Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My Second Biggest Shock

My second biggest shock today is that I don't hear any liberals or moderates expressing hope that Trump will rise to the occasion, that he'll do better than expected, and that he will abide by the bright promise he made this morning ("I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans").

All I see is granite, clenched-jaw antagonism. That's how Obama was forced to launch his presidency, and we've been much the worse for it. The moment compels our best wishes, as much conciliation as we can muster, and our keeping (per Hillary Clinton's request this morning) an open mind.

Even if he keeps his worst impulses in check, we still won't love all his policies. That's okay, he won; his policies will reign for a while! But pre-hating out of fear and expectation, before he's even entered office, is what they did to Obama. Can't we be better?

I'll say to you what I once said to Mitch McConnell (on my TV screen!): if this president fails, that means we all fail. And if we want Trump to consider his better angels, why on earth would we solidify against him from the get-go, engaging his most transactional and self-serving impulses?

As an American, I want Trump on my side. So I will be on his side until he crosses a line - a truly actionable one, not just some vindictive tweet, or some policy I happen to disagree with (I didn't agree with Obama on all his policies, either, and I think he was a great president).


Richard Stanford said...

I'm conflicted about this. I want to figure out ways to move forwards, but I'm also beginning to realize that when one party constantly compromises and the other digs in their heels, the stubborn one will always "win the day", and I'm not convinced that that's healthy either.

Jim Leff said...

Recognizing the ruling party's right to make policy is not the same as appeasement or capitulation. I'm talking about expectation and stance. Conciliation should at least be the starting point, and we can, while scrapping tenaciously over policy details, maintain an amiable sense of camaraderie and decorum recognizing who (temporarily) has the ball.

I hope the guy does great. I hope he's a success, and does none of the things we fear. I hope his craziness gets triggered not at all, that he rises to the occasion, and that he merely enacts a bunch of policies I happen to respectfully disagree with.

I can deal with another Bush admin (without the wars, please), that's not the end of the world, and I can hope the darkness doesn't come to pass. But I absolutely refuse to pre-hate and pre-judge and pre-obstruct the guy out of of my fears and expectations. I owe my country more than that, and I owe myself better than that. I hated when they did that to Obama on day one, and I won't do that here. I'll hate the sins, not the sinner, and, so far, President Trump has done absolutely nothing deplorable.

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