Early this morning, it became quite apparent that the outcome to the U.S. Presidential election would not be what I desired, nor, frankly, what I ever thought possible.
This morning, Rachael and I had to relay the news to our budding feminist daughter, who dressed as a Suffragette for Halloween, that our candidate lost. That was hard. Harder still was finding answers to her logical follow-up questions of “how and why?” Hardest of all was finding words of reassurance to an outcome that I think portends drastic consequences for our nation.
I hope to be proven wrong.
Tens of millions of Americans, nearly twenty-thousand Arlingtonians, and perhaps some of you, chose Mr. Trump. I won’t purport to understand the reasons for that choice, but, of course as a believer in our constitutional democracy, I accept it.
I remain dismayed that, come January, we will inaugurate a President who has demonstrated a lack of integrity, has been uninterested in policy details, displays little understanding or appreciation for socio-economic diversity, has proven quick to anger and unwilling to acknowledge mistakes, has objectified, belittled, and disparaged women, has cast Latinos as criminals and degenerates, has cast all Muslims as existential threats, has mocked those who are different and has shown an awareness of African Americans that disregards the last 45 years.
He has refused to address legitimate inquiry into his business interests and has a temperament I find most troubling for a head of state. While it seems that some (many?) believe these negative traits have been political theater, I take Mr. Trump at his word–and deed.
I hope I am misguided.
While so much is unclear, what is not is my commitment to seeing Arlington’s vision being realized in our county government’s words and actions. When we say that we are “…where people unite to form a caring, learning, participating, sustainable community in which each person is important,” I mean it. I implore you to help me bring comfort and security to all those who face today and tomorrow concerned about having neither. We can do this by not tolerating racism, misogyny, ethnocentrism, Islamophobia and all forms of discrimination. And we ourselves must remember and remind our children that despite the national example, bullying is not OK.
When facing consequential matters, I remind constituents who view decisions in the starkest and most apocalyptic terms that no matter what, “the Republic will still stand.”
I really hope that I am right.