||[Nov. 17th, 2016 * 10:59 pm]
Over the past week, my thoughts have been see-sawing back and forth about Trump's win. Between, on the one side, a great fear of very horrible things that may be coming (!), and on the other, hoping that maybe it won't be that bad (~), maybe no worse than past administrations we've lived through.
! human rights abuses, loss of liberties, breakdown of democracy, dictatorship, rolling back of health care progress, complete outlawing of abortions, etc.
~ even though the Republicans have the majority in both houses, doesn't mean that they will support Trump on all issues. Republicans have been greatly divided about him. Then again, he'll probably support most of the awful things they'll want passed.
~ Maybe now that he's won the election, he'll back off on some of the things he proposed. Yeah, right.
Anyway. There's not much point in me going into many details on that, as I don't think other people really care what I think, and they have their own thoughts and worries to deal with. And so many other people say it so much better than I can.
About the protests that have gone on, I sympathize with people being upset, fearful, and worried, and wanting to demonstrate and protest. But what do the protesters hope to achieve? To somehow prevent the president-elect from becoming president, through something other than the rule of law? That would likely be the end of democracy in this country, so I can't support that. It would be our demise.
(I had had a slight hope that Trump would be convicted of some major crime before he was sworn in, preventing him from becoming president in a legal manner, but that hope seems ever more remote. And I don't even know what the law says about such a scenario.)
Likewise, I'm all in favor of getting rid of the electoral college and instead electing the president by popular vote. But I'm against the idea that Hillary should be made president *now* based on the popular vote, scrapping the electoral college. Again, that would likely be the end of democracy in this country. The electoral college needs to be disposed of by changing the law, and for the next election, not one that has already happened. Unfortunately, that will not likely happen anytime soon, as the party who benefits the most from it has a majority in Congress. But anything else would result in a civil war or a complete downfall into chaos and loss of government stability. How would Hillary's supporters be feeling right now if she had just barely lost the popular vote, but had a majority of electoral votes? Would they be willing to hand over the election to the other side based on the popular vote? I don't think so.
(I'm not totally against the idea of electors switching their votes, as from what I understand, that wouldn't technically be illegal. If a bunch of electors did that, at the very least it might give Congress more impetus to get rid of the electoral college sooner than otherwise. But if enough electors did that to change the outcome of the election, I worry that would also lead to extreme violence and rioting nationwide, and a breakdown of government.)
I sort of wish that the people who've been protesting in the streets would be saving their energy and outrage for later on. Right now, the protests give the impression that the demonstrators are protesting against democracy, against a fairly elected president*. I don't see how that can do us any good. It would be much better to protest later on, if and when the people in charge try to pass bad laws, or try to issue bad edicts. Then the protests would be against something concrete and real, not based on dislike of a person, and fear of what that person *may* do.
*I haven't heard any reports of election fraud, so I have to assume the election results are accurate.
Before the election, I heard someone on the news talking about how American democracy is so good, compared to many other countries, because we have a peaceful passing of power from one administration to the next. In many countries, such things are always marked by bloodshed and fighting and violence. In many countries, political opponents are assassinated. I don't want to live in one of the latter kinds of places.
Yes, I do think the Trump presidency is likely to be a big step backwards for us. But I think the alternatives now would be worse. Obviously, depending on what may come in the next 4 or more years, I may change my mind.
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