The Political Temper Tantrum – Needless Violence in the Wake of the Trump Election

November marked my 7th Anniversary of blogging. This is my 556th post. It has turned out to be one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written. I’m mesmerized by the American election, and can’t seem to move on until I’ve digested what happened!

I’m not an American, but I have strong ties to both my American friends and a community in Arizona (where I spend the winter.) Then there is the not insignificant influence that the United States has on my country, Canada.  Research associate Simon Palamar  explained this relationship by saying “We’re sleeping next to an elephant, so when they shift in bed, we feel it.”

If I had been an American voter, and a Republican, I don’t know if I could have voted for Donald Trump. Of course, the same thing can be said about the Democrats and Clinton. Neither candidate seemed particularly worthy if you believed everything the media reported.

The QuipperyWatching the election night coverage on three different stations felt a bit like an indoctrination into why I should have got a college education (so I would know how to vote for the right party.) After the election, there were violent protests; the accusations that all Trump supporters are racist, sexist, homophobic bigots; the demand for the immediate suspension of the Electoral College, petitions to secede from the Union, etc. It reminded me of a small child throwing a temper tantrum, not a free society where one side might be unpopular with the other side, but that’s okay.

Would the words have been softer or the backlash less if the Democrats had won? No one can say for sure, though I’m sure there are media pundits who can generate a few thousand words to convince their faithful.

I can finish this post now because of hope. I hope people will start to question the value and veracity of all media. I hope people will look at the world through a lens of optimism instead of the lens of fear. I hope people will remember that a democracy is a political system of free and fair elections, and it is impossible for everyone to achieve everything they want all of the time. I hope Americans will give their President-Elect a fair chance.

Last, but not least, I hope people will be more tolerant. There is more than one religion, more than one political party, more than one way to think about just about anything, more than one way to do just about anything.

What makes your way always right, and the other person’s way always wrong?

34 comments

  1. As a republican it was hard to vote for Trump. My decision was made out of love and not hate (as the media tried to portray anyone who voted for him). I voted for love of the unborn. I voted for love of our constitution -(supreme court justice selection), and I voted for love of preserving the rights of immigrants who come here legally. I voted for love of the freedoms we enjoy in this country. Everything is not black and everything is not white and our media has changed from reporting the news to spinning the news to fit their perception of reality and painting anyone who disagrees as a hater.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think there are many more moderate conservatives than our media realizes. (I think this is a fortunate thing :). I thought your post was a great read and I loved the quote by Adlai Stevenson.
        You have a much firmer grasp on our countries politics than our own media does.
        I have great hope for the future of America…..but then I have always been an optimist.

        Liked by 1 person

          • That is good. I keep explaining that one to my husband. He thinks it should be popular vote and I try explain that many less populated states would not have as big a voice and their issues would get lost to the more populated ones. Thank heaven for the government class over 40 years ago :).

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        • I’m late to the party on this post, but I couldn’t agree more with your thought that there are a lot more moderate conservatives than anyone will admit. Unfortunately, the media slants there coverage such that conservatives are all painted as racist, homophones etc. While that may be true in a few cases (just as there are extremist liberals who think it’s OK to literally take your money out of your wallet and give it to someone else) it is far from the truth. I,too, believe wholeheartedly in smaller government, strong national security, (i.e. enforcing immigration laws), strong military and the rule of law. Beyond that what anyone believes is fine with me.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. “What makes your way always right, and the other person’s way always wrong?”

    Great question . . . here’s my criteria for whenever I look at anything. What ideas, attitudes, and actions have advanced humanity’s progress throughout the short history of our species and what ideas, attitudes, and actions have hindered our progress?

    These are things that can be measured in lives, by quality of life, by many metrics that are evident in the fact we live in what is arguably the best time in human history.

    Based on those criteria, I can dismiss many, many beliefs, superstitions, attitudes, and opinions out of hand and without a shred of conceit. I can condemn many actions out of hand and without fear of being wrong. Finally, I can judge people by what they say and what they do, again, having learned what those actions and words mean for our collective welfare.

    The conceit rests on the shoulders of those who believe themselves righteous but are ignorant of their own history, of their origins, and of anything outside their own self-interest and yet still claim to be working for the good of all.

    Notice I’m not calling out anyone. For one, it invites nothing but arguments, and for another, if they haven’t done it by now, nothing I say will trigger a bout of self-examination and an honest assessment of one’s beliefs. Besides, I am sure people have already heard criticism of their beliefs, their actions, their views of the world and of others, and have dismissed those criticisms out of hand.

    . . . it’s what people do . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good points, disperser. I’ve been reading Scott Adam’s blog (of Dilbert fame). He writes about why facts, reason and logic matter, but how persuasion and emotion can play a large role in how we make decisions.
      I think some people rely on persuasion and emotion, without examining the facts, reason and logic beforehand.

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  3. “What makes your way always right, and the other person’s way always wrong?”

    This is a provoking question. While I try always to do the right thing, I would never claim I always did. We know too little about the full consequences of our actions for that. Similarly, I’d never stand in judgment over another person’s sincerely held views or sincerely meant actions, provided they don’t infringe other people’s rights. We need less confrontation, particularly when it’s whipped up by demagogues, and more calm consideration. I’m put in mind of the Anglo-Saxon saying … “Thought shall be the harder, heart the keener,
    Courage the greater, as our might lessens.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Greatly appreciated this post – you expressed so much of what I’ve been feeling. I understand people’s concerns, even their panic, because if you truly believe this man is a KKK member, secret agent to Russia, an orange monster from hell – well, of course you’d be in a panic.
    I’ve heard some clearer heads say how we need to return to getting our news from print, where everything is properly vetted and fact is separated from editorial. Lovely concept in theory, but hardly practical.
    Love the quote from Stevenson.

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    • People also said that it would be a horrendous idea to have a President who wasn’t a politician but Dwight Eisenhower seems to have done okay. Clinton seemed to carry a lot of unsavory baggage that she collected during the course of her political career! Neither candidate was without faults, warts and bumps…
      The path forward always consists of a wavy path of course correction, and I’m looking forward to a United States where the other side has a chance to steer for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sure it’s interesting to watch this as a Canadian citizen. Just to note, Margie, the electoral college was set up primarily because of slavery. In the 12th amendment, the south was allowed to count 3/5ths of the slaves (even though they weren’t allowed to vote) to compute its share of the overall electoral count. It is an antiquated system.
    I agree that it’s important that everyone should feel that their vote counts…that has been severely marred by one candidate winning the majority of the direct vote, but doesn’t become the elected president. It’s happened twice in the last 16 years.

    So, yes, I’m worried about the consequences of a president who has documented statements of bigotry, religious intolerance, and such disrespect for women. I do hope I’m worried about nothing, but I’m not looking forward to a leader, who pays no taxes to support this country, tweeting his late-night stream of consciousness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I learned this year that your Constitution provides for the election of the American president by a popular vote at the State level, which then determines which candidate the State endorses through the Electoral College. Of course, each State elects their Senators and their House of Representative members too. It will be interesting to see if your country chooses to maintain the existing State by State control of choosing all their Federal representation.

      As for President-Elect Trump, some reports suggest there are tax benefits for when you lose 916 million dollars! On the plus side for the tax regime, the Trump Organization provides roughly 22,000 jobs for people who pay taxes; owns property that is taxed, and has numerous large and small companies that pay corporate taxes. From that perspective, I suppose he supports his country.

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    • Hi Barb. It’s your old pal, Al. I fear what is antiquated is the belief that the 3/5ths rule still matters. Every ten years by the census, electoral representation is revised to reflect current population numbers of each state. That’s exactly how California gets 55 votes, over one fifth of what a candidate needs to be elected. Not bad for a state that wasn’t even around in 1789. It is so slanted toward the Democrats that they don’t even have to campaign there. The fact that the other states are able to override the votes in California and New York and Illinois is what is so great about the system. Centralized power is a danger in any situation, whether it be voting regions or government itself. That’s why it was important to grant the states all the power that was not specifically given to the Federal government. Being from a so-called rural state, I am sure you are glad that your state’s votes do matter.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. “What makes your way always right and the other person’s always wrong”

    -One of the core beliefs of our philosophy media project is open-mindedness as an imperative. There is an old saying that goes “the best way to make somebody hate you is by attacking the way they see themselves”, if that is true, then people who tie a template into their identity, wholesale — without checking the fine print or looking at the price tag — are EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. By wholesale templates I mean Islam, Christianity, conservatism, liberalism, nationalism, capitalism… pretty much all the isms.

    It is possible that we are never right, but we are never fully wrong as subscribers to this philosophy because we are open to acknowledging the truths that that the other perspective has. It is like comparing a constitution capable of amendments to one that is not.

    Follow us if this resonates with you. Renegade Philosophy is written by sibling philosophers, a mathematics student at Johns Hopkins and a journalism student at University of Florida.

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    • I’ve put your site into my feedly reader – looking forward to seeing if I can follow the thought process of your younger minds.
      I can see many examples of people who have ‘tied a template into their identity.” I’m related to a few of them – I don’t follow their posts on Facebook anymore.
      I’d add Climatism to your list of isms.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A less educated, really a POORLY educated electorate makes for some pretty interesting, if somewhat hysterical, protests. We, as a society, have been dumbed down to the extent that literally millions of people do not understand basic principles of good old U.S. civics.

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    • Perhaps it isn’t always a case of being less educated – many protests involved University students! I can sure see how a good understanding of American Civics would be helpful though, and that can be taught in a normal public school setting, I suppose.
      Unfortunately, even the best education isn’t always enough to balance the purely emotional response to an election!

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      • University students are a great example of less educated judging by their stances on many issues that reflect their ignorance about the world in general.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I will not ruin your optimism by my very negative- and pessimistic- view of what has just happened here, and what, I fear, may happen to our country now that generals and those who do not believe in global warming and education and universal health care will be making decisions along with Mr. Trump. I agree that Hillary Clinton was not much better. We all have been living in a dream world governed by those of the military industrial complex whom President Eisenhower tried to warn us about back in 1961. I’m sure he is currently rolling over in his grave for they are the ones who really rule the U. S. of A.

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    • Governments come and governments go. Politicians make promises and they break them. I just try to keep out of their way as much as possible, keep my expectations low – depend on them as little as I can. Life is what I make of it. My education, my health, my adaptation to climate, my job, my happiness. It is all up to me. So I can be optimistic whenever a government takes off in a direction that half the population is unhappy about – it’s seems good that one group isn’t in control all the time!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi again, Margy. For some reason, I quit receiving notifications of your posts. I’ve missed quite a few. Anyway, I have corrected that now.

    I was particularly interested in this one since that debacle that we call the American election cycle. As you know, I am a conservative, albeit a moderate one (more on that when I respond to “the chickengrandma’s” comment), but I didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton. It was more of a protest to the way both handled there campaigns than it was favoring one or the other. Having said that, I am 100% behind the man, as I feel our country started heading down a dangerous path with Obama and Trump should be able to get us back in the right direction. Outlandish spending, skirting the law and ignoring the Constitution, i.e. immigration laws, is not why a President is elected. Obama never grasped this, or rather didn’t care, this despite raising his hand and saying he would uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States.

    Anyway, I’ve always said the office makes the man/woman and I think Trump will find this out quickly. I’m confident that although his rhetoric might now tone down much, his action will, by default.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Obama is going to look pretty tame in hindsight –in terms of leadership style.

    Right now, it’s not even about Republic thoughts vs. Democrat. It may be more about a person who will be installed into POTUS role with enormous power that could damage/degrade many American lives..within 1 tweet or 1 sentence on camera. I have no respect for someone who prefers to issue 140 tweet manifestos instead of willingly and often, repeatedly face the phalanx of established American national press conferences …and a national leader needs to have ability to listen, answer very difficult, complex questions and speak to issues in a complex manner that verbalizes weighing different sides and opinions…from others who may know a lot more than he.

    The central core question what is “truth”. Trump doesn’t care about a mound of collected evidence and traceability of corrupt /illegal actions. This is over and over.

    But let him talk, let him. Let him destroy trust in him by those who votedfor him.

    As for not voting: I didn’t always vote. I voted for 70% of our elections –municipal, federal and provincial. Those times I didn’t, I was young as a university student, too engrossed in my narrow world, my studies.

    I don’t take my right to vote lightly: My father immigrated Canada coincidentally just 3 years after the Chinese-Canadians were granted the right to vote by Parliament. It was enormous hard lobbying by Chinese-Canadian lawyer and MLA from Vancouver, Douglas Jung and others. The right to vote was granted because several hundred Chinese-Canadians willingly fought for Canada in WWII and died there. Imagine dying for country who didn’t give you certain legal rights as a citizen. http://www.ccmms.ca/ The museum has been upgraded with federal govn’t funding.

    Sorry, Marg. My world is different….and it would be an enormous travesty to sit on my ass and do nothing / say nothing.

    I do frequent some American internet groups –most from the cycling side. There is a women only group I hang out for past 15 years. Quite a number of Americans are bewildered and appalled by Trump. And embarrassed because they can’t explain the guy at all.

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    • You mention twitter. Trump recently tweeted ““With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it . . . may be, their number one act and priority. Focus on tax reform, health care and so many other things of far greater importance!”

      This seemed to reflect the feelings of many Americans: “I can tell you the calls we’ve gotten in my district office and here in Washington surprised me, meaning the numbers of calls. People are just sick and tired,” Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) said of the simmering outrage over the proposed change. “People are just losing confidence in the lack of ethics and honesty in Washington.”

      It is a different world, Jean. You understand the historical impact of intolerance in Canada, yet you seem quite intolerant of those who think differently than you.

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      • Am I supposed to praise Trump’s actions? I’m sorry Margy if I give that impression. A lot of people complain about govn’t. Some of it is justified, some it is not if one knows how govn’t works. Right now some staff where I work have come from the oil and gas sector where they were laid off. They have quite seriously how accountable and far impact their actions can be for decades if they don’t follow our internal processes. Companies come and go. They die/get merged. They get to hide their evidence. Govn’t has far greater exposure. In the end , govn’t stays around for decades.

        Not sure what the American people want….. there’s a lot of confusion. Making general statements about ethics and honesty is fine, with specific examples and recommended course of action that is sustainable long term and transparent.

        Best wishes, Marg.

        Like

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