Note: It appears that the Trump Campaign has repudiated the KKK endorsement. Go here.
To what extent are political candidates responsible for the actions and beliefs of organizations that endorse them?
That question is pertinent to today’s political discussions because that old bugaboo of America’s nightmares, the Ku Klux Klan, has not only endorsed President Elect Trump, it evidently plans to hold a victory parade celebrating his win. Given that the KKK is not just any organization, but a group that carried out organized terror tactics, including lynchings and murder by other means, in a large swath of the country for generations, this is more than disturbing to any thinking American.
I don’t think anyone would be taking this so seriously if President Elect Trump had run a different kind of campaign. He engaged in race-baiting, female-baiting and over-the-top hate rhetoric throughout his campaign. We have all heard the tape of him bragging about committing sexual assault and we’ve all seen the testimony of a number of women saying he did this to them. President Elect Trump is not a nice man. His rhetoric and behavior are adequate testimony to that.
That fuels the reaction to the KKK’s enthusiastic endorsement of President Elect Trump. It raises the question in a lot of minds as to whether or not the KKK is correct in their assessment of what is going to happen to our country under his governance. It also provides those who oppose President Elect Trump with another way to attack him.
But the truth is that all sorts of organizations and people endorse political candidates, each for their own reasons. If the candidate seeks the endorsement of a group, then it’s fair to say that the candidate at least has some affinity with that group’s goals and purposes. Even then, it would be a mistake to say that the candidate absolutely agrees with that organization’s goals and purposes and will allow him or herself to be dictated by them.
I have not seen anything which indicates that President Elect Trump actively sought the endorsement of the KKK. He has not repudiated it, which, given the horror that this organization’s history raises in the minds of so many Americans, is a mistake.
Elected officials do not repudiate every errant endorsement they receive. It’s bad business to insult people when you don’t have to, and it would also be exhausting to list all the things you are not for. It’s usually better to just proceed with your job and let your work speak for itself. That may well be what President Elect Trump intends to do about the KKK.
However, the KKK is different from other organizations. It symbolizes America’s darkest failure as a democracy. It speaks of a time when a self-styled terrorist organization committed vigilante executions and other terror tactics at will, with no response from law enforcement. In fact, members of law enforcement frequently held membership in this organization.
For that reason, I think that it would be wise for President Elect Trump to disavow the KKK’s endorsement. The North Carolina GOP has already done so. The KKK is not like other organizations. It is America’s nightmare. It is especially important to repudiate the KKK given the kinds of policies our president elect has espoused and the campaign he ran to get elected.
However, even if he does not repudiate it, the KKK’s endorsement does not mean that President Elect Trump agrees with their beliefs. So far as I know, he did not seek their endorsement. He simply has not repudiated it.
In this case, I am going to do what people keep telling me I should do. I am going to wait a see if we witness a return to vigilante terrorism under the guise of the KKK in this country. A march to celebrate the election results is not a lynching. On the other hand, a march to celebrate election results by people who advocate lynchings is a chilling message.
I’m going to say it again: President Trump should repudiate his endorsement from the KKK. But even if he doesn’t, it would be a mistake at this point to assume that he will, as president, support a return to their brand of vigilante terrorism.
I said a few days ago that President Elect Trump won the electoral college but lost the popular vote in what was essentially a tied election. Now, I’m going to take that back.
This election was not tied. It was close, but decisive. Secretary Clinton’s margin in the popular vote has risen to over a million votes and, as the paper ballot absentees are being counted, keeps going up. We’ve only had a few “minority” presidents (presidents who win the electoral college and lose the popular vote) and most of them were a near miss in the popular vote. But this margin isn’t a near miss.
A million vote margin is not a tied election. It’s a decisive win.
What I’m saying is that President Elect Trump lost the election. He lost it soundly, thoroughly and absolutely. But he won the presidency.
I have questions as to the mechanics of how this happened. One of those questions is whether or not the paper absentee ballots are as far out of line with the machine votes as it seems. That can happen, but usually doesn’t, at least not to the extent that this seems to be.
I’ve read comments that Secretary Clinton’s margin of victory in the popular vote is “unprecedented” in elections where the electoral college elects instead of the people. That is both true and not true.
It is true that no other candidate in our history has ever lost by this many votes and still become president. But Rutherford B Hayes managed to win the electoral college and lose the popular vote by a quarter of a million votes in a time when our nation’s population was only 50 million people and quite a number of states that are now in the union were still either territories or no man’s land.
So, it’s not accurate to say that this situation is “unprecedented,” at least so far as the numbers are concerned. However, when President Hayes was elected, we were not at war with anybody, including ourselves. There was no question as to President Hayes’ loyalty to this country, no interference in the election by a hostile foreign power that is run by a cold-blooded dictator bent on domination.
The situation is far different today. America is not officially at war, but we are heavily engaged in a hostile and dangerously violent world environment. America is at war with itself. We are so divided that we are coming close to being ungovernable.
And last, but certainly not least, the Russians did hack the DNC and use the emails they got to influence this election on behalf of the man who ended up with a big electoral vote win and strong popular vote loss. The Russians compromised our election process, and they did it out front and big time.
The Russian government has now admitted that they were in contact with candidate Trump’s campaign during the election. These facts raise all sorts of questions, none of them pleasant to consider.
To get back to vote totals, no one in our history as a nation has ever won the electoral vote and lost the popular vote by over a million votes. But, given the difference in America’s population between now and earlier in our history, the overall percentages in this margin have happened, at least once before. However, in that instance, the electoral vote was much closer and thus a more accurate reflection of the will of all the people.
We’ve had four minority presidents, including one who was seated by the House of Representatives.
President John Quincy Adams was seated by the House of Representatives after both he and his opponent failed to reach the required number of electoral votes. This put the election in the House of Representatives, and even though Adams lost the popular vote by 38,000 votes, the House elected him president.
Rutherford B Hayes was elected president by one electoral vote, even though he lost the popular vote by a quarter-million vote margin. President Benjamin Harrison won the electoral vote and lost the popular vote by 90,000 votes.
President George W Bush was the only president ever put in office by the Supreme Court. He won the electoral vote by one vote, when the court awarded Florida to him, but he lost the popular vote by half a million votes.
In the election we’ve just finished, Secretary Clinton suffered a clear loss in the electoral college, but is ending up with a historic win in the popular vote. A number of presidents have been elected with both an electoral college win and a popular vote margin significantly smaller than the one she holds.
What I’m saying is that President Elect Trump lost the election. It’s as plain as that. But he also won the presidency.
He’s been making claims that, if the popular vote had mattered in winning, he would have run a different campaign and won the popular vote. I have no doubt that he’s telling the truth that his campaign — and his positions on issues — would have been different if he had needed the popular vote to win.
President Elect Trump’s beliefs appear to be entirely situational. I think that what he says on any given day is a function of what he needs to say to get what he wants and how his personal pique and desire for vengeance is running.
If I’m wrong about this, it will prove itself out in the years ahead. If he turns out to be a steady-eddy, do-what-I-promised and use-my-powers-for-the-common-good kind of president, we’ll know it.
The suspense of just how bad or good he will be in office is going to end. If he betrayed this country to the Russians, we will probably be able to see that betrayal manifest itself in policies which benefit the Russians. If he really does bring back prosperity to the working and middle classes and restore us to our post World War II greatness, we’ll know that, too.
If he builds walls, stops the in-flow of immigrants across our southern border and casts out all illegal immigrants, we’ll see it happen. If he stops immigration into this country from the Middle East, it will be apparent.
If he defunds Planned Parenthood and nominates for-real pro life justices to the Supreme Court who overturn Roe v Wade, we’ll know he did it. If he loses that famous three-in-the-morning temper and launches rockets instead of tweets, I imagine somebody will tell us.
Of course, there are other things that may be more difficult to see. Will he use his powers to take vengeance on his enemies? Will he engage in profiteering for himself and his friends? Will he audit his enemies’ taxes and have the FBI investigate them? Will he turn the hacking of computers and release of private emails on newscasters, political opponents, and people who just get under his skin?
Most of these things will be hidden in the fog of lies, bad reporting and confusion that surrounds any president. If he actually does them, I imagine that fear will also become a big factor and fawning will replace critiquing in our newsrooms.
We the People have a new president elect, and he is markedly not a president elect for all — or even most — of us. President Elect Trump’s challenge is simply to do a good job and not be the total jerk that he has been throughout his adult life, including and most especially in his campaign for president. If he does that, the very frightened American people will be so surprised and relieved that they’ll fall all over him in gratitude.
He is going to have to dig down and find a whole new persona if he wants to lead this country. He’s got a lot more fences to mend than he has walls to build.
He’s a skilled performer and marketer. The question is, can he use these talents to persuade the people of this country to follow him? He’s about to learn that winning an election is just the beginning. What comes after is the tough part.
His major impediment to success as president is himself. He has convinced a large portion of the people he has to govern that he doesn’t believe in anything except doing what’s right for Donald Trump. Many of them appear to think that, if he’s talking, he’s lying, and many also believe that he not only doesn’t care about them, he actively hates them.
He’s got to convince a big percentage of these people that they’re wrong. Because winning the presidency and losing the election won’t cut it, going forward. All that gives him is a chance — a very good chance — to earn the trust of the people by being a good president, or, failing that, making people believe he’s a good president, even if he’s not.
He may be able to get there. He’s the most successful political manipulator I’ve ever seen. But he’s got it do.
And We the People are going to get to watch him try.
Bishop Anthony Taylor, the Bishop of Arkansas, wrote a letter to his flock that I think we all should read.
I knew Bishop Taylor back when he was Father Taylor here in Oklahoma City. He stood in press conferences beside me when I demanded that the House leadership allow a vote on pro life legislation. He was a powerful support for the Day of Prayer to End Violence Against Women. He was a signatory of a letter signed by the priests of our priest council saying they would go to jail rather than deny services to hispanic people.
This last was in response to one of Oklahoma’s own Jim Crow Against Hispanics laws — which I opposed with every ounce of energy I had — that were passed in a move to demagogue against Hispanics/illegal immigrants. Among other things, this particular law made it a crime to aid such people in any way, including helping them in desperate situations such as accidents.
I was proud to be Catholic when the priest council of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City unanimously signed a letter saying that they would be priests for everyone, and were willing to go to jail, if that was necessary, rather than fail as shepherds. Father Anthony Taylor signed that letter.
One of his first acts as Bishop of Arkansas was to write a powerful pastoral letter on immigration. Now, he’s written a letter to his flock that I think everyone should read.
Bishop Taylor’s letter directly addresses some of the things that hispanic friends have said to me; that this election was a repudiation of them as human beings, and that they can not see how people they know and have trusted could do this. As one man said, “I don’t know the people I’ve known for so many years.” Only a bishop who understands the heart of beleaguered people could write with this sensitivity.
I am particularly grateful to Bishop Taylor for including a statement about the misogynist attacks on women that were a hallmark of the President Elect Trump’s campaign rhetoric. I know that there are a lot of women who feel very much as many hispanic people do; that the acceptance of the hate-language aimed at them by our President Elect is a repudiation of them as people and human beings. It is particularly scalding for Christian women such as myself when their religious leaders turn a deaf ear to such vicious and degrading attacks on the female.
I was disappointed that the recent conference of bishops did not choose to address the sins of misogyny and sexual assault as a group. I hope that other bishops will at least attempt to remedy this on a one-to-one basis in their own dioceses.
Here is the letter.
Bishop addresses presidential election
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor released the following statement to the people of the Diocese of Little Rock regarding the 2016 presidential election on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016.
Many of us have experienced the recent presidential election as a mixed blessing. We are relieved that President-elect Trump opposes abortion and plans to nominate anti-abortion justices to the Supreme Court. Indeed, many people voted for him for that very reason. But we are also dismayed by his divisive rhetoric.
The purpose of this letter is to remind all of us that this election has not changed the mission of the Church in Arkansas. We believe in the right to life and the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death and at every stage in between.
Particularly painful was the treatment of women and Hispanics during this campaign. Pro-life is more than just anti-abortion. Pro-life includes respect for women, a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, and in the present context respect for the rights of immigrants and the need for comprehensive immigration reform.
First, I would like to reassure our Hispanic parishioners that while much of the campaign rhetoric was disrespectful and indeed openly hostile, you should realize that most Americans harbor no ill will against you and might have voted differently except for the issue of abortion or perceptions about the economy.
True, some people voted with hostile intent and the Church calls such people to set aside their fears and open their hearts to welcome you.
Others focused on your undocumented status and based their vote on what, from a Catholic perspective, is an excessively narrow concept of the rule of law, but with no real hatred against you. My message to you today is to trust in the Lord, who will continue to protect us and guide us going forward, if we will just listen to him.
Second, I would like to invite all of us to redouble our efforts to make our parishes a place of welcome, where all of God’s children feel safe and valued. I feel proud when people tell me that their parish is a place where they truly feel at home. I would like to encourage you to continue to do all in your power to get to know your fellow parishioners and try to help them with their needs.
And since immigration has resurfaced as such a divisive matter in today’s politics, I invite you to re-read my 2008 pastoral letter on the human rights of immigrants. Eight years have gone by, but nothing has really changed … and I might add, Church teaching hasn’t changed either. It is very important that you be truly informed as our nation deals with this issue going forward.
I am grateful that we will soon have a president who has promised to name Supreme Court justices who are opposed to abortion. Let us support President-elect Trump in this matter and other areas where his efforts promise to benefit the common good. And let us be the voice of the voiceless in areas where our advocacy can make a difference, especially in the lives of the poor and vulnerable among us.
Sincerely in Christ,
+Anthony B. Taylor
Bishop of Little Rock
– See more at: http://www.dolr.org/article/bishop-addresses-presidential-election-results#sthash.VcKvMRQY.dpuf
How am I going to write about President Elect Trump? What standard will I use to determine how I react to the way he conducts his office, moving forward?
I am going to answer that question as clearly as I can because there is so much operatic emotion surrounding this election that I think it’s necessary. I have veered off into the operatic myself.
I did not support either of the candidates in the election just past. I do not support pro abortion politicians and I do not support misogynist, race-baiting politicians with the personal morals of a libertine. That means, de facto, that I did not support either of them.
That’s a fair enough position. But it’s also not an entirely honest description of what happened with me. The truth is, I’ve never been as upset by an election as I was this one. I felt as if this election put me in an emotional vise.
When I thought about Secretary Clinton, the agony of what a baby goes through in an abortion engulfed me. When I thought about then candidate Trump, the horror of being hated simply because you are you that he directed at Hispanic people and women almost overwhelmed me.
My reaction to the things Candidate Trump said about wanting to “date” his daughter, calling women vile names and bragging about sexual assault were so strong that they created a kind of white noise in my mind. Then, when I read the connections between Russia and the DNC hacks and considered the parallel policy changes Candidate Trump was espousing, I pretty much lost it. We’ve had bad presidents before. But we’ve never had one I honestly thought might be a traitor to this country.
I’ve been in meltdown mode since these things happened. Candidate Trump was a lot of things that I cannot abide. But he is the president elect, and he will be the president of my country. To the extent that I am capable, I am going to try my best to write about him with clarity.
I will never support him in any of the things I’ve mentioned. I will oppose him with my last breath on these things.
But I will write about President Trump the same way I wrote about President Obama. When I agree with him, I’ll say so. When I disagree with him, I’ll say that. I am not going to excuse, gloss or pretend when he tries to weasel his way around doing what he should.
I also — and this is a critical factor in what I say and write — do not believe he means the things he says. What that means is that I expect him to change positions as the need suits him and rely on people to forget he did it. That will inform how I write about him.
I am going to back him as hard as I can if he actually nominates pro life justices to the Supreme Court, and — I may be naive for thinking this — but I really think he’s going to rescind the HHS Mandate. But, again, if he tries to weasel out of it at any time in the process — and I’m fairly good at seeing through political weaseling — I’m going to call it, and be hard against it.
So, how will I write about President Elect Trump? I will write about him without hero worship and with the very jaundiced eye of someone who understands politics and who has a long memory. He can’t say one thing on Tuesday and another thing on Wednesday and bamboozle me into forgetting. I’m going to hold him to it.
I will also write about him with the skepticism of someone who is appalled by his behavior in the campaign and the way he has lived his life. I can’t pretend that I think he is a good man. I may be wrong, but right now, I am so negative about him and the kind of person I think he is, that I can honestly say that he scares me.
That said, I hope he manages to govern this country effectively and with justice. He is the president elect. He will be our president for four years. If he does not rise above the campaign he waged to win this office, we are all in very deep waters.
I will write about President Trump without backing off or backing down in my honest assessment of his actions as president. I sincerely hope that I have a lot more to say in support of his actions than in opposition. But whichever way it goes, you can rely on me to say the truth as I understand it without flinching from it or glossing it. I think you deserve that.
I kind of had a meltdown before I wrote this. I’ve been listening to hispanic people I know and love express their grief and terror over this election. A couple of them told me they cried all night election night and that, even though they love our country, they no longer feel as if they know the people they’ve known for years.
I also have a deep personal horror of President Elect Trump’s treatment of women. I don’t really have words for how upset that made me, or how deeply alienated I feel.
Speaking of alienation, I feel betrayed to the core by our Catholic bishops — not, thankfully, my own Archbishop who DID address the attacks on women — because they did not use their teaching vocation to address these terrible things. I am heartbroken by the almost total lack of moral leadership from our bishops on such grave matters as sexual assault and racism.
Add to that my very great fears for this country under the governance of such a man — a man that I sincerely believe may have betrayed this country to a foreign power to get elected — and you get what I wrote here.
Apologies for the rant. I’m going to publish it because, one-sided as it is, I think it raises valid points that need to be discussed.
Here it is folks. Me, in a political rant.
You don’t put on your hood and burn crosses on people’s lawns for 16 months, then just call April Fool, joke’s on you, when you win an election.
America has elected its first Jim Crow president, and — surprise! — at least some of the people he targeted in his long, scorched-earth run to the presidency are refusing to go quietly into the night.
Protests against the prospect of four years of President Trump’s governance are springing up around the country. They are the logical reaction to the way he won.
I have no doubt that, if Secretary Clinton had won, other protestors would be out in the streets, going at her. It was that kind of hate-filled election. But she didn’t win. Or rather, she didn’t win the electoral college. She did win the popular vote.
What that means in real world thinking is that Clinton haters can put away their torches. Their bogeygirl is gone. It also means that President Elect Trump is facing an angry nation in which more voters voted against him than voted for him.
Our president elect tweeted that the protests against him are “unfair.” Then, in what I think is part of his new, “presidential” persona, he put out an upbeat tweet about being glad that Americans were exercising their rights.
I think he’s somewhat right on both counts.
Americans accept the outcome of elections. That is how we do things. If we don’t like the person who wins, we just fight him right down to the wire on the issues where we disagree, and we reload for the next election.
But we always — always — accept the outcomes of our elections.
These demonstrations are, as President Elect Trump said in his “presidential” tweet, Americans exercising their right to free speech. But they are also a reflection of the fact that about half the people are refusing to accept him as their president.
This is a visceral reaction to the first openly Jim Crow, openly misogynist, possibly traitorous president. Mr Trump became President Elect Trump by riding a racist, misogynist, Putin-loving horse into the White House. He ran a hate campaign from top to bottom, beginning with his racist birther claptrap from long before he was an official candidate.
He has plans for hispanics that mimic what Andrew Jackson did to the Cherokees. He belittled women and directed hate speech at them constantly, calling them dogs and pigs, and bragging about committing sexual assault. He announced that he would jail his political opponent, and he benefitted to the tune of a win from the Russian interference in the campaign in the guise of Wikileaks.
So … what’s not to like? Why would anybody be so unfair as to announce that this racist, misogynist, possibly traitorous man is less than what they want in a president?
That’s what President Trump and the people of this nation are facing. He has signaled that he wants to attempt a hard about turn into a more presidential persona. He has also consigned his “outsider” status to the ashcan by putting corporate interests in charge of key parts of his transition team.
In other words, he is already moving to dump much of what he said that got him elected, even as he goes to work using his manifest skills as a consummate marketer and demagogue to charm the people he has taught to hate him into liking him. He wants to govern this country, or at least sit in the White House in comfort without the sound of half the people chanting that no way is he their president drifting across the quiet of his breakfast table.
The problem with his change in persona is that the other half of the people — the ones who put him in office — expect him to keep his promises. He’s got to figure out how to wiggle out of his plans to build walls, deport millions, listen to the people instead of special interests, restore prosperity by taxing the poor to feed the rich, overturn Roe (which he can do, if he wants, btw) and destroying America’s international alliances in favor of Russia without losing the people — including President Putin — who got him here.
The standard political way to do this — and politicians renege on their campaign promises all the time — is to blame the opposition. “Them dastardly jerks on the other side overpowered my righteous fight” line of blather is politics 101.
It’s been working for pro life politicians who really want to keep Roe so they can use it in the next election for decades. It has worked out just great for other immigration demagogues who run hate campaigns, then turn to what they really want to do once they are elected.
Will President Trump be able to pull off the Svengali switch of convincing the people who supported him that his every failure is due to the nefarious and totally defanged Democratic party? After all, he’s only got the White House, both houses of Congress and the majority of state legislatures. How can anyone be so unreasonable as to expect him to succeed in delivering on his promises from a weak position like that?
He will probably pull off the Svengali switch, at least so far as his supporters are concerned. I’ve seen his supporters make up an imaginary Trump who is a good family man, a moral man, a patriotic man throughout this campaign. They have consistently denied every bit of factual evidence to the contrary to keep that faux Trump of their imaginings intact. Given President Elect Trump’s enormous talent as a demagogue, I have no doubt he can continue to convince them that the sun comes up in the west and the moon is made of green cheese for quite some time.
But there is still that other half of the electorate to deal with; the terrified hispanics with smoldering crosses on their front lawns, the women with scars from sexual assault by men like Trump who have degraded, attacked and hurt them. Those folks are not going to be so easy to persuade. They don’t think President Elect Trump is their messiah. They think he’s the spawn of satan.
And that is our misery, America. We have elected our first Jim Crow, openly libertine, misogynist, possibly traitorous president. We have handed him, not only the White House, but a clean sweep of Congress and the majority of state legislatures. That’s the same level of power that the electorate gave Franklin Roosevelt.
Will he use it to overturn Roe v Wade?
How is he going to wiggle out of his racist Jim Crow campaign against hispanics in order to keep the corporations happy with their cheap labor?
Will he continue to degrade women?
Is he going to create an environment in which misogyny and racism are the political/social zeitgeist?
I am all for him overturning Roe. I’m going to push hard to help him do it. I am also going to push hard to stop pro life people from falling for the lies when our pro life politicians try to get out of doing it — and they will. I’m already getting emails talking about how “tough” the fight is going to be, considering the nefarious powers of the opposition.
Remember this, going into the fight: Democratic senators and presidents have managed to get pro choice people on the court even when they didn’t have the majority in the Senate. If pro life politicians can’t manage to nominate and confirm pro life justices with a clean sweep like this, it’s not because of the Democrats, it’s because they don’t want to.
Politicians need abortion. Abortion covers for and excuses everything else they do, at least in the eyes of pro life voters. Without abortion, We the People might start looking at them without the fantasy thinking.
Christians abrogated every Gospel teaching and moral value we claim to believe except abortion in order to put this man in the White House. We have given him the power and the situation where it will be possible in the course of the next four years for him to nominate a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe. I only hope we have the guts to refuse to allow him and the Senate to weasel out now that we’ve given them the power.
As for that other little problem of having elected our first Jim Crow, misogynist, possibly traitorous president, my hope is that Christians will renew their Baptismal vows and stand for the whole Gospel of Christ instead of the pieces and parts of it that fit their politics.
The Christian witness in the larger society was damaged before the election. Now, it’s pretty much trashed.
We destroyed our authenticity as followers of the carpenter from Nazareth in this campaign. We confirmed Christian bashers’ worst estimates of us with our bland acceptance of whatever evil candidate Trump committed. I most emphatically include many religious leaders, including most of our Catholic bishops, in that column.
We sacrificed the Gospels on the altar of political expedience, and by doing that we won the battle of the election and lost the war of converting our society.
America has elected its first Jim Crow, openly misogynist and possibly traitorous president. America’s religious leaders tossed aside every single Christian value except being anti-abortion to support him.
The question is, what do we do now?
What a night. I sat up late, watching the election returns, along with a lot of other people all around the globe. At the end of the evening, it was clear that America’s president elect is Donald J Trump.
Mr Trump was the clear winner in the electoral college, but if this morning’s vote trend continues, Secretary Clinton may end up winning the popular vote. The margin is razor thin, signifying a sharply divided electorate.
Mr Trump signaled a hard turn in his behavior with his acceptance speech. He thanked his opponent in the general election, Secretary Hillary Clinton, for “her service” to our nation. That was a big change in tone compared to what I saw him do in a speech just the night before in which he ranted and raved about how Secretary Clinton belonged in jail. I assume that it’s part of his new “presidential” public personality.
Be that as it may, I am hopeful that he turns out to be a good president for this country. The future of everyone I love is riding on it.
As for me, if he just keeps his campaign promise and actually nominates justices to the Supreme Court who are pro life and who favor religious liberty, it will be enough. We have one vacancy on the court right now. At least one of the sitting justices is elderly and in frail health. What that means is that President Trump may have the opportunity to nominate the justices who will give us a pro life majority on the court. It is possible that Roe might be overturned.
If I could see that happen before I die, it would be a gift.
However, we’ve seen decades of failures of various “pro life” presidents to nominate candidates who actually made pro life rulings once they got on the court. Pro life presidents just can’t seem to do the job of nominating pro life justices whose pro life beliefs will stick. On the other hand, pro choice presidents have a 100% record of nominating people who ultimately support Roe from the court. I don’t know if President Elect Trump will do a better job of nominating than his predecessors, but I hope and pray that he does.
One of the best things about his election is the hope it brings that we may see an end to the legal attacks on Christian business owners and Christian health care workers who do not want to participate in activities such as abortion or same-sex weddings. It would also be a vast relief to see the repeal of the invidious HHS Mandate. Again, I have hope that these are promises that he will keep.
Will President Trump follow through on his promise to build a wall along the border between Mexico and the United States and to deport millions of illegal immigrants? Will he stop immigration into this country from the Middle East? Those promises were two of the reasons why he won this election. However, the first one is highly impracticable and both of them fly in the face of what the big corporations want.
The reason why the illegal immigration problem never changes, even after repeated political campaigns hyping it, is that corporate interests like things the way they are. They want cheap labor in this country and they want cheap labor in Mexico, both.
Congress is pretty much a corporate puppet organization. They seldom bestir themselves to do much of anything except grandstand, pass tax breaks for special interests and the wealthy, create more corporate welfare and enact “reforms” that are laws for and by the corporations and which were often written by corporate entities.
Will a corporate Congress lock up in defense of corporate interests concerning immigration? On the other hand, will President Trump pursue his campaign promises in these matters with the same enthusiasm that he promoted them on the campaign trail? We’ll have to watch and see how this all plays out.
A corporate Congress should make smooth sailing for the massive tax cut to the wealthiest interests which President Elect Trump has promised. I think that is one thing we can count on happening. I say that unhappily. I’ve witnessed here in Oklahoma what bleeding the middle class and working people to give tax cuts to the rich does to an economy.
I think such tax cuts will harm the economy, not help it, for the simple reason that we’ve already transferred an unfair share of paying the costs of our government onto working people. I don’t think they can carry a heavier load. This is ironic, since those are the very people who put President Trump in office, and one of the reasons they voted for him is because they are overburdened economically. Transferring even more of the national wealth to those who are already wealthy will only make things harder on them.
The repeal of Obamacare will probably happen, although I’m not going to hold my breath about seeing President Trump follow through on his promise to replace it with a better plan. I imagine that even the parts of Obamacare that most people agree were good such as making sure that people can get health insurance even if they have health problems will be deep-sixed in service to the insurance companies.
President Trump will be able to follow through on defunding Planned Parenthood, if he wants. But I don’t expect to see him fulfill his promise of paid maternity leave. A plethora of much-needed reforms such as student loan relief and lower higher education costs are now off the table.
I am worried about programs like funding for domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers, and I imagine equal pay for equal work will never happen. I am honestly quite concerned about having a man who assaults, abuses, degrades and insults women for president. Congress is pretty much a boys’ club, so I don’t expect them to buttress women’s human rights in the face of an abusive president. I also don’t expect protests on behalf of women from our religious leaders.
I look at my granddaughter and I wonder what living in a country governed by a frank and open misogynist will mean to her as a person as she grows up. I also wonder how women who are victims of violence and rape will fare in this new world.
As for international interests, I pray that President Elect Trump revises what he says he is going to do there. I do not want a world dominated by Russia and China. I do not want this country to be dominated by them, either.
I hope with all my heart that President Trump is able to control his behavior and be a good president for us. I pray that I will see an end to abortion before I die. I also hope that he will not create a climate where the degradation of women is even more the cultural norm than it is already.
But whatever he does, he is the President Elect. I wish him and all of us the very best.
Today, We the People engage in the sacred rite of electing those from among us who will temporarily take the reins of government on our behalf.
Their charge, should they win, is to defend the Constitution in whatever office they will occupy. The question of whether or not government of the people, by the people, and for the people will survive will rest partly in their hands.
Notice that I did not say that this question will rest entirely in their hands. It does not. We the People do not live in a dictatorship or a monarchy. We have the privilege and the responsibility of living in the world’s greatest democracy. That means, among other things, that our responsibilities as citizens do not end when we shove our ballot into the machine. It means that our responsibilities to our country begin with voting, rather than ending there.
The burning question of whether or not the Republican nominee for president will “accept” the outcome of the election has been cussed and discussed up and down this land for weeks now. It is a mark of the overall tawdriness of this campaign that such a question can be asked by serious people.
The wider question of whether or not We the People will accept the outcome has been hinted at, but, so far as I know, never addressed with more than tut-tut commentary. Let’s take a moment and consider it now.
I voted early this morning. It was an uplifting experience, primarily because of the large crowds I saw, including many people who were obviously voting for the first time in their lives. I was so proud of them as they wended their way through the line and thoughtfully read their ballots and cast their votes. They were polite, gentle and good people who deserve leadership from their elected officials that considers them and provides for their future.
Based on what I saw, this election will run up a huge turnout, and a lot of the people who will vote in it are folks who don’t go to the polls all that often, or who have never voted before in their lives. What that means is that, if the rest of the country reflects what I saw in my home precinct today, we are seeing a paradigm change in American electioneering, and not from the candidates, but from the voters themselves. It also means that the polls leading up to this election may be based on inaccurate sampling.
I don’t know who is going to win this election, but for someone who has spent much of her adult life dealing with elections, this process is fascinating. So, instead of biting my nails like a lot of other Americans are probably doing, I’m enjoying the intellectual process of analyzing what is happening and why it’s going that way.
We the People are choosing elected officials all up and down the ballot today. I even voted on several school bond issues. I’m in a different position than most people in that I know personally just about everyone on the ballot except the candidates at the top of the ticket who are running for president and vice president. That makes voting decisions easy for me, at least most of the time.
Of course, the election that brought out the crowd this morning was the one that dominates our thinking and has set us against one another for months now. We are choosing our next president. That is a noble enterprise, but this campaign and these candidates have not been noble at all. We’ve all been slimed by this campaign, and it’s going to take a while to get the goo washed out of our minds and hearts.
That’s a long lead up to what I’m really writing about, which is the question of how We the People are going to behave tomorrow. Unless this thing is some form of a repeat of 2000, we will be talking about either President Elect Hillary Clinton or President Elect Donald Trump. No matter which of them wins, half the people of this nation are going to be certain that evil has triumphed. There will be caterwauling and we-wuz-robbed carrying on up and down this land.
We the People have become so polarized and crazy that we routinely reject verifiable facts for thought salad internet gibberish when it conflicts with our political loyalties. I’ve heard some of the most stupid and outrageous nonsense coming out of the mouths of people who I know are intelligent and thoughtful under ordinary circumstances, and I knew from the glassy-eyed anger they were demonstrating that pointing out the massive illogic and fantastical nature of what they were saying would only get me hated and attacked. This, from people I’ve known and loved for decades; people I trust and respect.
This election has created an angry mob mentality that has bled over into our relationships with our family and friends. Absolutist thinking is just about the only thinking that’s being done. Everyone is committed to the notion that everyone else who disagrees with them is going to a fiery hell. We the People have lost our common sense in this election.
I think it’s time we reclaimed it.
No matter who wins today, I am going to accept the outcome of this election and move forward. That is the American way. It is what Americans do.
We’ve been hyped half crazy with Armageddon everything-is-riding-on-this talk to the point that a lot of people actually seem to think that there will be no other chances for our beliefs to prevail if they are not upheld by our boy or girl winning today.
There is a word for this. The word is nonsense.
This is all nonsense.
We live in America. If our candidate fails today, all we have to do is reload and try again next time. Everything that is done can be undone so far as whatever nothing Congress doesn’t do and whatever over-the-top legislating the Supreme Court does. In American government, there are a pa-zillion ways to skin any political cat.
But to exercise those options we’ve got to start using our thinking brains and stop lying to ourselves about reality. Confabulation and pretend will not save the life of one single baby. They will not stop one law legalizing euthanasia. They certainly will not prevent the economic destruction of the working class in this country or keep us out of wars. We need to engage with reality and stop listening to nut jobs and their various manipulative lies. That is the first step toward actually doing something that will save lives.
We need to begin the process tomorrow, by accepting the results of this election.
Then, no matter which of these candidates wins, we need to get our heads out of fantasyland and give some serious thought to how we can best help our country and advocate for what we believe.
I voted today, and it was an uplifting, inspiring experience to see so many of my fellow Americans, standing in line to do that which just about everyone else on this planet wishes they could do: Choose the next President of the United States.
If you haven’t voted, there’s time. Go do it.
If you have voted, be proud of yourself and our wonderful country.
And tomorrow morning, no matter who wins, accept our new president elect with civility and hope.
I’ve posted this before, but I think we could all use it once again.
The truth doesn’t get old and our need for Christ and His Mercy never end. We need that message now and always. Christian life is a life of hope built on the certainty of purpose and meaning that is the Way that leads to eternal life. We have found the Pearl of Great Price, and it is the person of Jesus Christ.