Saturday, November 12, 2016
Post Election Thoughts
I have to admit I was surprised by the outcome of the election. When asked on Monday what I thought the outcome would be, I speculated that it might be a major sweep - it was not. The morning after, a neighbor of mine said she should have bet $100,000 24-hours before on the morning of election day on Trump to win, the bookmakers were offered 10 to 1 or 11 to 1 odds. She said if she had bet a $100,000, she would now have a little over a million-dollars to flee to Canada with. Fleeing is not an option for me, I need this job. Like it or not, Trump will be president for four years starting in January (I am not interested in attending the inauguration - the reviewing stand across the White House is under construction already.) So I need to figure out how to live with it. I have some experience, a couple of times in my lifetime I was deeply disappointed the outcome of an election. So what do I do?
I start with a reality check that the President has limited power. He has to get Congress to agree to pass legislation. If he vetos legislation, Congress can override. He has control of the senior management of the executive branch - and that is where the "rubber meets the road" in carrying out federal programs. Well sort of, he has control over a very thin layer of senior officials, the rest are career civil servants and he has little control and no ability to fire them. Before an election the executive agencies tie as much up in long term contracts as they can, limiting the new administrations' ability to make meaningful changes in the first term.
Trump said some nasty things during the campaign. Much of what he blustered that he would do, he can't do within the law or the Constitution. Some of it he can do.
The world will not come to an end. Over the next four year, I will largely ignore the president. I can do that. I will respect the office, if not the person. I'll be free on the nights of the State of the Union address for the next four years.
I will stand tall as who I am. I will support LGBT advocacy organizations that seek to protect my rights.
I expect that Trump will be a one term wonder.
I have some advice for Donald J Trump.
You campaigned on the extreme, lead to the middle. Seek common ground. Remember you can't balance the budget, by cutting income. Move the extremist of the Republican party to the periphery. Dump Gingrich, and Giuliani - they have too much baggage. Be the president of all Americans. Not just the Christians, not just the white men and women, not just the straight people, all of us. Common sense and working across the aisle, will lead to success.