Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Democrats, Take Heed

Half of my friends are Democrats, maybe more than half, and most are liberal Democrats. As in Obama liberal. And since the election, they have been very unhappy. The nerve of the electorate to go against their wishes. That defeats the natural order of things as proclaimed by the left-wing media. (Whoops, that's redundant.) Trump's winning was inconceivable. Until it wasn't.

But they are still my friends. So I offer some well-intended advice, gratuitous certainly, but offered in the spirit of friendly consolation. No smirks intended.

Get over the notion Trump is an illegitimate president. Forget about Comey and Putin and Wikileaks. The electorate wasn't led by its nose. Voters, even those in flyover country, can think for themselves. And they did. Over 62 million people voted for Trump, and he captured 304 electoral votes to Clinton's 227. Ah, you say, but Hillary won the popular vote. But, my friends, we were playing football, not basketball. And everyone knew that. If the election were to have been decided by popular vote, all of the candidates would have concentrated on large population centers. But it wasn't and they didn't.

Jettison the Clintons and look for some fresh faces. Many voters, my wife and I included, didn't so much vote for Trump as vote against Hillary. She was and is repugnant to many, untrustworthy and steeped in corruption. There has to be someone out there other than the Clintons and a septuagenarian socialist to lead the Democrat party. Someone whose views have broad appeal. A centrist, someone who's young, untarnished and bright. Someone. Anyone. If not, your party is in worse shape than I thought.

Do something to appeal to the middle class. The Democrat party is now the party of the minorities, the feminists, the labor unions and the trial lawyers. Not a very broad base. It's become a left-wing anachronism. What happened to the party that championed the middle class, the working guy, even though he may be white and third-generation American? The liberal elite in their coastal enclaves have completely lost touch with middle America, with the rural south and the midwest and the mountain and desert west, with people who feel that jobs are more important than saving the environment, that religion is an important part of life, that it's okay to say Merry Christmas.

Understand there is more than one point of view. I respect your point of view, even though I might not agree with it. So respect mine and that of millions of other Americans who have a vision that may be different than yours. Barack Obama couldn't govern because be couldn't accept the fact that everyone didn't think exactly as he did. Ah, you say, but there are absolutes. Absolute good. Absolute evil. But who defines that? No person or political party has a corner on moral clarity.

Accept the fact that people want change. If they had wanted more of Obama's policies, they would have elected Hillary. They didn't. And they are getting change, and more is on the way. Some of my friends are scandalized that Trump is doing exactly what he said he would do during his campaign, doing what the people elected him to do. To those friends I say, get over it. Democracy is working just the way it was intended.

Understand that Trump is not going to destroy the environment. He doesn't want to. What he wants to do is redress the balance, to give equal weight to jobs and the economy, to look at America's overall well being. Reviewing the impact of often-arbitrary waterway and emission standards is prudent, not destructive. For years the executive branch imposed extreme measures with little concern over whether they were necessary, whether they would have an impact on climate change or ocean rise. Under Trump, those measures will be reviewed with an eye to scientific rigor, the intent being to restore some kind of rational balance.

Above all, have fun. Stop suffering. So many of my liberal friends are near suicidal, with hang-dog outlooks, terminally sad. Come on now. You can survive four or even eight years of Donald Trump. I survived eight years of Barack Obama (although not always with good grace). Life is good. We live in the greatest country in the world. Enjoy it. Have fun. Unhappiness leads nowhere. If you can't drink to Trump, lift a glass to America. Cheers! Bottoms up!

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