Elections Do Indeed Have Consequences
How We Got Here: Clinton
To start off, America was faced with a choice of two terrible candidates in November 2016. The Democrats has already predetermined that Hillary would be no matter their candidate what Bernie Sanders did. Mrs. Clinton arrogantly assumed she would be a shoe-in and become the first female U.S. President. Unfortunately, she bungled her handling of her private server scandal as well as the always lurking Benghazi mess, and coupled with that was a shaky image and a dull, poorly run campaign with no strong vision or enthusiasm.
Even now, Hillary has never accepted responsibility for her campaign failure. It was the fault of James Comey, Republican lies, and lack of support from women voters among other things. Many in our nation view her re-appearance for the 2020 campaign with grave misgivings! Please, Mrs. Clinton, don’t put the country through another replay of all your unpleasant history. Stay home, be a super grandma and let the Clinton era come to a quiet end.
One of the consequences of 2016 election is the exposure of the dysfunction of the Democratic Party – a semi-rigged primary system with Super Delegates, no innovative message and no unity of policy. Worse yet, the same 70+ seniors refuse to relinquish power to younger party members. No wonder more people identify as independent! While Trump may be stuck in the 50’s, the Democrats seem stuck in the 90’s. We need leaders – not aging politicians!
Opposing Hillary, we had T.V. personality, Donald Trump. At first his campaign seemed like a joke as he insulted everyone in sight. He is and was a snake oil salesman of unparalleled ability. At first, his outspoken demeanor and bluntness has a certain comedic charm. Unfortunately, he quickly began appealing to our worst selves. Racism, anger, and fear became his calling cards. Casting blame liberally tapped into those voters who felt abandoned. The idea of a successful businessman going to D.C. and really shaking things up caught people’s hopes and imagination. Yet we all knew intuitively that Mr. Trump was all wrong for the Presidency.
As polls consistently showed, Americans were fed up with endless gridlock and incompetence in Washington. Along comes, Trump, ready to get rid of those nasty immigrants, cut taxes for the middle class, deregulate business and generally “disrupt” the status quo. Who doesn’t want business free of unnecessary regulations, less personal taxes, or a strong military? On the immigration issue, for better or worse, he had a plan that he promoted vigorously.
Mr. Trump was quite aggressive and straightforward with his positions and policy ideas. Contrast him with wishy-washy Hillary who is the consummate Washington insider. When Trump asked African American voters, “What have you got to lose?” by voting for him, isn’t it possible those words resonated with other angry voters? Wouldn’t a Clinton victory prolong the “status quo”? Well, now, almost two years later we know what we have to lose! The second consequence of that campaign tells us we must screen all primary candidates much more carefully. We can’t repeat this mistake in 2020 or ever.
Trump As President
Beginning with his inauguration, we recognized immediately we had made a monumental mistake in electing Trump. The inaugural crowd size nonsense, Michael Flynn’s exploits, the Comey firing, the Twitter rants – all showed us what and who Donald Trump really is. Allowing unqualified family members into the White House as staff, refusing to sever ties to his business, appointing corrupt and incompetent cabinet secretaries all show us that he is ill-prepared to be a world leader. All of this, plus an unrestrained and truly staggering ego and bombastic personality that is better suited to pro wrestling than business or government. His ridiculous style of promoting conflict within his organization shows his companies were successful not because of him, but despite him.
Many who voted for Trump were hopeful that he would shake things up see now that he is slowly destroying our national unity built on our Democratic institutions. The President doesn’t seem to care about anything but himself. But when your crazy Uncle Don starts an argument at Thanksgiving dinner and it gets heated, you don’t expect him to tip over the dinner table. Yet here is our President acting without any self-control at all. After all the rhetoric about North Korea, Trump is now claiming victories and progress that do not yet exist. We are in a war of tariffs with everyone, we are relinquishing our position as leader of the free world to China and Russia while trying to recapture the glory of the post WWII years. When the rest of the world was rebuilding, times have changed, and Trump is lost in the modern world. A huge additional consequence is the division of our society with the explicit division of the Republican Party. With few exceptions they remain silent to Trump’s destructive tendencies.
The Supreme Court
This is yet another major consequence of Trump becoming President. First he appoints Neil Gorsuch to the Court and now we have Bret Kavanaugh. By most accounts, Mr. Kavanaugh is very conservative in his philosophy. I myself had someone tell me he a perfect fit for “Trump’s Agenda”. Shouldn’t all justices be appointed for their ability to render fair and impartial rulings based on the merits of the cases presented to them? Independence and freedom from personal views and political agendas should be the benchmark for these appointments. This consequence could be the worst and longest lasting of all. Religion overrules civil rights?
We Are the Problem
We as voters are responsible for the mess that has been created. Nearly half of us didn’t bother to vote at all – contributing to minority rule. Both parties should be analyzing why people would rather stay home than vote for their candidates. How many Democrats stayed home because Hillary was so uninspiring or because they really wanted Bernie? The biggest problem is those voters who got hoodwinked by Trump’s act. Hopefully, with Trump now fully exposed they won’t make the same mistake again. Neither the President nor any other candidate should win an election because of rampant apathy among our electorate. We need informed citizens who demand candidates with real solutions to our problems.
So far Trump has little to show for 2 years on the job. We have a tax cut that gives some small relief for the middle class while the rich and businesses reap a bonanza. There is an endless attack on the ACA with no serious plan for health care. Our immigration policies have been made cruel and are an embarrassment to a nation considered to be the “melting pot”. The environment is under assault while science takes a back seat to the energy industries. The only real plan for our nation seems to be spitefully attacking anything and everything that was implemented by President Obama. We may soon have a Supreme Court that leans far too right and doesn’t reflect the views of the majority of Americans. These issues among others are what we have wrought. Not a very good result for the greatest nation in the world.
Donald Trump has come to power as a result of the indifference of millions of apathetic citizens neglecting their civic duty. If all eligible voters participated, we would better know what direction we should move in. With only 25% of registered voters identifying as Republicans, it seems we see that recurring problem of a relatively small group wielding disproportionate power. As minorities of today grow in numbers, our nation will likely become more liberal. This change will begin to force us to work together to better the nation or slowly fade as a great nation.
We have great visionaries like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson leading the way to the future in business. Sure, we have men and women with an interest in politics who can lead us to a better future. We can demand that the likes of aging leadership of both parties step aside and let new voices work together to bring about the needed changes. Our nation is changing, so must our two main political parties or they will render themselves irrelevant. It is up to us, the voters have both the power and responsibility to renew, restore, and enhance America.