Ten Lessons Our Children Learned from the Election

I’ve been a little neglectful on reading blogs and responding to comments the past few days. My apologies. America has just gone through one of the nastiest elections in its history. And the American people have spoken, in a way I never expected them to. I know they were voting their frustration, a frustration that was caused in many ways by the very same people they just voted back into office.There is a reason why our government has been so dysfunctional for the past eight years. It was grounded in just-vote-no-and-screw-the-consequences. Let the nation go up in flames rather than work together and compromise to build a better nation. Challenge where the President was born, regardless of proof, instead of meeting him half way across the aisle as he offered again and again. And never, never let him have a victory. Now these folks are saying don’t be bitter, we have to work together. Right.

Well, my sense of humor is a little low now, so I am feeling a little ouchy. One good thing I did see was that 18-25 year olds voted for Hillary in all but five states. Our future may be in good hands. I suspect we will be hearing from young people a lot over the next few months. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder what lessons our children have learned over the past year. I came up with ten.

Ten Lessons this Election Taught Our Children:

  1. Rudeness and bullying are okay. Being polite is for losers. Call people who disagree with you names. Call them criminals. Threaten to throw them in jail. Threaten them with lawsuits.
  2. Sexual harassment is okay. It is okay to denigrate women and seduce married women. Boys will be boys, right. Threaten to sue women who dare to complain, call them liars. Make sure that women are afraid to complain when they have been harassed or raped.
  3. Don’t worry about financial obligations. If you can get away with paying someone nothing or low wages, great. You are not bad, just smart. If worse comes to worse, go bankrupt and stiff all of the people who have worked for or with you. Again, that’s not being bad, just smart. Besides, it’s a great tax write off.
  4. In fact, don’t pay taxes, especially if you are wealthy. It’s not criminal; it’s smart. Let losers such as the middle class and low-income people pick up your share.
  5. Our military stinks. The solution is to fire all of our generals. Americans, such as John McCain, who end up as Prisoners of War, are losers. A smart person would have never been caught.
  6. A major solution to unemployment is to do away with environmental protection. Global warming is a myth. Let’s go back to coal as the solution to America’s energy needs.
  7. It’s perfectly okay to be a racist. Build massive walls around America. Send millions of Mexican Americans back to Mexico. Block people from Islamic countries from coming into America. Challenge where America’s first black president was born, again and again, regardless of proof. The innocent are guilty until proven otherwise.
  8. There is nothing wrong with a nation who once threatened our nation with nuclear destruction, who has been our sworn enemy for close to a century, and is once again reaching for world domination, to interfere with our political process in America. There is nothing wrong with a presidential candidate inviting such interference.
  9. There are no consequences related to lying. Truth is relative. If you are caught in a lie refuse to respond to the accusation and make the same lie over, again and again. Did you chop down the cherry tree? Hell no.
  10. Might makes right. Issues such as equal rights, equal opportunity, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion are secondary.

Enough, my friends. I promise to get back to blogging about bicycling through America and Canada in my next blog. I just have to tell you about the nastiest dog in America. —Curt

58 thoughts on “Ten Lessons Our Children Learned from the Election

    • Yes Cindy, very frightening and demoralizing. I hate to say it, but so much rests on Trump’s shoulders now. The most important job he has now, other than not blowing up the world, is to work on healing the nation. Nothing I have seen so far suggests he is up to the job. I only hope he is. Grow, Donald, grow. –Curt

  1. I clicked on the ‘like’ button, but really I’m just sad – for all the reasons you mentioned. My niece wanted to know how to explain to her young daughter how it came to be that the bully won 😦

    • I’ve really appreciated all of the thoughtful comments that my blog has generated, Alison. It speaks volumes for the blogging community that I am privileged to belong to. America can indeed be a mystery at times. I am old enough, as you are, to remember McCarthyism. Peggy was crying the other day. I thought it was because Trump had won. But it was “What do we tell our children.”
      I deeply hope that Trump can get beyond being himself, that he can mature rapidly enough, to serve more as a healer than a divider. Otherwise, we are in for some really rough sledding. So far, I am not impressed. –Curt

    • Americans are in a nasty mood, Yvonne. They have been fed so many half-truths it is hard to sort through the BS. And, they have been taught to fear and hate, which is worse. Trump, as President, has the terribly important job of bringing the nation back together. Let’s just all hope he is up to it and doesn’t make the problem ever so worse. –Curt

    • We all do, Sue. The position of President has a way of moderating most people. But Trump lacks experience, which can be learned— and quickly as President. I can only imagine how quickly having your finger on a nuclear bomb can sober some one up. I hope, I hope, I hope. His immaturity and divisiveness concern me more. America is in a nasty mood now. We need someone who can can heal, not tear apart. Lots of folks are preaching patience and conciliation now, especially the folks that won, but the truth is that will only happen if Trump steps up to the plate and makes it happen.

  2. A fine piece and good observations Curt but it only what everyone else seems to be saying. Well, 50% of the population anyway.
    I am hardly qualified to make an assessment of US government, except that 40 years ago at University I studied American political history but here is my contribution as a foreign observer.
    Trump has challenged the political elite and won a bruising victory. He could not have done so without a broad support base. Just as in the UK post Brexit vote it is disingenuous of the losing side to accuse the victors of ignorance and a failure to understand what they were voting for. It does them no credit to take to the streets or to social media to complain about the result in the same vitriolic way that Trump stampeded to power.
    So what is my point? It is this. As I recall the American dream, the American experiment is based on the French revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity, the United States was not supposed to be run on the medieval European model of powerful dynasties and yet it has allowed itself to become dominated by a handful of families. A self-perpetuating political elite who control government in their own self interests. This is like your ‘War of the Roses’.
    Trump has challenged this. He has taken everyone by surprise when he shouldn’t have. The tragedy is that Democrats did not take the threat seriously enough to confront their own dynastic ambitions. It was Hillary’s turn, power was to be returned to the Clintons.
    But Hillary wasn’t good enough. Why didn’t the Democrats select a more suitable candidate? Why did they fail to see the signs when the Republicans abandoned their own Bush dynasty through the primaries? Did they not see the architect of UK Brexit whispering in his ear?
    It has been the same in the UK. Brexit was a punch on the nose for the smug politicians who play ‘pass the parcel’ at an exclusive, members only, event.
    I consider myself a liberal but I see no purpose in fanning the flames of discontent when what we should be doing is raking over the embers of the political bonfires that have been lit and assessing our own contribution to the debacle of 2016.

    • Thanks, Andrew for your thoughtful comments. Much appreciated. But it isn’t just lets pick up the pieces and lets play fair now. Its not so simple. I truly wish it was, for the sake of our country.I understand your argument about elites… the Clintons, the Bushes, Reagan as a Hollywood star, the Kennedys, the Roosevelts… and the list goes on an on. And I understand the deep frustration of people who feel that the system hasn’t been responsive to their needs. And it hasn’t. But a much deeper malaise exists in this country. The young people aren’t hitting the streets because they lost the election, they are hitting the streets because things they believe that things they believe in deeply, like a clean environment, like equal rights, like equal opportunity, etc, are under a serious threat. And I don’t disagree with them. This is a man who threatened to throw his opponent in jail, Andrew. That isn’t the American way, that’s the way of a despot. I think Trump has an opportunity to heal the nation… by being presidential, by reaching out, by willing to compromise. But he also has the power to tear it apart. The ball is in his court. And finally, the majority of Americans voted against Trump, Andrew. He was elected by the electoral college, an ancient system that has long out used its usefulness. Thanks again. Curt

      • The Electoral College system is a difficult concept for us to get to grips with here in the UK but if it were changed to a popular vote system surely campaign tactics would simply change as well?

        Under the current system your candidates concentrate on the big EC numbers states (I read that Clinton didn’t even visit Wisconsin for example). I don’t think it is as simple to say that if you count the votes in an alternative way that there would be a different result. The popular vote system is irrelevant because it isn’t the system. There is no really accurate way of knowing what an alternative result might have been.

        Our own system is far from perfect because it always produces a Parliamentary majority and result which does not get anywhere near accurately reflecting the number of votes cast. After every election analysts here produce an alternative result under a different system but again it is irrelevant. The system is the system until it is changed.

        Anyway, here’s a thought, if you think the Electoral College system is outdated, look at us we have still got the House of Lords!

        Good luck sorting it all out Curt!

      • Laughing here, Andrew, about the House of Lords. I confess I sometimes scratch my head over British politics, but it seems to work. Australian politics are even more difficult to understand. The thing about any system is that people have to believe in it to make it work. Anything else can make it go places none of us want to see it go. As for the Electoral College, it was a system our founding fathers set up because they didn’t trust the masses to make wise decisions. 🙂 Like you, I have a longtime interest in politics and history. Way back in the 60s I got my degree from UC Berkeley with a focus on International Relations, Political Science, and history. My career, to the degree you can call it a career (beyond wandering) was primarily political, from a non-partisan perspective. I worked as a community advocate on health and environmental issues form both a grass roots and professional lobbyist position. What I was best at was creating large coalitions from groups with widely differing views to accomplish tasks of common interest. Early on I decided that a career in politics was the last thing I wanted. 🙂
        The malaise that America is facing now, goes far beyond the present election. Modern media and social media has made it really easy for folks to only listen to people who only share their perspective, and far too many people, who control that media have taken advantage of their power to manipulate, tell half truths, create division and spew the type of nastiness you saw in this election. Harry Truman used to say, “The buck stops here.” Now the buck stops with Trump. He can choose to be presidential, or he can choose to alienate, further than he has already alienated vast numbers of Americans. Had he won by a vast, overwhelming majority, then he may have earned the mandate to carry through on any number of promises he made, such as throwing Hillary Clinton in jail. But he didn’t. And this is where the majority vote comes into play. His primary job as President now is to pull America back together, to act in such a way that he heals, not harms, to reach across the aisle, to seek consensus (which is what I always did) and to compromise. If instead, he moves forward rapidly on the type of things he as promised: throwing the opposition in jail, dismantling environmental laws, deporting millions of people, denying poor people the right to medical care, suing major media outlets, etc… the nation will come apart at the seams. I am not promoting this. No way. I am ,making what I think is an honest observation. I fear for our country. If I were a praying man, I would be praying that he is big enough to step into the shoes he inherited through bing elected President, that he will, as Bill Moyer suggested, at least grow into the shoes. But I don’t think there is a lot of time. –Curt

    • I greatly appreciated the discussion here between the two of you. Thanks for giving your perspective as an outsider, Andrew. And sure, I agree with the basics of what you’re saying. Primarily, half of America wanted Trump, so why are the rest of us so dismayed? That’s democracy after all. I listened to many interviews of people saying they thought things Trump said were disgusting, but they didn’t really think he meant it and they would be voting for him. And that’s part of what hurts so much. In Curt’s list, he says “this is what we are teaching our children,” and it’s exactly what Trump is teaching America, as shown by the increase in bullying and racism and anti-Muslim aggression since the election. That so many people witnessed his atrocious behavior (making fun of the disabled, laughing about sexual harassment of women, calling tax avoidance ‘being smart’), and decided it was not important. It’s maddening because human behavior, like parenting, takes constant effort to improve. If you take the high road twenty times, and blow up once, it’s that one time that gets remembered. If we, as a nation, decide that transgender people should not be respected, veterans should be mocked, hot-tempered vitriol is appropriate to be spewed uncensored on Twitter, we shouldn’t pay taxes, family planning clinics should be closed, and lying about items of national importance is perfectly fine, then we are not America. We are going backwards in the improvement of humanity. Brexit was shocking, but it was not condoning a plethora of abhorrent behavior, it was more narrowly focused: making a statement about whether cooperation in a particular group was better or worse for the economy. At least that’s my impression as an outsider. Our new leader happily embodies the worst of what humans can be: damaging self-absorption and apparently ignorant of the consequences of it. I get it that politics as usual had to be stopped, but with that man?

      • Hi Crystal, I hope that you had a good break. Hi Curt, I hope you don’t mind the debate continuing within your post?
        Interesting times! I comment as a political observer not as an analyst of course. The real issue it seems to me is not that Trump said these awful things but that they didn’t make him unelectable. His remarks about women should have immediately lost him 50% of the popular vote, his remarks about minorities, 100%. But it did not!
        As for setting an example to our children well, what about that generation of first time voters, these are our children, some of them must have voted for Trump? Perhaps they are a lost generation, maybe we have collectively failed?
        The UK Brexit debate was mostly polite but there were an awful lot of lies and scaremongering from both sides that got in the way of the truth and the facts.
        As for our result, I confess that I voted to leave and right now I have to listen to the howling indignants on the losing side saying that I and the other 52% who voted the same way are ignorant, didn’t know what we voted for and didn’t have regard to the consequences. I can assure them that I knew exactly what I was voting for. Their job now is not to be outraged but to try and understand why I voted that way. Maybe it is the same issue in the USA?

      • There are parallels with what you say and how I imagine some Trump voters are feeling. I actually addressed the responsibility of voters to learn each others’ positions in my comment at the bottom.

        {Curt, thank you for hosting, and for encouraging a debate.}

      • I headed off to read your comments before responding here, Crystal. I think there are probably two camps among those who voted for Trump, which I realize is oversimplifying. I think a lot of folks were simply frustrated and somehow rationalized their votes for Trump as a way to achieve change. Some of the people here were simply voting anti-Hillary. The right has worked hard to make people hate her. Then there are the folks out there who are white supremacists and some fundamentalists who don’t care an iota about Trump’s morals or methods as long as he can help them achieve their objectives. We should be able to work with the former, including most fundamentalists. The latter are quite willing to destroy the nation if their vision can’t prevail. –Curt

      • And thank you, Andrew. I wrote my piece on the day after the election with a bit of anger, grief, and misbelief thrown in. It was from the heart and the gut, with some monitoring by my mind. Would I write it differently now? Some, but I don’t think my basic points would change; they would be more thought out. That Americans want change, there is no doubt. And this includes people who voted for Trump and against him. I don’t think fixing what’s wrong requires rocket science. But it does require a tad of vision and a willingness to compromise. We are at a very dangerous period in our history. America may be more divided than any time since the Civil War, and definitely since the Vietnam War. As Time Magazine noted, Donald Trump is President of the Divided States of America. We need a healer now, desperately. I’ve seen little about Trump that suggests that he is the person for the job. To start with, he does not have a strong mandate. Two and one half million Americans voted for Clinton. A number of the more radical actions he is proposing have consistently been opposed by the majority of Americans. Whether he moves forward or not on these issues remains to be seen. His appointments suggest he will: appointing a Secretary of Education who has no background in education and doesn’t believe in public education; appointing a head of EPA who doesn’t believe in environmental protection, moving religious fundamentalists and military leaders into key positions, and the list goes on. If he moves forward in removing millions of undocumented workers (which I don’t think he will), chaos will result, a constitutional crisis will result, and we may be thrown into a major economic depression. The results will be a long ways from the economic benefits for American workers that Trump has promised. Am I overstating what may happen. I hope to hell I am. –Curt

      • Sort of like Pogo, eh? “We have met the enemy and he is us.” There will be head scratching over this for a long time, Andrew. But I do think we know a lot of the answers. Unwillingness of political parties to work together to solve problems has to be way up there. There is an awful lot of screw the country if it isn’t done our way. –Curt

      • Interesting, Crystal and Andrew. And I agree on Brexit. It was a different type of decision on a different level although it elicited some of the same type of emotions. –Curt

  3. I am shocked, depressed and mostly, mostly upset for the reasons you specify here. A perpetual liar who lies about everything, a racist, a hater, just got rewarded with the biggest reward in the country. How is it possible that honesty and ethics have no value? How is it possible that a man so expedient, so vile could be president?

    Hillary Clinton on the other hand, while not perfect is definitely smart, very experienced and respected the world over. I think if Bernie would have got behind her sooner ( and therefore his supporters too) and, or she nominated him as her VP, the results might be different. The GOP did a great job of vilifying her. I give them that.

    I shudder to think of the years to come and the obliteration of all the good Obama did in his years in the white house. Not to mention the supreme court nominations…

    Ugh. Sorry for the rant. I just needed to get that off my chest.

    Every point you make is absolutely on point. “Nastiest dog” indeed!


    • I fear for our country, Peta. Maybe, if Trump decides to be presidential over the next four years, and not behave like he has over the rest of his life, the country will be okay. But what’s the hope in that? Very, very slim. I don’t think that the people who voted for Trump and are now saying lets work together have a clue how deep the feelings in this nation… as expressed by you, run. If Trump tries to do something so foolish as arrest Hilary or deport millions of Mexican Americans, this nation will come part at the seams. Thanks so much for your comment. –Curt

  4. Hopefully now that the name calling, etc is over I was hoping people could buckle down to making this country the world can respect again. The riots I’m seeing on TV are no indication of that. Eight years ago, I didn’t think a one-term senator was qualified to be president, but once the campaign was over – I got behind him. Working together has got to better than yelling and rioting – no?

    • I’ve spent my life fighting for things like a clean environment, equal rights, and equal opportunity, GP. Whether people pull together and work for a better future depends on one person now: Donald Trump. If he can be mature, if he can work hard to heal wounds, if he can reach out to young people, if he avoids really bad decisions like arresting Hilary Clinton, or persecuting the women who abused him of abuse, or dismantling our environmental laws. or deporting millions of Mexican Americans, maybe he can pull it off. Otherwise, I fear (deeply) that his actions will make the seventies look like a tea party in the park. Thanks so much for your comments, GP, I recognize that we have a deeply divided nation that need healing. –Curt

      • The healing is what I would like to concentrate on. All the hate spewing I saw on the internet yesterday was disgraceful – I thought people behaved like spoiled children.

      • Thanks G. I think you are right in being concerned over what may happen in the nation. I know we all have responsibilities. For each election in the past 50 years, even those where I deeply disagreed with the winner, I have said, okay, the people have spoken, lets get back to work. But, and I will be honest here, Trump set a tone I found highly disturbing. I begin to see signs on the back of vehicles around here that said Elect Trump: Jail Hillary. I confess to having emotions that made me want to smash windows. And I hate that feeling. That is not the American way. But it is a feeling that Trump promoted. It isn’t the type of thing you just say, “Oh well, that’s politics, let’s forgive and forget.” I think, more than anyone else, Trump needs to step forward and defuse the time bomb. He needs to be Presidential. He needs to be a President that the majority of American can support. His position is made more difficult by the fact that the majority of Americans did not vote for him. Thanks again, G. I have always appreciated the thoughtful, caring approach you take on your blog. –Curt

      • I’ve learned from the pro (Smitty) to look at ALL sides to a situation.
        ‘A person who only listens to himself never learns anything.’ I think Confucius said that.

    • Thanks, AC. There is a fair amount of similarity between the two votes. I think that there is a large segment of our population that feels disenfranchised and left behind, that they are frightened of the future and their role in it. That they are seeking someone to blame for their situation. Most of these folks aren’t bad people, far from it, but they are ripe for the plucking by a demagogue like Trump. I am hoping he will be impacted and matured by the office, that he will act responsibly. But right now, I confess my hope level is low. These are scary times. –Curt

  5. Very well said… I’m still not sleeping quite enough — trying to get that worry factor out of my head, I guess. In an attempt to rid myself of this anger and confusion, as to how this could happen; how such hate, vitriol, and sheer ignorance could triumph; I (and a few others I know) remind ourselves of the lovely, strong trees that have been here so much longer than this one puny human. And of the wonderful sun that continues to rise and set. Sigh. Well, that’s the goal these days!

    • It is ever so tough. People have been fed so many lies and so much vitriol that they can’t see straight. They live in the world of reality TV and Fox News. And they listen to people like Rush Limbaugh. Lots of these folks are good people. I am sure most of them are. But they have been sold a bill of goods and are ripe for a demagogue like Trump. I am not excusing their votes, however. Trump is a dangerous man. I’m pretty sure is that one of the first things he will try to do is dismantle the environmental protections we have fought so hard to gain. I think we have a long hard fight ahead of us. Take care, my friend. –Curt

  6. I had to share your post. Our kids are the future and the recent election has our youngest, a sophomore at MCHS, asking why and how. Last night, she and my husband had an interesting discussion. I was out at preseason training, but it was reportedly the longest discussion she’d had in years with either of us and continued as we were getting ready for work/school this morning. Per the morning news, all votes haven’t been fully counted and the county registrar hasn’t an idea of how many ballots are left to process. My daughters questions are valid since the presidential election is already considered final but then she said “Oh yeah, the Electoral College”. We decided it may no longer reflect the popular vote and should probably be re-evaluated. She is worried that the president elect will be able to do things that are considered socially unjust. Am equally concerned.

    • Thanks, Trish. It appears that young people all over the country are concerned and are asking questions. As are the majority of Americans.That’s a good thing. I don’t think Trump and his followers have a clue about the depth of feeling in the nation. I have friends and family who are on that side and now they are saying, well the election is over, it’s time to bury the hatchet, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work… like it was a regular election, like Trump is somehow no different than all of the other Presidents that have preceded him in the modern era. But he is. I fear the man. I am glad your daughter is asking questions, and even more glad that she is talking to you about it. I think we are entering a dangerous time that may be similar to the 60s and 70s. Hopefully he will not carry out some of the threats he has made, like arresting Hillary Clinton, or deporting millions of Mexican Americans, or dismantling our environmental protections. Or, if he tries to, cooler heads within the Democratic and the Republican Party will prevail. Please give my best to your daughter. –Curt Mekemson

  7. Curt, having followed the news, I get a sense of what you and others are feeling. A friend of mine who’s American had this to say:

    ” I’m convinced that it’s unlikely that ‘campaign Trump’ will be the same as ‘White House Trump.’ Why? Because on the campaign trail one might take a binary view of politics and the world, touting a strong us-versus-them agenda, but not so in the Oval Office. On the most powerful political seat in the world, the shoe fits differently.

    “Bombastic claims are made during the campaign that are quickly tempered by the rationale of a daily global security report (which President-Elect Trump has begun to receive). There is a reason why presidents grey significantly while in office after just a couple of years. As the old adage goes, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.”

    View at Medium.com

    I hope the ‘fears’ people have don’t materialize. I appreciate the restraint and respect you showed in your article and responses to the comments. That’s how good dialogue starts.

    • I am hoping Timi. We won’t know until Trump spends his first day in office. Much more is at stake than international relations, although that is what the people of the world are rightfully concerned about. I think it is important to remember that he did not win the majority of the vote. It is up to him now to reach out in meaningful ways, to move slowly on things he said he intended to do, to build consensus for doing it. Environmentalists (and I am one) worry that he will dismantle many of the programs we have fought for for or over 50 years. But women activists, minorities, and young people also have grave concerns. The ball is very much in his court. I think his first big challenge is the young people, who only voted in his favor in 5 out of 50 states. This is his first test as a statesman. So far he is blaming the media for the youth unrest instead of saying something like, “Look, I know we have differences, but I also know you have legitimate concerns. One is that you come out of college with debts that will take some of you decades to pay off. I have asked my team and financial advisers to begin to explore ways to address this issue. It will be a priority of mine.” That would be presidential and it would go a long ways to calm America’s fears. It would show flexibility on critical issues. If he is flexible there, then he may be flexible on other issues. But this is simply an example. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, Timi. –Curt

  8. Bonjour, Curt! I did hesitate before I clicked the ‘like’ button, but I’ve always appreciated your blog-posts… all I can tell you is that it’s still unbelievable… sounds like a ‘sick joke’ or a ‘never-ending nightmare’… 😦 the USofA have been a ‘melting pot’ for over 3 centuries… how could we hope anything good or positive for the future from ‘the wigged dude’, elected and ‘celebrated’ by the ‘KKK specimens’?!… 😦 I’ve met and seen Americans living abroad – in tears, saddened, frustrated, outraged, repeating:’after w-bush was re-elected, I was embarrassed, but after trump, I’m ashamed to be an American citizen…’ 😦
    * * *
    as far as I’m concerned, I deeply miss ‘America the Beautiful’ where I set foot for the first time in 1983, and where we lived for 5 years, between 1998-2003… we returned to France after the ILLEGAL invasion and occupation of Iraq… 😦

    • We are reeling, Melanie. I am working to maintain some kind of positive attitude. The damage that Trump can cause is immeasurable. If he moderates his positions, and who knows what he will do, then we may muddle through it. It was such a high when Obama was elected, to think that America could elect a black person, and we were hoping to see our first woman president. Ultimately, the point is, America is a melting pot. There is no going back to whatever Golden Age his supporters apparently want. I do think that we need to figure out a way to assure that the wealth of this nation is shared more equitably. Thanks for your thoughtful input. –Curt

  9. A very accurate list. And yet I heard a gentle, coherent Muslim woman interviewed by the BBC who had voted &*%$£@*, because she is a Republican and genuinely believed that the Democrats are dangerous and dividing America… How can such people ignore/rationalise what he actually says? Interesting that the same demographic voted Clinton as voted remain in the UK – the young and the more educated. We just have to remember that they are still here and they outnumbered those who voted for the &*%$£@* in the US. I apologise for any influence from Brexit that crossed the water. I further apologise for the arrival of Farage (who is NOT a member of of the UK parliament, though he is a member of the European parliament – he got elected by disaffected people to try and trash Europe…). I hope Margaret Attwood is right when she suggests that China will now take on the leadership responsibility of saving the planet, because someone’s got to.

    • I am just hoping, Hilary, and it is probably beyond hope, that Trump will somehow grow far beyond what he has demonstrated so far. This nation is divided, in ways it hasn’t been since the Vietnam War… with possible shades of 1860’s division as well as 1960’s. And by this, I mean divisions that tear families apart. If Trump moves to heal our nation instead of further dividing it, we may have a chance. Otherwise, it will be rough sliding for the next several years— not something that we, or the world, needs. Thanks for your thoughtful observations, as always. –Curt

  10. Sorry to say, Curt, you are giving Trump too much credit – even now, 3 weeks after the elections, he is continuing with his shoot-from-the-hip, uninformed, arrogant ways; has the Chinese, Pakistanis, Indians, & Taiwanese on edge with a few phone calls. And the people he is looking to appoint – God help us!
    But you know what – this is a huge wake-up call for all of us armchair activists to really stand up for what we believe in, put our money where it supports the greatest good, and challenge this new administration every step of the way. We won a halt to the N. Dakota Access Pipeline construction, for now. Since Trump has financial interests in the project, he will attempt to dismiss the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision. This man has so many conflicting business interests in so many parts of the world; the conflicts of interests alone disqualify him from being president.
    Apart from the hate crimes that have happened since the elections by his nastiest emboldened supporters, I’ve heard of so many incidents where decent people stood up, often for the first time, and made a difference.
    These times call upon all of us to walk our talk; it’s a grand invitation. The fight is on. Don’t lose hope.

    • Thanks so much for your encouraging words, and I agree. We do have to fight. The man is indeed a loose cannon, which is what makes him so dangerous. I’ve been battling for things I believe in all my life, starting with the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in the 60s. I’ve seen some dark times our country has faced, but I have also seen a great deal we have accomplished. And I have been involved in most of those fights. I have no intention of sitting this one out. 🙂 –Curt

  11. This list makes me want to cry. I’m afraid it’s all true. Not because I blindly hate Donald Trump, but because when bad behavior is celebrated, it is emulated.

    Many of my kindhearted liberal facebook friends began posting, in the days after the election, “let’s all open our hearts and minds and listen to the people who are Trump supporters, and let’s try to figure out the message we haven’t heard. We need to learn how to respect each other and promote each others’ concerns.” I was impressed and mentioned this to Tara, 19 years old and at college, and one of the most empathetic, caretaking souls I know. Tara says, “Ok, but if Hillary won, how many Trump supporters would be saying that? Is that group of people the kind who will be doing some introspection too, and trying to learn how to respect the point of view of people who value honesty and integrity and rights of minorities?”

    I have never believed in absolutes, so I can’t say ‘everyone who voted for Trump is…’ but of the many family members and friends of mine who voted Trump, I can confidently say no. Not one of them is likely to take this opportunity to open up their hearts and thoughts and to try and understand the divide in American voters. Many of them already believe some of the same ways that I do on a topic here or there, such as religious rights or women’s rights, but they will not take this opportunity to try and re-shape their perspective as my friends and I have. They are more likely to give a victory whoop, and then get back to their jobs and supporting their families, and easily let go of questions of international relations and minority rights and emails and shady business practices because it’s just such a hassle to take a stand on all that.

    I need to recognize that I am somehow in a position of luxury to be able to have this discussion in the first place. I need to recognize that there are some people who are not trying to grow or to understand, and that they are good people too. And somehow, I must make peace with it, and reach out and try to effect the world in the small ways I can without getting discouraged. Our young people ARE going to bring us a better future. I have met the young people of Portland and I am blown away by their love, intelligence, commitment to ecology, their deeply embedded lack of concern that people have different lifestyles and faiths, their fierce sense of entitlement (which is a curse but it also tends to make them demand excellence, which is a gift), and – like every young generation – their assuredness that they can make the world a better place. Of course, there are also young people of Middletown, Ohio, who certainly will have a different perspective, but even though I haven’t met them, I still have hope in them. There is a lesson here for me, and it has to do with what makes a person hopeful about a Trump administration. I would like to learn that lesson.

    • First, Crystal, thank you for your very thoughtful comments. Trump frightens me, much more than any other President in modern American history, including Nixon. While I may have disagreed with Presidents on policy issues, I’ve felt that all of these people ultimately had the best interest of America in their hearts. I am not sure that Trump can transcend his own ego, which seems deeply flawed. So far, his victory has only seemed to encourage him. His appointments have been dismal, or worse than dismal. I am not optimistic. I think we are in for some very rough sledding. As for the majority of people who voted for him, I think they voted out of frustration and hope for change. I believe that their frustration was misdirected, and that the change are likely to see will be far different than the change they hoping for. –Curt

  12. You are right on with so many of these lessons learned, and as the inauguration approaches, I sense that we’ll be learning many more. How to address a President, how to react to a President, how to understand a President like our 45th one will be interesting to see in the months ahead. I’m hopeful that I can be an American proud of our leadership, but I’m not as sure of that as I have been in the past. We’ll see! And we’ll learn a lot more lessons.

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