This is the Trump Transition Time. Today is also Veterans Day, an occasion for more than one seasonal post in past years. However for blog purposes this year this event is trumped however by other realities in this blog centering around the Trump transition. All of us in this country are aware of the challenges that face our country to differing degrees. Bu there are serious problems in the transition period itself. The election has reminded those who — as regards the complexity of American realities — have more skeptical minds than my readers in general, that we are not a trailer full of identical marbles. That is not the right physical analogy of who does the voting in America. We are a complicated and diverse people and a complex society. The protests that have gone beyond the norms of political decency are fairly widespread. Responses from the Administration and the Democrats to try and control this chaos have been muted or at least less than vigorous. However the actual mechanics and interpersonal interactions at the apex of the transition seem to be going along smoothly. I have found that to be encouraging.
For the countless Americans in rural America, mill towns, shrinking labor unions, small business and the National Guard posts and VFW halls along America’s Main Streets, Blue Highways and town squares — the need for change seems acute they cannot help hoping that Trump will accomplish a great deal. He has promised to do much to make things better. Some worry already that he will not really be a new broom that sweeps clean. He is not so much appearing to be the dangerous loose canon to some as he is dangerously close to the Republican center (not the national center) he chose to separate from before.
For me the question of how this will affect me is not a pressing one. I have already slipped so far away from the center of things, so far off the road of personal hope and so deep into financial penury that the transitions going on are not likely to have any very positive effect on my life. But for one set of those who can benefit from such things this is a time of opportunity — among connected and hopeful Republicans. For another set, prominent Democrats, it is a time of devastating loss and bitter defeat. Trump won well over the 270 votes needed in the Electoral College. It seems clear that Hillary won more votes overall. Many Americans no longer understand or accept Federalism and certainly not when they lose and election. But it is not enough to win the most votes in an fantastical republic and call it a union. One has to work in the magic of our system that assures representation to all regions, social types and most of all states. This is only a shadow of our true heritage but thank God for it. Nonetheless, among the hopes of some out there may be the hope that the Elctoral College will be forced to abandon the commitment to their party pledge and may restore Clinton — who knows.
Bernie Sanders is aware that he and President Elect Trump have some common concerns as regards election reform, trade deals and infrastructure. I think that he also believes that they face a common sense of how much they need to get to know the heartland of the United States better than they have for most of their lives. But whether they will interact in worthwhile ways over time remains to be seen.
I do not identify all that much with the majority of the Trump supporters. I am not well suited by temperament perhaps or other factors to thrive in this society it is not a close thing, whereas for many of them it is a close thing – a matter of almost having things work out. For me it is not. I see layer upon layer of impossibility in my own life. But I do share their feeling that the heart of America has been shriveling. All the volunteer work, lawn work, substitute teaching, sales, regular jobs and micro businesses that I have been involved in have always been clearly less than enough to get by. I could live on less well somewhere less but not here. here the capacity to earn is axiomatically less than it costs to thrive. That is outside of hopes and dreams. I cannot make amends for mistakes, save for the future or deal with upset projects almost at all and have had things get much worse every year for many years. I have so many excellent reasons to be angry and resentful. But I also hope for a change for the better. I hope Trump and the team he and Pence are forming will have a chance to try and make a difference — whether I am a beneficiary or not.
But I always live as though hope is possible. I will for as long as I do live. So I am also one who hopes that America may find a better way forward and it may benefit me too — somehow…