Op-Ed: America’s Future by Fletcher Hall

Share

In one significant and unprecedented election, America’s foreseeable future was decided in an amazing way when Donald Trump was elected as the new president of the United States.

The voters elected him in one of the most cantankerous and rancorous political campaigns in modern American history. The stakes were high and the issues numerous and complex. The results were totally unexpected.

As the new president of the United States, Trump will be facing difficult challenges at home and perilous situations throughout the world. He will need challenging, demanding, and diverse solutions. The solutions presented by the major presidential candidates were very dissimilar and emanated from totally different political philosophies and career backgrounds.

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-8-26-05-pmPerhaps the last presidential candidate attempting to jump from businessman to President was Wendell Willkie in 1940. This year, the difference was again stark: a businessman versus a career politician. The choice American voters had to make was tremendous. While the Clinton cabal has been effectively operating in the United States for over 30 years, the demographics and culture of America have changed distinctly and rapidly. The nation is extremely divided: divided by political philosophy, economic status, race, and religious convictions. This nation needs to better assimilate the changing factors in our national politics. This year’s presidential election will impact the direction of the nation throughout the 21st century and, perhaps, well beyond.

National security is another essential issue that did not receive adequate attention by either candidate in the presidential election. ISIS remains a threat abroad and has reached our homeland on several occasions. The attacks in this country have spread fear and angst. The “angst” factor has been neither thoroughly measured nor totally understood. With no definitive direction or adequate plan to defeat ISIS in the Middle East, Africa and, ultimately, in this nation, America’s future will definitely be affected by the new president’s decisions and the response of the American electorate. The issue of terror (ISIS), and the need for a more robust economy were perhaps the two most pervasive and serious matters facing this country and the new president. America’s anemic growth and GDP must be improved in order for the nation to experience the progress needed to assure our leadership position in the international global economy.

There were dire predictions from both major presidential campaigns of the havoc that would be wreaked after the election. Of course, these predictions may not be factual. It is a fact that the divisions in America are deep and serious. The new president will have to prove he can effectively resolve these divisions.

However, the United States has proven it is a most resilient nation which has met many challenges in its over 200-year history. It is still the nation to which people risk their lives to gain entry.

In the 1860s, Alexis de Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America, wrote that, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Make no mistake: America is still a great nation. This country is still the envy of the rest of the world in terms of military might, economic opportunity, agricultural innovation and production, and technological advancement.

The challenge for America is to retain and expand these significant attributes. These issues were key components of the presidential election of 2016. Our future economic and civic life will be under new leadership with a new Congress to determine our laws. The future of the nation will be in new and different hands with the trajectory having been determined by the votes of American citizens.

Voting is a central tenet of our democracy. It determines the future of our nation and its people. Men and women have died, and continue to die, to ensure this right for all Americans.

It is the obligation of all citizens to exercise their right to vote. In many ways, the future of our nation and our democracy has now been determined by the 2016 election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

This statement in not simply rhetoric. More than ever, this year, it is a fact.

Letters to Editor

  1. On this, I think we can all agree: “The nation is extremely divided: divided by political philosophy, economic status, race, and religious convictions.” On this, we cannot all agree: “This nation needs to better assimilate the changing factors in our national politics.” Decoding Mr Hall, this is a call to cave in and embrace the distorted worldview of a man that is the very embodiment of rich, white privilege.

    Unfortunately, life is not an Etch-a-Sketch. You can’t un-ring the bell. Throughout trump’s campaign we all heard what we heard and saw what we saw. It was ugly. trump used language and evoked themes that were and are indefensible. The campaign broke all civilized boundaries of comity, ethics, and decency. It was filled with juvenile name-calling, misogyny, and overt racism. Even Paul Ryan labeled it racist. It birthed a wave of racist and religious harassment incidents that are only growing in numbers since the election. Thoughtful Republican leaders recognized the divisiveness and distanced themselves from trump in droves.

    trump’s campaign may have been a victory for fear mongering, demagoguery, vitriol, and ignorance but it does not and should not validate it. To characterize the contest as “rancorous” is to paper-over the shear ruthlessness and vengefulness mr trump unleashed on his opponents in both parties.

    In addition, for what may be the first time in our modern politics, a hostile foreign power directly hacked into our democracy, apparently by invitation, to aid one candidate in defeating the other. As did the director of what was once thought to be a reputable and neutral investigative agency of our government whose strategically-timed sabotage derailed a political opponent on her way to victory. In the process, it revealed the director to be just another partisan hack. This is the stuff of tin-pot dictatorships and strongmen in the third-world.

    Mr trump’s victory is Pyrrhic. Mrs Clinton’s two-million popular vote plurality indicates she had the backing of the majority in this country. Meanwhile trump will enter office as having posted the highest unfavorable ratings for any candidate in history. The NY Times reported exit poll data showing only 4 in 10 people strongly favored trump even though they voted for him. Interviews indicated people were willing to take a risk with him but expressed wariness and “hoped” he would change things even though no one can agree what change means.

    Looking forward, trump will enter office with unprecedented conflicts of interest and legal entanglements owing to his business dealings. The centerpiece of trump’s campaign was the charge that Mrs Clinton deleted incriminating emails and that her refusal to release them to the public was tantamount to an admission of guilt of some vaguely stated malfeasance or misfeasance in office. At the same time, trump refused to release his tax returns and by all early accounts, he will continue to refuse to place his business in a blind trust or open the books of his business for public scrutiny in order to reassure the nation that decisions made during his administration are not made for his singular benefit. This is not Ok. This is not normal. The table is being set for state-sponsored corruption on a scale never seen in this country before.

Write a Letter to the Editor on this Article

We encourage readers to offer their point of view on this article by submitting the following form. Editing is sometimes necessary and is done at the discretion of the editorial staff.