As Trump took the podium for his first speech, not as a party candidate but as the president-elect of the entire United States, his tone was of the utmost importance. He seemed to be reading off a prompter carefully prepared words. But he started with a statement of magnanimity for HIllary Clinton. He spoke of binding the wounds of division. He promised to be president of all Americans. He spoke of a great public works project and protecting veterans.
He was optimistic in speaking of the future. Notably missing was any talk of some of the drastically contentious hallmarks of his campaign – building a wall, a Muslim ban, the NATO allies – just to name a few.
You can be deeply skeptical of his motives and refuse to forget all that he has said and that has transpired. There is a looming verdict for history to level and it is a story still to be written. There is also a real question with Trump’s ascension whether the ends justify the means – whether the truth matters. Be all that as it may, we need to have a peaceful transition of power. That is an unmoveable hallmark of the stability of our democracy.
Trump said that campaigning was difficult. Well, governing is much more so and that is now in his hands. He has made a lot of promises. We will see what he keeps. He said their work is just beginning. That is an understatement.
The world is on edge. The country is deeply divided. The markets have gone off a cliff. World capitals are erupting in anxiety. Huge segments of the American public are in panic – going through the shock of grief. This is the world that is now Trump’s to contend with. Do we really know what we have wrought?
This is a conversation that I need you to be a part of. Do not opt out. Your voice matters now more than ever. I will continue to be here in the days and weeks ahead. And we shall endeavor, together, to find a path forward in the best of America’s ideals.
Secretary Clinton has conceded. It is now official.
Well the polls were wrong – very wrong, most journalists were wrong – and the earth has been shaken with an earthquake of a magnitude many didn’t see coming. This is Brexit on steroids. We are entering into uncharted territory as a nation with a now president-elect who has run roughshod over the norms of American presidential campaigns. Clearly a silent but vocal majority has poured forth and pulled down the status quo in Washington with an energy that is echoing not just across the United States but around the world.
America is divided, not along geography as it used to be, but within states between races, educational levels, and urban vs. rural. This is a county by county map and clearly there were many voters who felt overlooked by a new world order who have roared with vengeance. They will not be by forgotten any longer.
No doubt many will disagree but I do not believe Hillary Clinton lost because she is a woman. My analysis is that a majority of voting Americans ached for change, especially structural changes in the economic system. They believe the American middle economic class has been mostly lost and they want it back.
There is sure to be deep despair amongst Clinton supporters who seemed to be tasting the sweetness of victory for most of the campaign. I have heard from many who feel like they are staring into an abyss. Many of you have posted on this page, there is palpable fear about the future of the nation, of the world. But this is the verdict of the American people and we must accept it. We also must work on the process of hope, healing and a re-dedication to unity.
It may be unbelievable to think now, but we cannot fogo our values. Flush with victory, will Trump change his tune at all? He has always been a mercurial man who has shown very little of a policy compass. His supporters will allow him to do anything. And perhaps he can build a bridge we never saw coming. Hope is father to the thought, I grant you. But it is a hope.
I have seen dark days – after Pearl Harbor, during Vietnam, in the depths of the Civil Rights Movement. I still believe that most Americans are kind and decent people, including–overwhelmingly–those who voted for Trump.
I still believe we can work together. If Donald Trump does indeed win, I pray for him tonight to be a wise and magnanimous leader. I pray that he is not bound by the limits of party. I pray that he can prove his critics wrong. I pray for my country. I pray for its leaders of all political parties. I pray for my country and my countrymen. I pray for the future.
And this from Rather earlier in the day:
Time to remember to breathe. Smile, have a cup of coffee or big glass of water. Relax. Stay calm. Whatever happens in this election we’re going to be okay. The country is going to be okay.
Remember that this is a big continental country with a widespread, very diverse population. It has a deep reservoir of natural and human resources. It has a system of government with built-in checks and balances on power guaranteed by a Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Presidents are powerful; what their character, policies and decisions are matter, but they are not all-powerful; not nearly. As a nation, we have survived and continued to thrive under some bad ones, such as Buchanan, Harding, Nixon. But we have never, in our whole history, had a truly evil President. And whoever wins today, we will not have one going forward.
We, The People, will make our destiny. Deciding to honor another citizen—not some alleged decendent of a sun-god, just another citizen—with the Presidency matters, and matters a lot. But whichever fellow citizen we decide to honor with today’s vote, we’ll be okay; our country will be okay.
Our entire history as a people, as a nation is that we have always had our eyes on the far horizon. And so it will be after today’s election results are in.