What Do We Do Now?
Some readers critical of a recent post on this page, “Benefits of a Trump Presidency,” are curious about my reaction to what happened on the 8th of this month.
The “Benefits” piece in no way argued that Trump would make a good president. Instead
it pointed out that if he were to be elected, his followers— our fellow Americans — would soon learn the fallacies of their erroneous thinking and would come over to the side of reason and rationality.
How’s that for a trip into Fantasyland? I believe readers are right when they offered the idea that no matter how he screws up—and I have no doubts he’ll make a mess of things — a sizable number of Americans who support him will continue to think he’s our modern day savior. They won’t suddenly disavow their fantasies about Trump and his solutions, even if — and I really mean “when” — those jobs he promised fail to return, when his knowledge of how to beat Isis proves to be no better—probably far worse— than what the generals know, when his pledge to “build a wall” is manifest not in any structure along our southern border but is erected, in a virtual sense, to protect him from responsible members of the media. He’s already started work on that barrier.
If there is to be a benefit to our democracy’s new disaster it won’t have as much to do with people on the right coming to their senses, as how it affects those of us—the majority of Americans—who wanted Hillary to be the 45th President.
Certainly, many of us are depressed, angry and fearful. We’re wondering what happens now. Some of us feel a sense of hopelessness about the future of our country as we recognize what can happen to what we breath and what we believe.
Perhaps we still need time to mourn. But then we need to “Hillary-up.”
In her absolutely eloquent, gracious comments the day after she won the majority of votes and lost the Presidency, the Democratic candidate told us to continue our fight for the values we cherish. Good advice. Certainly a better plan than assuming the role of bitter loser for the next four years (or for a shorter period of time if The Donald self-destructs midway through his reign). If we actually look for a benefit to this anguish, we may find it in the opportunity to unite and mobilize, to put forth our agenda in a way that offers hope, framed by facts and reason, to some of the Americans who will be disappointed by the results they’ll experience—results that look nothing like the promises they got from the fellow who was going to make America Great Again.
Perhaps like the Tea Party that has had so much impact on the Republicans, we will witness, and can participate in a political force that will energize the Democratic Party— a force inspired by the ideas and passion ignited by Bernie Sanders.
I’m old enough to remember when John Kennedy said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
What can we do for our country right now? It needs us. Perhaps more than ever.
Volunteer with Planned Parenthood? Donate to Bernie’s movement? Find out how we can help our local homeless shelters?
I don’t know. But doing what we can in an effort to make things better may be the best antidote for the suffering we feel as we contemplate a Trump presidency.