Demanding Support

    Over the last couple weeks I’ve been involved in and witnessed numerous discussions both in person and on social media about how we all need to support our President elect. In many ways I share and support that sentiment. But there is a lot more to it than sentiment so here are some thoughts and examples as to why that is pretty unlikely, even impossible for many who did not vote for Mr Trump. 

    Let’s begin by stepping back in time. Back to when Mr Obama was elected to the office of the President of these United states. Until then, I had pretty much voted Republican. Not always as I have long placed issues and positions ahead of any party. But eight years ago things changed. The leaders of “my” party refused to accept Mr Obama as the peoples choice in spite of him receiving both popular vote and Electoral College majorities. It appeared to me they worked to block every effort put forth by the Administration even when those efforts were clearly for the good of the U.S. as we attempted to climb out of a major recession. Then came Mr McConnell on public television and said “Our No. 1 priority is to make this president a one-term president”.  At this point I became a registered Independent. There is no way I could associate with such a strong party over country position. I still cannot.

    We also saw for nearly all eight years of the Obama Presidency a movement to question his legitimacy called the “Birther Movement”. One of the leaders of this movement was none other than Mr Trump. He continued his questioning the birth place of President Obama right into the 2016 campaign for President. So now the left and the center are being asked to afford Mr Trump the very same respect and support he refused to provide to his predecessor. I and many others understand and support the sentiment but that will continue to be a difficult leap.

    More important than my opinion however is how folks who were already associated with the left felt, and how they feel now as they are asked to support Mr Trump. Many of these calls and critiques use  terms like “cupcake” or “snowflake” assumed to be used in a critical and/or derogatory way. Here for example is a collage of a few pictures posted on the web and other media throughout Mr Obama’s Presidency:

obama

   None of these appear indicative of right wing support for what again was the majority and Electoral College choice. Now let’s look at how one strongly left leaning writer feels about being implored to support Mr Trump. This piece speaks strongly to the very real emotions at stake in this discussion

support-trump?

    While I don’t support every statement by the author, there is enough I know to be true and enough very real emotions shared by the left community to warrant paying attention. Anyone who denigrates real people who feel this way by calling them “cupcake”, “snowflake” or demands they fall in line behind this President elect just doesn’t understand the issues and emotions. Making demands for support of which their party and their newest choice for the Presidency failed to supply just a few years ago will not be productive.

    A short time ago my wife and I were in Spain and ran into an expat who disavowed President Obama stating He’s not the President, he’s an A-rab implant, somebody needs to shoot him”. I posted this comment and threat to my Face Book page to gauge the response as most of my friends are pretty right leaning. Sadly just three people among hundreds (literally) expressed any dismay. I respect those folks a lot, and have significantly less for those who failed to show concern. Even less yet for those who failed to speak then but now ask everyone to fall in line behind Mr Trump now. Actually none. The standard is either the standard or it’s not. It’s not subjective based on which party.

    There is no doubt for me where this deep division began. While there have always been differences, we citizens have seen work across the isle by Presidents and Congress of differing parties many times. When the people speak in a true majority or the good of the country is at stake it’s imperative to compromise. It is how our government is supposed to work. The obstructionism during the Obama Administration, public critiques of the President, continued questioning of his legitimacy (up until just a few months ago by the President elect himself) and unsupported critiques of nearly every policy will be tough to overcome. Some will never forgive. As an Independent I will have a tough time. I can’t imagine how difficult, likely impossible it will be for most.

    In the end it’s a case of how high a horse right wingers want to climb up on. Most should be very careful. Those who failed to act in defense of Mr Obama during his tenure but now attempt to demand respect and support for Mr Trump will get nowhere. Those who belittle the emotions of the left after men like Mr McConnell and Mr Trump demonized “their” President will get nowhere. Perhaps there is someone, somewhere in my old party, a true leader who will come forward and state that what they did for the past eight years is wrong and proffer an apology. Perhaps there is someone who will at least acknowledge how and why the left feels as the author above describes. Or perhaps they will simply continue to gloat in victory, address the left as “snowflakes” and demand support. I know how I will react to any of those. As a retired combat veteran I will always support my country, but I will not fall in line like another sheep behind Mr Trump after the actions I witnessed by both him and his party.

Republicans failing to at least acknowledge their own divisive actions will continue deepen the divide.

2 thoughts on “Demanding Support

  1. Kenneth Heathley Simpson

    Hey Steve,

    Thanks for the posting. I, like you, believe in doing what is best for the people of our country. But politics in the U.S. has never been “bean bag”. American politics has always been a street brawl at minimum, starting with the American Revolution up thru WWI and beyond. However, this ended with WWII and the post war boom. Republicans and Democrats went into WWII and came out of it arm in arm and in lock step. It didn’t matter which party held the White House or controlled Congress. But for a lonely few, they were all in for Truman’s Cold War, Keyensian economics, motherhood, apple pie and the Constitution, until Black Americans demanded their Constitutional rights and all hell broke loose. The Civil Rights Movement challenged American myths and was met with beatings, water cannons and outright murder. A generation went to school in the streets of the country fighting for civil rights and against the imperialist adventure in Vietnam. I was there. Fresh out of high school, I took three shot gun pellets to my chest at the Pentagon in 1967 and took a few beatings down thru the years afterwards. What I learned was that the rulers of the U.S.A., Democrat or Republican, never gave up anything willingly without a fight. Now, these two Capitalist parties are not making nice with each other. They are both corrupt, when push comes to shove, and they blame everyone but themselves for the mess we are in. Trump, the potty mouth or Clinton, the destroyer of worlds, it doesn’t matter, the ruling class keeps the power and their extracted booty. Their elections are little more than a dog and pony show. You have every right not to make nice with any of it or any of them. But it doesn’t really matter what you do at this point in time. Does it?

    Peace and love,

    k

    Reply
    1. Steve Post author

      Ken,

      I love your inputs. As always they are a blend of personal experience and public history. We as a society walk around with little gadgets in our pockets that provide direct access to the library of congress yet people (thankfully not all) spew absolute bull crap on a daily basis…and others buy into it. In this case I agree both major parties have issues and far too many ties to the financial and political elitists to act fully in the best interests of all citizens. Yet in this as in most cases there are, even among evils, lessor of the evils. I see this on two key points: One is standing up for average citizens personal rights in spite of many inequalities; the other is having a fuse between the congress and us citizens…a way to force some cooperation and compromise. In January there will be none. A short look at North Carolina shows us how quickly personal and human rights can be infringed when the entirety of the ruling body is owned by a single party….and one who’s over riding goal appears to be to stay on power in spit of the good of the state and it’s people. The good news is that it also demonstrates how if there remains at least a modicum of integrity in the election process, the people will rise and bring that pendulum back toward the center. On a national level that might turn out best for the long run. Now we will see what impact complacency can bring. Like you did years ago, action has an impact. We all might need to follow your example to look out for the rights of others. As an old white guy who has the luxury of a good roof, never having to be hungry, and easily blending in to society I have little to worry about. But it is people like us who must step up to protect those who are not like us. In the words of Medal of Honor recipient Roy Benavidez whom I heard speak in 1988, “If not you, who? If not this, what? If not now, when?” I applaud your action for civil rights and while you don;t mention it here, your work toward labor rights around the same period. Thank you. We may see the need soon for the next generation to do the same for folks less able to protect themselves.

      Reply

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