The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, November 11, 2016


Regular readers of this blog know that I was no fan of Hillary Clinton. Her history (both short and long term) was one of dishonesty and corruption. But in the days leading up to the election, I was fairly certain that she would win. After all, she had it all—the media, the political organization, the money, and the "blue wall" of states that would never vote GOP—until they did. I was wrong about the outcome of the election, but I was not alone.

Peggy Noonan comments:
I saw Hillary Clinton winning for all the usual reasons. Now the usual reasons are pretty much out the window.

But some things should be said:

First, our democratic republic is vibrant and alive. It is not resigned. It is still capable of delivering a result so confounding it knocks you into the next room.

Nobody rigged this. Nobody hacked it. There weren’t brawls at polling places, there was kindness and civility. At the 92nd Street Y I got to embrace three neighbors. All this in a highly charged, highly dramatic and divisive election. We did our democratic work and then went home. It all worked.

Second, Donald Trump said he had a movement and he did. This is how you know. His presidential campaign was bad—disorganized, unprofessional, chaotic, ad hoc. There was no state-of-the-art get-out-the-vote effort—his voters got themselves out. There was no high-class, high-tech identifying of supporters—they identified themselves. They weren’t swayed by the barrage of brilliantly produced ads—those ads hardly materialized. This was not a triumph of modern campaign modes and ways. The people did this. As individuals within a movement.

It was a natural, self-driven eruption. Which makes it all the more impressive and moving. And it somehow makes it more beautiful that few saw it coming.
But the Left sees no beauty in the democratic process that didn't go as they planned. They grieve. I get that. We must give them some time to come to grips with the notion that the shocking results demolished their fantasy that everyone, except "deplorable" people, held their world view. That no person of color or of Latino origin might decide that the Democrat candidate was not an appropriate choice for president. That many women would vote for a man, not because he has an exemplary character, but because he does have ideas that are not all bad.

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama showed character in their reaction to the election results and to Trump himself. They understand, better than their many bitter supporters, that the process worked—it just didn't work in the way they liked. Clinton and Obama were gracious in defeat, and it appears that the current president is working to make the transition as easy as is possible. I applaud him for that.

When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, many (including me) characterized him as a "cypher"—an unknown. We had to give him a chance to lead so that we could better understand his ability to govern. I would suggest that although many on the Left think they "know" Donald trump, they do not. As a politician and a leader, all they know are his distasteful words. His political deeds, his leadership potential, his future accomplishments (if any) remain a cypher.