Mixed feelings post-election

Am still processing the elections and am slowly trying to put my finger on where I am at. In the past, in some cases I voted for a candidate that would go on to be elected (1984, 1988, 2000, 2004) and so there was satisfaction in the result. In others, I voted for a candidate who lost and so there was disappointment (1992, 1996, 2008, 2012) but satisfaction that the political process was working.

This year was unique in that I knew I would feel no satisfaction in either candidate's victory and I am concerned our political system is failing. Clinton supporters would have felt elation at the first woman president. Trump supporters would feel the voice of the forgotten working class was heard. Reluctant Clinton supporters who were #NeverTrump would feel relief that Trump lost. Reluctant Trump supporters who were #NeverClinton would feel relief that Clinton lost.

But #NeverTrump #NeverClinton voters would feel disappointment no matter who would win.

I believe that George Will is also #NeverTrump #NeverClinton. He put it this way in his column this morning:

At dawn Tuesday in West Quoddy Head, Maine, the easternmost point of the United States, it was certain that by midnight in Cape Wrangell, Alaska, the westernmost fringe, there would be a loser who deserved to lose and a winner who did not deserve to win. [......] The simultaneous sickness of both parties surely reveals a crisis of the U.S. regime. The GOP was easily captured, and then quickly normalized, by history’s most unpleasant and unprepared candidate, whose campaign was a Niagara of mendacities. And the world’s oldest party contrived to nominate someone who lost to him. To an electorate clamoring for disruptive change, Democrats offered a candidate as familiar as faded wallpaper. The party produced no plausible alternative to her joyless, stained embodiment of arrogant entitlement. And she promised to intensify the progressive mentality. [......] The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on, perhaps soon to inscribe this: In 2016, Republicans won a ruinous triumph that convinced them that they can forever prosper by capturing an ever-larger portion of an ever-smaller portion of the electorate. This kamikaze arithmetic of white nationalism should prompt the president-elect to test his followers’ devotion to him by asking their permission to see the national tapestry as it is and should be.


Anonymous said…
George Will's column implies there is a moral equivalence between the two candidates and that people in the #NeverTrump #NeverClinton camp should feel justifiably ambivalent about the two. This should not be the case. There should only be unequivocal rejection of Trump's candidacy for the bigotry, racism, sexism and deceit that he undeniably showed during the campaign. Journalists, like George, do their readers a disservice by drawing an equivalence where little exists. To put it in a historical analogy, if Trump is a Hitler, Clinton is no where near a Stalin. Clinton, in the worst case, will put policies in place that annoy the right. Trump, in the worst case, could plunge us into a civil war.
Rene said…
Clearly there is and was a major difference of opinion among the voters and among the political commentators. In the end, there are probably five category of voters and political pundits:
1. Pro-Clinton
2. Pro-Trump
3. Reluctant Clinton because they are #NeverTrump
4. Reluctant Trump because they are #NeverClinton
5. #NeverTrump #NeverClinton

If I am hearing you correctly, you would be in either group 1 or group 3 and I respect that many share that perspective.

At the major media outlets, I think view 5 was probably least represented. I appreciated that George Will at Washington Post and David Brooks at New York Times have provided some of that voice.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You may have the last word if you wish.
Anonymous said…
With Trump's blatant display of bigotry, there should never be any ambiguity in a major media like the Washington Post. We are counting on them to be our voice of conscience. I definitely fall into your group 1 and group 3, leaning towards the latter group. Election is ideally about voting for what you believe in but sometimes, equally important, for what you reject. This is one of those that the second case applies. Judging from this editorial choice and the election result, we have lost our moral compass as a society.