Current Events · Politics

We have done this to ourselves – one liberal’s response to the Trump victory

Last night, the citizens of the United States of America spoke up and elected Donald Trump president.  The media was shocked, the pundits were speechless, and many people on the coasts went into a rage.  As the news of a Trump victory settled in, his supporters cheered in triumph while the Clinton backers stared in disbelief.  After months of hearing from the media that Clinton can’t lose, how did she lose?

During last night’s coverage, I talked and texted with several friends.  All of them couldn’t believe what was happening.  We were expecting a Hilary landslide, but got the Trump upset instead.  And my social media feed is full of disgust, fear and confusion.  People are thinking of moving out of the country (some may be serious).  But just like refugees from the Middle East, Americans en masse would probably not be welcome elsewhere (ironic, isn’t it?)  As a American-born citizen of immigrant parents, I refuse to give up on this country.  But I think it is time for us to admit what really happened:

We have done this to ourselves.

Living in the liberal San Francisco Bay Area, home of progressive Silicon Valley and close neighbor of very liberal Southern California (with Hollywood as the center of a very left-leaning entertainment media empire), I am surrounded by a virtual United Nations.  Just this week, I have interviewed a Brit, an Australian, and a Filipino.  And my company just hired an Indian (East Indian, not Native American) and a Mexican to our ranks.  At any given night, I can dine on Ethiopian, Burmese, Mediterranean, or Afghani cuisine, all within a half hour drive from my house.  I enjoy a middle class lifestyle, owning a home in one of the most expensive areas of the nation.  Both my wife and I have college degrees and work in white collar professions.  We surround ourselves with like-minded people, friends from college and work, who believe in many of the same causes as we do.

That is the problem, not just for myself, but for this nation.  We befriend people like us, talk like us, think like us.  What we don’t do is hang out with “those people.”  Everyone has “those people” in their lives.  They may be in our schools, or workplaces, even in our extended families.  “Those people” have different lifestyles… they have a different religion than us, or may be from another country, or have a different sexual orientation.  But “those people” definitely have a different political leaning than us.  It’s too difficult to talk about politics; it’s better to keep the peace (at work, or in class, or at Thanksgiving dinner) than to bring up divisive issues.  We take everything personally, thinking that “those people” are idiots, blind to their own biases and ignorance.  So it’s easier to shield ourselves from any backlash.

All of us are guilty of our own ignorance, which we were reminded of last night.  Us bi-coastal liberals forgot that the center of the nation exists.  Not everyone has friends from all over the globe, has access to a college education, or enjoys a middle class, metropolitan lifestyle.  In fact, many people in the middle of the country are not enjoying the fruits of the new economy.  But we have chosen to ignore this huge portion of our nation.  We ignore these problems and watch our TV shows and sports teams and favorite YouTube stars and Instagram pets.  Even now, many people are trying to distract themselves with viral videos and binge watching Netflix.  But we can’t keep ignoring our American brothers and sisters.  If we do, we are guilty of hating on others just like liberals accuse Trump supporters of hating women, immigrants and the LGBTQ community.

My wife is worried that hate crimes may increase in this nation, with the bigots emboldened by a leader who has been accused numerous times of misogyny and racism.  But if we expect people to change and become less angry, how will that happen if the peaceful among us won’t befriend the intolerant?

The other night, I was playing Cards Against Humanity with some friends (for those of who don’t know what CAH is, it’s like Apples to Apples, but way more “extreme”).  I won a round with a very funny combination, which I photographed with my phone and posted on Facebook.  I didn’t realize it would be prophetic:

cah-lack-of-understanding
This will be one of my prophecies in my sacred text.

If half of America believes that this nation is damaged by a Trump presidency, then that half needs to start working to make America great again.  There so much we can do, as Jenna Amatulli shares at the Huffington Post and Clara Jeffery implores at Mother Jones.  We must be Brave Enough to love this nation and the people around us.  It’s easy to champion a cause when your side is winning.  But the progressive side is now losing.  How will we respond?  Will we become despondent and give up on the political process (and move to Canada)?  Or will we steel our resolve and work harder for positive change?  If we don’t, the problems in this nation will only get worse.  And we will only have ourselves to blame.

 

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One thought on “We have done this to ourselves – one liberal’s response to the Trump victory

  1. I was horrified by Trump and the things he said, especially bringing torture back. But I do understand why people voted for him. Many of my friends on Facebook and many people on blogs were voting for him. I asked them why.

    The main reason for them (Christians) was getting a Conservative Justice on the court so they can get rid of abortion, getting rid of the bathroom law, and not allowing Gays to sue them for their religious beliefs. They feel they are under attack, which they are a bit. They really do feel pain about all the babies being aborted.

    That is just the Christians. I think Trump is right about corporations moving their factories to other countries. That has devastated the middle and lower class. They now have to work 2 or three jobs just to survive. Clinton was okay with that. The Democrats were okay with that and so were the Republicans. They didn’t get it that people can’t make it when rent is $1,000 to $1500 per month. Warming the house costs hundreds and then there is medical insurance. People can’t do it.

    My sister lives in Washington State. She became homeless when she got sick and couldn’t work. She lived with us for two years but her allergies were making her so sick here she moved to Washington where there isn’t much to be allergic to. She lived in her van in campgrounds. She has met tons of homeless people. Most of them were homeless because of medical problems. One girl was on disability and when Obama Care came in they deducted the cost from her disability check and she had to live in her car. One old couple lost everything because her husband got cancer. There are lots of homeless vets. She met a man the other day who was in the Viet Nam War and had been getting disability for years. All of a sudden they cut him off. The Obama administration had told the VA to re-investigate every disability payment and make sure they deserved it. Well, now the guy is homeless.

    I always like President Obama very much, but I don’t see how he has helped people very much. He did save the country through the crash though. I thought Obama Care would be good until I looked it up on the net. It is an awful plan compared to Canada’s. (where I live) It is much too expensive. How can people come up with $250 a month that they weren’t paying before? When you are lower-middle class that is the equal to groceries or the heating bill. Why did the Democrats think people could afford that? Probably because they have never been poor.

    People are always saying more people should get a college education so they can get good jobs. They never seem to think that there are millions of people who aren’t smart enough or have reading problems. College is not easy. My grandsons had problems reading, they were also easily distracted and found it hard to concentrate. They were funny and smart enough to converse with, but they couldn’t take tests and pass them. We need factory jobs for young men like this.

    I’m sorry. I could write forever on why the Democratic party lost the election. And you were so right about H.Clinton. They knew she was unpopular! They knew it and wanted her anyway. So stupid. As far as I’m concerned, they deserved to lose. Like a man said in the paper, “They ignored their base for 20-30 years.”

    If Trump does what he says he is going to do, he may very well help the poor in this country. America was slowly becoming like the 3rd world nations. Rich and poor. One thing I just read was that he wants to leave abortion, the bathroom laws and some other things up to each individual state. I really like that idea. Then if you don’t like the laws in that state you can move to another. I think that is a great solution to the cultural divide. I hope he can do it. I hope he gets us out of the Middle East. We never, ever learn. We keep trying to depose some despot, and that’s all fine and good, but it always ends badly. Especially for the common people. They just lay down and die or become millions of refugees.

    Well, this was very long. I’m sorry and you can just delete it if you like. Like everyone else, I can’t think of anything else but the election. It is shocking. Trump is a vile man right now. I pray he gives his life to God. He would certainly be happier! lol

    Liked by 1 person

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