I, like most everyone in America, was surprised by the election results on Tuesday night. Clinton, who had the advantage of money, experience, endorsements, media love, advertising, and just about every other advantage you could think of – lost to a candidate she had successfully painted as a misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic loose cannon.
There are going to be many books written about why she lost and how he won, and the talking heads will dissect the shit out of the entire fiasco.
What I want to share is the things I felt the day after the election and my thoughts on what happens as we move forward.
- Clinton was likely going to get us more entrenched in wars. This was a major concern of mine with her winning, as she is a war hawk who for some ungodly reason wanted to double down on nation building, regime change, and playing politics with the lives of our soldiers. She seemed willing to risk global war over some dirt half a world away. I love Obama, but am skeptical of his foreign policy of late. I am leery of the use of drones to make strikes. I think in some ways we have done more harm than good around the world. And it looked like Clinton wanted to advance that. I was anxiously looking up nuclear maps and calculating how far we were from blast zones, etc. With Trump’s victory, we are actually dialing back from that, which means I can breathe a sigh of relief and put the nuke map away for now.
- Political dynasties are bad for democracy. I was never going to vote for Clinton, and I wouldn’t vote for anyone with the last name of Bush either. We’ve had enough of both of those families and it is time new blood led the country. So in that regard I am also glad she lost. We do not need to reinforce the idea that it is okay to consolidate power in such a small group of people.
- There was so much corruption it felt like we were selling the nation in exchange for a mediocre public servant. Let’s not kid ourselves. Just because Clinton has been in public service for years doesn’t mean she is any good at it. Her record is actually pretty spotty, with quite a few major failures and few true successes to point to. The scandals, however, were numerous and would end up being toxic. Imagine what it would say to elect her – yes, you too can cheat, lie, sell out your public office, and still become the most powerful person in the world. There is a reason many people felt “dirty” voting for her and why she was considered the “lesser” of two evils.
- Change is good. Political shakeups are good for a nation. Let’s face it. We’ve been stagnating for years. Growth has been slow, jobs are underpaying, we are entrenched in wars and fights we shouldn’t be in, and the only ones who have been really succeeding in the economy are those at the very top. It’s a good time to change things up.
- Illegal immigration is an issue that needs to be addressed. I am not in favor of wasting money on a wall, but his stance on illegal immigration is essentially what Obama’s is, with more enforcement. He is not calling to create new laws or to suppress people here legally. But he does want illegal immigrants out. And I agree with this. When $100 Billion goes to support illegal immigrants, and $50 Billion going to healthcare alone, that’s a problem. $50 BILLION! A year! That is for people who shouldn’t even be here. This isn’t about racism or nationalism. It’s about a limited amount of resources and how we have the rule of law to ensure those resources go to our fellow citizens first. Immigration is great and is the backbone of our country. Illegal immigration is a burden on our society and needs to be taken care of.
- We rejected the first female president in favor of an old white guy. Not that race and gender equate to competent governing, and I have misgivings about Clinton’s ability to lead, but it would have been nice to break that glass ceiling. It is unfortunate the candidate the DNC chose was so flawed. We can wish that perhaps next time they will pick someone like Warren who better represents the mood of the country, but there is no way to know what the mood will be in 4 years. This was the election of people pissed at the establishment, and the DNC stupidly got behind – and gamed the system – in favor of THE establishment candidate. In 4 years that mood may have died and someone like Warren may not have any lightning to catch in a bottle, which means the glass ceiling will remain firmly in place.
- Climate change deniers are getting a boost. As someone who works in renewable energy, I understand better than some just exactly how bad our climate situation is. Trump’s stance on this is concerning to say the least. We are not in imminent danger of a nuclear war, but now we have traded that in for the slow death of our environment instead. I can only hope that education will maybe turn him around.
- LGBT concerns. I spent decades in the arts and the entertainment industry and as such I have a lot of people I love and care about that are gay or bi or trans or whatever the hell they are. To be honest, I don’t care about other people’s orientation as it is not something I am inclined to base any friendships on. However, there is a wonderful kaleidoscope of lifestyles that my friends and family live, and some of them have been quite concerned about Trump winning the election. I do want to try to put them at ease a little. First of all, Trump is the most LGBT friendly Republican candidate ever. Ever. He has no problems with anyone’s gender or orientation. He has said he thinks people should use the bathroom they feel comfortable with. His running mate is a backwards fucktwit as far as this issue goes, but Trump himself has in no way made reversing civil rights advances a part of his campaign. I think this fear is in part because of the Clinton smear tactics, partly because he picked Mike Pence, and partly because he has said little on it himself. Look him up, though. He’s got a good track record in this department.
- Medical concerns. Early on Trump was in favor of a single payer system. As time progressed he seemed to reject that and moved more towards these health savings accounts. I suspect, however, that in his heart of hearts he knows something needs to be done with the system and I am hopeful he will look more at fixing Obamacare rather than repealing it.
I didn’t vote for Trump, but he’s going to be our president and I hope he does a fantastic job and is successful. Wishing him ill is not good for the country, and since we are all living here together it is better to work together than it is to fight.
We are, after all, Americans first and foremost.