Thoughts on the 2016 Election

Finally, one of the most troubling presidential elections I can remember is over, although the conflict seems far from resolved. I cannot recall so much animosity being displayed between candidates and their passionate followers.  I generally avoid talking about politics, did not follow the debates, do not read a newspaper and don’t watch a lot of TV. But even then it has been hard to escape from all the hatred and anger that seems to be seething throughout our society; and now appears to be boiling over in places. Facebook has been particularly challenging over the past few months, and four days later continues to spew hateful rhetoric.

I understand the disappointment that half the country feels. But I do not understand what all of the protests are supposed to accomplish. We are not going to vote again. Trump is not going to wake up tomorrow, realize that some people don’t like him, and then resign and turn the presidency over to Clinton. For better or worse, Trump is our president. Why not follow Clinton’s appeal in her concession speech and give him a chance? Who knows, maybe he will surprize you.

For what it’s worth, I believe Clinton is probably more competent to be president that Trump, but I generally dislike her positions. I am more sympathetic with many, although not all, of Trumps stated positions, but believe he is not competent to be president and lacks integrity. In other words, I did not like either candidate and ended up voting for a third party candidate. So of course I was going to be disappointed no matter who won.

I have been looking at some of the statistics of exit polling that was taken on Tuesday and it makes me wonder why either of the top two candidates did as well as they did. So far Clinton has received 47.7% of the popular vote while Trump has received 47.4%, leaving 4.9% of the voting population voting for a third party. Yet 18% of those voting had negative opinions about both Trump and Clinton and 29% felt that neither candidate was honest or trustworthy. So why were not more people voting for a candidate they had a favorable opinion about? It may be that there were none that they liked. Or it may be that some people just vote a party line without consideration of anything else. But it also seems that many people voted for someone they didn’t care for simply to prevent someone they liked even less from being elected.

But in the end, does it really matter who was elected? It does some, although not as much as some seem to think. The president is in the executive branch, tasking with executing the laws enacted by Congress. The president does not make laws, although executive orders do give him a limited freedom to enact some direction. No doubt the president has a significant influence on the direction we will take as a nation. But we survived Bush and we survived Obama; I suspect we will survive Trump as well as we would have survived Clinton had the election gone a different way.

Like it or not, Donald Trump is the president of the United States. Even though I did not vote for him, he is my president. I will pray for him and try to honor the position he holds, even when I disagree with his rhetoric, his morality, and his positions. And four years from now I will again exercise my right to vote for the president and other leaders of my nation, state, county, and city.


2 thoughts on “Thoughts on the 2016 Election”

  1. There are some things that I have to disagree with you here Ed. First of all, I am a second generation immigrant. My grandparents fled Eastern Europe to escape the progoms being conducted on the Jewish community. A lot of our family ended up here, but a lot stayed in Europe. Those who stayed were killed in Auchwitz – every single one! There is a synagogue in Prague that was desecrated, first by the Germans and then by the Russians. The Jewish community decided that instead of using it again as a place of worship they would use it as a memorial to those who were murdered by the Germans. The walls are filled with thousands of names of all of those who were from the area. It had their name, birthdate and the last known day they were alive before being killed in a concentration camp.

    When I went to Prague, I found the names of so many of my relatives. It was devistating to see. This experience made me realize how truly horrible silence is. When someone spews bigotry, you don’t ignore it and you definitely DO NOT ACCEPT IT! You speak out. You fight for what is right. Silence allows those who spew this kind of hatred to think they have cowed the voices of reason. The protesters know this, I know this, and I think you know this too.

    Mr. Trump will NEVER be my president. He does not represent me. I am not a bigot and I will never say a bigot represents me. I will never say man who treats women as objects to be defiled is my president. I will never say a man who treats a whole religion as evil is my president. I will fight him at every turn to protect those people he threatens. And by the way – he doesn’t threaten me – I am pretty safe in my own little ivory tower, but I would be just as bad as he is if I didn’t try to help those who cannot help themselves.

    In addition to his bigotry – he is a science denier. Our world is in such peril and we need to fight for that too.

    So, although I understand your sentiment, I definitely do not agree with it.

    • Karen, I have no experience comparable to the holocaust and so cannot claim to understand what that does to you.

      But, if you are a citizen of the United States, come Jan 20, Donald Trump will be your president, whether you like it or not. It is just a fact of life.

      I agree that Donald Trump has come across as a buffoon during this election cycle. But I find it interesting that his transition team includes several women, a black man and an openly homosexual man. It also appears that he has actually been supportive of women, minorities and the LGBT community in his business and personal life. See for some information about that. I still don’t really care for the man. But he does not seem to be the villain he has been made out to be in the media recently.


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