Sydney M. Williams
Thought of the Day
November 9, 2016
“if you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it,
for it is not to be reached by search or trial.”
The principles that America stood for – liberty, freedom of speech, free market capitalism – were eroding. Government had become isolated from those it governs. Political correctness, arrogance, hubris, hypocrisy, fabrication, mendacity, vilification, divisiveness had become common. Washington’s establishment and the media were blind to the rumblings of the earth beneath their feet. Even Britain’s vote to leave the European Union did not alert those who stood deaf and blind to changes around them.
To borrow a phrase from Donald Rumsfeld, Donald Trump’s victory means America has taken a chance on an unknown, rather than continue ahead with a known. Mr. Trump is the oldest person ever elected President. He has never held political office. He has never served the United States in the military, or in any other capacity. On the other hand, his competitor was well-known. Hillary Clinton has been in the nation’s public eye since her husband was elected President twenty-four years ago, when he famously told the American people they were getting two for the price of one. She served in the U.S. Senate for eight years and as Secretary of State for four years. She is probably as experienced as any candidate since John Quincy Adams. Yes, the American people do know her and because of that (or despite it) they rejected her.
Donald Trump should express humility at the awesome task before him – not only of returning the country to its democratic roots, but of healing the divisions that exist and that this campaign has magnified. He must reach not only across the aisle, but down it. He must help bind up a wounded nation. He must restore America’s faith in government, by making it worthy of respect. But he should not forget the factors that have brought him to this pinnacle – corruption and cronyism; a sluggish economy; an immigration policy that keeps out too many of the aspirant and lets in too many of those simply seeking assistance, and who have not gone through the legal process; trade policies that ignore their effect on millions of workers; inner city schools that cater to unions, not students; and a sense that Washington, its tax policies and regulation, favor the status quo over the creative and innovative.
Donald Trump must rid himself of those expressions that cause people to think him misogynist, racist or xenophobic – words that had allowed the media to create a cartoonish character. He must let the people know the character of those individuals who will advise him.
But he is to be congratulated. He is accused of not being smart or well educated, but his acumen allowed him to see an opening, an opportunity in our political world. He took a shot, and to the surprise of millions, including me, he succeeded. May his actions prove worthy of his promises.