Now that the shock has worn off (and it was only a shock because the supposed pros who do the polls did a piss-poor job of it)—now that the shock has turned to mere wonder, I am filled with almost giddy curiosity about what this guy* is going to do, and how he is going to do it. I wonder how on earth he is going to please the people who voted for him—please them enough so that, in four years, they will be showing up in droves in weird shirts shouting incendiary things** and just going nuts in the love of him. I wonder how he is going to succeed with them, how he is going to deliver on his many vague and strange promises.
I feel guilty about this, because I know a lot of people may be at risk with such a neophyte at the helm, especially one who cannot seem to hold a conviction for more than a few seconds (beyond an unwavering affection for himself, of course). Many people have already suffered from the intolerance and hate he exploited in his campaign—I cannot ignore that. And the forces that might restrain him (was it Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) who said this past summer of our discontent, “Well, there’s only so much damage Trump can do, there are a lot of factors that can hold him back,” or something to that effect?)—these counterforces cannot be counted on to do the job.
But my guilt is softened by the realization that I did not vote for him, I unceasingly voiced my objections to him, and I am not him. He is responsible for whatever he does. That would leave sadness for me, not guilt, if and when it goes kablooey.
The funny thing about nowadays is that, with all the tools available to make one’s thoughts and feelings public, everyone thinks they have a real role to play in all this important stuff. They think people are listening, and not just people, but those people, the people who run the show. They think if they only tweet a little harder, or publish a wittier post on Facebook, the world will right itself and we will all be happier and more secure. The truth, unfortunately, is that most everyone is just gathering likes from the like-minded and sailing past everyone else sight unseen, word unheard.
And what if the guy actually does some good? Raises wages for working people, protects the vulnerable, makes the wealthy pull their weight, humbles violent fanatics abroad, helps transform dirty energy to clean, starts the reversal of global warming, induces a flowering of the arts and sciences to rival Periclean Athens … What if? Wouldn’t that be grand? Wouldn’t that be worth the anxious uncertainty of these few days? Wouldn’t that make up for the fact that a truly qualified person got passed over for the job?
We will know soon enough where all this is headed. God (if you are there, and care) help us.
*The president-elect formerly known as the real estate developer and TV personality Donald Trump.
**It is doubtful “Lock Her Up” will make sense by then (not that it ever did).