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.

7 thoughts on “WHAT DO WE DO NOW?

  1. I think regardless of Trump…we are in for a “correction”. Between the income gap, the debt at $20 trillion (and an inability to pay it back), wages stagnant, social security running out, health care costs out of control, cost of college out of control, jobs all oversees, housing prices, etc., etc., etc…..I just don’t see how this country or the world can sustain itself without major reform? There are too many rules and games in place to ensure the rich get richer and those who can profiteer off the system continue to drain it’s ability to care for the masses. The stock market used to be a safer place for investment and retirement planning, and it’s now a Las Vegas casino. Housing prices on the coasts used to be something sustainable by one income (while one person stayed home to parent children). That changed in the 90’s as two parents had to work to afford a home. And now you need multiple families living together to afford a home.

    All the while…career politicians have been at the helm of the Titanic we call America. Trump may be crazy, but he’s beholden to nobody. His ego is soooo large that he just may actually want to fix problems so that everyone (not just the crazy right) is stroking it in 4 years and telling him how great he is and how much they love “winning” with him. He fed off of the tremendous amount of fear and hate everyone has for our gridlock politics and nobody getting problems solved. He has resonated in some very horrible ways with people, but it got him the vote. And maybe he knew that is what it would take? I won’t be surprised if we see him pull back from many of the extreme comments and plans only to tone down his methods into real problem solving. And, maybe I’m being too optimistic? But…it’s time to stop complaining. Give the elected man a chance, and at the same time remain vigilant and prepared. I think it’s going to be a wild ride…with or without Trump. I just hope I can hold on to my hat and glasses….

  2. Strong and continuing resistance will be required to combat the fear and loathing that is fast approaching. I’m in. I hope millions of others will be as well. Otherwise, the alt-right terrorists win.

  3. I can’t believe that anyone believed all those horrid promises Trump made without his offering even a mention of a plan … (i.e. to replace Health care, rid the world of Isis… etc.)

    Looks like we are in for a bumpy road!!

    BTW …Our family is financially supporting Planned Parenthood !

  4. Yes indeedie, Bill. I feel that all we are learning post election is a wake-up call to be more involved with everything from our local communities to the larger national issues. Thanks for your thoughtful words!

  5. I am still in shock over this election: down is up/up is down. My belief is that Republicans will not stop until they get their way and take away what I see as the gains made under the Obama administration. So, my cynicism kicks in and I say, have at it–Republicans! Do your best to take this country backwards–to ruin the economy, the environment, etc. I will do what I can to protest your evil immigration policies, and the hatred you have unleashed on immigrants, blacks and the marginalized. My fondest wish is that those who voted for Trump will suffer the loss of their health care, and to to feel that they have done both themselves and this nation a great injustice. I want them to plead for the Democrats to return to power. In the meantime, we will have to suffer the foolishness of their vote, Yes, I am angry and bitter.

  6. This is how those 49% of us felt in the UK when a majority voted for BREXIT. Since then it has been clear that the money promised for public services will actually be spent filling the gap in our income from leaving (and the threat of leaving) and in payments to the EU! This poster says it all – spotted in the Financial Times: http://www.thepoke.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/brexit.jpg Well worth reading.

    I am so sorry for my American family and friends, as it is hard to believe what has happened and its consequences. I do feel horrified and worry about how Trump will be held to account given the political landscape and the way the media are. In the UK the labour party of opposition are divided and that allows limited opposition and the ruling party to get away with things almost unchecked. So if the Democrats can stay really strong and united with a strong voice, that will help.

    On a personal level I think we also need to understand why Brexit and Trump have happened, listen to understand and show compassion for people’s concerns and fears. And then take action but not with an assumption that it is from a place of knowing better. I know this could sound like lying down and just taking it. I suppose I don’t want to match an assumption of “I am right and you are wrong” with a similar one, or nothing changes. In the meantime I support 38 degrees (in the UK) and Avaaz (globally) and try to collaborate as much as possible.

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