republicans. 
  • I’m neither rich nor aloof to the plight of the middle class.
  • My family’s medical insurance premiums and deductibles have become a burden, rising to over 20% of my income.
  • I believe the ACA needs to change to better favor small business and make it more affordable for the middle class, but I expect elements of Obama’s healthcare bill will remain. 
  • I take Trump’s campaign promises as directional, not literal, as I do with all politicians. 
  • I don’t expect a 2,000-mile wall to be built, but agree with strongly securing our borders. 
  • I don’t agree with deporting 12 million illegal immigrants who work and reside here peacefully, but I do think those breaking our laws and endangering our citizens need to be identified and removed.  
  • I believe the Supreme Court should support our Constitution and not bend it.  
  • I believe our military needs to be strong, mainly to deter wars, but to win them after all other options have failed.
  • First and foremost, I believe our country needs jobs and our economy needs to experience sustained growth.   
More than 60 million voters joined me in electing Donald Trump. A vast majority of states and counties supported him as well as down ballot Republican candidates in their states.  Republicans maintained control of the U.S. House and Senate, as well as a lopsided plurality of governorships. Was this simply an under-educated, white male backlash?  I think not.     
 
Differing political views are to be expected.  Peaceful protesting is everyone’s right, but rioting and the destruction of property are not.  The media and left-wing politicians need to stop justifying riots through minimizing those who’ve elected Mr. Trump.  For Harry Reid to imply President-elect Trump represents the interests of the KKK only emboldens rioters and points out to any rational citizen that it’s time for Senator Reid to ride his donkey into the sunset. 
 
I encourage everyone to follow the example of Hillary Clinton and President Obama who have rightfully and gracefully accepted the election results and have begun the peaceful transition of power.  It was a very tough, ugly election.  Both sides painted the other with broad, defamatory brushes, but the election is over. We all need President-elect Trump and his new administration to succeed.  I’m going to take a deep breath and give him a chance.     


Update November 19, 2016
As reported by USA Today, Hillary Clinton's popular vote lead has grown from 0.6 million to about 1.7 million, largely due to an influx of absentee and provisional ballots still being counted in California. She has about 63.7 million votes to Trump's 62 million; her margin in California alone is about 3.5 million.   This doesn't change the electoral vote (Trump 290 to Clinton's 232, with Michigan outstanding), nor the point made about California alone deciding the election if popular vote was used.  At this point, Mrs. Clinton has lost the popular vote in 49 of the 50 states by 1.8 million votes. 

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