We’re better than that

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Since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president in the summer of 2015, the likelihood of the real estate magnate actually winning the presidency was somewhere between slim and hell no.

The pollsters concurred, almost unanimously, that Hillary Clinton was the presumptive president-elect.  Boy were those pollsters wrong — soooo wrong. Up until the day before the election, nearly every major poll predicted a Clinton victory, and some had Clinton accruing over 300 electoral college votes.

Sooo wrong.

Early Tuesday evening, the dominoes fell Trump’s way – Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio. Later on, Wisconsin, and…gasp, Pennsylvania.  Michigan has still not declared a winner, but Trump has the upper hand, and with that state secured, will have won 30 states and over 300 electoral votes.

A mandate for Trump?  Perhaps, but more so a mandate for the average Joe.

Who would’ve thought that the average blue collar worker with little to no college education would so strongly support a man born with a silver spoon in his mouth?

I’m sure stranger things have happened, but I can’t think of anything off the top of my head.

Trump may be a billionaire with several multi-million dollar homes all over the country and the world, but he speaks in manner that the common man finds agreeable.

Sure, he has tapped into a portion of the electorate that as Hillary Clinton said, is likely deplorable. But most of the people who voted for Donald Trump on Tuesday are no different than you and me.

While I am college educated, in many other ways, I fit the profile of the Trump voter.   I came from a middle class upbringing far from affluence, and from a financial standpoint, my wages have remained stagnant for most of the Obama presidency.

I spent a long time working in an industry that is now in decline, and I find myself underskilled and undertrained for today’s job market.  I have as much a right to complain as the typical Trump voter, but I’m not.

What makes me different from many of the Trump voters?  A global view.

And in this turbulent time when people are hurting, people are struggling, and people are frustrated with the leadership in Washington, Trump’s narrow purview struck a chord.

The essence of Trump’s philosophy is to take care of our own first, and let’s be honest, most people are driven by self-interest and self-preservation. Too, the typical Trump voter is concerned about one or two issues, and living within their own frame instead of looking at the big picture.

Keep it simple, and keep it close to home.

I can’t fault someone who doesn’t think the same way I do, and it’s not an American directive to consider every issue with the same weight.  Sure, it would be an ideal situation if everyone was well informed on social issues, fiscal issues, the environment, foreign relations, and on and on.

They’re not, and what is important to me may not be important to you. That’s the American way, and it’s unfair to characterize a Trump supporter as having some sort of flawed character because the real issues that concern them are not in concert with our own.

We’re better than that.

As much as Trump called the system rigged, he won the presidential election fair and square. I know many of my fellow Democrats are heartbroken, but we’ll regroup.

For all of his vitriolic statements, boneheaded remarks, and inappropriate comments, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as our 45th President of the States on January 20, 2017. He will ascend to the leadership of the free world, and he’s ours – like it or not.

I’m an optimist by nature, and I hold out hope that the Trump we saw on the election trail was a character he was playing to get elected. The “real” Donald Trump will rise to the occasion and surprise us by making sound, well thought out, pragmatic decisions.

Maybe he won’t, and maybe President Trump will resemble candidate Trump. If that happens, then sure, criticize and oppose Trump to your heart’s content.

There are few people who opposed Trump more than I did, but even Trump deserves a grace period. He hasn’t done anything yet. Nothing.

Do we want to follow in the footsteps of Republicans, who worked to undermine the Obama presidency from day one?

No, we’re better than that.

It’s un-American to root for the failure of a president, especially since he has yet to unveil his agenda or  implement policy.

We all lose when the president is a failure, and it’s been a long time — Richard Nixon — since we had such an abject failure in the oval office.

So we, as Democrats — and Americans — have an obligation to at least give Trump at chance. President Obama didn’t get that opportunity, but you know what, we’re better than that.

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