Thoughts about the Election 2016

This election yesterday which will bring Donald Trump to the Presidency of my country in January has taught me so much, not just about my country but about myself.  This is because I now pay attention much better, not only to what happens “out there” in my world but what happens “in here” in my subjective experience.  No longer do I have the luxury of merely coasting by on my convenient set of preconceptions.

The American people have clearly voted for a more conservative direction in our country, politically and culturally.  Their insistence on a return to conservative values was so emphatic that they were even willing to vote for a candidate that most of them did not like, many of whom even found it embarrassing to vote for him.  And I feel passionately that a conservative presence in any culture is needed; but it is sad that the Republican Party could not come up with a candidate who represented their values and didn’t bring Trump’s unsavory qualities to the table.

Furthermore, this election was an affirmation about a certain way of looking at the world, a worldview with very certain and rigid boundaries best illustrated with Trump’s brazen declaration to “build a wall” to keep out the Mexicans and even to make Mexico pay for it.  This “building of walls” is a metaphor for the whole emphasis of the Trumpian message to “Make American Great Again,” meaning to turn back the clock to the time when boundaries were very definite and “everybody” knew their place.  Yes, “Negroes”, women, homosexuals, foreigners of all stripes, and all expressions of diversity were frowned upon or persecuted.

When the basic assumptions that formulate the template through which we view the world are threatened, it is a very human response to want to revert to what has worked in the past to diminish or eliminate this threat.  This is true on an individual and a collective level.  But sometimes this need for the security of the “tried and true” of yesteryear can become too great and we will succumb to the temptation of making,  “for ourselves a life safer than we can bear.”  (W. H. Auden)  Life is inherently dynamic and with the dynamic flow of this spiritual process there is always some risk involved.  Without willingness to take risks, to change, we have retreated to a sterile and moribund world which leaves us bereft of spirit, existing only as the walking dead.


4 thoughts on “Thoughts about the Election 2016

  1. Bill X

    Dear Lew, I enjoy your writing and your scholarly thoughts, but I’m confused by your conclusions today.  Trumps “wall” is not about rigid out-of-date keeping-people-in-their-place (including “Negros”) thinking.  It’s about, 1) following our immigration laws, which we must do with fairness and determination in order for a civilized society and a successful economy to exist, and 2) we owe it to American citizens to make them top priority with regard to jobs and benefits — would you tell your own kids, sorry, we can’t take you to the dentist to fix your teeth because we already spent our funds helping people who illegally snuck over our border to live here?  The VA, for example, has let down veterans.  Not that we shouldn’t help outsiders, but our internal problems should be higher priority.  That’s how I see it, along with many Trump supporters, and that is one message of this election. Sincerely,Bill Xenakis   

    From: literary lew To: Sent: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 10:37 AM Subject: [New post] Thoughts about the Election 2016 #yiv2546376705 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2546376705 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2546376705 a.yiv2546376705primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2546376705 a.yiv2546376705primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2546376705 a.yiv2546376705primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2546376705 a.yiv2546376705primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2546376705 | literarylew posted: “This election yesterday which will bring Donald Trump to the Presidency of my country in January has taught me so much, not just about my country but about myself.  This is because I now pay attention much better, not only to what happens “out there” in m” | |


    1. literarylew Post author

      I’m enjoying your feedback.
      I was presenting the Trumpian “wall” as a metaphor for what I see as an exaggerated emphasis of the Republicans on boundaries, returning to a time when definitions were more clearly defined. One simple illustration of this is their resistance to gender diversity, preferring the “tried and true” reality of “boys being boys” and “girls being girls” not able to handle the possibility that gender happens on a continnum. But, I have no problem on establishing and enforcing immigration laws and on giving priority to our citizenry. But the present emphasis of the Republican Party is xenophobic and there is a dangerous tendency toward isolationism. The issue is “measurement in all things” and the Republicans demonstrated a complete unwillingness to be “measured” in their response to Obama and now they have as a leader one who is refractory or all “measuring” of impulses and restraints.


  2. Anonymous

    even in defeat at this election shows her undefeated allegiance to the constitution of the U.S.A. and love of the American people. Hillary lives very fully what it means to have strength of character. A strong role model.
    I honestly can’t even look or listen to your new president elect right now.
    However America is in my prayers and that includes everyone.

    Mourning in Saskatoon,Sk. Canada,
    Bonnie Roberts

    Liked by 1 person


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