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'Woulda, coulda, shoulda', I know... but had this guy been the Democratic nominee, we might very well be having different discussions these days. Or at the very least, if the DNC had not treated him with the elitist disdain with which they did. (More on that at a later time). 

Over these past few days, I've struggled to make sense of how to move forward, and what degree of loyalty is owed to our president-elect. I know that there have been knee-jerk, default reactions from some on the left, and I understand the emotional satisfaction that comes from attempting to process this event in this way. Whatever folks on the right are now saying, it is an indisputable fact, an undeniable and incontrovertible fact, that Trump made his political name for himself by denigrating and marginalizing human beings on the bases of race, religion, and sex. And whatever reasons people had for voting for Trump, his supporters now own these comments as well. They were not tangential to his campaign; they were central from start to finish. So I understand this reaction, but it also seems that it's the wrong reaction. Whatever one thinks, the fact remains, we elected him, and he is now our president-elect. We all own this election. 

I was part of the Obama movement in 2008, and I remember very well the reaction of folks on the right when he was elected. Who can forget the repugnant comment of Rush Limbaugh after Obama's victory: "I hope he fails." I thought then, and still think, that this was a disgusting and reprehensible comment, especially from someone who so ostentatiously boasts of his patriotism. My blood boiled with fury. And of course, as history demonstrated, Limbaugh's idiotic comments portended what would become official Republican policy for dealing with Obama: obstruct, obstruct, obstruct. Don't allow him to pass anything, not even a health care bill that looks exactly like Republican health care billAny Republicans who had worked with Obama, and any who hadn't been sufficiently vitriolic and incendiary in not working with him, came under the attack of the Palin money machine, and soon lost their posts (exhibits A and B: Dick Lugar and John Boehner). As a result, the only piece of significant legislation to be passed during Obama's presidency was the Affordable Care Act. When Republicans blame the failings of the ACA on the Democrats, on the grounds that not one Republican voted for it, they forget that (A) the ACA was based upon the Heritage Foundation draft from the 90s, and (B) the Democrats wanted Republican input. Republicans refused, and after the death of Ted Kennedy, the Democrats lacked the Senate supermajority to make any changes to the legislation. Given the official Republican doctrine of obstruction, it was ACA or or no reform at all. This is not liberal propaganda, it is fact. 

But here's the rub: we cannot recoil at these comments and behaviors when they come from the right, while celebrating similar behaviors on the left. We cannot trumpet the importance of tolerance and understanding, while burning effigies of the democratically-elected president-elect. We cannot push for sensitivity and inclusion, while chalking up the results of this election to the pernicious assessment that half of the electorate consists of illiterate, racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic bigots. 

Bernie's words on this point were, I thought, spot on: "To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic, and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him." 
 


Comments

11/17/2016 7:51pm

Bernie's words are stuck in the hearts of the people and me too quite inspired words by them. Their speech motivated many people to bring them on their right paths to go away from sins.

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12/21/2016 9:37pm

Fellow, it's a matter of acceptance that the people needs. The American people had spoken and Trump is now the president elect. I voted for Hillary Clinton because I believe that she could help America be great again. But with the current situation, let us give Donald Trump the chance to show what his capable of doing. We should support him people of America as one so we can truly see the changes we want to see. Let's just do everything that we can because after all we're all Americans.

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I know we have our own choice who will we will vote. It is one of our rights as a human being. That is why, I think we need to respect each other. We have different opinions and different views. No feelings should be hurt in this kind of decision making. And I hope everyone will unite even we have different choices in life.

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