So Much for a Honeymoon
The Donald Trump honeymoon ended before it began. The nation’s tradition of allowing a new administration a first hundred days to conduct itself before opening the floodgates of dissent was discarded before Trump took the oath of office.
I blame cadres of sore losers still incapable of belief that their compelling and visionary views were rejected by the people at the polls, those seeking some do-over mulligan to repair the fabric of the cloth they wove.
Over the last eight years — indeed for more than a decade — conservatives and Republicans of all stripes have endured literally thousands of calls for them to compromise on or discard their core principals. Some have been persuaded, others not.
Those on the right have been asked to revise our thinking about the U.S. Constitution from being a rigid framework that firmly establishes in law rights of citizens and powers of government to belief in a so-called “living document” that reflects every passing whim of public opinion, yields to every pressure group.
We have been asked to discard our religious and moral beliefs on the sanctity of our relationship with our God or higher powers and the immutable belief that all human life is precious from the moment of conception.
We have been preached to, harangued, shouted down, driven away when we sought to gather in public to share our ideas, had our property defaced, and have been ridiculed and mocked. Some of us have been physically assaulted or battered, while others have been silenced and shunned.
Most of this abuse and bigotry proceeded from the belief that if we were not heard, seen or felt, our ideas would succumb to those of our opposition. Well, that premise crumbled on November 8, 2016.
Living among progressives and liberals are those who hold other worldviews and chose to march in a different direction. That makes some uncomfortable, others sad or angry and most perplexed.
“Our moral right and ideas are so clear,” they think. “Everyone I speak with thinks as I do,” others say.” How can you and so many others not see the light?” “How could you not vote for Hillary?”
Here’s my answer: There’s a world out there in your country that you have never seen. It is not an emotional fabrication or an abstract framework; rather, it is quite real. You don’t know it exists, but it grabs no hold on your imagination. It conflicts with your views, beliefs and ideals.
Despite a half-century of unfulfilled promises to a variety of the constituents that your side hopes and claims to represent, these individuals and groups are failing to thrive. They are falling deeper into despair. Many have lost all hope.
Well described by Martin Luther King, they include all those of every race found in the inner cities, in the barrios, and those forced to eat the thin gruel of a failing school system propped up by a bloated bureaucracy and public employees’ unions. In a land filled with plenty, they have nothing to eat and despair for how to hold their families together and survive the onslaught of our hostile nation.
They live in violence unimaginable in your salons and neighborhoods, beyond TV news soundbites and brief newspaper crime logs. They no longer cry out for help or believe that things will turn for the better, no matter what you say. They keep their heads down and simply exist. Their world is perpetual twilight, not sunrise.
You don’t see them, and they aren’t your neighbors or friends. Because you don’t interact with them, you don’t hear them. Truthfully, they only come to the forefront of your mind at election time.
Some of them shifted their votes in November against your dreams of a rose-colored world they know doesn’t include them. They cast ballots instead for something that would make a difference, cause real change, perhaps restore hope.
They voted for Donald Trump, although they would have voted for anyone else had different candidates been selected by the Republican and Libertarian parties. The results were in and they knew the nation’s former course hadn’t worked. They’d had enough, and it was time to try something else.
More than anything else, they wanted a lifeline. They swung enough votes in enough blue states to make the electoral college move in Trump’s direction. Your only response has been, “Trump is not a legitimate president, not my president.”
Perhaps a better response would be, you’re not legitimate voters. You are not part of the world that is, but reside instead in the world you would have in its place.
You don’t represent the thinking of the broad spectrum of our nation’s people; you represent instead your clan, your principled and educated mental fabrication of a world that cannot be and has never existed. Elite or not, you dream a fantasy.
And you resist.
This makes everyone sad — on your side, on ours and by those caught in the middle — and it fuels the tension that will seek to deprive the new administration of its fair chance to act on the people’s decision to end their hopelessness and begin change that may, in time and with effort, result in some impact in the underclass’s lives.
It’s clear that there will be no honeymoon for Donald Trump. What we have instead is your continued resistance that will make for an uneasy time of us-versus-them politics that will continue to erode support from those on the far left as well as those on the far right.
If Trump fails to deliver meaningful change, as you wish and openly dream he might, the growing cadre of the hopeless will move on to vote for another alternative they believe offers some chance of success.
This is not rejection, it’s adaptive trials and testing. The people of our great nation are coming together in a new consensus without regard for progressive or neo-con — or socialist or deplorable — leadership.
As you feel power slipping away from your grasp, our republic is once again held firmly in the people’s grasp. Those who seek to deny the new president his chance to serve the people’s will are destined to fail. Their actions of denial can only result in them increasingly being ignored and eventually discarded.
There will be a divorce, but it will not be a dissolution of the marriage between the people and their government. It will be a divorce an movement away from those who hold visions or ideals that depart from the steady course described by our nation’s founders in its guiding documents.
In that, there is hope.