Tag Archives: American democracy

The voters have spoken….no, really, they have

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a lefty liberal and proud of it. I am not a Democrat. I never work for individual politicians. They all end up making me mad at them. Now that we’ve cleared that up…

I think it’s a very exciting time to be an American. Yes, I was bummed, mortified actually, that Trump got elected. But what we saw on election day was American democracy in action.

People were unhappy with the direction of the country, so they stopped it. It is very empowering for them. Now the other side is supposed to organize to move things back along the trajectory that they want, using the midterm elections as one vehicle; pressuring their legislators as another. Everyone has some power. They push and they pull. And it’s all done at the ballot box, with the almighty vote.

I have been kind of chuckling all day at the irony of it. Trump has a Republican House and Senate. He has his chance to do a lot. He should get to it right away, and let people see what that “it” is. While that’s happening, all these kids who are protesting in the streets need to get back to school or jobs or whatever and start organizing for the midterm elections. Then, maybe you can stop him.

See how exciting this is? It’s the way democracy is supposed to work: One side pushes too far and gets stopped; the other side pushes, and back and forth and back and forth. Through it all, we manage to move forward, together, as a country.

What’s been lost in this country, though, is the ability to compromise. The word “compromise” has become a bad word. It is not. It is how the system works best. Maybe we can reclaim it? Maybe I’m expecting too much.

In any case, I think it’s great that all those old guys got out and stopped the direction the country was going in. They hated it. They felt that they were being pushed around. Social issues they did not care about were getting shoved down their throats. They said “enough.” They found their power at the ballot box. Would you rather have them find it another way? I find it refreshing and hopeful for our democracy. I feel sad that they felt that way, though. But, that’s another topic. I’ll not argue the merits of the various issues here.

Some of those old guys said they had never voted in their whole lives. They were feeling powerless and left behind. C’mon now, all you lefty liberals, you know the feeling. GAWD do you know the feeling! The old white guys learned that they really do have the power. They learned that their vote is important, the most powerful thing in the world. It makes me downright emotional, and I’m not being sarcastic.

This is also good news for those of you who are afraid of those old white guys. They did not resort to violence, they used their vote, and it worked. Will they stay engaged? Will they just turn smugly away after flexing their muscles and go back to the shadows? Who knows? No one does.

It’s an exciting time to be an American.

I was never afraid of those guys in a real sense. I know too many Trumpers, of all ages. It kept me from calling names, although I was called everything in the book (and a few new ones).

What it did, having these right-wingers around, was make me wonder why they were supporting him in the first place. They all had so many reasons why they disliked him. Those reasons were deal breakers for me, but not for them.

I was heartened to see an article by a millennial who is a Republican. She says she’s prochoice. Good. That’s my biggest deal breaker. I hope she has read the Republican Party platform, which calls for making abortion illegal. I hope you can keep your guy from doing that. I’m delighted that you grew up taking for granted that you could have a safe and legal abortion. You may also assume that right is safe. It is not. You need to keep an eye on your guy. You don’t want to get rid of welfare, you want to fix it? Great, me too. You need to keep your guy from going too far. He’s not going to listen to lefty-liberal ole me. He’ll listen to you, though, maybe.

See how it works?

It’s an exciting time to be an American.

I know you may not believe me when I say this, but I am delighted that you have found a political leaning that fits in with your world view. Do I wish you were a lefty liberal? You betcha! But, that’s just me. What’s important is that you stay true to yourself and your beliefs, that you are not afraid to change as you learn more about the world, and that you are, indeed, making choices based on those beliefs, not just a knee-jerk reaction to something or against something, or (heaven forbid) because of another person. Don’t roll your eyes, I’m old enough to be your mother, I’ve seen this happen again and again.

My philosophical disagreements with Trump will not change, I’m pretty sure. It is my own experiences that make it impossible for me to buy into his various and many isms. I hate that he will be representing me on the world stage. But that is the will of the electorate. So be it.

Can we at least agree that it’s an exciting time to be an American?

Now let’s get out there and organize.