That which may have been lost this week may not be fully realized or appreciated for months or even years to come.
What has been set aside, perhaps forever, during the course of this campaign is the elegance, beauty and persuasiveness of well-reasoned argument presented with passion, clarity and without apology through the beauty of our language and the age-old traditions and norms of civil discourse.
For this there is plenty of blame to go around. Many have played a part. My desire is not to blame but rather to question. If our republic cannot rely on these attributes during what might arguably be the best of times, how will we retrieve them in the darkest of times as we have done so often in our past?
Today’s selection might well be seen as either a call to arms or a eulogy. At least here on the ‘Trail’ I have the unbridled confidence that it will be the former — that reason, civility and passion will not only survive but flourish.
Two American originals: Aaron Copeland and Abraham Lincoln.
Thank you Trailmixers for who you are and what you do. Bless you.
True both rich and led lives
Of well-to-do good looking young men
Both with beautiful wives
And ladies on the side.
Both had a connection to the Mob and to Roy Cohn. Both whose fathers were, shall we say, more autocrat than aristocrat, no way were they blue bloods. And both succeeded to the presidency with the assistance of an adoring press, or at least a media obsessed with them.
But there the parallel tale of the two ends. Do not look for high minded public service to be invoked in this inauguration speech, nor for young people to flock enthusiastically to go to the ends of the earth and out into space to do good for humanity.
No, we are no longer in, nor even near, that simply “more congenial spot for happily ever after than … Camelot”
Five times in our nation’s history the Electoral College winner has lost the popular vote, and twice in the past 16 years (both favoring the Republican nominee).
Abolish the Electoral College!
“While the nation—and much of the world—shudders at the thought of a Donald Trump presidency, our electoral system has once again failed to deliver a formal victory to the person who got the most votes.” — The Progressive
Keep the Electoral College
“Those clamoring to dump the system cobbled together by the nation’s Founders — which gives each state as many electoral votes as it has members of Congress — should be careful what they wish for. Adopting a national popular vote would trade one set of problems for another.” — USA TODAY
An easier way to reform the Electoral College: States collectively possessing at least 270 of the 538 available electoral votes would change their rules to force electors to support the candidate who wins the national popular vote. Read More
The Hill: States can kill Electoral College — here’s how to empower popular vote
People: 500,000 People Sign Petition Asking Electoral College to Pick Clinton as President Instead of Trump
Despite calming words from Hillary Clinton and President Obama, many anti-Trump Americans aren’t smoking the peace pipe.
New York Times: “Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Manhattan on Wednesday night and converged on Trump Tower in Midtown to protest the election of Donald J. Trump as president. Similar protests happened in several cities across the country, including Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, and at college campuses in California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.”
Hillary: “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”
Obama: “We are all rooting now for his success in uniting and leading the country.”
There it is. For many, unthinkable. But for most, doable. That’s Democracy, majority rules.
Trump’s victory demonstrates how poorly we understood the fear and loathing out there, the abandonment of working folks, the arrogance of media elites and the assumptions of special interests.
The losers might blame what they see as the ignorant misogynist masses, and label Trump a demagogue, which only reaffirms this result for those who chose it.
Let this be a lesson, not a call to arms. If Washington, and the Democratic Party in particular, don’t take on some of the blame for this and stop belittling voters who want change, it happens again, just like it did in the 2014 midterms and again last night.
For mournful Hillary supporters I know your pain. I had chosen another Democrat to work for, and had to accept in the end that what he offered wasn’t selling. When the voters don’t see what you see it hurts.
Accepting what voters choose is what Democracy is all about.