Wednesday, November 9, 2016

You've had your 8 years...

I voted for Hillary and I’m still reeling from the shock. Like many I wasn’t passionate about either candidate this time around and in the absence of enthusiasm, I completely skipped writing a political post until now for this presidential year. If there were anyone less appetizing than the candidates, it would be their supporters and their detractors. While the yellow media was highly critical of Trump, they also had a fixation with covering Trump. Every Sunday for the past couple of months, I have opened the Times Union to see the talking heads in the Perspective section ranting of the evils of Trump. While I have never felt that Trump is a “nice person” I found it highly offensive for pundits to continually lambast him with socially charged labels such as racist or sexist or xenophobe.

The next few weeks we will meander through the fog to the new reality. I’m sure there will be some what-ifs…

  • What if Hillary had stayed on as NY State Senator and then ran with no email and no Benghazi baggage?
  • What if Bernie had run? (While I realize his supporters are more passionate; I think Bernie is too far to the left for a successful bid for President).
  • What if Joe Biden had run? (No baggage, but I don’t know if he would have satisfied the pent up thirst for change).

A few weeks back there was a very ugly incident at the nearby Shop Rite. A middle aged white male (demographic hitting too close to home) had exhibited a politically charged outburst and was asked to leave. On his exit he screamed to an African American shopper, “You had your 8 years…” Wow. Who knew that this extreme outburst was emblematic of a larger rage. Personally, I experienced a range of emotions. First, I was appalled; I am empathetic to the experience of “Black” America. It has not been an easy road and justice has often been fleeting. As a white, 50 plus male, I’m also sensitive to feelings of being pushed out, disenfranchised and disrespected that have been trending toward this demographic throughout the past decade. I watch commercials and when there is a one down, one up relationship it seems more often than not, the white male is the choice for the one down. For example, that insurance commercial with the young African American girl getting the nice, new car and the white male finding his car stripped and up on blocks. Beyond this observation, I think there is also a genuine feeling by myself and many of my demographic that it is a “rigged system”. (Where have we heard that one before?) In some instances, I think the white male has now encountered circumstances where they feel they are disadvantaged because they are a white male; simply stated some opportunities appear to favor special interest demographics that aren’t them - women, racial, GBT…xyz… So while my candidate lost, there is a part of me that celebrates that the concerns of the white male demographic are bubbling to the surface.

I am anxious in regards to the prospects for change. Overall, I think ObamaCare is a good thing; I’d hate to see it set back to zero. In my reading career, I have read the books of both Hillary (Living History) and of Donald Trump (The Art of the Deal). It is interesting to reflect that Hillary was a Republican who turned Democrat while Donald is Republican who used to be a Democrat. I must confess that I do enjoy Trump’s political incorrectness. I think we all may have become a bit too thin skinned and at times the PC requirement may have been an impediment to straightforward honest and productive dialogue. Hillary is probably a little closer to the middle than many Democrats would prefer…Donald is probably a little closer to the middle than many Conservative Republicans would prefer. If there is any opportunity for Democrats to gloat, it is with the realization that Donald will probably continue to disrupt many Republicans as well as Democrats.

With sadness, I bid farewell and best wishes to Hillary. To President-Elect Trump, I extend my congratulations and commitment to move forward with an open mind.

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