Shaken, Not Stirred: Post-election grievances.

November 13, 2016
Jim Bond

Jim Bond

Shaken, Not Stirred: Post-election grievances.

#ShakenNotStirred.

A blog by Jim Bond.

Sponsored by Pro-Master Carpet Cleaning, 231-757-9061, promastercarpetcleaning.com.

He is not my president!

Well, actually he IS, regardless of your allegiance. Whether you agree with the results makes no difference. On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump will be the face of America that the world sees, the voice it hears.

Let me be clear. I’m a progressive independent, which you might conclude as being a Democrat. Don’t be so quick to assume; you’d be amazed how many conservative views I have.

I supported Bernie Sanders in the primary, I supported Hillary Clinton in the general election.

So here’s a timeline:

November 8 at about 10:30 p.m.

Watching election returns, I’m getting very concerned about what direction things are going. Since I’m working the following morning, I decide I’ll retire for the evening. My being awake is not going to alter the numbers.

November 9 at about 4 a.m.

I wake up, feeling anxious. I try to go back to sleep, to no avail.

November 9 at about 4:30 a.m.

I get up, go downstairs to make coffee and turn on the TV to see the results.

I watch, stunned. Absolutely dumbfounded.

November 9 at about 6:30 a.m.

Feeling anxious, nervous, and frankly fatigued, I turn off the TV and lie down on the couch to take a nap.

November 9 at about 8 a.m.

I awaken, feeling amazingly refreshed. I finish the hours-old coffee and prepare to start the day.

At this point, I was somehow experiencing the Kübler-Ross model of the stages of grief; first stop – denial.

After a day dealing with some rather dramatic developments at the office, I returned home and really studied what had gone on all day on social media. Reading of the heart-felt misery, the depression and disappointment, I understood. I shared the angst as well. I had refrained from making any political posts during the day, because I’m a little emotionally reactionary and I knew I’d regret my comments. I was almost ‘eerily’ silent, prompting a neighbor to message me, wanting to make sure I was still alive. Not altogether sure the question was asked in jest.

Over the course of the evening and throughout the days which have followed, I’ve contemplated a lot of things about this dramatic development.

I recall an event from probably 1999. My late stepfather and I were in a restaurant we frequented in St. Louis. We’d become friendly with the staff there. Upon paying our bill one night, my stepfather made a comment to the cashier about President Clinton.

“He’s not MY President”, she barked.

We were both floored. As a moderate fan of Clinton’s presidency, I couldn’t believe that anyone could be so vitriolic.

In the past few days I’ve thought about that exchange, understanding its basis in emotion. And I’ve watched the protests, the deeply felt passions. I understand those passions and share them. If I were younger, I’d probably join in. Protests are who we are, protests gave birth to this country. We are an unruly bunch of rabble-rousers. Frankly, that’s how and why this election turned out the way it did. A massive number of people felt they were being ignored, and they rallied around their champion.

People have been talking for months about how they’d leave the country if Trump were to be elected. But those who want escape can’t really participate in the change they desire, long for. 

Enter Kübler-Ross; anger, stage two, and depression, stage four. Bargaining, the third stage, doesn’t seem to apply here.

The results are in. Electoral votes will be verified in about a month, and they’ll probably fall in line with the 290 to 232 tally. And yes, there’s a petition going around to urge the Electors to deviate from how their state voted. It looks as if Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by .3%.  So we’ll have another debate about the Electoral College, which, amusingly is always the debate of those whose candidate lost. On both sides.

For many of us, it’s time to acquiesce to the final stage of grief, acceptance. This is when we decide to endure the inevitable and prepare for it. But take the time you need to do so. Situational depression is a mean-spirited animal of an indeterminate tenure.

Part of that preparation for the inevitable will be to embrace what makes America exceptional: A Peaceful transfer of power.

We have reached a new place, a unique place. Can we just calm the hell down?

There were two deeply flawed candidates; we experienced affronts to democracy by both Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile. Frankly, the GOP and the DNC are fractured because of supreme arrogance.

Respect the Office of the President, even if you can’t accept the person. Look at the respect President Obama is evidencing by his manner in the transition.

Yes, protest. You don’t like this new revolution? Change it. Create another revolution with your vote at the mid-terms in 2018. Only 57% of eligible voters entered the booth last Tuesday, the lowest turnout in 20 years.

Take the energy and passion of your protest to get involved. Quoting one of my grown sons here: “Develop a communal national voice”.

And listen to each other. I’m paraphrasing a Democratic operative (pundit, [yeah]) from the other day, indicating that they didn’t see it coming because they didn’t listen. They talked. Access my ‘Messiah’ blog of a couple of weeks ago: “The biggest communication problem is we don’t listen to understand, we listen to reply…and then there are those who don’t listen at all, just argue”.

Of all people, President Elect Trump needs to listen. He needs to absorb the eloquence of Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, the comity of President Obama’s statements since last Tuesday. Former President Bill Clinton delivered what was described as a ‘gracious’ phone call to the President-Elect. Sen. Bernie Sanders seemed conciliatory, as did Sen. Elizabeth Warren (well, kinda). Even Clinton supporter Warren Buffett has stated: “He deserves everybody’s respect”. “That was not what we were expecting but this is the time to move forward and begin to give hope to those who are distraught, who are disappointed,” said Khizr Khan, who spoke so eloquently during the Democratic National Convention.

“Let us neither express, nor cherish, any harsh feeling towards any citizen who, by his vote, has differed with us. Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feeling.” – Abraham Lincoln.

“Hear this, young men and women everywhere, and proclaim it far and wide. The earth is yours and the fullness thereof. Be kind, but be fierce. You are needed now more than ever before. Take up the mantle of change. For this is your time.” – Winston Churchill.

If the notables mentioned in the preceding paragraphs can potentially ‘wipe the slate’, can’t we, as well?

From my blog last week: “Don’t we really want someone who is better than we are? Smarter than we are? More emotionally mature than we are?” So, let’s emulate these leaders, let’s be quality people and quality citizens. Let’s hit the ‘reset’ button.

For now, protest (peaceably), shout, scream, cry. But set a time to turn the page and move on. What do you have to lose by giving President Elect Donald Trump the chance to prove us wrong? Set a date, set a time.

Hell, Tweet him, tell him that as of (day/date)@(time) he’ll have an opportunity to earn our trust and respect. “After that time, you’re on your own, sir.” 

I think we have given up our leadership as individuals to a degree. Let’s take this moment to assume our leadership as human beings to set a standard of civility and respect for one another. Perhaps each individual can be a beacon for those whom we have elected.

There are concerns for our children. Royal Oaks Middle School chants of ‘Build that wall’ are alarming, as are other reports from across the country. I had a discussion with my seven year-old son at the dinner table last night. It seems that the water cooler conversation in elementary schools in my small community include comments about keeping criminals out of our country. We had a long talk about Mexico and its wonderful gracious people.

I don’t know if this is going to work folks, but isn’t it worth a try? What is there to lose, whether you’re of color, LGBTQ, Muslim, Jewish, a woman, any victim of any kind of abuse? Don’t be what you reject. Put the responsibility on him.

“Hatred’s filling, but it isn’t nourishing.” Dorothy Parker.

The opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of Media Group 31, LLC or its services, Mason County Press, Manistee County Press, Oceana County Press.

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