I usually am not one to fret too much about the future of our country.
My belief always has been that our national resilience and the framework established as our governing document — the Constitution — would see us through the most troubling times.
The fallout from this just-completed presidential election is testing my faith in that resilience. I won’t throw in the towel … at least not yet.
Donald J. Trump’s election as president has challenged just about every conventional political norm we’ve all known.
Hillary Rodham Clinton had the money, the organization, the backing, the experience, the whole package that should have enabled her to win the presidency.
It all failed her.
As a result, we’ve got a lot of Americans all across the country lugging around a ton — or three — of bitter feelings.
We’re a “divided nation,” the pundits and pols are telling us. Really? Do you think?
We’ve been divided sharply perhaps since the 2000 election, which Al Gore won more popular votes but lost the election to George W. Bush. Except for a brief respite from that division — which occurred in the weeks and months right after 9/11 — we’ve drifted far apart.
Barack Obama’s election in 2008 was thought to be a monumental moment in our history. In many ways it was, with the election of the first African-American president. Then came the opposition not just to Obama’s presidency, but to the very idea from some quarters that the president wasn’t really legit. The “birther” movement sought to delegitimize the president. It became ugly on its face.
Do not for one moment excuse this hideous movement as anything less than a race-inspired hate campaign against Barack Hussein Obama.
Now we’ve turned yet another corner by electing Trump.
I’ve stated my piece already about Trump’s “qualifications” to hold the highest office in the nation. I won’t revisit those thoughts … at this moment.
I am hoping that as we move along toward Trump’s inauguration and as he commences his term in office that we can argue points of policy differences without the hideous personal attacks that punctuated the campaign we’ve just concluded.
Sadly, my faith that we can do such a thing, that we can set aside our personal anger over the result is being tested sorely.
This country has endured world wars, deep scandal, serious constitutional crises, a civil war, assassination of its leaders and economic free fall. We’ve managed to stumble and bumble our way out of the morass — as well as fight heroically against our enemies.
We’ve been resilient and resolute.
I am hoping we can find the resolve to argue our differences intelligently, even though we shouldn’t harbor any serious hope of settling them.