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Friday
Nov112016

Election 2016 is Over and It's Time to Move Forward

Editorial

For the record I was not a Trump supporter and disliked both of the candidates. I consider the following analysis to be as objective as possible considering it is in regard to a political state of affairs.  

The election is over. It is time to stop campaigning. 

There are two initial areas of concern as we move forward. The first is that the protests around the country are becoming dangerously disruptive. The second is the unwillingness by many to accept the results of this election. 

Both campaigns played the fear card about the opposing candidate, which only fueled the discord in our country. It was a horrible election with divisive candidates. 

Now, after one of the most contentious elections in history, there are legitimate concerns and frayed nerves throughout the country. People need to have their fears allayed. I do believe that the leaders of the federal government should be doing their best to reassure the members of the losing party and America at large. 

So far, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump have been doing this. In fact, Trump commented that he would be seeking the counsel of Obama. 

In the meantime I understand that disappointed voters need time to vent and legitimately protest to voice their concerns to an altered Washington. However, lighting fires and blocking streets is not venting or protesting within the law. Planning to disrupt an inauguration (as some have already suggested) serves no practical purpose other than to disrespect the historical moment for fellow citizens, a proposed action that largely but not exclusively comes from the millennial generation who sure enough demand respect for themselves and get angry when their feelings are not acknowledged. 

I would like to say “not my president” as much as I would like to say “not my hemorrhoids” but it just doesn’t work that way.  

This comes from the same people who read the riot act about respecting the sanctity of the American election process less than a week before the big vote when they were sure that their side would win in a rout. 

The Electoral College is the system for electing United States Presidents. Until we change the system that is the one we have. 

Many disenchanted voters are now trying to undermine the integrity of the election by pointing out that Hillary won a slight margin of the popular vote. Imagine what would have happened if Trump had won the popular vote and Hillary had won the Electoral College, and subsequently a disgruntled Trump would have then tweeted that Hillary was not a legitimate president. The outrage of Trump undermining the integrity of the process and fueling unrest and hatred would be saturating the government, social media, and the public. 

There are Pros and Cons to the Electoral College. The nuances of which are extremely cumbersome to navigate but in a possibly over simplistic opinion this is why many are reluctant to change it.  

Let us pretend the majority of the population is condensed into one geographical area. That area might have a climate, an economy, or a set of social mores that are not representative of the rest of the country. 

For example, a small portion of the population centralized in a hot and drought stricken region might have a different attitude toward climate change than a larger one located in a territory that is frozen through the winter. In another case, maybe a very populated area might have an economy that is dependent on fossil fuels and collectively have much less interest in voting for a candidate who champions renewable energy than smaller sections of the country with a different economic mix. I could go on here but you get the idea. 

The old adage about two wolves and a sheep voting about what is for dinner applies to the theory behind why the Electoral College was developed.  

Some may say that the system needs changed. That’s fine but until that happens in regard to future elections, Donald Trump won fairly within the system that we have.  

For those who wish to abolish the electoral voting method I would advise modifying the system within the proper legal constructs and not just because your candidate lost. Changing the system out of being a sore loser could backfire on you. There is no predicting how the political landscape may be configured in the future. 

It may very well be that the next time around your candidate could lose the popular vote but would have won the Electoral College because, let's say, the rural vote for your candidate was not as well represented in the wide vote of the populace.    

Be very careful for what you want when it comes to changing the system because you just might get it. 

At the present time, Trump has been handed a moment in history. The next few months will set the tone for a new era in American politics.  

For many millennials, a group whose nearly entire adult life has been encompassed by the Obama administration, this is the first time they have not gotten their political way. As it goes that is part of the democratic process. You win some and you lose some.  

Four years from now the political perspective could be completely different for the millennial generation, a phenomenon they have not yet had time to experience. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barrack Obama were all elected with great reservations by much of the public at first. For instance, the equivalent of the millennial generation of the time cried that Ronald Reagan was going to launch a nuclear war against Russia and it would be the end of the world. All of these men ended up being two term presidents.  

Interestingly, Ronald Reagan became so popular that he was able to usher in a third term for his party, an achievement that eluded the likes of the revered war hero Dwight Eisenhower in addition to Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama. This is a rare achievement because after eight years the public wants change. Change was a successful focal point of the campaigns of Bill Clinton and Obama. This is another cycle the millennial generation has not experienced in total as adults.  

We can bloviate all day about what went wrong with this entire election. In my opinion Hillary Clinton’s political demise began with the primaries against Bernie Sanders. The Democrats fractured over his campaign instead of finding a way to include it. The Democratic base was not energized for Clinton. At the same time the Republicans did not take Trump or the unrest in their own constituency seriously until it was too late.   

You may not be happy with the results of this election and that is fine. I’m not thrilled either at the moment. 

On the other hand, we certainly cannot condone unlawful civil unrest. Nor can we undermine our system of government and our election process, the latter of which historically has been a shining example for the entire world.  

We also cannot tout the virtue of love trumping hate with the exception of the times that we do not get our way. Millions of hard working people who have paid taxes into our system for decades voted their conscience and won one for the first time in twelve years. They deserve better. 

We have periodic elections for a reason. If you are not happy your chance will come again. As a matter of fact the midterms are less than two years away. Mobilize now. If things go astray, be ready to vote.

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