I have many friends, acquaintances and colleagues who consider themselves left of center. They range from 'blue dog Democrats', to liberals, to socialists. I've even been on speaking terms with at least one all-out, proud, unashamed Trotskyist! Their political views don't stop me being on at least neutral terms with them, and often better than that, because they're fundamentally honest people who truly believe the philosophies and values they proclaim. I may disagree with their perspective, but it's their right to have it. As long as they're willing to let me have my own views, and treat them with at least tolerance, if not respect, then I'm willing to do the same to and for them. The Golden Rule applies in politics as much as it does anywhere else.
However, it's truly appalling to see some of the left-wing, progressive reactions to the election of Donald Trump. Clearly, to at least some of them, the Golden Rule is something theoretical, deserving only lip service. It doesn't apply in real life. "Not my president!" chanted demonstrators in several US cities yesterday. Well, if that's the case, why should President Obama have been my president? I could have done as they did, and rejected him utterly . . . yet I was living in his country, where he was elected by the majority of those who bothered to vote in that country's last two elections. That made him my president, whether I liked it or not. To pretend otherwise would have made me unworthy to be an American. If I can put up with a president whose policies I rejected and whose political objectives were abhorrent to me, why can't those who supported him do likewise now that they're in the same situation? Sauce, goose, gander. Some assembly required.
I can understand anger, disappointment, and disbelief at Hillary Clinton's failure on the part of those who supported her and/or the liberal, left-wing, progressive agenda she espoused. (Dave McClure's epic meltdown is a classic example.) It's their right to have those feelings, and to express them. However, it's not their right to turn on those of us who rejected her in favor of Donald Trump or anyone else. If they claim that it is, why should we not do the same when our turn comes around - as it undoubtedly will? Sauce, goose, gander. Some assembly required.
In particular, I've yet to hear an honest answer to a simple question from any of my left-wing friends and acquaintances. It's this. Given Hillary Clinton's very, very long list of scandals, ethically dubious conduct, and plain downright dishonesty, how can you expect anyone adhering to even the most basic Christian values to vote for her? She's clearly so morally corrupt that she isn't fit for any public office. She's so manifestly (or should that be womanifestly?) untrustworthy that if she assured me, in person, that Monday was the day after Sunday, I'd instantly fact-check her against the nearest calendar. If the calendar agreed with her, I'd probably distrust the calendar, too!
If even one-quarter of that list of scandals is true, I defy anyone to deny that it disqualifies her from elected office . . . yet her supporters appear to dismiss it as irrelevant. No, it's not irrelevant. If Mr. Trump's prior conduct makes him ineligible for the Oval Office on ethical or moral grounds, that makes Mrs. Clinton at least ten times less eligible than he is! How can you not see that? How can you fail to understand that? As my left-wing, liberal, progressive blogbuddy Earthbound Misfit put it:
How good a candidate was Clinton? She had more baggage than the Queen Mary 2. Vilified by the Right since the 1980s, Clinton's reputation was of one of the most secretive and untrustworthy politicians since Richard Nixon. Two years before the election, it was clear to the most casual observer that she had more negatives than the Life Magazine photo archive. But no, the party couldn't see that. Led by Debbie Wasserman Schulz, a hardcore Clinton ally, the party did everything possible to ensure that Clinton would not see any competition for the nomination. When a challenger did arise, the party elites did everything possible to hamstring him.
Earthbound Misfit is absolutely right (and her honesty is one of the reasons I respect her, despite our differing views on many issues). I'd have no problem voting for an honest, moral, ethical Democrat instead of a less honest, less moral, less ethical Republican . . . but there wasn't one on the ticket. If you don't nominate someone I can honestly, ethically, morally support, don't blame me when I don't do so.
I'd also like to remind some of those most upset over President-elect Trump's victory that those of us who objected to President Obama's policies had to suck them up, whether we liked it or not. As he said after his first electoral victory, "I won". He had no compunction about using his victory to ram through his policies. When Republicans objected, Harry Reid rode roughshod over their resistance. If Republicans now demonstrate the same attitude and adopt the same tactics, I don't want to hear one single word of complaint from those who supported President Obama and Harry Reid when they did so. Sauce, goose, gander. Some assembly required.
What about the press? I've never in my life seen such naked partisanship among the mainstream media. Do they now expect us to forget that it happened? To trust them to bring us the news as it happens, without embellishment, without censorship, without 'interpretation'? Forget it. With a very few honorable exceptions, I no longer trust the mainstream media at all. They have zero credibility - and their post-election conduct is already confirming that. As Vox cautions:
This ... process of creating a news cycle is presently being utilized in New York and other cities where "anti-Trump protests" are taking place. The purpose is to create the idea that Trump is "unpopular" and he is an "illegitimate, failed President" even before he takes office, and thereby eliminate the traditional honeymoon period enjoyed by a newly inaugurated President and obstruct his initial efforts.
True. You can see the ongoing bias in the reporting and commentary on those 'protests'. I won't waste a single cent of my money on the mainstream US media, and I won't trust what they tell me. I'll use alternative sources to get my news and analyze it. I know I'm far from alone in that determination.
(I honestly don't know how the media can rebuild public trust. I don't see it happening unless and until they fire almost every journalist, editor and owner in the business, and start from scratch to build up new teams of ethical, moral, objective, honest people. If that doesn't happen . . . if they carry on in the same old way with the same old people . . . then they can do unmentionable and anatomically improbable things to themselves, as far as I [and a great many others] are concerned.)
What about the pollsters? Oh, boy . . . talk about having egg on their faces! Again, with a very few honorable exceptions, I've lost faith in their prognostications. From now on, if they tell me that public opinion is for or against anything, my reaction will be to yawn and say, "Oh, yeah?" Furthermore, I'll support President Trump if he disregards so-called, alleged 'public opinion' in deciding whether or not to proceed with his policy initiatives. If he builds a wall to keep out illegal aliens, and the opposition screams that he's defying public opinion to do so, my response will be, "No, he isn't - he's defying discredited pollsters." Big difference.
Finally, I note once more (as I've frequently done in the past) that I'm not a Trump supporter. I'm neutral towards him. That won't prevent me from wishing him, very sincerely, every success in the very difficult, demanding, challenging tasks that lie ahead of him, for the sake of this country, my home. I'll pray for him.
Furthermore, his supporters have won this election. They are to be congratulated on their determination and enthusiasm. They deserve it. Therefore, to those liberals and progressives who still regard Trump supporters as their inferiors, or condescend to them, or talk down to them, or regard them with pitying, patronizing superiority . . . I can only invite them to rearrange the following words into a well-known phrase or saying.