What now?

November 9, 2016

In my opinion, we have elected the wrong President. My opinion of this man has been clear from the very beginning of his campaign. I won’t bother to reiterate his many shortcomings for this job, as I and millions of others have done so quite thoroughly across the last 18 months–and it didn’t matter to his supporters!

I’m hoping his ardent supporters don’t really want the full agenda of his promises. There are only a few I want: I want improved economic growth. I want more good jobs for everyone, especially the middle class and the poor, and I want reduced inequality. That’s a tall order, but it’s enough.  As I have explained before here, 4% annual growth of our economy will meet my grandest wish for that measure. I don’t even require he get us to the 6% he promised. That’s not possible, no matter what is done. I will forgive him for abandoning the wall and the discrimination against migrants. I don’t wish him to beat up on our trade partners, or to leave NATO. I’ll forgive him all those abandonments, if he is smart enough to modify his stance rapidly.

I acknowledge a few good things about him. I guess that can be said of anyone.  He’s willing to disagree with Republican dogma, and that’s a great asset (to me). And, while I’m OK for social security to be reduced for those of us who don’t need it, his promise to maintain it, contrary to the policies advocated by Paul Ryan, is a positive signal on behalf of the poor.

Jobs, wages, and some movement toward better economic fairness, equality, and shared prosperity. This is the critical part of his promises. As I have explained before, the maximum economic growth for a mature economy like the US will not provide better equality. Growth alone does not provide equality. Reducing inequality will take redistribution. And, it’s not just “Wall Street” that has been profiting at the expense of the lower class. It’s people like the President elect, himself, what with his use of the tax code and bankruptcy law.

I don’t want the wall. I don’t want Muslim immigrants denied entry to the US. I don’t want trade battles with all our allies and friends, especially not with China and Mexico. I don’t want us to become too cozy with Russia. I don’t want another war.

One of the first indicators of possible acceptance and support for this new President is his choice of key advisors and cabinet. Let’s see who he chooses. If he reaches across the aisle and is able to draw in those who disagree with some of his policies, those with reasoned thought and experience about the area of responsibility, I’ll be hopeful. If he nominates a moderate judge to fill the vacancy on our Supreme Court, I’ll be hopeful. If he chooses only among those who have catered to him, I’ll be very concerned.

Then let’s see what his opening policy proposals are, with the detail that never clarified them during the campaign.

My fear is that we may be in for four years of bitter disappointment for unfulfilled grandiose promises in incomes, wages and jobs. Promises that, in fairness to Trump, could not be fulfilled by even the most superb leader among us, not even if we had a cooperative legislature, because the resistance of structural reality (a slow growth world for a considerable time, technology, and globalization). But, he promised, so he should be held accountable.

And, the populace who supported him, how will they react to this reality, failure to deliver? My hope is they will be observant and demanding, holding him and his leadership accountable, as perhaps we might interpret their votes for Trump to have done with respect to their disappointments up to how: They voted to throw out the Obama administration and try something radically different, notwithstanding the abundance of evidence that the current administration was denied legislative support to programs which would have improved matters significantly.

A more realistic outcome to disappointment in failed promises, given the Trump rhetoric to date, is that the new Trump administration will try to blame the future disappointments on the legacy of the past, the recalcitrance of Democrats in Congress to approve extreme proposals, on the Chinese and the Mexicans, or the Muslims among us, or anyone who can resist, prevent, or even disagrees with him. If this should be the outcome of failed promises and if the Trump army chooses to believe this kind of explanation, we are in for a very bad time ahead. A long, bad time.

The American voters have chosen this man. Now we must turn to the future. His followers might have fomented rebellion, had he lost. I hope the rest of us will not. Let’s have another peaceful transition. Let’s give him a chance, to see what he can do. I would love to apologize in time to President Donald Trump, for my distrust of him. I would love to see him successful.

2 thoughts on “What now?

  1. Claude "Pedro" Littleton says:

    I distrust this man, however i too wish him well and i hope he surrounds himself with knowledgeable people who read. The people who voted for him must keep the peace. War is not a option with this person as Commander and Chief. One more thing – we must address our electoral college; Clinton won the popular vote by 198,400 votes. Our voting process suppressed many voters, long lines in Ms., machines not working, and hours to vote. It took us over 1.5 hours to vote and little was known of candidates other than at the top of the ticket. The republicans in Ms. have gerrymandered the precincts. Forbes stated Ms. is the most politically corrupt state in the union. 1.1 million votes cast, 60% republican. I ask “why do these people vote republican? They respond: Taxes, government, the national debt, and immigration. Most haven’t a clue as to the national debt. Most get their news from Fox. They just don’t want to pay any taxes, however Ms. gets more federal help than any state. Mississippi, 42.9% federal aid as percentage of general revenue.
    Louisiana, 41.9%, Tennessee, 39.5%, South Dakota, 39.0%, Missouri,38.2% Montana, 37.4% Georgia, 37.3% New Mexico, 36.6%. Something is wrong with this picture. How can the state receiving the most, hate the government the most? Oh just one more thing, What is your thoughts on how the FBI influenced this election?
    I find it very strange that college graduate women in Florida supported DT.


  2. Pedro, thanks for these salient observations. You and I are in agreement. I’m more disappointed with Americans who voted for Trump than with Trump himself. As to the FBI, I’m not a conspiracy believer, so I think Comey probably was trying to do the right thing, but he definitely influenced the election in Trump’s favor, but by how much–can’t know, but I think not enough to have made the difference. I would prefer we do away with the Electoral College. I don’t know anyone except certain clever politicians who think otherwise. Thanks! Dale


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