Well, the people have spoken! And I’m really disappointed. I’ve previously expressed my displeasure with some of Mr. Trump’s positions and rhetoricB1, B2, B3, but my main complaint has always been his severe lack of maturity, his complete disregard for the truth,
as read in the International Business Times.
But you won’t find me out protesting, because I don’t see the point to it. I understood the rules before the election (See Article II and the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States) and thought they were as good as you’re likely to find anywhere.
Some argue that the Electoral College was intended to favor smaller states. Certainly our founders pondered the issue of individual power vs. state power (resulting in the Senate giving states equality while the House of Representative tips the scale toward the individual). Personally, I like the notion of ‘one person, one vote’ without taking a penalty if you can actually wave to your neighbor from the front porch.
A Growing Frustration
It has been said that Mr. Trump was able to tap into America’s growing frustration with the gridlock in Washington. I can definitely understand such a frustration. The problem is that for a majority of Americans, that frustration was self-inflicted. I’m talking about the majority who four years ago voted for candidates with an R on their sleeve (and making no allowance for those who only do that so they can tell right from left) specifically because those candidates promised to rip the word “compromise” from their dictionary and vehemently oppose every move the opposition makes, even if it was originally their idea. As one might expect, their candidates had some success, and now this majority is complaining that nothing gets done in Washington. Really? To me, that is strong evidence of the negative spiral I was concerned about. I predict in four years these short-sighted people with shorter memories will be even more frustrated, and will make even more desperate decisions, speeding the downward spiral even more. To see a discussion of one type of desperate decision-making and how to stop it, see my recent post When Sailors Should Split Tacks. Sadly enough, like the skipper in that post, these people are incapable of recognizing their faulty logic or seeing their own part in this mess. But as long as they have someone else to blame for their problems, I don’t expect to see much growth. I’ve always liked to believe that whatever the results of an election, the people got what they deserve, but the truth is that the minority gets to suffer right alongside everyone else. Those who took the right steps to make America great over the last decade also have reason to be frustrated. Their frustration will be greater in another four years also, but they know that just waiting for others to mature won’t get the change they are looking for. That knowledge alone does not make the frustration any less; they have to be mature enough to deal with it while they bide their time waiting for the next opportunity for improvement.
Wait And See
So that is what I’m doing. Mr. Trump isn’t President yet so there is really nothing yet to complain about. His lack of truthfulness, that characteristic that was the most bothersome during the campaign, is now the one thing that gives me the most hope in a strange way – if he only screws up one out of twelve of the things he promised to screw up, we should probably consider ourselves lucky. Just hours after the election he praised Mrs. Clinton for her many virtues, which was 180 degrees off from everything he had said before then (English translation: “I’ve been feeding you all a line of cr@_ all this time. Thanks for your vote”). How many of his promises has he already walked away from, just weeks after the election? There is the distinct possibility that some things could actually turn out reasonably well. But there is still plenty of damage that can be done. We need to bide our time and look for opportunities for growth. To break the spiral, one thing I’d like to see is a strong, long-term commitment to education – an education that includes and even emphasizes critical thinking skills. And as always, I’ll be doing my part to put things into perspective and combat “conventional” wisdom while promoting uncommon sense. Thank you for listening.