Monday, November 14, 2016

The Morning After...

Before I get started, I'll state out and out that I am no way pro-Trump or pro-Clinton. I hated the choices presented because when it came down to it, we have more than 300 million people in this country, and we couldn't get a decent candidate from either side. 



Trump got elected.  And that surprised me.

Unlike the untold number of pagans and heathens who pretty much decided this was Armageddon, I sat down and stared in amazement at the numbers.  "Wow," I thought.  "This is weird."  And it was weird.  And the blow ups that came were even more weird.

I get the disappointment.  I get the anger.  I get the worry.  What I don't get are the protests.

Maybe this is why he got elected?
Protesting...What Exactly?

People are protesting and rioting because Trump got elected. But what exactly are they protesting? Are they protesting the fact that people exercised their Constitutional rights and voted? That they didn't agree with the liberals and voted the way the liberals didn't want? Ummm, folks, that's how representative democracy works here.

"But Hillary got the popular vote!" you may say.

And we've had the electoral college since 1787 to assure that states with large populations would not completely overrun states with smaller populations. This is not something that was dreamed up yesterday.

Basically, if you're rioting and protesting, you're against our form of democracy. You would prefer to live in a dictatorship as long as the dictator held your opinions and beliefs (good luck with that). I hate to break the news to you, but you do not accept diversity.  If you did, you would consider that sometimes people have other viewpoints that must be considered, even if we believe that they are wrong.

A Bad Winner -- Funny, but Rude

Not Destined for Nazi Germany

As much as I dislike Trump, I have to point out that a large number of Americans voted for him. His latest scandals as a womanizer came as little surprise to me (not that I condone it), but I have to point out the Democrats had their womanizers such as Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy. Heck, even John F. Kennedy was a womanizer back in the day, but the Democrats give their chauvinists a pass.

The United States Constitution ensures that one person or one group of people can't run roughshod over American liberties too badly. The First Amendment ensures that we have freedom of religion. Congress can't establish one religion above another without violating the Constitution, which the courts are supposed to uphold.

Trump could not be Hitler, even if he wanted to. Pre-Nazi Germany was vastly different than America is. Americans elected Trump; Hitler was appointed chancellor by the parties.  They had no checks and balances in place pre-Nazi Germany which would have prevented Hitler's rise to power.  We do have those checks and balances in place.  What's more, we have millions, of folks who exercise their Second Amendment rights on a daily basis. When a country has all it's weapons in the hands of those in power, when the person in power is bent on absolute rule, basically there's nothing to stop them. But we don't.  Part of being a heathen is to accept that free people own weapons and have a right to defend themselves. Slaves do not have weapons to defend themselves. Even so, our military is made up of a volunteer force.  They're our brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. These are people who are sworn to defend the Constitution and who recognize Americans as our fellow brethren.

 We Still Have Checks and Balances in Place

A friend of mine put a bunch of these ideas in a very good post.  He is a history professor and makes a case that despite all the rhetoric, in the end, we're unlikely to see anything that trods on rights because of our system of government.  Even with the legislature being Republican, the Republicans can't overturn a filibuster in the Senate, assuming the Republicans are even considering playing ball with this total outsider.

While the Constitutional strength has been eroded (in no small part due to George W. Bush and Barrack Obama), things such as executive orders can be struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.  Someone was quick to ask my friend what will happen if all three branches of power collude. His response: we got Obamacare.  Touche.

What Really Happened

Not surprisingly, some people really did hit the nail on the head when it came to why Trump won. It wasn't racism or sexism that caused a large number of people to vote for Trump. It had to do with the plight of the rural areas.  I know.  I see it constantly.  Oddly enough, a piece from Cracked.com is possibly one of the most cogent articles about this out there.  (Yeah, I citing a Cracked article.  Get over it.) It is because rural America is dying and nobody in the cities gives a shit.  Prices are through the roof and good paying jobs are scarce. And going to the cities to work just impoverishes people further.  I'd estimate that at one out of five to one out of four people in the area I live are on food stamps.  And nobody really cares.

So What Does this Mean?

At this point, you're probably wondering what The Rational Heathen thinks about all this. I remember
when I was younger and something shitty happened, I had a boss who used to put on his best Cecil B. DeMille voice and say "This too shall pass!"

After seeing no less than 13 presidential elections, and living through the Cold War, I'd like to point out that we had not seen the apocalypse with any administration so far. I remember when Reagan was elected, we were all expecting a nuclear war with Russia within six  months.  Oddly, I don't seem to recall a WWIII.

Are there hate crimes?  Sure. There are always those who will act against minorities. Will we see an uptick in hate crimes? I can't predict that but I suspect we may.  Elections such as these can bring out some loony tune behavior from people. Yes, we may have an uphill battle, but no one says change is easy.

What it does mean is that if you don't like the way the country is going, it is time to step up and put on your big boy/girl britches and roll up your sleeves and get to work. The course of our country isn't necessarily set in motion by the president.  If you want change, be the change.

 Or you can just sing There's Got to be a Morning After backwards