First, I predicted Mrs. Clinton would win.
I was wrong.
That many others were also wrong, is of no comfort.
Donald Trump is president-elect.
In the aftermath of the election, I have read hundreds of articles, editorials, opinion pieces, essays, all finding common ground in their collective disbelief – and not a few alarmed by Mr. Trump’s victory.
The editorial that resonated most with me appeared in The Guardian of England:
“President Trump is the shock heard round the world. Now that he has won, the instant explanations have already started to flood in: that the mobilization (or not) of this or that demographic was decisive; that he tapped the angry anti-establishment mood; that he spoke for millions who felt abandoned by the prosperous and progressive; that American nativism was always far stronger than liberals wanted to think; that he was a celebrity candidate for the celebrity-obsessed age; that he rode the tiger of post-truth politics; that making America great again was a cut-through message in a militaristic and imperial nation; that white men (and many white women) had had it with political correctness; that misogyny swung it; that the mainstream media failed to call him out; that it is a verdict on the Barack Obama years; that Mrs. Clinton was always the wrong candidate; that there was racist dirty work in the voting system; that it was the Russians that won it for him.”
“None of these explanations is irrelevant. All of them have something to say. But beware of instant certainties…”
Despite the fact I’ve been writing this column for 11-years, it’s never clear who reads it, because in the 132 columns I’ve written, the number of individuals who have shared their likes and dislikes, barely exceeds 200; a rather disappointing return when weighed against the more than 145,000 words I’ve written – but who’s counting.
Until, that is, I wrote last month that Donald Trump is “evil”, which obviously annoyed some readers of the Sentinel, who proceeded to tell publisher Patty Ducey-Brooks they were upset and I should be fired. But firing someone you haven’t hired is difficult. The only option Ms. Ducey-Brooks has is to dismiss me, but the appearance of my column this month suggest she hasn’t quite reached that decision – but that option remains open.
That some readers disagreed with what I wrote about their hero, Mr. Trump, is not surprising, as I have often said that I am not surprised people disagree with me, because I frequently disagree with myself.
But not in the matter of Donald Trump.
In writing Mr. Trump is “evil”, I qualified it by writing words have consequences and that when you say, as Mr. Trump said during the campaign, that Mexicans are “rapists” and Muslims should be barred from the United States, evil consequences would likely follow. Whether I’m right remains to be seen – but I pray I’m wrong.
(It is ironic, is it not, that Mr. Trump, in attacking minorities, will himself be a minority president, as when all votes are finally counted, Mrs. Clinton will have received more than two million more votes.)
Trump supporters among my friends, the few I have, are saying to me, “Mitrovich it’s time to move on, the man is going to be our president.”
Yes he is, and I have a duty as a citizen and patriot, to wish him well and hope for the best. If he’s successful as the 45th President of the United States, it will abound to our benefit. To wish for other than his success is to betray one’s patriotism, which I will not do.
Thus, unlike Senator Mitch McConnell, there will be no declaration here to make Mr. Trump a one-term president, as the senator declared in January of ’09 in a speech to the American Heritage Foundation, to make Senator Obama a “one-term president.” Senator McConnell failed in his goal, failed twice, but was successful in doing everything within his power as Republican leader of the Senate to stop the president’s policy objectives.
Among other things Mr. Trump’s supporters are telling us is we need to forget the rhetoric of his campaign, that it was just “campaign talk.” Perhaps, but no candidate for president in our history ever talked like Donald Trump – ever.
As Dana Milbank wrote recently in the Washington Post:
“Donald Trump treated the nation to a series of outlandish promises. He’ll eliminate the $19 trillion federal debt in eight years. He’ll balance the budget without cutting Social Security, Medicare and other entitlements. He’ll bring back lost coal jobs. He’ll make Mexico pay for a border wall. He’ll deport 12 million illegal immigrants while growing the economy by at least six percent.
“Many of Trump’s absurd promises will come due soon. Trump spoke of abolishing the Education Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, said he would rebuild American roads for one-third the current price, monitor mosques, prosecute Hillary Clinton and never take a vacation. He said he would spend no money on space exploration before infrastructure is repaired, would “bomb the s— out of” the Islamic State, kill the relatives of terrorists, shut down parts of the Internet, reinstate waterboarding, dramatically increase tariffs, eliminate Wall Street reforms, cut the budget 20 percent and end birthright citizenship.”
I will note here, as I have previously, that Mr. Trump’s severest critics during the campaign were not liberals, but conservatives, and not any conservatives, but conservatives of impeccable standing – D(in fact, so upset was Mr. Will, he resigned from the Republican Party).
One of the more perplexing aspects of the campaign, was Mr. Trump’s strong support from evangelical Christians, which led Michael Gerson, an evangelical and graduate of Wheaton College (Billy Graham’s school), to write in his syndicated column:
“The most enthusiastic Trump evangelicals have taken the excesses of the Religious Right in the 1980s not as a warning but as a playbook. In this political season, they often acted more like an interest group seeking protection and favor than a voice of conscience.
“They blessed an agenda that targeted minorities and refugees. They employed apocalyptic rhetoric as a get-out-the-vote technique. And they hitched the reputation of their religious tradition to a skittish horse near a precipice.
“As a citizen, I hope that the faith many evangelicals have placed in the Trump administration is justified. As a commentator, I expect a tunnel at the end of the light.
“It is part of my job to have strong opinions on public matters. But lately I have been conscious of a certain, unwelcome symmetry. When it comes to Trump evangelicals, I have found myself angry at how they have endorsed the politics of anger; bitter about the bitter political spirit they have encouraged; feeling a bit hypocritical in my zeal to point out their hypocrisy. A dark mood has led to anxiousness and harshness.”
Not being able to improve upon that, I will conclude by wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
George Mitrovich is a San Diego civic leader. He may be reached at, firstname.lastname@example.org.