Still stronger together
A Clinton supporter says we need to be more like Hillary and less like Donald
Eight years ago, in the euphoria of America electing it’s first AfricanAmerican president, I thought our nation had turned a corner for the better. Then the racists out there and the obstructionists in the government did all they could to insult, interrupt and interfere with Barack Obama’s presidency.
For those of us of color, seeing our first elected black president being disrespected has been personally painful. We, too, were insulted; many whites of goodwill were highly upset and outraged by the ugly treatment of the first black president, too.
Now comes this 2016 campaign, a sad combination of theater of the absurd and a bad dream, a nightmare for the ages. The media gave Donald Trump, by some estimates, billions of dollars of free publicity as he decimated his Republican primary opponents one by one with his dismissive attitude and his tailor-made insults for each. Charley Rose spoke his name to begin the CBS Morning News Show every day for months, and Chris Matthews turned a camera on him many nights and let him speak to his “Hardball” TV audience while Mr. Trump barked nonsense to an adoring, angry audience in halls around the country. Mr. Trump stoked their anger, he stirred their white rage. And he won. I was wrong. I predicted to everyone who’d listen that Hillary Clinton would be elected the 45th president of the United States. I was confident of her victory despite the distracting harping on her emails, the cynicism of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign against her that lingered on too long, the WikiLeaks sent via Russia’s Vladimir Putin and, god forbid, the interference of the renegade FBI.
They threw everything they could at her. And she got up every day and kept plugging away. She is strong, smart and persistent. She is imperfect, but perhaps purified a bit by the too-long, too-mean campaign, she would have made a great president.
And now many of us are very sad, some of us are afraid for the future. How do we explain the election results to the children?
Tell them sometimes the bad guys win. Tell them never cow to bullies. Tell them to be more like Hillary, not Donald: admit your mistakes, keep trying and shake hands with your opponent when you lose.
We will get through these next four years. The big loss is that we had a chance to elect a woman for president. It would have made a great statement about gender equality. We are behind many other nations in the world in hiring a woman to be our chief executive. That fact is more than a bit embarrassing.
Historians will tell us Abraham Lincoln’s ideals were followed by President Andrew Johnson’s hateful, racist effort to diminish American citizens of color. And likewise, Mr. Trump follows Mr. Obama: from high to low again.
We will be all right, friends. We are stronger than hate. We are filled with love and moved by it. We will always have our dreams and find some energy to fulfill them.
Let’s get a good night’s sleep, a good day’s rest and let’s pray for our futures and our children’s and grandchildren’s tomorrows. But let us not kneel too long, as the African proverb reminds us, “when we pray we must move our feet.” It is movement time.
And let us not forget what Hillary tried to teach us, “we are stronger together.” I’m with her idea.