I can’t remember another election in modern American history that has resulted in such a reaction. The continual wave of protests throughout the country is unprecedented. The reality of an impending Trump administration has created widespread anxiety that is palpable. The results of the election were so shocking and unexpected that it has taken many of us a long time to wrap our minds around it and understand its implications. However, one thing is quite clear. The America of tomorrow will be significantly different from the America of yesterday.
It is true that the sun will rise every morning and the moon will appear every evening, but what will the earth below look like? If we are to take Trump at his word our nation will be meaner and less tolerant. Not only will it be less accepting of our minority populations, it will work actively to prevent them from remaining in or entering the US. It will not be a nation that celebrates our diversity, but rather one that seeks to place us all into some kind of pressure cooker that will create something called an American, all of like mind and values. It will be a government that shows a disregard for science and a disdain for knowledge. Basic services and protections that for decades have been a part of America will be in question. Our role as leader of the free world will change in ways that will place decades old alliances and relationships in jeopardy
Who does this America represent? Is this what tens of millions of voters were seeking when they pulled the Trump lever on Election Day? The answer to that question is perhaps the most troubling reality of all. We are well aware that the Trump campaign dredged the most despicable individuals from under the rocks throughout America. They are the haters and misfits that need someone to blame for their own failures. But who are the others who selected Trump? For the most part they appear to be those who feel America has forgotten them and passed them by. But will Trump be the answer or just turn out to be another disappointment to this disappointed part of America?
The early reading on progress within the Trump Camp is confusing and inconclusive. There are some freightening names being bandied around for cabinet and White House positions. There also appears to be some walkback on the Obamacare and border Wall declarations. Yet, mostly it seems that Trump has been as surprised by the election results as the rest of us. His lack of knowledge, preparedness and narcissism make this transition particularly anxiety provoking.
Our job is to make sure that Trump never feels that he truly has the support of the entire nation. The day he thinks he has a mandate is the day we enter the slippery slope of authoritarian dictatorship. This is a man who can never be trusted.