In the vein that “a rose is just a rose” a con man never changes, he just gets better at his craft.
Like many people I am dumb-founded by the results of last Tuesday’s ignominous election, where a little less than half the country’s population elected one of the most vile and offensive personalities that has likely ever run for the Presidency. Outrage doesn’t cover my range of emotions. Nausea and deep depression are also a part of what I am feeling.
Like many of my friends, I was feeling compelled to take to the streets carrying torches and signs, protesting this total embarrassment to our democratic way of life. But this cannot – and should not – overturn a legitimate election. Coups are for 3rd world countries.
SO WHAT ACTION SHOULD WE TAKE?
Many people will be hurt (or killed) and property damages will occur to innocent people either by some direct actions that the obdurate Trump will take as the President or by default from others who supported him, feeling empowered to do so by the validation of his election. It will be the latter of the two that I fear the most by racists and Islamophobes.
It was raw, unhinged emotion and anger along with a degree of prejudice and ideological blindness that gave Trump the majorities he needed in states to win the electoral college. It was the failure of the Democratic Party to place a social change agent for their nominee, pushing some traditional Democrats to cross party lines. And lastly it was the failure of the GOP to represent their constituency that gave them a Trump nominee by ignoring calls to change direction that would help middle income working families, not wealthy special interests.
Trump saw that and has successfully exploited it to place himself in the most powerful seat in the world. There is no new Donald out there today however. The same person who vilified women, people of color, handicapped people and Muslims just prior to the election is still there, despite all his displays of the man who now claims he wants to unite us.
He may have to learn how to better cover his bigotry and nativist biases but his ego will often stand out over rational behavior and the bullying goon who hosted NBC’s “The Apprentice” will rear his ugly head to the delight of the red-meat crowd who put him where he is at today.
Despite all this, I am resigned not to fall prey to similar emotions that give voice to rejecting the electoral process in this country. This is much of what the GOP did when they refused to work with President Obama on anything during his eight years in office. It was also reflected in the ugly talk by right-wing media hosts on radio,TV and the blogosphere.
My objective is to be patient and record the evidence that contradicts the change people thought they were going to get with a Trump presidency. People who voted for him heard what they wanted and ignored every ugly thing he said thinking that once he is in office he will be a different person. Garrison Keillor and I think this a wildly chimerical notion. Power to them if this turns out to be true but my money is on the Donald Trump that has schemed and clawed his way to a wealthy position of power through hook or crook.
It may come as a surprise to many of his supporters that there are still legal charges pending against president-elect Trump. It’s true that “Donald Trump most certainly uses litigation as a tool to get what he wants,” said attorney Ray Hannigan, who represented Trump during the mogul’s 2002 sale of his stake in the Empire State Building.” But it’s equally true that there have been more suits brought against Trump for cheating and malfeasance that have swindled thousands of victims who put their trust in him.
Currently Trump is attempting to delay fraud charges against himself in relationship to his apparent Trump University scam until after his inauguration, whereas he will then be over the Justice Dept.
His success as a businessman is dubious at best but where he has been successful has often been the result of his ability to exploit laws on the table to serve his own interests. This isn’t the signature of a public servant. It represents the solipsism of one who has gained his wealth through inheritance and guile and who puts himself before the general welfare of American citizens – ALL citizens.
So I will join those who will work from this moment forward to expose Trump for what he is in the hopes that by 2020 many people will be shamed into changing their vote then. This will of course depend a lot on whether the Democrats have learned their lesson from promoting a status quo candidate and find a viable candidate out there that doesn’t have a record of patronizing voters while rubbing shoulders with the well-healed. One that will help re-establish a strong middle class with policies that fairly blend free market principles with social democracy policies.
Elizabeth Warren is the first to come to mind for this. Some even think that a newcomer like California’s Kamala Harris has a good chance of doing in 2020 what new comer Obama did back in 2008.