Still stronger to­gether

A Clin­ton sup­porter says we need to be more like Hil­lary and less like Don­ald

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Ralph E. Moore Jr., Bal­ti­more

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.

KAL/THE ECON­O­MIST

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