Take A Good Look

I just need to put my two cents in somewhere regarding the outcome of this election. First off I would hope we could all agree that both of the major party candidates were horrible. One is a morally bankrupt businessman who's ego would appear to make him incapable of being a good and diplomatic leader. The other, while probably being no more corrupt than any other politician in Washington, has clearly time and again sold her principles and self respect to grovel before said corrupt culture of corrupt politicians in what would appear to be the interest of furthering her own career. Even if we give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that her course over the past 30 years was motivated by an interest in being able to affect change for the great good can you reasonably expect someone to have the moral fiber to affect a corrupt culture for positive change when they have had to spend 30 years selling their moral capital to become part of the system.

Quit telling me to go vote, I already did. 
That being said, with Hillary we pretty much know what we would have gotten. She was the safe choice here for maintaining the status quo. We're familiar with that system that she has played so well and been a part of all these years. We don't like it, but we know it pretty well. Now with Trump we really have no idea what to expect. Our cultural norm of choosing candidates where good public servants gain wider and wider public support and advance from local and state offices to federal office was completely circumvented here. Whatever conclusions you would like to draw about why Trump was elected or who it was that elected him I think it is safe to say that a large part of the country is fed up with the normal culture of self serving, back room dealing, re-election focused, career politicians. They are tired of politicians without enough backbone to affect needed change. Even Ronald Regan when he was at the height of his public support right after the attempted assassination, when he could of spent some of that political capital for - oh I don't know - what would have been severely painful but severely needed government spending reform just couldn't do that. He had a legacy to protect and other republicans to pave the way to election wins for. While I find over generalizations about who voted for Trump to be angry and short sighted I would say that some of the people who voted for him are hoping that this loose cannon will shake some of that up. Unfortunately there would appear to be another group of Trump voters who have taken his victory as a sign of legitimacy to their bigoted and xenophobic beliefs.

I suspect the guy did this at the ward chili cook-off so that no one would touch his chili and he could take it back home. It worked. 
So there you are. The American people have put all their hopes and dreams and in this one basket, that basket being the office of President of the United States. They are expecting this person to fix their legal status, return their country to a time which didn't exist (expect in reruns of the Andy Griffith Show), lower their taxes, revive the middle class, abolish congress, fix the healthcare system, cure global warming, abolish the EPA, get them a job, etc...       But here's the thing, even though our president can be a good leader and can push for change and do a lot for good (or bad as the case may be) in our country as a whole we have not elected a dictator and who ever is in office - while they do have quite a lot of power - they don't have the power to just go out and do most of what's promised on the campaign trail. Just like that kid in elementary school promising to put chocolate milk in all the drinking fountains. The executive branch has no power to levy or abolish taxes. The EPA was established by act of congress (with the suggestion and support of Richard Nixon,.... a Republican no less) and can only be repealed by an act of congress. - Just to point out a few examples. So no, Amercia, the president whoever he or she is is not going to be able to fix most or even very many of your personal problems. (the president also doesn't control the economy but we're hoping that their positive leadership will lead to confidence in the markets and a robust economy. Big emphasis on hope there)

Furthermore, the system is not broken. The electoral college is an ingenious system that provides for safety from election fraud and ensures that presidential candidates don't only have to have the support of major metropolitan areas on the east and west coast to win an election they have to win country wide support. Our government system as whole is very good, one of the best. I feel confident that our system keeps us from being overrun by any would be dictator or unhinged person who happens to get elected and also protects us from the tyranny of the majority. American is largely a safe and prosperous place for a very diverse spectrum of people. If you don't believe that then clearly you haven't seen the rest of the world.

So then what is the problem and what is to be done? Everyone keeps reference the huge rift in our nation, the "us and them" feeling. We've seen riots and protest over the last few days. We've seen people afraid of the future. Most troubling is we've seen people just afraid of each other. These problems also cannot be fixed by whoever is in office. We've made political affiliations and blaming the other party such a large part of our culture I think that it has trickled down and now we're afraid or just unwilling to reach across the street and affiliate with our neighbors. We're afraid (or just to apathetic) to reach out in our community and serve and affect positive change where we live. When Hilary says to keep fighting for what is right I hope that people take that as a call to be more involved in their community and not as a battle cry for the presidential election in 2020. The kind of change people really want to see (but probably don't know it) is change that will take place on the local level. Strong communities make for strong states and a strong country. I might add that if people were more involved in their local government and finding and advancing good candidates there then I think we would see an improvement of the quality of candidates for national office. It's time to be better neighbors. It's very hard to hate your neighbor when they are a good neighbor. It's time to quit spending all our energy loudly voicing our displeasure at things we can't change (or worrying about things that have not happened yet and may never happen regardless if someone has said them) and time to make ourselves a little uncomfortable and go across the street and be a good neighbor to whoever lives over there (and nobody really needs that advice more then myself).

Just keep looking.

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