TIME FOR OTHER
VOICES TO BE HEARD
With the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump only
three days away, I feel compelled to write about the state of our country,
which is what is on everyone's mind these days.
My goal is to make a small attempt to bring
people together, to tone down the anger, to possibly shed some hope on a
stressful and fearful time. It may be an unrealistic goal, but I figure
it's worth a try.
I'm no fan of our new President. Like so many other
people, I was devastated on November 8th. The unthinkable had happened. A
crude, bombastic, mean-spirited egomaniac was our new leader.
I woke up the next morning depressed and angry. I
couldn't watch Trump's acceptance speech or Clinton's concession. I
couldn't even watch the news. I wondered if I would feel like that for the
next four years.
Turns out, I felt like that for a grand total of one
day. I woke up Thursday morning, November 10th, and came to grips with the
whole nightmarish scenario. I was moving on, and that's what this column
I had lost, and I accepted it. I texted my adult children,
who all share my political persuasion, and gave them my rationalization.
"50% of the country obviously feels they have no
voice," I wrote. " It's been eight years and for whatever
reason, they are furious. If Clinton won, they'd be madder than ever. So
let them have their voice. If they make a mess, we'll clean it up in four
years. But let them be heard. Otherwise, the divisions will only get
I still feel that way, and it's helped me move on. I have
quite a few friends who voted for Trump. They're bright, they're educated,
they're good people. And we disagree on almost everything. The difference
is that my voice has been heard for the last eight years, for the most
part, and they've been stifled.
They're just wired differently than me. Not worse, not
better, just different. And now it's time for them to show what they can
do. I had my chance for the last eight years, and I think I did pretty
well. They thought I was a complete failure. Now it's their turn.
I know there will be casualties. There are always
casualties. While I hope no one loses their health insurance, or is
callously deported, or is unreasonably detained, I also know that is a
pipe dream. I'll continue to fight for what I believe, but I don't always
win. There will be suffering. There's always suffering.
And I take comfort in knowing I'm not always right.
Maybe some of their ideas, especially on the economic front, will make
sense. Maybe America will prosper even more than we did in the last eight
A couple of weeks after the election, I asked a wealthy
friend of mine what he thought of the results. He had voted Libertarian
because he didn't like Trump but hated Clinton, and he said he had a one-
word answer: "Ka-ching!"
Maybe the trickle down theory will actually work. Maybe not,
but the choice has been made. We're going to give it a try. It's time for
another voice to be heard.
I have hope we'll survive. I'm trying to be confident that
there will be no trade wars, no global recession, no nuclear events, no
boots on the ground in new foreign wars. I'm wary, but I have hope. We'll
survive because that's what we do.
Walls may or may not be built, Russia may or may not become
our pal, a better health insurance program may or may not be found, and
terrorism may or may not escalate. Who knows? Certainly not me. I have my
doubts, but I've decided to give the other side a chance to show their
stuff, mainly because my choice, and my opinions, caught the short end of
So I'll watch the inauguration on Friday and listen to all
the promises and all the optimism and all the bravado, and I'll try and
stay positive. I owe that to the other side, to my fellow citizens who
think so differently from me.
Their voice will be heard, finally. Maybe they'll be
right. Or maybe they'll learn that they're not always right. Either way,