Put Up or Shut Up
With this kind of buildup I'd have thought that I'd wake up today and find orange colored Stormtroopers marching down the street as their company commanders (who would, no doubt, be old and white) knock on doors a deliver the bad news. Maybe they just haven't gotten to my neighborhood yet. l should be grateful, I suppose.
Then again, if Facebook and Twitter are the true national pulse, as some have suggested, then Armageddon has already started at the social level. I see mushroom clouds all over the place. Smoking ruins lie everywhere. Go ahead and declare this the start of the New Civil War of 2016. Maybe they'll name it like the movie title of a big, overhyped sequel: Civil War 2016: We're All Fucked Now!!
What happens with those sequels nine out of every ten times? They suck. They don't recapture the drama and the "wow factor" of the first movie. They can't deliver on the hype created by their machine. Maybe they have a big opening weekend, only to see ticket sales drop off by 75% in week number two.
By the time election results started rolling in last night I was feeling like all of those who were posting the memes saying "can we just get it over with". I'm tired of all the accusations and drama. I think we could all agree that neither candidate was what you'd call an ideal choice for the office of the Leader of the Free World. Both have shitty temperaments. Both have skeletons in their closet. Both have questionable views on major issues (depending on where you stand).
People kept joking that the scariest thing about this election is that one of those two was actually going to win it. It was a funny statement that both liberals and conservatives could get a chuckle over. And someone did win it. That someone was multi-billionaire business mogul Donald J. Trump, a man who has no real political experience.
Here's the thing, though: I don't really give a rat fuck that he has no political experience. Why should I? There are so many career politicians out there, on both sides of the aisle and in large numbers, who have made a living being bought and sold by the Unseen Masters who really run the show. Maybe someone who isn't a career politician is a better answer this time around.
Does that sound familiar? It should. It's the battle cry of those who stuck up for Obama in 2008 when conservatives attacked his lack of political experience. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, as the old expression goes. Get over it.
So the next logical thing to do is attack his character. He's an easy target, after all. He's richer than God and a braggadocios loudmouth to boot. He's even (collective gasp) in the WWE Hall of Fame!! What a kooky, sleazy, morally reprehensible man he is. This must not happen. He will make a mockery of the Presidency.
Did y'all watch the man's victory speech last night? It wasn't what most folks expected. Many thought this cartoonish and buffoonish man would step up to the podium and say "Barack Obama, YOU'RE FIRED!!" That didn't happen, though. He spoke with appreciation and more humility than he's probably ever shown in his entire life. I appreciated that while staying fully aware that it's actions and not words that make a man.
Trump already understands that he's going to have to be a completely different Trump than the man America came to know pre-election season, and he certainly understands that he can't be the caricature that the bought and sold media portrayed him to be in the run-up to November 8th.
If he is smart then he will understand why people are so critical of him, and he will work to fix those personal flaws that need to be fixed. If he is smart he will not bristle and take the bait that will no doubt be thrust into his face every day. You've obtained the Office of the Presidency, now act like you derserve it.
When Barack Obama was elected in 2008 it certainly wasn't with the aid of my vote. However, once he got the job I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He didn't turn out to be what I wanted in a POTUS (Obamacare is proving to be a phenomenally shitty idea, for example), but I didn't write him off immediately. I understood why so many went out and voted for him in that landslide. There were 2 things that put him in office (in order of importance): the color of his skin and his bluntly honest promise to go in a different direction.
Yeah, I said the color of his skin was a factor. Of course it was!! Countless people admitted that the time was long overdue for an African-American President, and I agreed with them. I don't agree with voting for someone based solely on the color of their skin, but I understood and sympathized with those who did. We've got a checkered history here in America, so it's an understandable reaction.
What I (as a rational, thinking adult) understood even more was the way folks rallied behind Obama and his promise to make "fundamental changes" to the United States. He wanted to be a revolutionary President, and he was in many ways. I was totally on board with the legality of gay marriage, for example. Nice move, Obama. You can't be the Top Dog in this country for 8 years and get it all wrong. Broken clock and all that.......
The real issue that we face in this country is how divided we are. We are more divided, socially, than we have been since the Civil War. In many ways, there is a silent Civil War that has been going on in this country for at least the last 15 years. The fact that Donald Trump is our next POTUS shows how divided we are. He has one thing in common with his predecessor- he is brutally honest about wanting to go in a different direction.
Looking at the old "red and blue" map showed that it is clearly a direction that a majority of folks want to go in. If you're weren't one of the ones in the red on that map then I'm sure you're not very happy right now (like so many of us after the 2008 and 2012 elections). And I get that....I really do. In the minority is a shitty place to be.
The awesome thing, though? Life goes on. We're not standing in Times Square the middle of Planet Apocalypse. Donald Trump won't have enough power to bring about that kind of change, just like Obama didn't have that power. The system still works, even if it is possible to usurp it on occasion. If that sounds like The Right telling The Left to eat those sour grapes because they're not really THAT bad then, well..........it basically is.
This is how American politics has always been. People try one direction and after awhile they go in the other direction. It's like a series of mini experiments. You commit to one direction or the other, secure in the knowledge that in 4 years you can course correct if that first idea turned out to be a bad one. There are enough checks and balances in place that no POTUS can fuck it up that badly. That's what I kept hearing, anyways, when I expressed my displeasure at the election (and re-election) of President Obama.
At the end of the day I'm an American Optimist. Well, that's not entirely true. I'm an American Optimist with a strong streak of Realist in there, too. It's with that Realism in mind that I say this-
You've said the right things often enough to have gotten elected to the highest office in the land. You've had your finger on the pulse of what the "average American" (if there is such a thing) wants for long enough to know what needs fixing. My advice? GO FIX IT. Do what you said you were going to do. The biggest problem with the average politician is empty promises. You, sir, are no politician.....so don't behave like one (insofar as that is possible in Washington, DC). However, I must ask of you one thing- approach the job with some humility and grace. You don't exactly have a lot of either of those qualities. The best way to "shut them up" is to prove them wrong. Be a good man. Show that people can change and that you are willing to do so. Prove that the media participated in a smear campaign of Orwellian proportions against you by proving them wrong. And when you find yourself in a situation where you need to be a bit of a bad ass....... Then be a bad ass. Remind the world we are not to be trampled on either. American Exceptionalism is a very real thing and it has made the world a better place. This is still the greatest country on Earth. No one questions your love for the United States of America. What they question is your ability to act like a rational and decent human being. Want more advice? Surround yourself with the right people. Listen to your advisers and ESPECIALLY your military advisers and generals. Spurn the "typical politician" and get some mavericks on your team. Approach the Presidency in an intelligent fashion. You know how to run a successful business already; this will be a much larger challenge. Again, above all, remember that compromise is a part of the game. Nothing in life is black and white (no pun intended). You can't be a hardcase all of the time, and you can't be a big old pussy, either. Kenny Rogers said it best: "You've got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em." America is praying for you to do this right. It's time to put your money where your big ass mouth is. No pressure.
I close this out by saying that we now have a duty as Americans. Our duty is to give this man the benefit of the doubt. Our duty is to be intelligent enough to see both sides of the argument. Our duty is to simply understand that even if your candidate didn't win this time there is always another election down the road about 4 years. He might surprise you.
In other words..........suck it up, Buttercup. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Isn't it?