Election day morning, before any result was reported by any media outlet about President-elect Donald John Trump having been chosen by electoral college vote to become America’s next President, and while I was feverishly organizing for a Madam President-elect Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, I read a quote published from the legislative newspaper of record for the Colorado legislature, the Colorado Statesman under their “The First Shot” section:
“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” -Republican President Abraham Lincoln
Very early this morning, before many of us watching history in the making on many levels from our chosen media outlets even went to sleep, we witnessed Mr. Trump accept the concession of his rival, and become Mr. President-elect Trump. And the voters have spoken, by electoral college representation vote this coming December 19th, while Secretary Clinton becomes the fourth Presidential candidate to lose the election with the popular vote. This does raise many continuing discussions about how democracy functions in America, with our electoral college, but let’s accept our current system and move on.
Let’s agree, for now, that Abraham Lincoln’s statement is true and factual, even with over 200,000 votes favoring Clinton with 99% of the reported ballots counted. America is fundamentally about democracy- the rule of the people. And today, we awake to not only a red President-Elect, but a red Senate, and a red House of Representatives. What’s more, the gambit of the Republican Party to risk their political capital on blocking the confirmation of a Democratic President’s Supreme Court nominee simply on the basis that they held the power to do so until their party’s Presidential nominee presumably won the election- paid off, can I say, “bigly.”
Today, we wake to a new era in America, a red America, where all three branches of government are, rather, will become, controlled by a single Republican Party. The checks and balances written into the Constitution and legislative rules have now been reduced, by this election, to the power of the filibuster, which is already being discussed for fundamental change and even demolition by prominent Republicans because they are not satisfied without, gleefully citing electorate will of the people in this election, complete domination and dictatorial rule, as a political party, by their own admission:
“To me, I think that would really upset the electorate of the people who not only elected Donald Trump and Mike Pence but the people who elected Ron here and elected other members of the House and the Senate. You cannot use, they cannot use inside-the-ballpark Washington procedural reason to justify why things don’t happen. They’ve got to get things done and as I said frequently here in this state and continue to, the best time to do them is early.” -Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, as reported by CNN News affiliate Gant News today.
Because once the then-President Trump nominates his Supreme Court Justice, this person will be appointed by the Republican majority, and President Trump will enjoy party-alignment in both Houses and the Senate with his agenda, and they with theirs in his decisions. This is what you call a clean sweep, and it does not bode well for the many, many challenges America faces that presidential candidate Trump vowed to obliterate, including America’s modest progress on climate change.
At this point in my review of what has been decided by America yesterday – what will soon happen – I’d like to point out that I am incredibly proud of democracy in America, while at the same time disappointed in the minority (again, by just over 200,000 voters and counting) of Americans who caused this result. These wildly unexpected (even by the Republican Party itself, if even hoped for in principle) results will be met without military intervention, without political violence among candidates, and without riots or revolution from the people (though there are reports about relatively minor local criminal behavior related to the results).
The United States Presidency has just been delivered a new paradigm of existence, backing a man with bipartisan recognition and revilement of his contemptuous moral and ethical behavior. People from Van Jones to personal friends today are asking, “what do I tell my children,” and teachers I know are asking, “what do I tell my students” about an America that would elect to our highest office a man who, as The Huffington Post editors wrote in a factually-accurate footnote at the end of every article about Mr. Trump, but ended this morning to give him a new “clean slate” to earn with his Presidency:
“Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”
Here is what you tell children, and here is what you tell yourself, because you know you need it, too: in a great democratic country, the rule of law, the “unhackable” process of America’s elections, the checks and balances, the semi-autonomous rule of states, cities, and towns everywhere as incubators of democracy and producers of great leaders, and the righteousness of the Preamble of the United States Constitution…
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
…can be used, changed, and wielded for wrong intent, or we can defend and work towards what is right about America and ourselves to fully participate in democracy and organize others “to form a more perfect Union.”
This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” -Secretary Clinton this morning, while conceding to President-elect Trump.
Because the travesty of America’s choice last night will take every one of us to hold a President Trump, a Republican majority Senate and House, and a Republican-controlled Supreme Court accountable for actions that do not serve the People. America is great because We the People determine our own destiny for America, and I, for one, have never been more resolute in my intent and ability to make a difference with changing hearts and minds among my family, friends, community, state, and nation.
Is this grandiose thinking? No! Because I know everyone else who also witnesses every new ding, dent, or cataclysm that damages this new red America’s clean slate will inspire us anew, individually, and collectively, to sow the seeds of change and make a more perfect Union using the same functioning democracy that caused us to burn our behinds in this one!
If the economically-disastrous Presidency of George Walker Bush caused America to overwhelmingly vote for the integrity and stabilizing force of President Barack Hussein Obama, then I truly look forward to the work of organizing a campaign that will produce President Donald John Trump’s successor. And, perhaps, our sore blisters will hurt so much, so soon, that this successor will arrive in four years from today.
America continues to evolve. Let’s work together to make sure this morning’s red dawn meets a sky blue day at the next election. Starting now. #cantstopwontstop