Linwood Nature Preserve: Gainesville's hidden jewel
The presidential post-mortems over the last three-plus weeks have been at once amusing and revelatory.
The amusement comes from how much has been revealed about Democrats and their alt-left brethren (if there’s an alt-right, then there has to be an alt-left, although no one has referred to them as that just yet; think Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Black Lives Matter and the Occupy Movement).
As it turns out, liberals and Democrats are just as churlish and childish as are Republicans and conservatives when they don’t get their way.
Instead of reasoned discourse in the wake of the election of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, we have seen a spate of foot-stomping, snot-bubble producing, pre-adolescent tantrum-throwing by those opposed to him.
It’s not a great deal different than what we saw from the Republicans after Barack Obama’s election in 2008 and again in 2012. Instead of working out what was best for the United States, the Republicans stood defiantly in Obama’s way on much of what he sought to do.
Trump will have a Republican House and Senate and should not face as much gridlock as when one party has the White House and the other Congress, or when Congress is split.
The fact that Republicans not only gained the White House but maintained their grip on both the House and Senate while increasing their dominance in governorships (33, up from 31), and now control both legislative bodies in 32 states, sent what I thought was a clear message to the country’s power elite.
That message is that whatever the Democrats and their alt-left comrades are selling, more than 60 million American voters are not buying.
Whether it is identity politics, unfair charges of racism and so-called “white privilege” or just the “looking-down-our-noses-at-you” contempt those on the East and West coasts have for Middle America, those Middle Americans said they had had enough.
To be clear, as I have written here before, I am not a Trump supporter or fan. I did not vote for either him nor Clinton because I think both are egomaniacal blowhards who were uniquely unqualified to be president by virtue of their volatility, their lack of ethics and their inability to recognize the truth about much of anything. But enough Americans disagreed with me and saw Trump as the lesser of two really bad evils.
What Trump did to the surprise of many was upend the entire electoral process. There has never been another candidate like him, whether dealing with his own party, the media or the competition. And that apparently appealed to a lot of people.
The political and media elite did not have the slightest clue that this shakeup was going on. That’s because they tend to stay within their own little bubbles where everyone has the same opinions and no one has a real sense of what is going on in the heartland.
As a result, Democrats and liberals are continuing to look for someone or something to blame rather than engaging in serious introspection. That was brought home late last week when the Democrats once again chose Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California as House minority leader. It will just be more of the same for the Democrats for the next four years.
Some of those theories about why Trump won are absolutely priceless. One of my favorites is he won because of “stupid white women who voted for Trump only because their husbands told them to.”
Tell that to the lesbian couple I know, one of whom has a master’s degree, the other who is studying for her Ph.D, both of whom were strong Trump supporters because they don’t like either of the Clintons and are tired of the mess in Washington, D.C.
Then there’s the “male and female misogynists voted for Trump simply because Clinton is a woman.” My guess is there are a large number of Americans out there who are ready and willing — me included — to vote for a woman for president as long as that woman is ethical, truthful and has the best interests of the country at heart. In other words, everything Hillary Clinton is not.
One of the more nonsensical excuses for Trump’s victory appeared in The Washington Post under the headline “How the electoral college gerrymanders the presidential vote.” The piece posits that if just four counties — one in Illinois and three in Florida — were moved into neighboring states, Clinton would have won.
And if pigs had wings, we’d have a lot less bacon.
The entire premise of the story is absurd, but that is the lengths to which the up-East media and Democrats are going to in an effort to delegitimize Trump’s victory and undermine his presidency even before he takes office. Some of those efforts include threats of violence being directed at Electoral College voters if they don’t change their votes from Trump to Clinton.
And here I thought the Democrats were the party of peace, love, understanding and diversity.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., two of the alt-left standard bearers, requested little more than a week after the election that a federal agency review Trump’s transition process, citing chaos and disarray.
What they failed to mention is that it took Obama three weeks to make his first Cabinet pick and no one complained then about chaos or disarray.
And more than 500,000 people have signed a petition asking that the entire election be nullified, the votes of more than 60 million Americans thrown out and the Electoral College forced to pick Clinton over Trump for president.
And you thought the country was divided before the election.
Trump has a tough road ahead of him. He will be held to a higher standard than was Obama for reasons I will discuss in a future piece.
But that’s as it should be. Trump should be held to a higher standard because he represents the country and he represents the American people, not just himself and his business interests.
Whether Trump understands that and grows into the office remains to be seen. But he at least deserves that chance.
Ron Martz is Marine Corps veteran (1965-68), journalist and former educator who lives in Northeast Georgia. His columns appear monthly.