The Election: The Day After And 5 Truths Trump Taught Me
Last night Trump shocked the world by winning the electoral votes needed to put his ass in the Oval Office. I gotta give it to him. He played us all. He played our emotions over our common sense. He played us like an audience in a reality entertainment world. It worked.
I spent election Tuesday talking to small business owners throughout Arkansas (deep Trump territory), mostly insurance agents, and one local bar owner specializing in craft beers about their businesses and how to grow them more profitably moving into 2017. It was a great trip filled with good food, cold drinks, genuine hospitality, and great people. My flight home took off safely around 6PM.
I landed in Austin, looked at my phone, and learned Trump won Ohio. The apocalypse was happening.
Tonight, one day later, once again, President Obama was right. The sun rose again. It's up to us how to decide how to use the new day. I fucking miss my Pres already and he ain't even gone yet.
However disappointed I feel about Hilary losing out The Donald, he will be our President. I'm most disappointed that once again, our archaic Electoral College has failed us. That makes twice in my lifetime alone. Hillary won the popular vote. America elected a female president as the leader of the free world, but we stepped in our own way - again. Maybe we need to collectively read Tyrese's book as a nation.
Tyrese blames you, America.
Trump has taught me a few things. And I'm grateful for the lessons.
Don't take my democracy for granted. As someone who wasn't born inside United States, I've always had an appreciation for the American Dream and the democracy backed free market enterprise that made it possible. Through generational knowledge and the compounded experience of failure, some families have a leg up on others - Trump's lineage comes to mind.
American democracy was a great idea executed by pioneers at the right time. And the democracy I enjoy today won't be around forever. I need to enjoy it while it's still here.
Strong emotions will always defeat common sense. Fear, hope, survival, hate. Viscerally felt, any of these wipe the floor with policy every single day of the week. Who has time for common sense when you believe you're fighting for your life? Trump tapped into his American marketing prowess to exploit an opportunity for his own gain. Imagine what President does for his brand - or his ego. He manipulates emotions for his personal gain. And he's done it right into the highest office of the land.
American misogyny is alive and well. As a country with our flawed system, we elected a man who brags about grabbing women by the pussy over a person who has a vagina - simply because she has one. We are a bold nation indeed.
Trump taught us not to be idle. On this historic and embarrassing election night, my wife told simply told me it meant that she needed to do better. And she's right. We are all responsible for our own homes and the lives of those closest to us. She's using it as motivation and it's a brilliant reaction. It's really the only reaction we truly have available to us. We have to be better versions of ourselves to have any hope of bringing about a better country or life for our kids to inherit.
White people are angrier than I thought. Obviously, not all white people. Just the ones who paid for this billboard in Arkansas, and people who choose Harrison as the perfect place to raise a good Christian family the way God intended the world to be. The need to survive Trumps all other instincts (pun so intended), and being able to be openly fearlessly white is damn near a right in this country. The anger of witnessing what millions of Americans must have felt was a diluting of everything that made this country great was overwhelming. And as Van Jones so brilliantly put it, responded with a "whitelasing."
I've woefully underestimated how marginalized a large percentage of America truly feels.
So as the world recovers from the shock no one should be surprised by, I realize tonight that President Elect Donald Trump has given me an opportunity. An opportunity to decide how I want my children's future to look like. An opportunity to decide what kind of man do I want to reflect in the world. An opportunity to fight harder tomorrow so my daughter knows a world where privileged men aren't entitled to sexual assault. An opportunity to organize people for something instead of against something. An opportunity to learn the best of Trump while applying it to the best of causes.
Because this is America, and the opportunity to be the change we want to see is exactly what makes this country already fucking great.