Last night I posted this on a Basket of Deplorables group. While clearly tailored to the audience, the underlying intent serves as a good example for a way forward to healing the intraparty divisions after last night.
When we arise tomorrow to President elect Trump remember that half the nation stands against us and grieves their defeat. To them it isn’t just a defeat, but rather a defeat at the hands of deplorables. It’s insult to injury. Don’t give them reason to justify their stereotypes. Rather be gracious in victory; a courtesy that would not be extended to us. We are the salt of the country. Hard working individuals who came together to support our own when both parties failed. Together we achieved a great victory. Together we can achieve more. Both parties don’t like us. Take advantage of the energy and experience and join together in community service to better communities. They may not like us, but if we stay true to our shared values they will respect us and begin to see the world from our prism. In doing so the wounds from this election will be healed, and we can go forward together to greater achievements. Today is the beginning, not the end.
Today is a great day for the country. In reasonable probability, a Trump presidency will be better than a Clinton presidency would have been. The true work starts today. The last 8 years have been in defense mode. With control of the House, Senate, and White House it’s now our turn to lead. And lead we must, otherwise the midterm will be devastating. The first order of business is mending the broken party fences. The “basket of deplorables” that banded together last night was a mix of conservatives and blue collar democrats voting in their best interest. Sadly, it didn’t include many who saw the message as one being not “true” to conservative beliefs.
Back when George W Bush was President I was fond of saying that democrats will win elections when they would rather win than fight. They reached that point, and held the House, White House, and briefly a filibuster-proof margin in the Senate. The same choice is presented to the GOP today. Last night’s victory wasn’t wholly because of the GOP. It was an outsider message that is conservative, but a different flavor of conservative. Now the question becomes is the big tent big enough to welcome in the new voters. If we believe in our values we are able to explain our position and enter into dialogue and explain how our values help everyone out. The divide between the Trump wing and the traditional wing isn’t a big gap. Trump insists he has had a conversion on right to life issues and will govern as such. Trump is for law and order. Trump is in favor of oil and gas production. Trump is in favor of coal. These common bonds are sufficient to establish rapport.
This isn’t to say that we have no differences. While Trump isn’t in favor of NAFTA and other “free trade” arrangements he is for trade. The position he espouses would be better described as fair trade. And if you look at it, the free trade agreements do need updating. It’s difficult to compete when we have lopsided minimum wage and environmental protection obligations compared to our trading partners. The theory behind free trade is that it creates wealth in our partners and they will in turn have an inflationary response as money is injected into the system bringing them up to levels near us. Good in theory, but it hasn’t materialized. Trump will be more forceful in dealing with foreign policy. Whether it has an instigating or calming effect on the rest of the world remains to be seen. Trump is definitely not a polished public persona who says and does things that make religious individuals cringe.
Both parties have the opportunity to engage with and integrate the Trump supporters into their tent. Thankfully it’s easy to identify who the supporters are. Any public official who has been granted access to Nation Builder can simply search for primary election participation and note the new republican voters. That’s the rough filter. So what do we do with the information? Reach out and be good neighbors. Work together on community improvement projects, be it through churches, youth sports, Habitat for Humanity. It’s hard to dislike someone you are working side by side with to make your community a better place. The future starts today. The question is will we seize it, or will we be bitter in defeat and let the opportunity pass us by?