Voters Reject Progress, Economic Stability, and Elect Trump
U.S. 2016 Presidential Election: One step forward, five hundred steps backward. Eight years of goodwill stewardship by President Obama to rebuild relationships after Bush’s wars was all undone with the election of reality TV personality, political neophyte Donald Trump.
Succumbing to fear and selecting an ill-prepared novice to lead the free world will come at a great cost. As we learned overnight from the early plunge of DOW futures, economic collapse is a likely proposition within Trump’s first 100 days. International markets and investors seek stability. President-elect Trump has proven he lacks both the discipline and temperament to ease tensions abroad.
Parents fear new mixed messaging confusing young children. Discussions of respect and acceptance often help to establish a baseline for moral reasoning. However, lessons of respect and acceptance run counter to the rhetoric of our future president. Parents will struggle to teach young boys that ‘despite the actions of the President,’ sexually predatory behavior is wrong! Considering the president-elect openly advocates for the harassment of one particular religion, teachers will have difficulty juxtaposing the president’s rhetoric with the idea that acceptance of all faiths is a pillar of our existence in this country.
With children representing the future, it is critical that they have access to positive models of behavior. Shaming people because of their body composition, mocking a person’s disability, and bragging about sexual assault, were all Trump campaign deficiencies that qualify as behavior that should not be modeled by anyone – especially children. In addition to fears associated with children, race relations may have devolved 200 years in one night.
Trump’s candidacy mainstreamed white supremacy, and racial divisions that previously existed were significantly widened by last night’s result. Promising to restore ‘Law and Order in the inner city’ was Trump’s unsubtle dog whistle to prejudiced whites that he intends to promulgate unwritten standards of police profiling. Racially tinged rhetoric like the need to “bring back stop and frisk” motivated horrific abuse of black people at Trump rallies throughout the election. From teenage girls being shoved by white nationalists to a mob of "Trump patriots" beating a man for wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt. Violent episodes at Trump events were not anomalous and Trump is not devoid of culpability.
He vowed to defray the cost of legal counsel for rally goers that assaulted protestors – further incentivizing his supporters to attack people of color. He constantly shouted "Get them out of here!" directing rally attendees to remove protestors by force. He often lamented the transition away from “the good ol’ days” when ‘protestors were roughed up.’ To say Trump has contributed to the widening of racial divisions in the U.S. would be an understatement. Our task is to minimize the damage of his political fear tactics.
Electing a hate-mongering populist will assuredly spark an uptick of hate crimes targeting vulnerable groups. Muslims, Latin Americans, and members of the LGBTQ+ community will live in fear the next four years if Trump does not work to bridge the gap between the supremacist faction of his following and the rest of America. Without resistance from Congress Trump should be able to engage vulnerable communities immediately.
Trump will have the luxury of serving as president with little to no pushback on his legislative agenda. Eight years of calculated obstruction from Congressional Republicans means Trump will benefit from Congress being due for an extended period of productivity. The Republican Party earned an Election Day trifecta by winning the White House, retaining control of the U.S. Senate and retaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
President Obama is seldom credited with saving the auto industry, minimizing our carbon footprint, virtually eliminating unemployment, or keeping us safe for eight years. The current 73 consecutive months of private sector job growth is one of the longest sustained job recoveries in U.S. history and is a result of Pres. Obama’s economic policies. Two percent economic growth may seem slow. But slow, positive economic progression maintains stability and reduces the likelihood of dramatic contractions in a cycle. Politicians that promise to double or triple the current rate of economic expansion are offering disingenuous political snake oil that omits the risk of steep decline. How tens of millions voted against economic recovery, record low unemployment, and unprecedented job growth, is beyond comprehension.