Whew! Glad that’s over! 2016-11-14

genekranzIt’s been about a week now since the historic American election has been over. We’ve now had a little time to digest this two-year contentious presidential race, and remarkably for the fifth time in history the person with the most votes did not win the office. The electoral college (which is confusing enough if you’re an American, but probably pretty much impossible to understand if you are not) has determined our next president to be New York based businessman Donald J Trump.

I have done my level best to be publicly neutral with the understanding that my personal opinions are just that — personal. Nobody else really wants to hear what I think one way or the other, and nothing I do or say would have had any affect on the outcome of this seemingly never-ending trudge to the White House. Think of all the people with millions and millions of followers and fans who were all up in people’s business about this and had no real power in the situation whatsoever. We all think how we think. Conversation and civil exchange of thoughts and ideas are vastly important to the health and well-being of great nation, but each voter needed to remove themselves from the rhetoric, sound bites, and emotions and get down to the actual facts. Facts — now there’s a concept I like. We’re all busy and sound bites are like the brownie bites of news. One gives you a taste and tricks your brain into thinking you’ve had a satisfying sweet treat  while the entire brownie is much more filling and enduring in the long run.  You look back the next day and think, I saved calories with the brownie bite, but in retrospect I wish I’d had the entire treat. Well, folks, we brownie-bited ourselves into the results we find today — good or bad.

A man who projected every non-classy trait of a ‘normal’ leader of a great nation has bawdily tapped into the fears real and imagined of the broad electorate. He came in, kicked ass, and took names — literally. He replaces what may very well be the most eloquent and elegant leader and first family we have ever had. Complete opposites not only in politics, but in personage. But folks, the job at hand all rhetoric and pandering aside is not about personalities, it’s about policies.

Did we ultimately elect the right President? Time will tell, but I feel we need to get behind this new administration and see what they really can do. The job of President is much bigger than the person with the title. It is all of the people they surround themselves with — Staffers, Cabinet Members, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the individual state legislatures, etc. This is the United States of America. It’s flawed in all its glory, but the flaws are what makes it a more perfect union. After all, it’s run by people, not machines. People are flawed. Regardless of their intentions, mistakes will be made. Hopefully any mistakes won’t lead to the end of our existence. Nobody in high office here starts out trying to mess things up for everyone. It almost always starts with a focus of bringing a better life to the greatest majority of people with the need for that help.

For those of you who did not vote or broadly took a ‘hands off’ approach to your civic responsibility you, my friends, should have absolutely no right to complain about anything. But the fabulous thing about being an American, is even though you took the ostrich approach to citizenry, you remain to have the right to voice your opinions.  Those of us who did vote though feel crushed by the weight of carrying those of you who were eligible and did not show up and contribute. The beauty of ‘we the people’ having the ability to voice our opinions and discord through our First Amendment constitutional right without being victims of state-sponsored imprisonment or murder is our most precious benefit. A benefit given to all of us.

I recommend we not denounce this new administration as we have not experienced anything resulting from it yet. If you do not particularly like or appreciate the person we’ve elected for our representation, you’re not alone. Do not be disheartened, however, because that one person is not the only person running things. It’s not a dictatorship or a monarchy, it’s a presidency. Have faith in those the majority of people who actually showed up to vote decided through our electoral system to take us into the unknown future. I recommend if you’re going to protest the results, (to no real end by the way) that you do it peacefully and have respect for the people around you whether fellow protesters, citizens with opposing views, those living in the areas where you are protesting, and law enforcement who job it is to see things remain respectful and do not get out of hand. A group of non-haters hating on who they believe are haters ultimately become that which they despise — haters. Crowd mentality can often go very very wrong.

Take heart, we still need to get up in the morning, go to work to provide for ourselves and our families, get kids to band practice and basketball games, pay the bills, get the car fixed, stop by the grocery for milk and eggs, mow the lawn, and most importantly be law-abiding, compassionate, involved, and empathetic humans. We are now and always have been together in this thing called the United States of America. We’re going to make it, I swear, because ‘failure is not an option!’  –Eugene Francis “Gene” Kranz, NASA, Apollo 13 … Sandy


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