Where do We Go from Here?

On Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 2:40 AM, Donald J. Trump became President-elect of the United States of America. Where do we go from here?

To say that I was disappointed with the election results is understatement in the extreme. I take Fluoxetine to treat Dysthymia. Seeing Hillary Clinton defeated rather than breaking the glass ceiling of the Presidential “boy’s club” left me emotionally devastated. Knowing that someone I had come to believe to be a racist, religionist, misogynistloose cannon, and bully will be our President left me terrified … for myself, my loved ones, and my country. The combination of disappointment and fear overwhelmed my medication.

Around 3:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, President-elect Trump (get used to that title) arrived at his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown for his victory speech.

After hearing that speech, my level of fear dropped from terror to anxiety. Were I Hispanic; Black; Muslim; or  an illegal resident (or his/her birthright-citizen child), I might still be terrified. If President-elect Trump is the lie and Candidate Trump is the truth, I might be harassed or even imprisoned as a dissonant, but I probably won’t be deported nor murdered. The President-elect’s speech was conciliatory. (Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee, confirmed that Donald had written the speech himself.) I took the President-elect  at his word while he was chasing votes. I will take him at his word while he is acting Presidential.

Around midday, Secretary Clinton gave her concession speech to a crowd of her supporters. At the beginning, you can see signs of the incredible disappointment she must be feeling. Nevertheless, she gave a gracious speech … congratulating the President-elect and thanking her supporters. As she continued, the speech morphed into an inspirational focus on the future that brought some of her millennial supporters to tears.

Later in the afternoon, President Obama spoke about the need for all of us to put the campaign behind us and move forward. He complimented Secretary Clinton and praised her service to the nation. He expressed his gratitude to his team for their efforts that increased the ability to govern … improvements that could be passed to his successor. Finally, President Obama reminded his listeners that, though we can disagree … sometimes to the extreme …, in the end, there’s no “them”. There’s just us.

On Thursday, November 10, 2016, President Obama and President-elect Trump met at the Whitehouse for about 90 minutes to begin the road to transition that will end on Friday, January 20, 2017. After that meeting, they spoke briefly to the Press.

(First Lady Michelle Obama and First Lady-to-be Melania Trump met too, but did not address the Press.)

Where do we go from here?

When it became apparent who the parties’ presidential nominees would be, I wrote a short letter to each candidate. I reproduced those letters in another article on this website. This is an extract to the now President-elect Trump:

We see the two sides of Donald Trump in your most successful TV shows. In “Celebrity Apprentice” you’ve been more like the Donald seeking nomination … the Showman giving the public its “guilty pleasure” and catharsis. In “The Apprentice” you showed us your desire to help the contestants tempered by both pragmatism and empathy. The latter is a more likely path to the Presidency.

I was wrong. “Celebrity Apprentice Trump” was able to become President-elect Trump. The post-election behavior of the President-elect leads me to believe that “The Apprentice Trump” may become President Trump. I hope so.

Where do we go from here?

I intend to do exactly the same thing I intended to do had Secretary Clinton been elected. I will continue to express “my less than humble opinion”, not only on this website but in more direct contact with my elected officials as well. I intend to send e-mail to those in power. Until the Inauguration, you can reach our President-elect at https://apply.ptt.gov/yourstory/.

Here is my first letter to President-elect Trump:

Mr. President-elect … I believe that the most important task facing your administration is jobs for the forgotten Americans. We need to jump-start the economy. We can’t wait for the results of reduced taxes, re-negotiated trade deals, etc. I think that we’ll get the most change, fastest by a massive, nationwide infrastructure upgrade. The jobs will be immediate. Improvement in the economy, security, and national unity will quickly follow. You’ll have to fight the traditional Republicans in Congress to get the funding without covering the cost before the fact, but negotiating is one of the things you do best. Cut through the bureaucratic crap. Bypass levels of government that get in the way. Get the funding where the work is … to states, counties, cities and towns, even the neighborhoods, if that’s where the broken infrastructure and the unemployment exist. States need to fix their roads and bridges; cities (like Flint, MI) need to fix their plumbing; neighborhoods need to convert vacant lots into gardens that provide fresh, nutritious food. All else will follow. If, during your first hundred days, you can create more jobs than we can fill, you’ll be a hero to all Americans. Thank you for this opportunity to help … Terry A. Bahn

After I submitted my comment, the “Software-elect” was properly polite.

thank-you

The message window doesn’t allow the level of formatting I prefer. I (and you) will just have to deal with it. I hope that any of you who choose to make use of this communication opportunity will create civil and productive  discourse. You’ll be writing to President-elect Trump; not ranting at or with Candidate Donald.

After the Inauguration, our next President will (probably) inherit the e-mail address that is now President Obama’s, president@whitehouse.gov. Those of you who use social media may want to check out https://www.facebook.com/DonaldTrump/. You should be able to find the contact information for your Senators and Representative at https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials.

Where do we go from here?

If President-elect Trump is going to fulfill his promise to be President of all the people, he will need the help of all the people.

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Those of us who did not support the President-elect cannot give up, nor can we spend the next four (or eight) years in mourning. We cannot believe that half of the people in the country are racist, religionist, misogynist, loose cannon, bullies. We cannot whine about who won the popular vote. The Presidency being decided by the Electoral College vote is the law. If you don’t like it; change the law by supporting the Every Vote Counts Amendment or work around the Electoral College by supporting the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC).hoard-consume-send-100

We can no longer allow the “1%” to hoard the wealth, consume all the resources, nor expand the economies of others while we are left to watch. We cannot assume a cause and effect relationship between hard work and success nor between laziness and failure. All sorts of other things … e.g., circumstances, intelligence, luck, inspiration, and belief … are part of the formula.back-weak-helpless-hanging-100

We cannot turn our backs on our fellow citizens. We cannot ignore the weak or the helpless. We cannot leave anyone hanging. We’ve tried those approaches and they’ve failed miserably. They failed because, in an essential way, reality has changed. I don’t know if President-elect Trump knows that yet. If not, he will soon. We all will. No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

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We cannot hide. We must separate the real from the shadows. We must accept the different and peculiar. We must work together and clean up our mess.

Where do we go from here?

Be the President for all Americans, President-elect Trump. Push back on all the “Isms” that separate us. I don’t think either you nor most of those who voted for you actually believe them to be the source of our problems. America did not stop being great; it became stagnant. “When you’re up to your neck in alligators, it’s easy to forget that the initial objective was to drain the swamp.” Be wary of the alligators. Listen to advice, but remember that the President is ultimately in charge of the Executive Branch of our government … praised for success and held responsible for failure.

Bring us together. Lead all of us into a Greater America. If you do, you’ll be lauded as one of the best of our modern Presidents.

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If you don’t, the forgotten Americans who gave you the power of the Presidency will take it away … and history will remember you as a fraud and a loser.

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