By Amy Stark;
As a concerned American, I am beyond shocked at the presidential results. The polls all along were predicting a Clinton victory. But the experts (shocked as well) are saying that the polls were inaccurate because Trump supporters were anti-government and mistrustful of the polls and remained mainly invisible, resulting in inaccurate poll results.
White working-class “blue-collar” America has been feeling overlooked by their federal government from having their jobs farmed out overseas to minority groups gaining more political and economic rights. They are yearning to be heard again and to have their needs met. That is understandable. But in the hostile, divisive way presented by Trump, I don’t think is the way.
White America is longing to go back to the ‘good old days’. But what they fail to remember is that the good old days weren’t always so good. While the times of the 1950s and 60s, jobs were more stable and families more intact, they forget that racial and women’s rights were way behind and there were issues of sexual abuse by family members and priests which were secretly swept under the rug, all of which caused immeasurable suffering. Lynching of innocent blacks still occurred well into the mid-1950s.
They fail to realize that we cannot go back in time. Time only marches forward. Life is a game of improvisation and adaptation. Tolerance of other peoples’ differences not separation is the only way to effectively move forward.
While in Europe, where many countries border each other, The United States is basically a separate entity, surrounded by two oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific. Many Americans are still oblivious to the conditions of the rest of the world. Where Europeans usually know several languages, most Americans speak only English. Knowing a foreign language is not only about its grammar, reading and conversation. In learning a foreign language, the student also becomes aware of the culture and customs of other countries that speak that other language. Their understanding of others expands. They are able to see past their own ethno-centric world into a broader viewpoint. They are able to converse and build bridges with others when traveling to foreign lands. Many Americans lack this. They experience other countries from the terrace of a Hilton hotel room which isn’t really traveling in the purest sense.
Super-religious Evangelical Christians, who have always obsessively touted ‘family values’ have conveniently overlooked Trump’s disrespect for women and his objectifying of them. Normally they would have rejected a candidate who has been married three times as Trump has been. But they laid into Bill Clinton, a democrat, for his indiscretions. I call this selective ethics.
He has consistently dealt in hyperbole, like building a wall on Mexico’s border and making their government pay for it. I assure you, this will never happen. It was just a political attention-grabbing ploy to grab the emotions of a disgruntled group of forgotten white folk looking for quick-fix answers to very complicated problems. Daddy Trump will fix everything. How short-sided and simple-minded. It made me embarrassed that he could get away with such rhetoric.
As a reality show host, he is a master of marketing and grabbing the people by their emotions not by using logic. Time and time again, I saw intelligent, experienced people on news shows relaying all the evidence why Trump would not be fit to be President. But his supporters were sold on this Washington outsider, who spoke their down-in-the-gutter white trash talk. And no matter what deplorable things he said and did, they held on.
The saving grace I can think of in this whole debacle is that the U.S. government has been designed to have what I learned as a child as ‘checks and balances’ The three parts of the government, Legislative, Judicial and Executive that has thus far prevented a dictatorship from occurring. Congress has to approve what the President proposes and The Supreme Court creates (hopefully) just and fair laws.
His acceptance speech was the most tempered and reasonable speech he has ever given, leading me to hope (against all hope) that he will be willing to work with others and compromise his viewpoints and policies to as he has said “make America great again”. Only time will tell. But from my view, America always has been great. The United States was born out of a idea a government by the people and for the people, not by bloodline or hostile takeover.
Let see what plays out… (fingers crossed)
Amy Stark is a free-lance writer, playwright and Dahn Yoga master (Korean) who resides in Brooklyn, New York.