Sean Edwards

The American Resurrection

Why Your Reaction To The Election May Say More About You Than The Election

election-responseThis election night was a roller coaster ride for many. I think we can all agree with that.

I spent the evening in a hotel lobby with some good friends while on a business trip watching the results come in.

And as the night went on, and it became more and more apparent that Trump was going to win, we saw more and more people crying around us.

There was an educators conference going on at the hotel as well, and they obviously, as a block, wanted Clinton to win.

I heard people sobbing about the results. And it broke my heart.

The problem isn’t with the system. Even though the system has many problems. The problem isn’t with Trump. Even though Trump has many problems. The problem isn’t why Hillary lost. Even though there are many reasons she did.

The problem is the faith, the trust, and the hope we place in one individual we think can change the course of our lives.

The problem is the faith, the trust, and the hope we place in one individual we think can change the course of our lives.

There’s a growing concept out there that some are referring to as the “cult of the presidency.”

You see, the president was never meant to be very powerful. He, or she, was merely supposed to execute the laws that Congress enacted (and foreign relations).

Don’t get me wrong, that still gave the president a lot of power. But the president cannot legislate. The president cannot make laws. The president cannot do most of the things that we want the government to do. And the president can’t do 90% of the things they promise they’ll do. They just don’t have the power to do it.

And that is why the founding fathers set up our government this way.

Therefore, when someone like Trump wins the presidency, we have confidence that his influence can only go so far. Congress can keep him in check. As well as the Supreme Court. And if you think Trump has Congress in his pocket, then you haven’t been watching the news over the last six months.

The problem is not Trump. The problem is that we as individuals have placed our hope, and even a piece of our identity (how we view ourselves and our self-worth) in the candidate of our choosing.

And when that candidate loses, we feel like a piece of our own identity lost. We feel like the country rejected our values, and therefore rejected us.

We feel marginalized and invisible. We feel insignificant and under the boot of our opponent. We even want to say, “Not my president.”

But that says more about us than it does the election.

A wise person once said, “Insecurity is a wrong security exposed.” Meaning, when we feel marginalized or insecure, we have placed our sense of self (or security) in the wrong place.

Why on earth do we allow our sense of self-worth and validation to depend on who gets elected?

If you were devastated by the results of election night, I ask you to take a moment and look within.

  • Did you misplace your confidence?
  • Did you buy the lie that you’re a victim if the opponent wins?
  • Did you swallow the idea that one person can fix our problems?
  • Did you drink the partisan Kool-Aid that said, “if the other person wins we’re all doomed?”.

If so, then you may have unwittingly joined the cult of the presidency. And I invite you now to breathe a sigh of relief.

The world is not going to end.

Our hope, as people and a civilization, has to be in something other than one person who is in office for 4 to 8 years… and whose job description explicitly keeps them from writing laws or enacting edicts.

And if you are still worried about what Trump might do, then I also invite you to take a second look at how you want your government structured.

Do you want a government so powerful that a person like Trump can have that kind of power?

Is that the kind of government you want? If it isn’t, then we need to restore the values of the republic.

This was a truly emotional day. And many people are still processing through the results of the election.

But if you take nothing else from this post, please take hope.

Let’s reinvest in our system, reinforce the values of the separation of powers, and enforce the strict limitations the constitution places on the presidency.

Then, we can all go back to living the lives we want to live.

Let freedom reign.

About Sean Edwards

Sean Edwards is an author and a communication strategist. He graduated from the Western Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in history. Sean has a passion for discussing philosophy and American politics.

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  • Eileen

    I don’t think that Trump would solve my problem. I voted for him for the simple reason that he had no interest in micromanaging my life in ways that matter to me. Yes, he may be an authoritarian, but he is an authoritarian areas that are of no concern to me. He is not a libertarian so I don’t expect libertarian policies. I expect him to honor the rule of law and cut back on some of the administrative state that I personally found stifling. Will he shrink government? Maybe, but I’m not holding my breath. DO I think he’ll repeal Obamacare? He may try, but he won’t succeed, considering how many House Republicans got rich off insider trading on pharmaceuticals.

    If all he did was make it easier for me to start a business and got rid of the PC culture, he will have my vote for 2020.

    • Jeffrey A Addy

      Maybe he does not plan on micromanaging YOUR life. WHAT about the lives of women and LBGTQ people? Any thought’s about what is best for ALL American citizens? Remember the story of they came for…… but I was not one so I did nothing?

      • Sean Edwards

        Jeffrey, I understand your concern, but lets not give into the fear machine produced during the campaign. A lot of people claimed Trump would wage a war on minorities, the LGBTQ community, and women, but it was 90% political spin (albeit based on some unsavory comments made by our now president-elect, thus the 10%). There was no proof. It was simply soundbites and out-of-context quotes used to give the illusion of proof. Just like the right spewed misinformation and accusations about Clinton assassinating political opponents. And I will not be a part of the spin and deception. If you have facts that prove Trump is going to wage a war on these individuals, then please supply it. Otherwise, I will not propagate the kind of misinformation that steals the hope of my fellow americans.

      • Joan

        In my mind, the problem comes with the anger and hatred that his rhetoric has incited. There is a segment of the population that thinks they now have a mandate to say or do whatever they want because their newly-elected president thinks the same way they do. They are out in the streets, in the stores, restaurants, bars and businesses spewing their hatred and otherwise hurting people that are different from them. Donald Trump may not actually support these people but his comments and sound bites have unleashed them on our country and they’re not going away. In my opinion, it’s a national nightmare and I can’t seem to wake up from it.

      • Sean Edwards

        Again, I would caution against buying into the spin. I did not vote for Trump. But, just as an example, watch this: https://youtu.be/cilXJk2qfCE

        From his own lips: “I promise to protect the LGBTQ community…” and in reference to orlando shooting/hate crime: “That has to stop. That is not okay.”

        Again, I did not vote for Trump, but I am challenging us to look beyond the political spin and seek the truth. Now, you may question Trumps sincerity, but that’s a different issue. I am merely submitting the his own words as evidence.

      • Katelyn

        Sir, I don’t trust you with the safety of my transgender friends at all. No proof? You are detached from it, how very lucky for you…

      • Sean Edwards

        I have LGBTQ friends. They seem to trust me. Try not assume things about me, and I’ll try not to assume things about you.

        And just throw this out there: https://youtu.be/cilXJk2qfCE

        I didn’t vote for him, but I never saw this on the news during the election.

      • Megan

        Trump chose Ken Blackwell to lead domestic policy on his transition team. Idiot thinks I can CHOOSE my sexual orientation. I guess he CHOSE to be straight???

        “I think homosexuality is a lifestyle, it’s a choice, and that lifestyle can be changed,”
        -Ken Blackwell

      • Sean Edwards

        People are allowed to opinions, until those opinions lead to actions that violate the rights of others. If we want a return to civility, then we need to accept and respect that. I have been an outspoken critic of the Right’s attempt to legislation who can marry whom. But I also defend people’s rights to have opinions and to live their lives as they see fit. That means people are allowed to think differently than me… even if it is about me. I can try to convince them they are wrong (if I feel it would be productive), but unless those opinions lead to physical assault or theft, there’s nothing I can do. If someone doesn’t want to serve me because I’m a privileged white male, that is their prerogative. Its bad business, but its their right. I cannot force them to sell me anything, or perform a service for me–even if I feel offended and marginalized by their bigotry–because I don’t have that right.

        I’m sorry you feel marginalized and victimized. I apologize for republicans who have tried to dictate how you can live your life. And if Trump starts rounding up the LGBTQ community, I’ll grab a gun and defend you as if you were my own family. But I don’t think that will happen. Check this out: https://youtu.be/cilXJk2qfCE

        I invite you to enter the discussion with a willingness to hear other people, and not judge them immediately, even if they have contrary opinions about your lifestyle. It is only then that we, as a country, will be able to move forward.

      • Kim

        Slow clap!

      • Niki C

        Women will not be hurt by a Trump presidency. He has placed women in powerful positions in his companies. In fact one of the people high on his list of Supreme Court nominees is a woman!
        As a women I would be embarrassed to have Hillary represent me as she committed a felony of “gross negligence” in putting classified documents on a private server risking our national security and the lives of our military. I also did not vote for her because she would not be able to create jobs for Americans with her trade policies that favor other nations, her open borders policy would put out nation at risk for terrorism, drugs and gang violence as well as the flood of new welfare recipients that would bankrupt our country.
        Finally I like Trump’s common sense law and order stance to build a strong military to ensure peace as our enemies will now respect us. I lived and worked in a Muslim country and understand their mindset. I respect the people Trump will nominate to the Supreme Court. They willfsirky Internet the constitution.
        I resent the name calling! I am not a racist a homophobe ..,and really I do not believe Trump is either. He is too busy running a business and teaching those skills to his children.

      • Haley

        I’m a women and I voted for Trump for the same reason stated above! Hillary was planning to put even more regulations on small businesses causing it difficult for small business owners to make it. We are also gun owners and proud supporters of the 2nd amendment. Hillary’s attempt to limit ammo and strip these rights from citizens are not okay by me. I won’t even state my opinion about her turning a blind eye to ‘radical Islamic’ and other terrorist issues! I also prefer not to go to war with Russia! I’m not saying I think Trump is the best candidate however he is most definitely the less of the two evils! I also whole heartedly believe he has this country at best interest and he will do what he can to keep us SAFE! Unlike his opponent that would have sold us to the highest bidder!

      • Sean Edwards

        There are some good thoughts here. But I would challenge you to rethink what might have happened under Hillary. If we don’t believe half they stuff people say about Trump, then why should we believe the stuff they say about Hillary? All I’m saying is that we don’t know what she would have done, and even though she appeared to play the political game very well, I still assume her intentions were good. Maybe she adopted the philosophy that you have to play the game to effect the change. Just some thoughts…

      • Widget Lead

        Look at the staff of his businesses. It’s filled with women, people of all races and gays. What makes you think he won’t continue on in that vein? His campaign chair was a woman.

      • Cherie Puckhaber

        one of the members of this transitional team is gay I really don’t think their rights are in danger. Not to mention the fact that he was a Democrat first and he was born and raised in one of the most liberal cities in the country

      • Dorothy Gail

        Sean? Did you notice there was more going on with this election than president? Are you disregarding what Kasich revealed about Trump when Kasich was invited to be Trump’s running mate? Do you see what policies Pence embraces? A Republican senate would confirm justices that would uphold Citizens United and repeal Roe v. Wade. Sean, you appear to be a closet Republican. Why else would you deny us our grief?

      • Sean Edwards

        I am a registered Republican, but I don’t identify as one. I identify as libertarian. More libertarian than Gary Johnson.

        I actually support the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizen’s United. I wrote a post about it here: Why The Court Made The Right Decision on Citizen’s United.

        You have to get into the weeds on this one to really understand it. Are there real problems that need to be changed about our campaign finances? Yes. But upholding Citizens United was actually win for individual rights. Just read the article.

        And, I am Pro-Life, but not for religious reason. It has everything to do with logic and reason. In fact, I was a Pro-Choice Christian for a while. My faith did not change my mind. Thinking through the issue did. Again, I wrote an article on that as well. You see it here: Why Being Pro-Life Has Nothing To Do With Religion

        I am an ardent defender of individual rights. That puts me at odds with my republican brothers and sister quite often. It also puts me at odds with my democratic brothers and sisters. However, it also allows me to cross party lines. I can side with democrats on a lot of issues, and I side with republican on other issues. And on some issues, I stand alone with a very few ardent individualists.

        I hope that brings clarity.

      • Jonathan Justo

        Sean, you are right. There is no proof he will target those groups. But, there is also no proof he will not. However, there are more reasons to believe he will. First of all his insults. Then, have you seen how his insults have been propagating hate and making some “brave” to bully those groups? He has not even taken office and there are a lot of xenophobes acting violently, shielded under this false sense of protection he has put out there! Last, as you said, should you have proof that he is not going to target , those groups, then please supply it. Otherwise, you too should restrain yourself from propagating misinformation that give a false sense of hope to Americans.

      • Sean Edwards

        Jonathan, there actually is proof that he won’t go after those groups. His businesses, and his campaign team, had many minorities, women, and even some LGBTQ. If he really wanted to go after those groups, why would he employ them? And if its all a ploy, why would those individuals go along with it?

        It seems far more likely that this whole thing was fabricated by campaign machine. And don’t get me wrong, the right the did the same thing to Hillary.

      • Joe

        Trump has been a supporter of the LGBTQ community for decades. Hillary was against LGBTQ rights until she began going after their votes a few years ago.

      • Sean Edwards

        It certainly appears that Hillary changed her position to garner popularity. However, she also could have simply changed her mind. We don’t really know.

      • Anne
      • Dennis Edward Helmer

        You mean like the gay man who is on his transition team?

      • MC

        Women: just look at all the women that Trump has employed and have broken the glass ceiling? With regard to LBGTQ: I don’t mind their existance as long as they don’t force me (which they are doing) and everyone else to accept their values (which are not mine), and approve their ways (which are not my ways).

      • Sean Edwards

        I can agree with your comments. I believe in individual rights. That means gay people can get married if that’s what they want. The government shouldn’t be involved (unless someone is being hurt). Many of LGBTQ friends like that. But most people don’t understand government. So, when I apply the logic to a baker in colorado(?), saying they have the right refuse service to any one for any reason (so long as they’re violating the individual rights of another in doing so).

        Get married. Live the life you want. Be happy. And do the same for me. That’s all I’m asking 🙂

      • Jennifer

        Trump’s pretty liberal on LGBQTetc. matters. During the campaign he said he didn’t care what restrooms transgenders used, and more recently after the election has stated he has no interest in revisiting the topic of same-sex marriage.

        That said, it is foolish to think authoritarianism is OK in a president so long as it isn;t your own liberties being curtailed. Unfortunately, we had two main candidates who were both big-government authoritarians. Fortunately, we still have Congress and a Constitution to limit the power of the presidency.

      • Sean Edwards

        Good points!

      • NordicMoxie

        Jeffrey ~ The bias media only fed you what they wanted you to hear: anything that supported Clinton and nothing that shed a positive light on Trump. Therefore, I will assume you missed this piece. Enjoy.

        http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/2/donald-trump-holds-high-flag-gay-equality/

        And there are so many other legitimate reports out there from his rallys to his speeches to interviews. I just advise you don’t listen/read the HRC.com on this since it’s not favorable to HRC. 😉

      • politicallyincorrect

        I am a woman. I voted for him. So did my lesbian aunt. Stop speaking for us.

      • Sandy

        I am a women and am not worried about what he will do , simply because I have not fed into the corruption of the news media which has distorted both of the candidates

      • Gary

        Why is that community so scared in the first place? He has no say over that. Actually he wants to send it to the states. You’ve heard of states’ rights? He doesn’t get the right to make laws, didn’t you read the article?

      • Ariel

        Dude….read her name. Eileen is a woman.

      • Heather

        Well said, Sean! Donald Trump has bern a very public person for decades. He has never been a social liberal, so I would hardly expect him to bevome one now.

      • Mark Wurz

        Jeffrey, the man held a LGBTQ banner at a campaign rally , stated today that gay marriage was a done deal

      • AllyR

        I’m wondering why you think he’s going to get involved in limiting LBGTQ rights? He has more than once stated that Marriage Equality is settled law and he respects that.

        Unlike Clinton who until 2013 vehemently opposed Marriage Equality, to the point she praised the calamity that was Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

      • V

        What do you think he will do to women? That rhetoric “it’s my body and I will do want I want” bs doesn’t fly with me. Women need to take responsibilities for their actions and late term abortion should not be an option. That body you are destroying is not yours. The baby is a separate living human being with a different DNA than the mother. As a woman I voted Trump because of this and his other policies. As far as the transgender issues goes I do not agree that such a small percentage of people (less than 1%) should override my daughters rights to have modesty in the locker room and bathrooms. This goes for all the girls. Trump wants those decisions to be made by the state level not the federal government which does not have jurisdiction over the states for these kind of issues.

      • Kerri

        I am a woman for the last 52 years and I can tell you this….whether straight, gay or otherwise there will be NO set back of rights. I don’t know who’s been telling you all that voting for Trump would mean a set back for women but you were lied to!! THIS is the truth so please believe

      • Sean Edwards

        I think some of the concern comes around abortion rights and the supreme court. I, personally, am pro-life (for logical reasons, not religious reasons, you can learn more here). But to many, overturning Roe v Wade appears to be an assault on women’s rights.

        I don’t agree, but I can understand their position. If you believe that fertilized tissue isn’t a person yet, then an abortion would be a personal right. In this instance, the “my body, my choice” argument makes sense. And I can understand why they would see banning abortions as an attack on women.

        It all comes down to perspective. But, at the end of the day, in any argument, there is a right answer and a wrong answer. And on this issue, Pro-Life v Pro-Choice, one side IS more right than the other. Perspective can help us understand the other side. It doesn’t mean we have to agree with them. But it does change who we interact with them.

      • Sean Edwards

        Alright everyone, I think we’ve made this point 🙂 I will no longer be allowing comments on Jeffrey’s post. I think he’s been wailed on enough…

      • Kathleen

        I agree. My trans daughter is already in danger. Now what? You bet I’m concerned.

      • Sean Edwards

        Kathleen, Trump has stated that he has no plans to attack LGBTQ rights. He even has some LGBTQ working for him. Would they be okay working for him if he wanted to repeal their rights? I have a hard time believing that.

        This fear was stirred up during the campaign, unfortunately. It is my belief that you and your daughter have nothing to worry about.

    • Len

      Bravo…
      We’ll said!

      • Jerry

        Very well said !

      • Sean Edwards

        Thank you!

      • Debbie

        Bravo, from me too!!! Well said.

      • kamwick

        I absolutely do not think that Trump will wage war on the more of honorable people of our society, except perhaps economically. He will turn out to be a lot more socially liberal than the people who voted for him thought. But you cannot deny that he has brought out the racist ugly underbelly of our country, as evidenced by many actions seen just in the last week.

      • Janelle

        I would put some weight into who he is choosing to surround himself with. His choice of Ken Blackwell from the Family Research Council does seem to confirm that he’ll follow through on those threats. The Family Research Council’s top priorities are opposing reproductive rights on LGBT rights.

      • Sean Edwards

        We’ll see. Apparently, he appointed a gay man to a top position in his transition team.

      • Jen Colville

        i agree Nikki, well said!!!

    • Why would you expect him to “honor” the rule when his personal history proves the opposite? I don’t understand that feasoning

      • Sean Edwards

        It isn’t the honor system. There are systems in place to make sure he follows the rules. Can he get around them? Maybe. But remember, he’s going to be under the biggest microscope of any president. Ever. So that should give you some comfort at the very least.

      • Tanya Del Vecchio

        Sean, yes, he will go under the biggest microscope ever because of the very people you are telling to calm down. Nope, not me. Not when I see Steve Bannon’s name as slated for chief of staff. More fuel for the fire, in my opinion. Here’s a quote I find validating in these times: “Nice people made the best Nazis. My mom grew up next to them. They got along, refused to make waves, looked the other way when things got ugly and focused on happier things than ‘politics.’ They were lovely people who turned their heads as their neighbors were dragged away. You know who weren’t nice people? Resisters.” – Naomi Shulman

      • Sean Edwards

        Tanya, I’m not telling anyone to calm down. I’m asking people to examine their values and see if there are any contradictions within them they didn’t know about. Feelings are real to the people feeling them. And it is disrespectful to disregard them.

        It comes down to this: If we’re afraid of what Trump can do, does that mean we would have been okay with Hillary could’ve done? Should any one person be so powerful that their election causes genuine fear in people? And should we have a system where our hope for the future depends on the election of one individual? These are all problems with the system. Problems no one is talking about. Instead, we’re pointing fingers at who elected whom, instead of asking if we should even be voting for a quasi-dictator in the first place.

        The Trump fear points to one thing: We need to seriously reconsider how we want our government to operate.

    • Laraine

      Nicely stated…thank you.

      • Deeann

        I think Trump is bringing some of the people to the table for the particular skills and knowledge set that they have in certain areas and he will use them for those areas…whatever less useful ideas they have in other areas, ie LGBT, women’s rights, global warming issues, etc is irrelevant in the position he putting them in. If I call a plumber, I don’t really care about his politics if he can fix my sink.
        He is great at putting people in place to get the job done that he wants done.
        I believe he is more liberal thinking on social issues and everyone that is scared to death and scaring everyone else should relax and trust the system.. no one has that much power.

    • Danielle

      If what trump was saying was a political spin then what is he planning? Are you to say that it’s all nothing? Minorities shouldn’t be worried, it was just words to get elected ? Then how can you have faith he will achieve anything you wanted, or how can you know what he really wants to do?

      • Sean Edwards

        I’m saying the campaign machines took Trump’s and Hillary’s words out of context and made both of them look like reincarnations of the devil. But when you actually look at their positions, you realize they’re far more reasonable. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with many of Trump’s positions. But I’ve seen enough to know that the fear around his presidency was fabricated by the election.

      • Theodore Seeber

        Read The Art of The Deal. Trump is a negotiator, not a dictator.

      • Michael C Crosby

        For me, the point is that bigotry is best met head on and by us as individuals. There was a recently reported case in Minnesota where a Muslim woman was verbally accosted in a gas station. There were other patrons there, non of whom stood up for her. The bigotry is an issue (but we can’t legislate away bigotry) but the biggest issue is we need to stand for our values. If I had been in that store I would have stood for her rights.

        One reaction of this election is that some on the fringes might feel empowered to act a certain way. It is our duty to make sure they know those are not our values.

      • Sean Edwards

        Excellently put.

    • Katie

      Jeffrey was responding to Eileen, who said she supports Trump getting rid of the PC culture. What is the PC culture? That thing where we make sure everyone has the same rights, privileges, and freedom from harassment only one skin color and one gender had for centuries in this country? It may be annoying try and get on with your life.

      • Sean Edwards

        Katie, I don’t think we’re talking about equal rights. I think we’re talking about language.

        I doubt very much that Eileen wants undermine equal rights, grant special privileges, or promote gender and race based harassment. In fact, very few Americans do. We need to be careful about over-generalizing.

        The Politically Correct (PC) culture here refers to what people are allowed and not allowed to say without offending someone.

        I applaud the desire to remove racist and derogatory slurs from every day language. But when that culture starts telling people that they aren’t allowed to have a certain opinions without being lambasted as a bigot, its gone too far. It has shut down the conversation, and transforms what could be a productive debate into name calling and bullying.

        I think that’s what people are upset about.

    • Laura

      I never understood the cognitive dissonance of the right in professing love for getting the government out of the people’s lives, then legislating how people live.

      • Cognitive dissonance and seeing one’s group as “the chosen” may help explain the disconnect between stated values and actions taken.

      • Rick

        Wanting as little as possible of government does not mean not recognizing the need for a little government. If there is cognitive dissonance, it is not with those from the Right.

      • Sean Edwards

        Well, lets not be too quick to throw stones… The right is quick to scream “protect my religious liberty,” but many are considering a Muslim registry. If democrats put forward a bull that required all Christians (or people from Christian countries) to be on a government list, because some of them were radical (and blew up planned parenthood buildings, for instance…), how would we feel?

        I can’t speak for you, but I would feel like my religious liberties were being trampled on.

    • Jeff

      Great view point.

    • AllyR

      Sean;

      Point of fact. Hillary is not from Arkansas. She is from Chicago.

      • Sean Edwards

        Thank you 😉 Corrected.

    • Jj

      Agree

    • Elizabeth Longo

      Well said. I’m not a blogger, just interested in what is going on around me.

    • VPS

      Eileen: Exactly, and he gives you hope for your venture.

    • Tim

      Nicely said! I’m with you.

    • Nat

      While I have major issues with Trump, my despair with this election is that in electing Trump, our country has made public hate speech okay. I have heard “Give him time to show his hateful words during his campaign were just to gain votes.” I don’t need time. The damage has been done. Even if I had major issue with Hillary Clinton’s platform or with her character, I would have voted for her, for her character issues did not ride on the backs of so many innocent people. There is NEVER an excuse for hate speech not matter what. My sense of major loss is not that my candidate is all perfect or lost (which she did), but is due to the fact that our president elect made it okay for people to be racist, sexist, xenophobic…and to be a bully.

      • Sean Edwards

        Nat, I understand your concern. Trump has said some terrible things. However, even though I did not vote for Trump, I feel I have to point out some things.

        Trump is flippant with his mouth, but he doesn’t appear to condone bigotry. He quite pointedly told the people performing hate crimes in his name to stop. I feel the bigoted, misogynist narrative isn’t accurate. He has women, minorities, and LGBTQ working for him. If he were a bigot, would those people be in his organization? If he supported hate speech, would they be affiliated with him in any way?

        So, I’m left with 2 options: 1) These people are, for whatever reason, okay working for a bigot who wants to take away their rights, and promote hate speech against them. Or, 2) The bigoted narrative was manipulated and spun to hurt Trump’s campaign.

        Out of those 2 options, I find the latter far more likely. Does that mean I support his actions and language? No. But it also means I have reject the narrative that Trump is a xenophobic, bigoted, misogynist.

        Just some food for thought. Thanks for commenting.

  • Joan

    …. and whose job description explicitly keeps them from writing laws or enacting edicts.
    Wow, Sean! Where have you been for the last 8 years while President Obama has misused the executive order privilege?

    • Sean Edwards

      Lol. Shaking my head in disbelief. But, to be fair, President Bush abused executive orders before President Obama. That’s why we need to reinvest in our republic, and secure the limitations that are *supposed* to be on the president.

      And thank you for reading!

      • Nancy

        It’s not the number of executive orders Sean, it is the executive order itself. Obama’s executive orders were in some cases all about his personal opinion of the order and not about what that executive order would mean to a majority of of Americans. In other words, those very executive orders were a slap in the face to America. My parents, who are now deceased, witnessed a Democrat party shift toward the far left starting in the late 60’s and went full throttle thru the 90’s. All you have to do is read both party platforms. You may just change you mind. You may realize you have been with the wrong party all along.

      • Sean Edwards

        Nancy, I ask that you not assume too much about me, and I’ll try to do the same with you.

        I am a registered republican. But I don’t identify as conservative. And I don’t believe in the Executive Order abuses. I am in agreement. They have to stop. They are abuses of power. We can’t let the president (no matter who they are), legislate through edict.

        President Obama’s actions may have been more severe. I was merely saying that republicans have abused them as well. But lets translate this into another analogy. If one person robs 5 banks, and another robs 10 banks… who’s the criminal? They’re both wrong. That’s all I was trying to say.

      • Jane

        Check your history. The power to use executive orders was given to Franklin D Roosevelt so he would have the power to pull the nation out of the depression. The problem is, every president since then thought they could use them to do whatever they wanted. They were supposed to be just a temporary thing. Other presidents have used them but President Obama has severely abused those powers that he didn’t really have in the first place! But Congress has been too gutless to stand up to him and stop him!

      • Sean Edwards

        I will have to look into that about FDR and executive orders.

        I’m not sure Congress was gutless. I believe they didn’t have the votes to override him (which they’d have to do by passing a law limiting his executive orders, he’d veto, and then they’d need to override the veto). So, if there’s no chance of winning (and you kind of liked it when your president could use executive orders as well), you may be less inclined to fight them.

        Thank you.

      • John

        I may be putting this in the right spot, and sorry if I am. Trump is not racist, well he did when he spanked every Republican nominee. For equal rights for women. He is the first to have a female campaign manager to win an election. I think he was the first to have a female to oversee the construction of one of his large hotels. As far as the gay community don’t be worried he is not going to bother you. They’re bigger issues to attend to than getting into someone’s personal life. Yes he will get rid of Obama care and replace it. I do believe he will bring jobs back. Immigration will be tough but stayed tuned. Give him a chance but at the same time you as a citizen have a job of writing to your congressman and express your feelings. Congress is not mom and dad you are and you need to point your children in the right direction. Let trump get his feet wet and he will do fine.

      • Sean Edwards

        Great points, John.

        And here’s the sad truth. Because of the political spin during the campaign, people honestly believe that Trump is going to deport all minorities, destroy LGBTQ rights, and who knows what else. The truth doesn’t matter, because to them, it is true.

        Lies, spin, and misdirection have made our country more divisive than ever, and stolen the hope of so many.

        I am personally mad at the campaign machines that made this bed. Now WE have to sleep in it. People are honestly distraught. They really believe Trump is the next Hitler. All to win an election. Trump didn’t help himself. But that doesn’t change the fact that we have a divided nation based on misdirection. We need to have compassion, reach out understanding, and make sure we aren’t guilty of the same thing.

        Again, great points. Thanks for sharing.

      • Dave Stahlhut

        Great discussion. I’m an older life long Republican, white male, and find myself shifting to Libertarian ideals mainly because we’ve allowed the role of government in our lives to expand to a degree that’s a little too much for my taste – but also because of MY increasing intolerance of the relative intolerance of many splinters of the Republican Party. I don’t think the Republicans are getting worse – I just think that when it comes to getting rid of unjust intolerance, Republicans, on average (whatever that means!) are not moving as fast as the rest of the country and as a result, they are paying an ever increasing political price. This was a tough election, but for me the expanding role of the federal government in our lives was scarier than the Republican’s relative lethargy on social issues and Tramp’s personal failings. Of course there are many more issues that need to be factored into the discussion, but, for me, these were the main competing issues.

      • Sean Edwards

        Great points Dave! Thank you!

      • Jen Colville

        i completely agree. there should be a check & balance with executive power. not just Bush and Obama but Bill Clinton too.

        i don’t mean do with it entirely. but give it back to congress and have pres vote neg/positive towards

      • shirley adair

        Sean thank you so much for this article ! Yes Bush did as did a number before him both democratic and republican. And Obama too in my opinion being the worst . I am FOR trump but you and I Sean are the future hope of america 2 people who are free to hold opposing beliefs and both understand the very essence of what this great nation is RESPECTING each others rights and opinions. Yes trump can not fix this it is our job and our power! You rock dude

      • Sean Edwards

        Thank you Shirley! These words mean a lot to me 😉

      • AllyR

        Bush’s orders were directly related to agencies within the Executive Branch, that did not require Congressional approval. Obama used XOs to bypass Congress.

        There’s a huge difference.

    • Niki C

      Trump has vowed to repeal those illegal executive privilege laws Obama has attempted to enact. When there is a full Supreme Court many will be ruled unconstitutional as well!

      • Jane

        And all the rhetoric about pedophiles, rapists etc believing what they do is now justified because we have a president to be who was “represented” as being that way. President Obama’s executive order on letting transgender individuals use whatever bathroom they want and whatever changing room they want is ludicrous. And on school field trips if there is an overnight stay they have to let boys stay in the same room as girls if they claim that status. All of those things and the rest in that order virtually gave rapists etc, open season to go anywhere they wanted and do what they wanted. There are little girls who would rather pee their pants than go into a school bathroom because they either have been or know someone who was abused in a public (school) bathroom. Parents are horrified at that order.
        I hope that is one of the first executive orders repealed because I don’t believe any of the American people want it, not even most LGBT. And if you don’t believe it says these things go find it and read it. This is just a part of what it says.

    • Peggy Hines

      I’m curious about what the issue is with Obama’s use of the Executive Order? Is it the number of them issued, which is pretty much in line with recent history, or is it one or more Orders in particular? Here are the numbers:

      Lyndon B. Johnson 325
      Richard Nixon 346
      Gerald R. Ford 169
      Jimmy Carter 320
      Ronald Reagan 381
      George H. W. Bush 166
      Bill Clinton 308
      George W. Bush 291
      Barack Obama (as of 2016-11-10) 261

      The only one I found any criticism of was Executive Order 13233, issued by President George W. Bush in 2001, which restricted public access to the papers of former presidents, was criticized by the Society of American Archivists and other groups, who stated that it “violates both the spirit and letter of existing U.S. law on access to presidential papers as clearly laid down in 44 USC. 2201–07,” and adding that the order “potentially threatens to undermine one of the very foundations of our nation”. President Obama revoked Executive Order 13233 in January 2009.

      • Sean Edwards

        Nice research! I can only speculate at this point. Many of President Obama’s Executive Orders appeared to push into legislative territory. When Congress wouldn’t cooperate, he tried to do all he could with the pen, and he may have pushed it too far at times. Those are my feelings, but they are unsubstantiated, which is one reason why I haven’t spent a lot of time writing about them. I don’t have all the facts.

      • Heather

        In many instances of executive overreach on Obama’s part, he didn’t actually use executive orders. He has been the master of having agencies “reinterpret” regulations to his liking

      • V

        He has also passed executive memos which are the same thing in essence with EO but used a different name so they could not be counted as such or questioned. Combine these 2 and he exceeds any president. I read an article on this but can’t remember where. But I am sure you can Google it.

    • jeff clinkenbeard

      The patriot act basically gives the president dictator powers. He can do pretty much whatever he wants in the name of national security. Look at what president Lincoln did during the civil war he circumvented the constitution in order to keep the republic whole. The president has total power granted by the patriot act, this must be repealed. Giving up any freedoms we have to be “safe” is insane to me. The founding fathers would not tolerate such behavior, in fact I believe they would still be fighting a war of independence if they were alive today. We need people such as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin and the rest today to set this so called government of ours straight.

      • Sean Edwards

        Jeff, I agree, there are portions of the Patriot Act that need to be done away with, but more importantly, the Indefinite Detention Clause in the National Defense Authorization Act is far more troubling, in my eyes.

        However, I think it is also important to remember that most of these congressmen and women supported the act because they truly thought it was best for our country. I don’t agree with it, and I think it violates the constitution, but I refuse to believe that congress wanted to deliberately undo democracy and establish a dictatorship.

    • shirley adair

      i do believe Sean quite clearly stated that the president has no right to enact legislation……. I am for trump but this man is completely right in what he has stated. Those of us in the “trump” camp should not make the same mistake of the democratic party who spent their campaign in an echo chamber. This may well be one of the most exciting times in our nation. I mean seriously if trump chooses to he may very well create a 3rd political party camp in majority the Reformation party. And that being said while it was always our duty to participate in government it is even now MORE so.

      • Lauralie

        I have read through quite a bit of the discussion on this thread and I just want to say I am impressed with the positivity of Sean’s article and also the replies he has given. It gives me hope that there are people who want to honestly discuss the problems in our political system without the name calling from both sides. Thank you.

    • Susan

      Exactly!

  • Cindy

    Please don’t assume that our reaction of grief means that we think Trump has unlimited power. We are not that stupid.

    According to Scientific American, Trump will appoint a “leading climate change skeptic to lead EPA transition.”

    In this critical time for the environment, even that one act that he does have the power to make is enough for me to cry about for the rest of my life.

    There will be species lost and more climate change refugees within the bounds of Trump’s first (and hopefully last) presidency.

    This is the power he has.

    No matter how we support our government structure, which I agree with you is supposed to limit his legal power, he influences people. Lives will be lost. Species will be lost. I must grieve them. The structure may lessen the number of lives lost, but there will still be lives lost that would not have been lost under a Clinton presidency. So I mourn.

    • Sean Edwards

      Cindy, I can certainly understand what you’ve said here. Even without the current hysteria, there’s a place to mourn when your candidate (who has similar, or at least not dissimilar, values to you) loses. You feel loss.

      And you are correct, he does have a lot of power. And if that frightens you, then, I ask you to reconsider what kind of government you want. Over the last century we have aggregated more and more power to the federal government to help the less fortunate. But now, maybe for the first time, we’re seeing why that might not have been a good strategy.

      Also, please note that I edited your post. I have a core value that every individual, in every issue, is innocent until proven guilty. So, if claims are going to be made against a person, they need to be substantiated with fact. Otherwise, I will not permit it. Both Trump and Hillary have been proven guilty in that they lie and have done bad things. However, I will not perpetuate misinformation about claims of conspiracy or the rise of fascism. Those things are merely parts of the political campaign spin machine.

      I am guilty of this as well at times. It is very easy to slander someone these days without actually knowing the truth. We must retrain ourselves to resist the urge to jump on the bandwagon (I feel it too!) and only criticize someone when we know the facts. Not the spin.

      Thank you again for reading and commenting. It means a lot to me. May your mourning be brief and your joy soon return.

      • LizziAS

        So you are saying then that hthere is no evidence of fascism in Trumps campaign or that he didn’t cater to that element within american society in any way?

      • Sean Edwards

        I am saying such claims need to be empirically proven before they are broadcast as truth. And to this point, I have failed to see that. I see a lot of soundbites and little quips that would fail basic logic tests in primary school. So, unless someone has empirical facts that prove Trump hates minorities and wants to establish a dictatorship, I will not promote either sides political spin. Just as I won’t promote “news stories” that are really op-ed pieces, guising as journalism, about Hillary assassinating political enemies.

        Has Trump said and done things unbecoming of a president. Yes. But so has Hillary. And the media has done a great job of making both look like tyrants and second coming of hitler.

      • Barb Sherry

        You piece ethos my sentiment. Why do we call the overwhelming vote that handed Trump this historic win, and as CNN has projected, even the prize of the popular vote? How could the pendants have failed so miserably in there prognostications? You won’t hear he is no projected to have over 300 electoral vote which has long been spoken of by these same pendants as a mandate. It shows that the news manipulates what we hear brainwashing the masses to believe what why are telling them is gospel. And on election night, they gave themselves away as they openly shivered and cried and exposed their candidate was defeated handily. We were silent because these institutions have worked hand in hand with the or powerful surrogates to shut out the voice of the common man to their smug elitism. I oppose this attitude that has crept into our politics. I oppose making a woman bake a cake for an event that she finds offensive, or making a photographer personally participate in an event that offend d his conscience, I oppose making my daughter in effect feel vulnerable in her privacy for another who presents themselves physically the opposite sex in a place she should feel safe. I resent belong forced to pay for something I may not want. I resent the disrespect shown our police, and our veterans by groups generalizing all of them as bad. I resent the continual montage of racist bait and divisiveness brought about by groups such as BLM, KKK, groups that oppose Christian influence in the principles of our government, and those that give credence to the messages of theses grouos. This is the voice that spoke up on election. We are saying we have a voice and will be heard. We are no longer silent because of these bullies who have told us to shut up. It’s time to start listening now until we can hear each other in courteous discourse. Their is common ground when we both get off our high places.

      • Sean Edwards

        Barb, thank you for being a part of this conversation! Love your thoughts

      • Janice Cartwright

        Sean, can you please refer me to factual instances of proof of exactly what Hillary lies about? From my reading, her opponents have put a biased spin on things to make her “appear” to be a liar in numerous circumstances.

      • Sean Edwards

        At this point, I cannot. Moderating these comments has become my full-time job at the moment. I was referring to the FBI testimony and what came out in the wikileaks emails. They appeared to show some dishonesty. And I believe the FBI found her to untruthful, but lacked criminal intent. However, those are just concepts pulled from memory. I will look more into it.

      • Tricia

        My mourning is related to the actual facts of the people in charge of transition on environmental issues – people who do not believe in protecting our air and water or cooperating internationally to help the planet pull back from the brink. We will all mourn when our rivers are on fire and our drinking water is poisoned and when we either become refugees due to unliveable conditions or have to deal with a global refugee crisis like we have never seen before.

      • Sean Edwards

        I am environmentalist, and the environmental ramifications of this election do concern me. However, I think we should be looking more local. If the feds won’t curb greenhouse gases, then we can push for it at the state level. In fact, I think that’s the way should have been done it all along anyway, and it will probably be effective.

    • Jon

      Climate change is agreed. The causes, its permanence, and its effects are not. Four, even eight years of a climate change skeptic will not decimate the planet. Look at the last eight years of climate change hysteria – not much has changed.

      • Sean Edwards

        Yeah, unfortunately there has been a lot of spin around climate change as well. So much so, that I think we’re all little confused about what’s true, and what isn’t. I am praying (yes, I pray) that we can have a sane discussion about this subject before its too late. It may never be too late, and the planet may take this like a champ and be fine. But what if it doesn’t? I don’t know, seems like a big gamble…

      • Arliss Paddock

        “We’re all a little confused about what’s true?” No. Regarding climate change, there is really very little scientific “confusion.” One would be misinformed to suggest the overwhelming consensus within the scientific community regarding human-caused climate change is just “spin,” media soundbites, deception, or confusion. To believe so is to completely throw out the validity of empirical knowledge, which you claim to espouse. With all due respect I earnestly suggest you further investigate the matter, using respected sources, with an open mind. In fact four years of misinformed reversal of progress in climate-change measures *can* have a very devastating, irreversible effect.

      • Sean Edwards

        Arliss, I think you’ve read too much into what I wrote. I agree, we do have a problem. However, the climate change argument HAS been hijacked by political spin. And if you can’t see that, then I invite you to re-examine your presumptions.

        But to help you understand my position: I voted FOR a carbon tax in WA state, and I support various forms of Cap & Trade. That won’t go over well with my conservative friends, but there you go. We have a duty to protect this planet, we have obviously affected the level of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, and we need to combat this immediately.

      • Mary

        The planet will survive. Life on it will not.

      • Sean Edwards

        Simple, yet true.

      • Jen Colville

        I for one actually feel that there is such a thing as climate change and that we do need to protect our planet but at the same time I feel that cutting out jobs for coal and steel mills before restarting jobs for creating energy products. i feel we missed some steps. we should also make sure that people lose jobs have new jobs before we shut them down.

    • Sheila

      For all the climate changers out there I wonder if you know the cheap foreign products are brought to this country on large freighters burning 2-3 mil tons of fuel per boat. This misguided notion that if drive a smaller car and improved fuel mileage I am a champion for the environment. If you are buying products from foreign countries and are ok with massive amounts of emissions from countries not as committed then you really are part of the distraction of the climate

      • Sean Edwards

        You raise some good points Sheila, but may I offer a suggestion? People are very unlikely to respond well if they feel like they’re being criticized. Even though you make some good points, I fear others won’t hear them because of how they perceive the tone of your position. I say “perceived” because 90% of communication is perception. I’m guessing you don’t want to attack people, but people often receive criticism as a personal attack. That means we need to adjust our language so that we can speak truth, without putting people on the defensive. Take it or leave it, I’m just speaking from experience 😉

        Thank you for sharing!! I really appreciate it

    • Karena

      If you feel lives will be lost, nobody is stopping you from volunteering to help save those lives. Nobody is stopping you from getting Solar power, or using a bus or bicycling instead of a car, or buying a small or electric car. Nobody is stopping you from saving innocent babies by helping with ultrasound or helping a single mother. Nobody is keeping you from offering shelter to someone or foster animals.

      Only you are keeping you from doing that stuff if you don’t and conservatives don’t force you either. You can do it of your own free will just like Conservatives.

      If you have a problem with that, than you also have the option to ask or not ask yourself why you have a problem with that. Conservatives are not going to uh hum …..”tax” you on it if you don’t.

      • Sean Edwards

        Karena, I agree, great perspective!

        May I ask one favor? I want people to feel free to exchange ideas here. And your comment is respectful and informative. However, I can sense a teeny, tiny bit of hostility. And I don’t want Cindy to feel like she can’t respond without entering hostile territory. Does that makes sense? Thanks.

        I appreciate your comments, and I am glad you’re a part of this conversation! Thank you for sharing!

  • Claire

    Hey Sean,

    While many laws and actions in this country have and do directly affect the lives of many Americans, i disagree that many of our fears are rooted in what policy changes may take place. Because DT did not have detailed plans and held unclear positions throughout his campaign, it’s correct that we don’t actually know what he will be able to do in terms of policy in office. So maybe there is nothing to worry about for many of us. However, all US presidents are given a great platform to make their voices heard around the world. This man now has the power to set a tone of what Americans should think about each other, treat each other, what we should think about other countries and what they will think about us. And my fear comes from the tone he has already set: like a previous commenter said “he will end PC culture” –the culture that allows us to speak respectfully with each other and talk to people different from us. And you may be in a position where this doesn’t scare you. Maybe you’re not afraid of being assaulted or harassed by someone emboldened who heard DT say he can grab women by the pussy and get away with it, watched his country elect that man president and thought to himself: “Well if the president can do it without consequences, I can”. Maybe you’re not afraid of having your hijab ripped off your head and being choked because the president said Muslims shouldn’t be in the country anymore– the country that was in part formed to protect Protestants from religious persecution. If this election had been about policy, I may agree more- that many policies don’t affect voters’ lives as much as we make them out to in campaigns. But I think this is a mischaracterization of the real fear many people are feeling this week, fears that could be very different from your own.

    • Sean Edwards

      Claire, you are 100% correct. And your concerns are entirely valid. No person should ever have to fear these things. This is supposed to be the land of the free. And, in that, I share your concern.

      You are correct, I am not a minority, nor a muslim, nor a woman. I am the most privileged person in history: a white, christian, male. So, I cannot relate to your fears.

      But I am brokenhearted you feel this way. Those values do not represent the values of the United States. The values of the United States are codified in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Two things we need re-prioritize.

      Those with genuine concerns can take hope, though. Even though some “alt-right” people have been emboldened, the majority of republicans I know would never tolerate actions like that–despite what different pundits might say. I am a registered republican (even though I’m a libertarian, and did NOT vote for Trump), and I have worked with a lot of republican government officials. And I have never met one who supports these positions.

      They may be slow to act, but there are many republicans who are horrified by the racial tension in this country. So, on behalf of the republicans who have made you feel marginalized and afraid, I am sorry. Those too are not the values of this country.

      Thank you for reading. And thank you for posting. Adding your voice in this conversation is very important.

      • Claire

        Thanks so much, Sean! You’re absolutely right. I know many Christias and republicans with strong enough convictions to not vote for DT, a couple of whom raised me. I thought this was not normal behavior for a republican leader either, and I had hoped that the unprecedented actions of DT would be taken seriously enough to transcend party–by voters and the republican leaders.

        I hope and pray that those house and senate republicans will be able to stand up to DT if he does go after those values codified in declaration and Bill rights–and in a much more meaningful way than they did during this election. my heart is broken too because I thought more households not only shared and understood those values, but prioritized them over partisanship. I so wish that instead we were having the debates on fiscal and foreign policy that make a healthy democracy. But instead I am having to explain to so many men and women–young and old–that DT’s words an and actions are not just “speaking sexually” out of fear for my and so many others’ wellbeing.

        And maybe our biggest mistake in this election was believing these rationalizations would be limited to the alt right and not given the national stage they were handed with DT, his surrogates, and his voters. Millions of Americans cast their vote of DT and in turn communicated at the very least that *something* else is more important to them than those codified values. And that makes very afraid for our communities.

        Thank you for the POV Sean! I think something we all learned this week is we have to get uncomfortable and talk to people more openly.

      • Gregory

        Claire, the way I see it, the swing of the electorate was not mostly about denying the rights of some (although it seems there are persons who believe we have become too tolerant), but a protest that the voices of all were not being heard. The Left has historically argued that the rights of whites, Christians, and men do not need to be acknowledged because these groups represent the hegemony. It is this attitude that allowed Clinton to openly declare her intention to take away the rifles in Kentucky, to shutter the coal mines of West Virginia, and to force Catholics and others who oppose abortion for religious reasons that they would have to abandon their core moral beliefs. These are not simply policy decisions; they are part of a declared war on a culture–a culture that is no less important than any other. Clinton believed she was rallying the troops as she danced with recording artists and garnered celebrity endorsements, but she was actually solidifying the impression many had that too many years in the halls of Harvard and government had caused her to lose touch with a good portion of the electorate and to say things that to many were just as scary as the rhetoric of Trump. We should not forget that a large number of these same voters rejected many qualified conservative candidates in the Republican primary and put their hope in a candidate who seemed to be the closest thing to a Washington outsider. As Clinton was saying, “Follow me,” Trump was saying, “I’m listening to you.” If the Republicans want their party back, and if the Democrats want the White House back, they need to return to the principle of having a dialogue to understand, not to be understood.

      • Sean Edwards

        Gregory, I love you. In a totally plutonic way, of course.

      • Kevin

        Truthfully, Trump did not win the election but rather Hillary lost the election.

      • Sandra

        Gregory, you are absolutely right. You said exactly what I was thinking, but put it into words much better than I could have. Thank you for your comments…they ring very true to me.

      • Claire

        Hi Gregory,

        I wanted to let you know that I understand where you are coming from. I agree not listening to many Americans’ concerns was likely Clinton’s downfall. And I agree that these cultures are no less important than any other. I do feel for the people who think they have been left behind–and I remind you that that is exactly how many non-Christians, women, and people of color have felt for a long time. That gives me hope that we can try to understand each other.

        Sean talks a lot about the media spin, and I urge you be wary of it as well. HRC’s stated position on gun control does not include a ban on rifles in any state, nor limit a Catholic individual’s right to choose not to have an abortion. It was also widely reported that Clinton said her plan would “put a lot of coal companies and coal miners out of business”. The very next sentence she used was “we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people. Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories.” She was explaining how to deal with the decline in global demand for coal, and what she would do to protect those communities even with a renewable energy focus. The full text of her comments that day can be read in bold here: https://goo.gl/2j9rVd. Some more context including how President Obama’s agenda has affected coal companies can be found here: https://goo.gl/rROhtf, and if you don’t trust how these sources discussed the issues, you can read the language of HRC’s plan here https://goo.gl/wIKtvi.

        What is clear, is that HRC did not do a good enough job communicating these positions and certainly many of the people she hoped to help did not feel heard. This kind of spin occurs on both sides of the media aisle, and it takes constant vigilance to combat. Having to fact check not only the candidates but their surrogates and media outlets can quickly become a full time job.
        We should all strive to understand just as much as we strive to be understood. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me.

      • Sean Edwards

        Thank you Claire. I found this to be both informative and respectful. I really appreciate that.

      • Don Jensen

        Sean
        I appreciate what you say about Republicans you have worked with. But what continues to stun and concern me is the fact that people voted for someone who said these things. We all saw him speak in such terrible ways about women, minorities, people who disagree with him. I’m not talking about commercials, or press interpretations. Just video of his speeches, and his tweets. How can we accept that?

      • Sean Edwards

        Don, I’m just not convinced that the xenophobic, racist, misogynist narrative about Trump is true. Trump does not mince his words, he speaks off the cuff, and often speaks before thinking. He has said some horrible things. I am not excusing him, but it does make it really easy to make him look like a bigot. However, the people he employs tells a different story. I know Bannon is all the talk right now, but we need to remember that Trump has many women and minorities in high powered positions within his organizations. If he truly was a bigot, would those people work with him? I have a hard time believing they would.

        I am not defending Trump’s comments. He has said things the leader of the free world should never say. But I am not willing to accept the bigoted narrative yet. I need more proof. There are so many articles, headlines, tweets, and soundbites that it is REALLY easy to believe that narrative. But I need proof, and right now, who he’s hired – and trusted – seem to tell a different story.

    • Pat

      Clair, Trump put out his First 100 day of office plan in September. I think it was on the 21st. The media did not put it out there. Here it is….
      Trump’s pledge to the American voter:

      “Therefore, on the first day of my term of office, my administration will immediately pursue the following six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC:

      FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;
      SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);
      THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;
      FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;
      FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government;
      SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.

      On the same day, I will begin taking the following seven actions to protect American workers:

      FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205
      SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
      THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator
      FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately
      FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.
      SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward
      SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure

      Additionally, on the first day, I will take the following five actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law:

      FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama
      SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States
      THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities
      FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back
      FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.

      Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:

      1. Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act. An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate.

      2. End The Offshoring Act Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free.

      3. American Energy & Infrastructure Act. Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral.

      4. School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to gives parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.

      5. Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications.

      6. Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act. Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-site childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.

      7. End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.

      8. Restoring Community Safety Act. Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars.

      9. Restoring National Security Act. Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values

      10. Clean up Corruption in Washington Act. Enacts new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics.

      On November 8th, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to restore prosperity to our economy, security to our communities, and honesty to our government.

      This is my pledge to you.

      • Jeanette

        I’m happy with the majority of this plan!

      • Ruth H

        Thank you for posting this. I wonder how many have actually read it. Too many have read headlines and not the details, and many headlines were slanted to show Trump in the worst possible way. I realize he contributed to that showing.

      • Claire

        Hi Pat,
        Thank you for sharing. The contract you copied here appears to have been published on October 23rd–about two weeks before election day. I am sorry the media you saw did not cover it. I heard about it extensively on CNN the day he announced it during a speech in Gettysburg. Maybe I was not clear, but I was referring to how DT has made some contradictory statements on issues that are very important to many Americans throughout the campaign–like abortion and immigration. I did not mean to imply DT had NO plans, but that the details were fuzzy on how or with what money, and also that many more traditional politicians would have had dozens of policies prepared even in the primaries.

    • Judy

      Please note that the woman who made the accusation regarding the assault where she was choked and her head covering ripped off confessed that she LIED.

      • Claire

        Hi Judy! Yes that appears to be true for the student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. However, there has been no evidence or admittance of fabrication by the student at San Jose State University, nor the student at San Diego State University, nor the one at University of Michigan, nor the teacher at Dacula High School in suburban Atlanta.

    • Heather

      Claire,

      I don’t agree that the PC culture allows people to speaks their mind respectfully. I believe that may have been the intent, but it does not appear, in today’s culture, that differing opinions are welcome in the PC culture. This fact is evidenced by the recent increase in deliberate exclusion of white students at college campuses, the uptick in demonstrations against white students at college campuses, the US AG threatening prosecution of Anti-Muslim rhetoric and the current trend of threatened violence on social media towards people who supported DT. I would call the current state of the PC culture “PC Culture run amok”. I feel as though the PC culture is deliberately eroding free speech especially during the current administration. I avoid any type of sensitive conversation with someone I don’t know well for fear of being “labeled”. I walk through my life on egg shells trying to not say the wrong thing. We all should approach others with respect and sensitivity, but it seems to me that respect and sensitivity are being demanded from one side and are not being given in return.
      I voted against Hillary Clinton rather than making a specific choice for DT. I looked at policy (via campaign websites) and decided what direction I generally wanted to see this nation go. I couldn’t fathom handing the reigns to someone who was not held accountable for their disregard of the law regarding classified information. I am former military, and have seen careers destroyed for much much less. My hope in DT is that he surrounds himself with a good cabinet, and actually makes headway on the economic promises he made. Improving the economic conditions in this country will go a very long way to alleviating so many people on both sides feeling as though they are being left behind.

      • Sean Edwards

        Thank you for sharing Heather. I too share your sentiments about PC culture. It has had the opposite effect of its intent. Now, people cannot speak freely without being called a bigot or misogynist, unless of course, you mean ascribe to a certain worldview. But outside of that, people don’t feel welcome to be part of the discussion. No wants to be labeled a racist, bigot, or misogynist. Most don’t even try because they they’ll be derided. That is, at least, how people feel, even if its not 100% true.

      • Claire

        Hey Heather,

        Thank you for reading and commenting. I too would be very afraid for our democracy if I saw the erosion of free speech. I believe strongly that the even the KKK should be allowed to hold and voice their opinions, because it is the same rights that allow me to voice mine.

        And I am so interested in how you view the current administration on this issue. I have heard President Obama say many times that he encourages college students to listen to many different points of view. I have heard him with my own ears and read many more speech transcripts where he has specifically stated he does not want colleges to reject a speaker for being too conservative, or keep students from reading books with language that is offensive to women or African Americans.

        Where our rights to free speech must be addressed however is when they threaten violence, which is what US AG Loretta Lynch stated, and I have to agree that I would want anti-muslim rhetoric that includes violence or threats investigated, just I (and I assume you) would want threats of violence against Christians or any American to be investigated as well.

        I also urge both you and Sean to remember that you noted fear of being “labeled”, not fear of physical harm. Of course, your fears are still real and the inability for many of us to freely discuss with each other is what brought us to this place of division in the first place, but I urge you to not forget the perspective of someone not only fearing judgement, but also attack.

        Thank you for the talk, Heather and thank you for your service in our military to protect all these great rights we have!

    • Brian

      Have you seen how respectfully mist talk to each other before the election I belive that PC talk has hurt this country alot what’s so bad about being offended?? Big deal what another person says or thinks of you you are your own person but sadly now people need safe zone and comfort puppies we have a generation of self entitled babies who dont want to realize that you can’t always get what you want.

      • Sean Edwards

        I agree with your sentiment, but I would invite you to use different language to communicate it. If people feel like you are criticizing their person, and not just their ideas, they will not hear you. I understand that his partially what you’re saying is wrong with our culture. However, at the end of the day, we have ask ourselves, “Were we heard? Or did we just make people made?” If we can be heard and get our point across (without setting the other side off), simply by changing the way we communicate, then we’ll start to have a real dialogue in this country.

        Take it a leave it, just my 2 cents.

        Thank you for sharing.

    • Carmen

      Claire, my exact sentiments and thoughts. Thank-you for sharing them in such an articulate and relatable way. I did not not necessarily have a favorite candidate or one that I truly admired and respected, but I did know that I did not want Trump to win. This was based on the fears that accumulated from his actions and words that promoted intolerance within our nation. His powers may be small legislatively, but his words are what I fear will continue to encourage hate and intolerance-ultimately condemning our nation to a divide that has already begun. As a sexual assault and Title IX advocate I speak for those, and myself, whose fear has consumed them with the normalization and perpetuation of rape culture solely based on Trump’s words that were recorded and displayed for the world to see and hear. We should have the highest expectations for anyone we elect as President, but if we are unaffected by Trump’s hate and bashing or now live in fear of the winning opponent, I believe that speaks volumes about small amount or progression in America.

      • Sean Edwards

        Carmen, thank you for the work you do. And I understand you concern.

        I would like to invite you to consider something. What if a lot of the “hate” seen in Trump was stirred up by the media? He did say some VERY bad things. But he also said this: https://youtu.be/cilXJk2qfCE

        And I , for one, never saw moments like these appear in the headlines.

      • Jen Colville

        i am a victim of rape too but it doesn’t mean I am going to project and believe the fear that DNC have placed especially when speak of grouping women because he was a star at the time. there was no sexual assault done and no condoning of sexual assault

        i can go farther what about Paula Jones? what about all the other women that claim how awful Hillary Clinton was to them about Bill Clinton saying he did this. because the women that came forward about allegations about Trump were either not enough proof or they said lied.

        you should youtube the whole video. Im not saying it wasn’t inappropriate. it was inappropriate talk but it had nothing to do with sexual assault

      • Sean Edwards

        Jen, thank you for sharing. And thank you for attempting to engage in the conversation.

        I’m sorry you were assaulted, and I applaud your strength. Hopefully, we can build a world where someone doesn’t have to give a testimony like this.

      • Claire

        Thank you so much, Carmen! This issue is so important to me, if not the most important. I am so sad that many voters were put in a position where they felt they had to logically excuse his actions/words , and I believe many of them would not have done so if they had not been spoken by their (seemingly only choice) for president. That being said, I had hoped more people would have had the conviction to decide that someone who has acted this way should be disqualified from our highest office.

        And now it feels like that already difficult battle against the normalization of rape culture just got much harder. Thank you for everything you do. ~ let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

      • Sophie

        Hi Carmen,

        I can’t imagine the things you deal with and hear while working in a job like that, and I commend you for doing it.

        I’m curious as to where you’re located? if you’re not in California please look up prop 57. It’s a detailed proposition that on the surface talks about early parole for those who commit non-violent crimes. however within the proposition they changed many current, violent crimes, to the non-violent category, including rape by drug or intoxication. Donald Trump said some awful things, and I haven’t had faith in him until watching numerous, unedited speeches that were recorded on his campaign trail and really listened to him speak without the media choosing what words they wanted to air (and in what order, context is key) over the past week while trying to educate myself. my point is, California, the bluest state in the land, passed this prop with a 63 percent majority. a prop that releases tried and convicted rapists early. unfortunately the rape culture goes so much further than Donald Trump. he said despicable things, especially for someone going in lot the highest office. but know that there are people in my state more concerned with words than they are actions, and for me that’s something much graver to have to be faced with.

    • MARY Rasche

      Mr. Trump has had a first 100 days plan in place as well as where he stands on certain positions, but somehow the media overlooked or chose not to report on it. I did alot of research before I voted, I cried, I prayed and I buried myself in information and tried my best to sort out facts from half facts and fiction…not an easy task. But, I did indeed find the information on his 100 day plan, listed in order of when and what he will be doing…by the way, I’m still praying..I’m praying for all of thoes who are hurting to find peace and solitary in these tough times…

      • Sean Edwards

        Thank you Mary.

    • Jen Colville

      I chose to look at websites and youtube so I could hear the whole thing without sound bites and diced quotes. I wanted to make the best choice I could.

      Its sad to me that you read the article, but missed the point that Clinton and MSM did their best to instill fear if you voted for Trump. Apparently it worked. i refuse to give into fear except with the fact that I felt Clinton actually wasn’t about change anything. I felt he abused executive privilege. i felt the same way about Bush. however Congress is who declares war not a president . It was Clinton who called Trump supporters deplorables and all these names that arent true. its unfair to be called racist, mysogist, fascist, xenophobic, homophobic. its just not true. its crazy fear led this campaign and now these protests and riots. especially when isn’t true. its just politics. politicians doing what politicians do and I feel Trump was just new at it so wasn’t very good at sounding PC and that was used against him

      • Sean Edwards

        I agree, but I also know that the Right has done the same thing for years. Both sides have used fear. And now we’re reaping the benefit. Fear is an effective, but terrible motivator. Fear only motivates you to save your life, not add value to a situation. Once your fear is gone, your motivation ends. If we want to motivate people, we need to inspire and empower. Inspired and empowered people won’t stop until the mission has been completed. Afraid people will stop as soon as the threat is gone.

        And, I want to be cautious about categorically putting politicians into one box. I have worked with some very ethical and good politicians. People I would be proud to stand with, because they are principled, honest, and driven. Many politicians play the game. But I have decided to give people the benefited of the doubt until solid proof can be produced that says otherwise.

    • Elaine

      I am a 58 year old businesswoman who has dealt with more than my fair share of improper treatment by men in the work place. In fact, it has been women like me who have made it better for the next generation of women. There was no number at the White House to call if someone mistreated me. Although no one ever tried to physically grab me, I’m pretty sure that most men understood that the police could and would be called and that assault charges would be brought. I can tell you from my experience, these types of men are much more subtle. Some of them toe the line, trying to see how far they can get with their advances. Some of them just want to diminish your effectiveness in business dealings. Some of them just want their ego stroked by having you pay special attention to them. Women like me had the guts required to effectively put them in their place. Oh sure, you can always report them to HR. Sometimes that works, sometimes it just ends in a he said/she said. If you are assaulted, you can press charges. But the best results I got were to invite the perp to meet with me in a proper setting: office or conference room, restaurant, cafeteria at work. I brought along a sympathetic co-worker. I told the person that their behavior was offensive and not acceptable to me. I told them that they were duly warned of what I would be forced to do next if the behavior continued. And yes, I had to do this to two different men who were actually my superior. I told them that if they were trying to make me feel a certain way, score with me, or diminish my work, it was not working. Did I have to worry about backstabbing? Yes. But that is why I took a witness. I had no qualms, if I felt backstabbing was going on, to remind the person that my witness was there when they were warned. I have managed to stay at the same good company for over 35 years. None of those men who mistreated me can say the same. Karma really is a bitch! Now, I don’t think in a million years, any president is going to change how certain people behavior. I did my part by raising my son right, and giving him awareness of how male actions can be perceived.

      • Sean Edwards

        Elaine, you rock. You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

    • Denise

      Clair, you define PC culture as “the culture that allows us to speak respectfully with each other and talk to people different from us.” I suggest that many of us experience exactly the opposite. Our right to think, feel, believe, and express those thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are suppressed and even punished by PC culture. I completely support everyone’s right to think and believe as the choose and to express those beliefs so long as they do not actually harm others. However, PC culture has extended “harm” to include discomfort in others having different opinions, and has responded by trying to shame, bully, or even legislate that everyone must agree with “politically correct” viewpoints, beliefs, and behaviors. This is wrong. I am tired of having others assume that because I am white, I am a racist bigot. (I am not) Those who make such assumptions are acting out the very definition of the names they are using to bully and punish those they disagree with. Assumptions about a person based on external factors, ignoring the individual, are wrong no matter which side they come from.

  • Angela

    Thanks Sean, what a wonderful article. I appreciate you sharing.

  • Brenda

    Sean,

    This has been one of THE BEST posts I’ve read since the election. Thank you for your intelligent thoughts.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you! I hope you were encouraged. That was my goal.

    • Jen Colville

      i agree

  • Brian

    I think it’s worth pointing out that the inverse is also true here. If “the problem is that we as individuals have placed our hope, and even a piece of our identity (how we view ourselves and our self-worth) in the candidate of our choosing,” then when that candidate wins, we feel like we’ve won, and that the country has exalted us an given us a mandate to speak and to be heard, without protest or contradiction. It goes both ways, unfortunately.

    • Sean Edwards

      You are absolutely correct, and that validate’s Claire’s concern (see previous comment). True bigots and mysogynists feel validated and empowered. That is very bad.

      • Bob Forbes

        Mr. Trump could go a long way toward neutralizing the bigots and mysogynists by telling America they are misguided and he does not represent their views in any way. Perhaps he has made statements to that effect, but if he has, he needs to make them again directly to the haters by simply stating, “I do not support your actions and I want you to stop.”

      • Sean Edwards

        I agree 200%!

        In fact, I tweeted him saying: “@realDonaldTrump : You said you would be the president of every American. Then please condemn the hate crimes being done in your name.”

        I would encourage you to do the same.

      • Kathleen

        I have been traveling and have not had much chance to watch the news but what little but I have watched appears to be Clinton supporters that are commiting hate crimes like rioting, burning and distorting property?

      • Sean Edwards

        Well, hate crimes are occurring from both sides. Unfortunately, the alt-right feels like Trump’s election gives them the right to attack minorities and women. Trump needs to condemn this, and I encourage all my readers to tweet him this (or something like it, just be respectful): “@realDonaldTrump : You said you’d be the president of every American. Then please condemn the hate crimes being done in your name.”

        However, there are also hate crimes being committed by Trump opponents, as well as protesting, and rioting (as in Portland). They can protest if they want. They have that right. They can’t riot though. That’s not okay. And it isn’t okay to attack Trump supporters.

        Here’s the problem: The left bought the campaign lies hook, line, and sinker. Soundbites and out-of-context quotes were passed off as truth, as were straight up lies. So they actually believe that Trump is going to wage a war on minorities, the LGBTQ community, and women. Which is preposterous because Trump employs (and pays very well) women and minorities (I haven’t research if has an LGBTQ employees, but I’m guessing he does).

        Did he say some unsavory things? Yes. But that doesn’t mean he’s a xenophobic, bigoted, misogynist. Does his VP believe in strict ant-gay laws? Unfortunately, yes. But, Pence is not President. Just like Biden wasn’t president. And Pence has some other, more favorable strengths. As long as we can keep him away from gay marriage laws, we’ll be fine. Lol

      • Sandra

        Sean, you are absolutely right on here. The problem is that even if Trump says it in plain and simple terms, the left-biased media will twist and spin it into something else and his actual message will be distorted.

      • Sean Edwards

        Than you Sandra, I would like to say this about this media.. It is easy to blame them, but we have to get one thing mind: They are a business. They need to keep viewers in order to keep money coming in. Thus, just like any other business, they have to sell a product that people will buy. I know that rich people influence the media (by emphasizing and de-emphasizing certain stories), but if we want someone to blame for the state of the media… we may need to look in the mirror. People don’t really want the facts. If they wanted unbiased, objective news, those news outlets would still be around today. Sensational news grows (or at least maintains) viewership. The rich and influential can only do so much to influence the news inside that reality. They have to fit their agenda inside a package customers will watch. So, if we want to see the media be more unbiased, then the marketplace needs to demand it. Right now, the marketplace wants sensational news. And that is sad. (for transparency sake, I copied this from another post… I didn’t want to retype it).

        Thank you for the kind words!

      • Jen Colville

        I completely agree with this. these people definitely shouldn’t feel empowered and I actually have ran into a few on fb and twitter and I have called them out. saying thats HATE and racism. its wrong. Trump never said to act this way. I guess they aren’t showing the riots, not peaceful riots on Portland or a man pulled out of the car. what the heck os happening? be ause people believed a campaign than people are scared? why? because the media is telling you that this is what trump and Trump supporters do ? or because it sells? I just want people to take a step back and see that this was propaganda.

        im saying this to both sides.

      • Peggy Hines

        I’d like to comment on the “liberal media” issue. I personally dropped out of media (save for Internet research) for several years because I had just had enough from all sides. However, anytime I did want information ‘pushed’ to me that I didn’t go find on the Internet myself I turned to NPR–what I feel is probably the least biased news source available. However, NPR is usually one of the first on the “they’re the ‘liberal media'” list. I find NPR’s stories in-depth rather than based on ‘sound bites’ and pretty good at telling background as well as both sides of the issue. For example, when FBI Director Comey reopened the investigation into the hacked Clinton emails just 9 days before the election I did not really want to hear both sides of the dilemma he was facing, but NPR reported all angles.

        Ok, enough of defending NPR….what I want to say is that aren’t we, as Americans, responsible for what we are willing to believe? Can we really blame the media if we simply swallow what they spoon our way? In the days when the media controlled the information we had easy access to it was much harder to verify information. However, The Internet has provided us with instant access to information in ways we never had before–from accurate, well documented information to wildly insane “tin foil hat” ideas. It’s all out there–both the beauty and the danger in the Internet is that it gives LITERALLY EVERYONE a voice. That, in my opinion, ups our responsibility as Americans to do our own research. First, to check the credibility of the website itself, and second to go to the original source if needed to find the facts. Almost everything that has been said about the candidates in this campaign is verifiable via reliable data sources such as the White House website. (One of the many guides available to help evaluate the credibility of a website: http://mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/web-eval-sites.htm)

        It’s so easy to go directly to the source with so little effort. For example, Gary Johnson’s website claimed that the national debt will be $20 trillion by 2017, and that “The debt doubled under President George W. Bush — and doubled again under President Obama.” I asked myself, is that true? I spent about 30 minutes getting information about the national debt, as well as spreadsheets of the historical data of the federal budget and the national debt from the White House and U.S. Treasury websites (amazing amount of data and information available there) . While I am no economist, nor even someone very good at math, I can see that while what was said by Johnson is mostly true it is certainly not as simple as Bush did this and Obama did that.

        What I have come to learn is that our government runs much like a giant ocean tanker; once it gathers momentum in one direction it takes time to turn in another direction. Some policies Reagan put into place in the 1980’s impacted the national debt long into other president’s terms–some impact may even linger today, adding to the debt in ways Obama cannot control, nor will Trump. There is, after all, only so much a President can do.

        So I strongly urge people to first check the credibility of the media source–websites, newspapers, R/TV stations, etc. Next, check with the original source for accuracy. Remember that when you are talking politics there are several sites that archive documents and data generated by the government. The National Archives and Records Administration, and The White House are both sites that house massive amounts of publicly accessible data. Ask just one question you have about our government or our politicians, then go to one of those sites and try to answer it…you may find that learning the answer is not as simple as a one sentence sound bite, and it may just be more interesting than the latest facebook craze!

  • jo

    I disagree with your idea that the root of the sorrow and anguish we feel about this election is because of the faith we put in one individual. For me this is not it at all. I react deeply and emotionally to this election not because of the faith i put in one individual, but because of the faith i put in my fellow human beings.

    I weep at the recognition that a mass number of my fellow americans support a man whose words and ideals represent such hateful, ignorant and plain evil things. I weep because we’ve normalized and rationalized hate and filed them away as an acceptable tradeoff for change.

    To write off the grief people feel as some egotistical reaction to rejection is superficial. Dig in. It’s more than that. It’s not one man and the power he wields, it’s the 59 Million Americans who are okay with what he stands for.

    • Sean Edwards

      I appreciate your comments. However, I stand by my position. Our hope cannot be in one man or woman. And our desire for change and our sense or purpose cannot be tied to the actions of others.

      I appreciate your position, and I understand. However, assuming that Trump supporters are all (or mostly) racists and xenophobic merely plays into the political spin machine. When you look at both of these candidates, neither of them were paragons of virtue. But both sides slandered the other to the extreme. They are both guilty of doing and saying things unbecoming of a president. But those things pale in comparison to what they were accused of. Believing that Trump is a xenophobic, bigoted, misogynist is akin to Trump supporters actually believing that Hillary had people assassinated.

      Both of these things are not based in fact, but the spin of both campaigns.

      If Hillary had won, how would you feel if Trump supporters assumed Hillary supporters were all liars and endorsed killing people who disagree with you?

      Just because some alt-right people are taking this an endorsement of their position, does not mean Trumps election was an endorsement. They are gravely mistaken. And we (as all Americans) will not tolerate their actions. Neither will we tolerate people attacking Trump supporters (which is happening). Just like we would not tolerate Trump supporters attacking Hillary supporters, should she have won.

      The bigotry and xenophobia popping to the surface from the dark corners of our country will be extinguished. Love, understanding, compassion, and reason will destroy their platforms.

      • Kathy Kiernan

        Our desire for change IS tied to the actions of others. The stability of our current social progress and the possibility for further social progress lies entirely in the actions and words of our country’s citizens. And they just made the ultimate statement by voting for him.

        I agree with Jo. My grief and anger is ONLY focused on Trump voters.

        Now, Trump’s xenophobic comments (e.g., nobody from Muslim countries can come to America), + his bigoted actions (e.g., starting the birther movement), + his misogynist comments (we’ve all seen the video) = a xenophobic, bigoted, and misogynist human being. It’s not rocket science. I agree some Trump supporters might have jumped the to non-factual conclusion that she directly assassinated soldiers. But my Trump equation is actually rational.

        It may seem like we are assigning Trump’s xenophobic, bigoted, and misogynistic characteristics to his voters without reason, just like Trump supporters might have assigned “liar” and “endorser of killing” to her supporters without reason. But I do have a reason. To vote a sexist, racist, xenophobic person in, regardless of his or her political agenda and platform, is condoning sexism, racism, and xenophobia. Condoning is an understatement because not only are his voters forgiving or ignoring his deeply flawed character, they have put him up on the highest pedestal in the world. I assign Trump’s same traits to his voters because I have not seen any Trump supporters say, “Trump is a horrible xenophobic and bigoted person, and I am not any of those things, but I voted for him because I think he will create more jobs and I care more about jobs than I do about equality.” I have yet to read any similar comment from each of Trump’s voters– instead, they are praising him for being a good guy and they’re very defensive about feeling bullied. Well, you just elected a bully! Only when I see each and every Trump supporter make a comment about how they care more about a select issue than they do equality, I will continue to assign those traits to his supporters.

      • Sean Edwards

        Kathy, you make a lot of claims here with nothing to back them up. Has Trump said horrible things? Yes, but don’t buy into the spin. He employs (quite well), many high power women and minorities. How, then, can he truly be a sexist bigot? If he were, don’t you think his organizations would reflect that?

        And he has clarified his position on muslims. He doesn’t single them out anymore. Instead, he says that tougher restrictions need to be placed on countries where proper screening can’t be done. This just makes sense. Even to me, a libertarian who wants a much more open immigration policy.

        I will say this again, I will not let one-line quips fly as facts on my website. If you have facts that prove your position, then I am willing to hear them. Otherwise, I will rebut any opinion (or interpretation) of a person’s motive presented as fact.

      • Randal Rowland

        Jo and Kathy – I voted for Trump and I am not a racist, bigot, etc. I am a patriot and a Christian, I voted for the Republicsn platform and not for Mr Trump per se. I believe in smaller government and in the security of our great nation. I do not support federal funded abortion although I do agree with a woman’s right to choose – I just don’t want my tax dollars funding something that I find goes against God’s will. I believe we need to protect religious liberties and not be forced to change our values or do things that go against those values. I believe in the second amendment right to own a gun and protect myself and my family. The biggest issue for me is the Supreme Court and unfortunately Hillary would nominate judges aligned with her beliefs that are contrary to mine. I also believe that we have a very serious world wide threat with ISIS and I want a commander in chief that will be tough on ISIS and crime and fully support our police, military and veterans. I do not agree that college should be free (I paid back my student loans) and I believe that Obamacare was a misguided piece of legislation (and I happen to know a lot about healthcare due to my profession). You see there are very valid reasons behind my vote for Mr Trump. I think both candidates were not the best this country could put forward but I focused on platform. The fact that I also align with Mr Pence helped with my decision as well. While we don’t know the full truth behind the Clinton Foundation, I belief there was enough evidence to create doubt in my mind and to question where the Clinton wealth came from. I am sorry you are angry at me and others who supported Mr Trump – perhaps you just didn’t have a complete appreciation for our perspective.

      • Lisa

        I appreciate your effort to neutralize the feelings of people on both sides, but I completely disagree with your assertion that both candidates were equally vilified. The way the people feel about Trump comes from words that he spoke and tweeted himself. We heard them and saw them. And I agree with the people who say that the reason Hillary supporters are sad and fearful is not because of Trump but because of the fact that so many of our fellow Americans condoned his words by voting for him. The president is not all-powerful, as you correctly explained, thank goodness, but the president is our leader. And leaders, in most any environment, set the tone.

        I know that God is ultimately the ruler of the world and good will triumph over evil in the end, but I also believe it is our responsibility to work on the side of love and not hate. I think it is great that people are protesting. I condemn rioting, and I am glad that most of the protests have been peaceful. I think the peaceful protests allow people to say, I am on the side of love. I think this helps support people who are fearful of what this vote means for their safety. Because it doesn’t really matter if their fears are based in the reality of what will happen, they are genuine fears fueled by the racism and bigotry that have always permeated our country at some level. I am hopeful, and prayerful, that this election will bring people together to work on the side of love.

        And I hear what you are saying about most republicans not being bigots, etc, but, at least in my world, instead of trying to understand the fears and stand up against the hatred, they are gloating and saying that Hillary supporters are “cry-babies” and “sore losers.” In talking about good Christian people, whom I go to church with, who have been snarky and mean and insensitive on social media this week. That is making the situation so much worse.

      • Sean Edwards

        Lisa, I completely agree with you about the gloating this occurring. Hovwever, it occurred when Obama was elected (and re-elected) as well. And I tie it back to who we put our values in.

        When our candidate wins, we feel validated, because our choices and values were elevated. And when our opponents have been calling us names, then we feel extra validated, and even vindicated.

        No one should gloat. That’s wrong. Especially from Christians. That’s not Christ-like.

        At the same time, can you see how the fighting and name calling during the election may have made this worse? If we all respected each other, and recognized that we all want what’s best for the country (just disagreeing on how to do it), then there would be virtually no impulse to gloat. In fact, we would probably empathize with someone else’s loss. But we’d be confident in knowing that we still believed in each other, knowing that we’d have to work together to build a future.

        I want to postulate that the political name calling actually created the crisis we are in now. Both candidates drove messages of fear down our throats about what might happen if they other person won. What did we think was going to happen when both sides effectively convinced their followers that they other guy (or gal) was literally evil? If I truly believed that Hillary was a murdering elitist, bent on nothing but her own gain, then it would be my DUTY to fight back. So even though I disagree with the protests, I can understand their position.

        Thank you for sharing.

    • Jane

      I disagree that 59 million agree with what he stands for. There have been so many lie’s and statements taken out of context and people have believed them. Like with not letting Muslems into the country. He said he would stop letting them in UNTIL a way of vetting them could be put in place. But everyone left off the last part. They just quoted the first part. And so many other things he said were treated the same way. But what I want to say is that 59 million were not condoning what he may (or may not) have said and done. Most of us are just sick and tired of having democratic leadership views and policies shoved down our throats and told “you will do this or else”. I did not say democrats because I believe most of them are very good people. It’s the few in power who have ruined it for everyone. But we are tired of being disenfranchised and not listened to. We didn’t let our emotions rule our vote but we were scared to death of what would happen should Hillary get in. I live in an area where oil is the main industry. With all the oil fields shut down, coal mine shut down and other energy industries shut down, what are all these families to do? Jobs have been taken away and sent overseas and factories closed. We have enough natural resources on this country to be energy independent. But the powers that be have made us dependent on foreign oil by not letting us tap our own resources. I’m all for protecting the environment but there needs to be a balance between protecting it and providing for our people!
      And we are not uneducated as many have said. Many of us have bachelor’s, masters and doctorate degrees. We know how to think for ourselves!
      We are tired of being told ‘you have to buy insurance or be fined’. THAT is unconstitutional, as is the way it was railroaded in by Harry Reid, a senator. The constitution gives the authority to make laws about money ONLY to the House of Representatives!
      We have nothing against the LGBT community but don’t shove them down our throats. We won’t bother them if they don’t bother us. And don’t say Trump is against them. Go back and watch his speech at the Republican convention. We want jobs for everyone and immigrants coming to America legally. We want illegal criminals deported. That’s not anti-immigration! We want blacks and all ethics to have good jobs so they can support their families. That’s not racist! We want law and order and the police to be supported by our leaders and not villified. And most of all we want the military to be respected and appreciated for putting their lives on the line for us. Those are some of the reasons we voted for Donald Trump. Washington has become so “elite” that they don’t listen to us any more. “We the people” are supposed to be the ones who tell them what we want, but they don’t listen to us. We needed someone who can’t be bought (as the Clinton’s have been – fact) and who will listen to us and clean up Washington. Yes, he’s not perfect, but who is. As Christ said: “he who is without sin cast the first stone”. We needed someone strong enough to withstand everything that would be thrown at him during the election and with the ability to do the hard negotiating it is going to take to get anything done. So don’t keep saying we are sexist, racist, mysogynist and all the other names we’ve been called, because we are not. We are ordinary hard working Americans who are tired of the status quo!

      • Sean Edwards

        Jane, I think you have eloquently articulated the sentiment of most Trump supporters. And I hope people of differing persuasions will try to see the world through eyes.

        This is the kind of dialogue this country needs. People on both sides need to step back, let go of their presumptions, and see the world through their opponent’s eyes (which includes seeing the world how Hillary-supporters do, as well).

        If we can do that, this country will become far greater than it already is.

      • Jen Colville

        exactly!!! i completely agree with everything you said. also thank you for sharing and completing Trump’s statements.

        i do believe Trump needs to tell people not to paint swastikas and say demeaning things. also we shouldn’t be the ones that tell people to leave. because we shouldn’t have to ask for documentation or anything. this is an argument I had with my husband. yes, we can still be humane. yes we are Americans but we also need to remember to be kind. no HATE.

        also I don’t believe for a second that a student had something happen by Trump followers because its actually the other way around here. just not getting as much media but people here are protesting waving the Mexican flag. by the way I am in San Diego. what does the Mexican flag have to do with immigration and Trump?

      • Sean Edwards

        I think the flag is supposed to represent solidarity with Mexico and Mexicans in the face of a “hostile” president. Again, I feel this is based on fabricated political spin, but hopefully that offers some insight into their actions. We have to remember that when it comes to these kind of issues, for most people perception is reality. These people really believe that Trump hates Mexicans and Mexico. If that were true, I would be protesting with them.

      • Sherri smith

        Well said Jane!

  • Joanna

    In summary:
    Trump doesn’t even have to pass a single policy. The fear stems from the people who came out and supported explicitly islamphobic ideas, explicitly xenophobic ideas, explicitly misogynistic ideas, etc. and they won. There is now an opening for those people to be unapologetically all of those things.

    • Sean Edwards

      Joanna, I understand. You’re right. But I would caution you against assuming that Trump won because racists went to the polls. The same number of Republicans voted this year as the previous 3 election cycles. The reason Hillary lost is because millions of fewer democrats voted.

      Take heart, most of this country are not racist misogynists. I did not vote for Trump, but I personally know a lot of Republicans who voted for Trump. And none of them are racists, bigots, or misogynists. They are some of the most compassionate and loving people I know. They voted for Trump’s policies, not his character.

      And most of them want freer immigration. They don’t want to deport illegals. But they want a secure boarder and a reformed immigration program so more people can enter the country legally. And they couldn’t stomach Hillary’s expanse of government.

      We need to be careful not to overgeneralize about people, or drinking too much of the partisan kool aid. Our country will be taken over by misogynist and bigots. We will stand for that.

      • Jen Colville

        exactly. im a woman. im not a racist and I am for same sex marriage. I feel LGBT should have rights such as filing taxes, power of attorneys, wills, adoption. we need border control to be able to do their job. they haven’t in about 8 years. i do think we should deport illegals but give them a chance to become legal. if they came here illegally but have children US citizens than we should get them legal. just no more handouts to illegal immigrants. no more government/state help. they should also be paying taxes. but if you convict a crime and illegal than deport. that’s what he is against with illegal immigrants being violent to Americans. if they want to come here than do legally. this doesn’t make me racist. but we need to be able to help our our disabled and low income communities. ridiculous to me that illegal immigrants get free healthcare when a vet can’t even see a dr.

      • Sean Edwards

        There are certainly problems in the system. Hopefully, though, we can all cool down enough to figure out a better solution. Thank you for commenting.

  • RCBV

    Good read accurate about how our system works. I know he has limited power to do things within the confines of the presidency. What he does have the power to do is embolden those who seek to do other Americans harm, in his name, based on the racist, intolerant rhetoric he championed throughout his campaign. Which will surely carry over with the parts of his platform that does go through the legislative process and pass. It is already happening, people writing horribly racist things in public spaces, women being attacked and having their hijabs yanked off, a woman was attacked, her purse and backpack taken and when she ran to call police they stole her car. This is why I was upset over the election. I could see this coming, for some of us IT IS NOT GOING TO BE OKAY. This will be our day to day existence until he personally tamps down the fury or the laws in place are used to their fullest extent to hold perpetrators accountable. So to say how I handle the election says a lot about me when the result of the election means I have to keep my head on a swivel and be concerned for my and my families actual not precived safety is short-sighted.

    • Sean Edwards

      I see what you’re saying. But we need to take the overgeneralized, political spin out of this. I did not vote for Trump. I did not want him to be president. However, just because we may disagree with his immigration policies does not mean he is a racist. In fact, if you look at his organizations, he quietly disproves this accusation. He employs people of all genders and ethnicities, and pays them well.

      And, lets not overlook that innocent Trump supporters are being attacked as well. A woman was recently grab out of her car and beaten (that’s just one, but I don’t want to list them all, because we’re battling enough negativity at the moment). People I’ve known for years–good people–are being called horrible things (by people who’ve known them for years as well) because of how they voted. This is textbook definition of hysteria. People are loosing all sense of perspective.

      It is true that the alt-right has been embolden. But I blame that on the political spin, not Trump. Both parties were hammering each other with baseless vitriol, that many people began to believe them. I don’t believe Hillary supporters are all liars and support assassinating political enemies. That would be ridiculous. The left manufactured the bigotry story (albeit by spinning some VERY bad things that Trump said), and that manufactured story emboldened white supremacists. IF they had hammered him on his failures as a businessman, I am certain we would not be seeing this rise in hate crimes.

      Trump has never supported white supremacists, and his actions within his own organizations prove it. Has he done things unbecoming of a president? Absolutely. But if we’re going use that as the basis for attacking our neighbor, then we’ll all be dead before they year’s end.

      • Jen Colville

        it reminds me of the witch trials in Salem.

    • Terry

      I think the crucial part of saying Trump created the hate messages is to actually look at the source of where they were created and that was the Hillary campaign and its supporters. Trump did not promote those sound bites which contain half truths they were created by his opposition. He is a flawed man, as we all are, but to say he is the one that is inciting riots and hatred is wrong. His words might be responsible, but the words were cleverly delivered by his opposition not by him. Listen to his full speeches and you will hear those words in proper respectful context.

      • Sean Edwards

        Terry, I believe this true. I also believe the Right did this as well. They spread a lot of misinformation about Hillary. This was an ugly election. Slander became the weapon of choice. And tens of millions are reeling from it now. I pray we can heal and unite quickly.

  • Maxianne

    This is 100% wrong.

    I do not think the President can solve all my problems.

    But he’s about to deliberately make them worse. And I mean by putting people in charge who will actually deliberately attack me to harm me. I am transgender. I am out. I am open. I will not hide.

    So, please, get over yourself. This election was a sham and people are fucking angry because we are all in danger now. WE ARE NOT MAKING THIS UP. I have begun tabulating ways in which LGBT and minorities are being assaulted, and if you like I’ll shove them in your face over and over again until you retract this imbecilic statement.

    • Sean Edwards

      You make a lot of bold claims. I would love to respond to them. Can you site your sources?

      • Elizabeth Solomon

        What I’m hearing here is a lot of fear. It doesn’t come just from the candidates. The media’s are partially responsible for twisting the truth with an agenda in mind. I would like to know when did public office stop being PUBLIC SERVICE. It seems more like people are going into office for their own personal agendas not for any altruistic “I want to help my country and it’s citizens. I keep asking one question about Trump that so far has been difficult to answer. If we have an economic down turn, will he focus on his companies or the country?

      • Sean Edwards

        Great questions. Fortunately, when you go into office you have to put all of your business holdings into a blind trust. Meaning the law forbids you from being involved in your businesses at all. You are still the beneficiary, but you have 0% say in the goings on. And if the law finds that you are colluding with your businesses, you can be tried for corruption (I believe). These laws were design to prevent precisely what you are describing. And, I think Trump is wealthy enough not to fear a downturn. So, I wouldn’t worry too much about that.

      • Ebonye

        I do not trust Trump to do a blind trust that exclue his family. HE hasn’t revealed his tax yet. There is no evidence he is as wealthy as he says. I wonder is you would say the same if Obama had not revealed his earning; I don’t think so.

      • Sean Edwards

        Ebyone, I would ask that you not assume too much about me, and I promise to do the same for you. Thank you.

      • Leslie

        Sean, I thought the blind trust was a common practice, not a legal requirement. Do you have the legal citation?

      • Sean Edwards

        I do not. And it has been brought to my attention that the President may not be required to do it (though congress is). I will look into it though. My interest is certainly peeked.

      • Peggy Hines

        Sean, the citation for the law on conflict of interest is https://www.oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/Legal%20Interpretation/2992B018CA57C5B985257E96006A91E8/$FILE/Report%20to%20the%20President%20and%20Congress%20on%20Ethics.pdf?open The President is exempt from the law, but precedent has been to divest themselves of all interest in personal holdings while in office.

        NPR’s Morning Edition reported on this issue Nov. 10, noting that Trump would enter office with unprecedented conflicts of interest. In the story, Trevor Potter, former head of the Federal Election Commission, notes many of the issues, saying “The number of problems is actually sort of mind-boggling.” From appointing the head of the General Services Administration which his business will then have to negotiate leases with, to having borrowed money from foreign banks his administration will regulate, to doing business in countries that are vital U.S. allies.

        The story also notes that Trump will also enter office with “lots” of pending lawsuits working their way through the courts.

        I’ve not researched the lawsuits, but I know that is also public information; you just have to search in the correct jurisdiction. Could be done easily enough, and I also wondered why we didn’t ask more about these during the campaign.

        My thoughts on the campaign–Trump’s machine was an attack pack with him as the leader. The machine effectively used the media–particularly the Internet–to put Hillary on the defensive and keep the hype going so strong that serious questions about him could not surface and live. The issue of his tax records came up and the loudest voices didn’t pursue the real issue there, which is who, exactly, does he do business with? We are speculating, really, since his company is private we do not know. The amount of taxes he paid speaks only to the tax laws and how good his lawyers are; who he does business with and who he donates money to would have told more about who he is than most of the hype presented as ‘news’.

        But I am not saying this to place blame on the Trump team. I think that we get the media we demand through our support. The people who built ‘fake news’ sites, the people who helped ‘stories’ go viral by re-posting and re-tweeting information without checking validity first are the ones to blame, if blame is to be laid. It was easy though; so many of the sites looked pretty good, and so much of the fake stuff was really sophisticated. Even Sean Hannity got suckered into believing some of the fake information, and while I am no fan of Sean Hannity I admire his ability to say he was wrong and to apologize on air. For me it lends him a bit more credibility than I had previously attributed to him.

        I am a firm believer that Hillary, (and Bill as well, which is fair to bring in because she suffered from his indiscretion as well) has spent a life in faithful public service focusing on bettering lives–particularly of women and children. Yes, she is human and made some mistakes, but I will never believe she was malicious. What I most admire about Hillary is her ability to be reflective, to adjust her way of thinking as she learns and makes mistakes, and most of all her ability to see when she is wrong and to apologize in a sincere and heartfelt manner. I call these Character.

        Her biggest flaw, from my perspective, is ambition–but it is ambition to do work that will make peoples lives better. Yes, she is a flawed human being, just as her husband is, and they both paid dearly for it. But I believe they both have the highest intentions for this country; they have both been productive public servants for their entire careers.

        All the candidates have flaws–they are all human. I admire an individual who can look openly at their actions and admit mistakes–mistakes are how we learn and move forward. I admire an individual who can say, I didn’t know then what I know now, so with this new information I will adjust my beliefs, my goals, my reactions.

        I believe that despite her flaws, Hillary’s lifelong commitment to bettering the lives of those with the least voice shows her caring and respect for humanity; her willingness to examine with a critical eye her own flaws, her mistakes, and work to change shows her sense of fairness and lends trustworthiness; her many years of service to this country reveals her belief in the responsibility of citizenship. These are the pillars of Character.

        I look forward to learning of these pillars of character in our new President, and hope that I am pleasantly surprised

  • Tracy

    Spoken like a true white male. And I say this as a result of this exact phrase “Then, we can all go back to living the lives we want to live.” Point is even before this election, millions of people were not free to live the lives they want to live, but it appeared we were heading in the right direction. Now, with the election results we are being forced backward. People will DIE as a result of the things Trump CAN do. Did you forget executive order, did you forget that he has a chance to put at least 1 person on the Supreme Court. How is it supposed to be a check for what he tries to do if it supports the horrible things he wants to do. And yes, there is congress but there are terrible things Republicans have been itching to do for a while now: repeal Obamacare (which will most certainly lead to deaths), cut medicare and social security which will lead to the downward spiral of quality of life for the elderly, cut welfare benefits (which will plunge even more people into poverty and possible starvation with the removal of SNAP benefits), they will repeal marriage equality laws for gay people and walk the progress of the LGBTQ+ community backward, they will label people of color fighting for their lives and equality as terrorists, they will defund Planned Parenthood which will put millions of more women at risk of disease, cancer and death. These are things Republicans support, Trump supports and things they in fact CAN accomplish now that they have a clear road. People who have been fighting to keep these things from happening have only been barely holding on and now they have no champions. Maybe you can go back to living the life you want to live after things calm down, but the rest of us will be fighting for simple survival.

    • Sean Edwards

      Tracey, I understand your concern. I would invite you read some of my other responses, for many of them apply here as well.

      However, you are making a lot of assumptions about people’s motives, and you seem certain of what will happen. Before I respond to your allegations, can you please site your facts?

      • Ted

        Sean you ask for Tracey to site her facts to support her statements. Her facts are the statements made by DT and many republican congressman which define their intentions. Her facts are their stated positions. All you need to do is listen to their words and assume they mean what they say.

      • Sean Edwards

        Ted, these are not facts. These are assumptions. Can you please support your argument with facts? I need proof that Trump and the republicans are going to wage war on minorities, women, and the LGBTQ.

        Now, let me stave off some reaction…

        Do republicans need to change their position on Gay marriage? Yes. I 100% agree with that statement. However, the Supreme Court has already made that decision, marriage equality, for the most part, is now protected (at least how I understand it).

        Do republicans have hard-lined positions on immigration? Yes, but that is different than waging a war on them. Many republicans are minorities, and they want immigration reform. They don’t want to make American white, they want to make American legal. Their position on immigration does not make then hate minorities. It is just different than democrats. Do some people want to “make America white again”? Yes. But they are the minority.

        Are republicans slammed for hating women? Yes, but that, again, is political spin. It usually comes down to abortion. Since republicans want to ban it, they hate women. But, I’m going to ask you to look at the world through their eyes for just one minute. And then you can go back to your position. But for one minute just see things this way: If human life begins at conception (just accept this as true for one minute), then another person–even the mother–doesn’t have the right to end that life. Just as we grant an infant protection from assault (because we know they will grow up to be a human being with rights), to republicans, the same protection should be granted to fetuses. They do not want to put women back in the home (well, maybe a few do), they want to protect a defenseless individual.

        Now, you may disagree with the original premise: that life begins at conception. But, can you see why republicans would take this position, given their beliefs? Therefore, it isn’t fair to call them misogynists because they are pro-life. Just like I don’t think its fair to call pro-choicers murderers. In their eyes, the fetus isn’t a human being yet. It is just a cluster of fertilized cells. So, according to their own beliefs, they are not committing murder. Just as, according to their own beliefs, republicans don’t hate women.

    • Elizabeth Solomon

      I do believe some of the concerns regarding Planned Parenthood AND LGBT is Pense’s ideas and concerns. Paul Ryan has been the one trying to stop medicare and social security saying it costs us too much. I don’t understand how he can say this since we all pay for this through our careers. It is not his money. I have been told by devote Christians that the reason they don’t want to fund Planned Parenthood because people think they perform abortions

      • Sean Edwards

        Yes, Pence has some bad ideas on the LGBTQ community. Some really bad ideas. However, the Supreme Court has weighed in on this, and I don’t think he can do much else. So, I don’t think we have to fear that.

        As for planned parent hood, I don’t know your position on abortion, but consider this:

        I’m going to ask you to look at the world through republican eyes for just one minute. And then you can go back to your position (whatever it is). But for one minute just see things this way: If human life begins at conception (just accept this as true for one minute), then another person–even the mother–doesn’t have the right to end that life. Just as we grant an infant protection from assault (because we know they will grow up to be a human being with rights), to republicans, the same protection should be granted to fetuses. They don’t want to limit women’s access to healthcare, they want to protect what they believe are defenseless individuals.

        Republicans, don’t want to limit women’s access to healthcare. They target PP because they perceive them to be the biggest threat to unborn, defenseless people. Their premises could be wrong, but that doesn’t make them enemies of women. It just means their logic *might* be flawed (I happen to agree with them, so I don’t think their logic is flawed. I just wanted to portray how someone with a different position might see them).

        Thank you for commenting! I’m glad you’re a part of this conversation.

      • Randy Cross

        Elizabeth Solomon, I don’t think you understand how Medicare and Social Security is funded. Working citizens are taxed in order to pay the Medicare and SS benefits of retired citizens. There are not enough current workers to fund the current retirees, so tax money from other areas must be reallocated. in the near future these benefits will not be sustainable at all. What Republicans like Paul Ryan want to do is create new and better ways to fund or help the retired citizens live their lives. No one wants to cut off anyone from their retirement payments.

        When you say, “I have been told by devote Christians that the reason they don’t want to fund Planned Parenthood because people think they perform abortions” Are you saying that PP does not perform abortions? PP performs about 330,000 abortions a year.

      • Jen Colville

        you should look at what Pence signed in IN regarding abortion. he actually went to make abortion a choice between a mother and a fetal medicine dr. however stating that fetus with down syndrome should be protected from abortion. he also wants abortions in these cases to be in a hospital setting.

        also planned parenthood shouldn’t be defunded anymore because Obama just signed an executive order in Sept to keep funding for birth control and cancer screening but not abortions. i don’t think this will get repealed.

        same sex marriage is safe. Trump actually is pro LGBT rights. yes, Pence has different ideas but he actually might be learning tolerance and acceptance from Trump. the republicans just want to fill in the gray area of abortion. the correct reasons for an abortion. if something is extremely wrong with the fetus because we do know that with science and technology that heartbeat begins at 6 weeks. roe vs wade might need to be updated. I was pro choice until I had a baby than became pro life but in certain areas especially medically it needs to be chosen from the parents with doctors help. i believe don’t want abortion to be used as a birth control option. especially since there is adoption and Pence is pro adoption. he doesn’t believe anyone a life should be ended for disabilities but only in very severe cases that truly wont be viable and be miserable and this will be a choice and in a hospital setting.

      • Sean Edwards

        Thanks Jen!

      • Jen Colville

        i remember when I was in high school I was told social security wouldn’t have enough funds when I am old enough to use it. if anything they should make sure that only disabled and ederly can receive benefits. i think widowers and widowed children do too but this shouldn’t be taken advantage of. this shouldn’t be given to illegal/undocumented any longer. if people are really concerned losing these benefits than should make sure it goes to the correct people.

      • Sean Edwards

        Great thoughts Jen.

        Here’s some interesting info about Social Security. The President abused the Constitution when they enacted it. They utilized the Commerce Clause to support Social Security. The commerce clause says the Federal Government has the right to regulate interstate commerce for the good of society. They pinned SS under this by saying that employment (of any kind) was a elective choice, and the federal government could only force you to pay into SS if you “chose” to work. Hmm. No thanks.

        And the Supreme Court was going to strike it down. But, FDR threatened to stack the Supreme Court. You see, they had struct down many of his laws. You know, the ones that dictated what people could sell their products for (at least one person went to jail for selling bread below the authorized price… seriously), and the one that attempted to make farming a state run industry. The Supreme Court had kept deciding–shockingly–that these laws weren’t constitutional. Basically, they kept FDR from turning our country in a communist country (because his laws were made in the very image of true socialism).

        FDR was so upset about this, that he petitioned congress to allow him to add more justices to court if “older, backwards” justices refused to retire. And Congress debated this for 6 months before “no.” Think about that. Congress debated giving the President the power to completely control the supreme court… for 6 months.

        Because of this, the court was obviously scared. Therefore, many believe they allowed Social Security to survive because they feared upsetting congress as well, who would then allow the president to control the Court. I guess it was a “live to fight another day” kind of thing.

        Ignoring the fact that SS is unconstitutional, the average life expectancy at the time was around 64. And SS allowed you to draw at 65. This was done on purpose. You had to make it beyond the average life expectancy before you could even take a penny from the program. You were still expected to cover 100% of your retirement. And because of the age restrictions, few people took full advantage ot it. It was supposed to be a bare bones safety net to keep the VERY old (at the time) off the streets.

        But the average life expectancy today is 77, 12 years longer than the draw date. And you can draw earlier now. That’s why SS is underfunded. Its being used as a quasi-retirement program when it was never meant for that. So, if we want to make SS solvent (which I don’t. Its unconstitutional.), then we either need to dramatically increase the SS tax, or move the draw age back to 80 (or something like that).

        Now, my personal feeling is to do away with it, and let people save for themselves. However, people have made plans based on SS, and it would be wrong to pull that out from underneath them. So we need some sort of transition plan. We need a plan that is both compassionate and constitutional.

        Thank you for letting me write a mini-blog post on Social Security on this comment. Lol.

  • D Hughes

    Maybe the world itself won’t end, but if Trump gets an itchy trigger finger on the nukes because a foreign leader insults him, or his appointees ignore the truth of climate change, then LIFE on earth could in fact end.

    • Sean Edwards

      Well, lets hope that doesn’t happen. And, just so you know, I’m a registered republican who did not vote for Trump and supports a carbon tax. I pray we can figure out a way to solve this problem quickly. The environmental ramifications of this election do concern me.

    • Jen Colville

      i feel that now that Trump is pres elect he will learn verizon much how true climate change is and how bad it is.

      • Jen Colville

        i didnt mean verizon but very.

        im curious about learning about this carbon tax. what exactly is it?

      • Sean Edwards

        In Washington State, they were going to tax fossil fuel sales (like coal, oil, and gasoline) at the initial point of sales (so as not to double tax). Meaning a coal mining company’s sales to a distributer (or whomever) would be taxed. But that coal would not be taxed again in further sales. And the average person would have a seen a 1/4 of 1 percent increase in gas prices (if I read the law correctly). It mostly affected the sale of coal and oil to big producing industries. This was meant to make businesses feel the effects of their CO2 emissions on their balance books.

        The problem with letting the free market determine environment policy is that it could be far too late before the market responds. Right now, factories and other heavy fossil fuel users aren’t affected by their CO2 emissions. They have made their operations lean to be profitable, but their greenhouse gas emissions go unchecked. There’s nothing in their balance sheet concerning pollution affecting the bottomline.

        I’m all about the free market. It needs to determine things 99% of the time. But the market may not impact CO2 emissions in time.

        Therefore, if you institute a carbon tax, or a cap & trade program, producers now have to factor their greenhouse gas emissions into their budgets. This, in theory, would drive them make their operations more efficient, and less carbon heavy.

        The only problem I have with these types of programs is who may run them. They can be run by people who are biased against the energy business. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that their mission would be to shut down coal mines and power plants. I do not support that. So, instead of being fair and balanced, it could be crony and target specific businesses and industries, hoping to make them fail.

        But if good, objective people run those programs, then I’m all for them. Does that help explain?

      • Sean Edwards

        I hope so.

  • Steve

    I agree with what he has said here. Perhaps this is also why people demand that the candidates for president and in turn, person of the president be perfect. Especially the person who is on the opposite party. Since no one IS perfect, then we’re disappointed or downright hateful.

    • Sean Edwards

      Interesting perspective! Thank you for sharing!

  • DS Hansen

    I appreciate your article. You do, however, state, “Congress can keep him in check. As well as the Supreme Court.”
    With the control of Congress in the hands of Republicans, and the appointment of the next Supreme Court justice in his/Republican hands, I truly wonder how “in check” he will be kept. I want to believe that “the others” in the Republican party will speak their truth and vote their truth, and keep him in check.
    I want very much to be hopeful. I will remain active. I will speak to and for my colleagues, friends, and students who are now living in fear of what may happen.
    Now is the time for the 49% of our population who did not vote to examine their consciences and get involved.
    It is also time for all of us to monitor our sources of information and not sit silent in the face of what we hold true for our country.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you for sharing. And you raise valid concerns. I do have hope though. I am no fan of Mitch McConnell’s policy positions, but he did say this, “We were not given a clear mandate [on election night], so we must govern responsibly.” And, he was an outspoken critic of Trump. As was Ryan. As were MANY republican congressmen and women. And many of those republicans are minorities and women. So, yes, I do believe Congress will keep him in check.

      Furthermore, the Cato Institute (and many other constitutionally-minded analysts) looked over Trump’s list of Supreme Court nominations and liked a lot of them. The Cato Institute in particular is a libertarian, policy think-tank… thing. They want WAY smaller government, with strict laws protecting our equal rights. And they did NOT like Trump. However, his court picks were quality judges that enforced the law. Meaning, if Trump nominates one of them, they probably won’t be in his pocket. They will challenge him.

      Again, thank you for sharing. I appreciate it.

      • Elizabeth Solomon

        But the Congress and Senate have blocked Obama picks for way too long. It is their responsibility to acknowledge his pick.

      • Sean Edwards

        Well, lets not start pointing fingers. Because Obama advocated doing the exact same thing when Bush was president, and his tenure was ending. Therefore, I don’t buy that argument. Because there is nothing in the Constitution (that I’m aware of. I’m wrong, let me know) requiring the Senate to approve a nomination within a certain timeframe.

  • Sarah

    Wow. You have some really valid points here that I hadn’t considered before. Thanks for writing this. I don’t agree with everything you wrote, but talk about soul searching! I’d like to read this to my Juniorettes tomorrow.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you for commenting. I hope your Juniorettes find it encouraging.

      • MARY Rasche

        Sean, I also want to say, this posting is the FIRST ONE with comments and opinions by both sides that has not made me angry. Most others out there are, uhhhhhhh, I don’t even know the word for them, but by the time I finish reading and defending myself I have so much hate in my heart, I’m NOT a prejudice person AT ALL, I NEVER HAVE BEEN. But when I start to feel such hate for other people and group’s it’s time to tell myself to take a step back and analyze what I stood for before the election and comments. To remind myself my children are watching how I will order do react, which will form them into a way of thinking that will be hate filled, or understanding and empathetic to their respective generation and elders. This type of feed, this type of discussion, this type. right here…is what we all need. The news outlets would do good to take a lesson in respect and equality for you. On this feed, I can read and understand how the opposite side is feeling and understand why they have fears. With the others I’m just called names and go on the defensive…way to go sean.

      • Sean Edwards

        Mary, thank you so much. That means so much to me, you have no idea. This country needs to heal. I hope this is a small part of that process.

  • Scott Jorgensen

    Thank you, great reading every word. Finally not too much emotion. A post that actually had most speaking in an intelligent manor. I believe people must understand that if you want improvements in your life it’s not the president that’s going to magically make it better. You and you alone have the ability to improve your life. If you’re waiting for our government to do it, you might in for a long ride. However odds are that if you don’t like how things are going then stand tall, work hard and make things better for yourself, you can do it, and then you and you alone can take credit for it. ” no disrespect to those that unfortunately are unable to do so”
    Im sure most will agree that a government shouldn’t be too powerful and we shouldn’t look to them for all the decisions we make. History has shown us when too much power is gained in government, it could get so strong that your rights as a free American can diminish to the point of no return. A point where the people gave over too much power and the opportunity to regain power to the people becomes impossible. I believe that time was closer than people realized. I’m proud of this country for recognizing this and that’s the true reason DT has won the election. I’m not a Trump fan and I believe that Americans have Ben bombarded with this fear of him being to irresponsible to be POTUS. Personally I believe he wants his legacy to be that of a business man, voted President that shook the establishment to the very core and wants to prove that he can mend fences, give power back to the people and prove there’s a more responsible way to run this country.
    Americans from both sides have made a very bold statement, we should open our eyes, ears and minds and listen to what their striving for. Great news though, Americans, when joined in numbers have more power than an untouchable corrupt government.

    • Jen Colville

      I also agree we don’t want the government too big. that’s pretty much what republicans believe.

      Trust me you don’t want our government in charge of healthcare. i have dealt with it personally for too long. ive even gone t the VA and waited a year for a MRI. i needed a test. but couldn’t even schedule because it was 18 months back. i contacted patient relations and fojnd out that no, there isn’t really a priority for getting testing done. vets die and this has been going on way longer than the Iraq war in 2003 so its not an influx of new vets.

      another thing i can tell you is that base housing used to be so outdated because the government, 0ur congress would allocate those funds to something else. finally they privatized it to real estate developers and renovated military families homes and Tricare sucks, its also not free.

      less government is better than more. we are no where close to socialism. we aren’t even close. again, steps, several steps are missing to get to that dystopian and global world that several people believe we are closer. not even close. socialism sounds great on paper but in practice it doesn’t work.

      yes, I believe in EQUALITY but I actually learned that men and women are not physically the same. its why women arent in infantry, carrying 150-200 lb ruck sacks and heavy equipment. yea , a 60 lb rucksack is difficult. when i went to basic in 1997 I had the pleasure of training coed , first time in the ARMY. I even got to speak to congress about what it was like. i remember one of them asked what happened to me. I had stress fractures/reactions from my feet to my spine. drs told me and several other females that it was due to marching with males. they have longer strides. I had to be discharged because I didn’t heal. i am still disabled from it. so i learned men and women definitely should have different jobs especially in the military. I couldn’t even have surgery or a MRI or other tests in the VA because of such long wait times than i got married and had insurance and had my surgery just a couple months later.

  • Kim

    Those who were crying, sad, scared were not doing this solely on Trump winning. He does have a lot of power by who he chose/chooses for his Vice-President, cabinet, etc. His choices are already helping him with approval of the laws, etc. that he wants to change. The majority are Republicans and they do support what Trump wants, so obviously, he doesn’t have to worry too much. I think it is so sad when my 10 year old wakes up crying because he is worried we will be bombed. He asked what will happen to the environment. It’s very hard to find the right answers to help him with his fear. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • Sean Edwards

      Kim, I understand your concerns, however, I want to encourage you. Trumps agenda, the fear around it, are mostly products of political spin. Does he have some hard-lined ideas on immigration? Yes, but that doesn’t mean he hates minorities. In fact, he employs many in high paying positions. If you want to be upset, be upset at the lies that were spewed out by both sides of the election. Don’t fear Trump’s aggression towards minorities, just like I wouldn’t have feared Hillary assassinating political enemies. Before giving into fear, look a little deeper. Try to find facts, not quotes or soundbites spun to look like facts.

      I’m sorry you’re afraid. But I promise you, the majority of Republicans are not racists, bigots, or war mongers. And they will keep Trump in check.

      And to my final point, I invite you to reconsider what kind of government you want. Could Trump do terrible thing? Yes. But I don’t think he will. But, putting that aside, do you want a government where one person can have that much power over you? If we return to the constitutional limits placed on the presidency (and the government at large), many of these fears would dissolve. Because Trump (or Hillary) would have never had the power to do the things they promised they’d do.

      Limited government goes both ways. It allows businesses to to decide who they hire, how to pay them, and who they serve (which a lot of liberals don’t like, they think this is somehow “discrimination.” I call freedom), but it also keeps people like Trump from having too much power over our lives. Limited government is a good thing.

      • Russ

        The second paragraph of your post, “I’m sorry your afraid. But I promise you, the majority of Republicans are racists, bigots, or war mongers. And they will keep Trump in check.” I think you need to edit this. From reading the thread, I don’t believe this was your intended message

      • Sean Edwards

        Thanks! Fixed!

  • Marjorie

    Sean Edward’s, where have you been hiding? This is the first article that I have read of yours and what a refreshing take on the current state of our country. Thank you for not partaking in the journalist’s kool-aid social, and actually using your noggin to use sensibility instead of journalistic hysterical fact-less propaganda. We are constantly being misdirected by the media, including the mainstream media while the real issues are ignored. Our government consists of a lot more people than just our president and guess what people, we voted all of them in. I believe things do need to change on a whole lot of issues with the election process in order to make our government truly for the people and by the people, but that will not happen overnight and will never happen if we as a nation keep being misdirected by the media in order to keep the status quo of a government that is in my opinion, for the industries and by the industries that keep making trillions and do nothing for the greater good for the common American citizen. So much needs to change here, including getting the other 49% of citizens who have given up on our country, to get out there and vote. If you didn’t vote than stop complaining. I feel this election was less about voting for the lesser of 2 evils and more about which 1 will do enough damage to shake us out of this false sense that our federal government has our backs, as in the individual citizen, more than the few big industries that have bought their way in to our government. The next 4 years hopefully will accomplish this and real change can occur. And, if not, we’ll we get to vote all over again in 4 years.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank for you reading, and your comments! I appreciate your voice being a part of this!

    • Jen Colville

      agreed

  • Kathleen

    I really appreciate your insight, reading through the comments has given me a little more understanding on how people are feeling. You know who I blame for a large part of the hysteria? The media! Both social media and the biased news channels (and I do blame both sides) have contributed. Both candidates had flaws, some real and some inflated by the news media but I never in my wildest dreams imagined that we would have a candidate for president that was under investigation by the FBI. I know the email investigation was dropped, reopened and then dropped again but I don’t believe the investigation on the foundation has been completed. And half this country voted for her, I just don’t understand how that can be possible.

    • Sean Edwards

      Absolutely. We need a return to sanity.

    • Jen Colville

      completely agree

  • Lynn

    I actually think the fact that you don’t see the false equivalent here says more about you than the people crying . From where you stand, in the skin and the gender it is a luxury to not understand to not see the fear and devastation from people who don’t have the privilege that you do to blend into society.. I think this engages in the same false equivalency that the media did that got us here. We must say that feeling sad your candidate lost is NOT the same as feeling fearful for your life and safety because the other guy won.

    • Sean Edwards

      Lynn, I would request that you do not assume too many things about me, just as I won’t assume too many things about you. Thank you.

      I believe in people, and reject any argument that makes them a victim. If someone as accepted a victim mentality, and they try to convince me that they are a victim, I won’t engage with it. I will only breath faith that you are stronger than your circumstances.

      There are too many stories of people rising out of dire social positions to levels of greatness to believe otherwise. Do we have problems in this country? Yes. But we also have great opportunity. For people of all colors, races, religions, and genders. Don’t believe the hype that our country has returned to racism. Those are lies. A victim mentality is what holds most people back. Life is 10% circumstance, and 90% your reaction to those circumstances. This is empirically true for people of any ethnicity. Just do some social research from different immigration waves. I think a lot of media (subconsciously and not necessarily with malice) feed off of this victim thinking, and I think it also plays into liberal ideals.

      Libertarians, like myself, have great faith in people. We believe that individuals can only be stopped if they believe they can be stopped. But, when you can convince a group of people that they are the victim of a big bad enemy (like corporations or the rich), then you can also sell you the solution: Big bad government.

      You are better than this. Don’t put me in a box based on my skin color and gender, and I won’t do the same to you. Thank you.

    • Jeannie Creamer-Dalton

      well said Lynn – it appears to me also, with all due to respect to Sean – I better address Sean directly: Sean, I do get the impression that you live in a bubble in certain areas of my concern, not necessarily that box you say Lynn may be trying to put you in. It’s not your skin color or gender, it’s what I am gleaming from your writings. I am withholding judgment for now, though, as I have only skimmed through your writings, the responses of your readers, and your responses to them and, in this case, to Lynn. Appreciate being able to read all this – so many valid perspectives. Thank you again.

      • Sean Edwards

        Please, take your time and read. I don’t mind at all 🙂

        Obviously I have limited perspective. We all do. No matter how hard we try, we will always see the world through our own lives.

        That doesn’t mean, however, that don’t have perspective beyond our lives. Or that we can’t put ourselves outside of our own experiences to see the world different. Will I every truly understand what its like to be Muslim in America? No. But if I try… and can I gain some perspective? I hope so.

        And, having limited perspective doesn’t mean you’re wrong. If you’re piloting a ship at night, and your radar is down, you have very limited perspective. But if you see an iceberg in-front of you, you still turn. You don’t wait. What little you do see is still true.

        So, even though I am… constrained by my position in society, it doesn’t mean I’m wrong. I invite you, as someone from a different perspective, to see for yourself. If someone feels I am in error, I want to hear it.

        And when it comes to issues of government, I feel as though I see an iceberg in front of us, and I’m trying to turn the ship. At least, that’s my perspective (see what I did there??)…

        Thank you Jeannie.

  • Scott Hochgessang

    I have a Syrian friend here in Australia who says that Obama, and Hillary’s, intervention into Syria has gotten hundreds of thousands killed. He calls her a murderer. It is his perspective, but I give it some credibility because he is from there (well Iraq).

    I post this in response to those saying Trump is a facist, as is it could have gone down the other way and many would be saying we put a corrupt murderer in the White House.

    If you can’t see how flawed both these candidates were, then you have succombed to your partisan filter.

    I thought it was quite a good article Sean. I often remind my own friends that the President can not pass any laws. Executive orders are quite limited in scope. Trump can pull us out of trade deals, but only because Congress gave the President that power.

    I don’t hear that much angst over the Rep Senate and House.Odd as they write and pass all the laws in this country.

    Scott in Sydney

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you Scott, I appreciate your comments, and for being a part of the discussion.

    • Dennis

      I’ve realized since Tuesday that Trump is not my problem. However, his choice of advisors so far has made me fearful. I can’t help feeling that this is the start of severe limiting of our freedoms in the name of small government and religious beliefs. You seem to have a high level of trust in people’s basic instincts, and i envy that. Most people just want to live their lives in peace. But there enough others who want nothing but control over others and will stop at nothing to get it.

      • Sean Edwards

        Thank you for sharing Dennis. I think we need to be cautious about jumping to conclusions about his advisors. Most of the articles I’ve seen present speculation as fact. However, he has picked some, and I can understand the trepidation.

        My faith in people comes down to one thing: How many people do I personally know that want to lie, cheat, and beat other people down for their own gain? I personally can’t think of a single person like that. And if out of all the people I’ve know, and none are like that, it would be illogical for me to assume that most of the people I don’t know are evil. Which is what we do with politicians and other public figures. I’m not saying that some people don’t have evil intentions. I’m just saying that as a culture, I think we’ve GREATLY over-estimated who they are. And it comes down to this simple truth: without concrete facts illustrating that someone is a bad person, I have chosen to believe the best in people. All people, including their motives, are innocent until proven guilty. I want people to believe the best in me and give me the benefit of the doubt. And I hope that others would hold off judgement until they actually know me (or know enough about me). It is easy to hate someone when we only see a small portion of them on TV or in soundbites.

        Thank you again for sharing, I really appreciate it.

    • Jane

      Wish I could agrees with you about congress passing all the laws. That is the way it is supposed to be, but they have abdicated that to the beaurocrats in all the agencies. They may pass a law saying we need to clean up the air (for instance) then turn it over to the beaurocrats to implimement it. So the beaurocrats who were neither elected nor accountable to the American people are making the laws. As is the president by executive order which was supposed to be a temporary measure granted to Franklin D Roosevelt to help pull the country out of the depression. It was never meant to be passed down to the following presidents. And the supreme court does not have the authority to make law, but they are. If you really want to know more about this get a copy of Senator Mike Lee’s book “Our Lost Constitution”. Government had taken the power away from the people and put it in the hands of unelected beaurocrats.

      • Sean Edwards

        Jane, you raise some good points. Friedrich Hayek wrote a book about this very issue called The Road to Serfdom. He was Austrian and watch the political climates in Germany during WWI and WWII. Its a heady read, but really good. And very eye-opening.

  • Sue Schwartz-Wolski

    Sean, thank you for your intelligent level headed insight. And I appreciate all of your responses to the posted comments. You are a welcomed calming voice.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you Sue! Kind words are always appreciated 🙂

    • Amber Isunza

      LOL I said the same thing!!!

  • Amber Isunza

    LOL you rock and so does this article! Thank you for your empathy and encouragement that its seriously not the end of the world. And your replies to all of the comments (mostly those who have issues with this article) here are informative, factual, calm, and validating. Not at all belittling. Keep doing what you do!

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you very much Amber. I appreciate your comments and encouragement. We need to have more discussion, and less arguing 🙂

  • Sharon

    Sean- I truly appreciate your article. I was in shock during the election. I would not pin this on my identity being tied to the good ole Green Party, but I do agree that some of the emotional response could be attributed to it. I thought it was interesting that some Trump supporters were adamant that they did not like his ideas, but were tired of being looked over by the establishment. I didn’t want to combat this, but I have to wonder if many of these people knew who their elected representatives were, let alone contacted them inregard to instigating change. I think other people saw a divisive attitude happening and his election solidified what ugly feelings may have been just beneath the surface. there may have been some concern withTrumps certain flare for foreign relations as displayed with Mexico… as a preview, this was unsettling. As a federal employee, I jokingly took objection to his tag line being “you’re fired”. But, I know that congress really is the one with the power of appropriations. I agree, I do not think people realize the appropriate level of power the president has, but I do not think the emotional response is solely attributed to identity associations.

    Either way- it’s time to drink up the orange koolaide and don the fake tan lotions.

    • Sean Edwards

      Hahaha, I love it. Thanks. We’ll all be orange together.

  • Susan Koecher

    Lots of reading. Very interesting and I too applaud your comments Sean. Keep up the good work or seeing both sides while responding as an American of the USA.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you Susan!

  • Derek

    Here’s a different perspective, from one of those that voted against Hillary Clinton

    It was a very tough choice to make when I voted for Mr. Trump. In my mind his sexism was terrible, and inexcusable, but many of the countries sending the Clinton Foundation money while Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State and even continuing whilst she was campaigning for President are light years worse regarding gay rights (executions) and women’s rights (where to even start?) and human rights (Sharia law) than anything Trump could hope to enact here if he were inclined to, not withstanding the whole ethical conflict of those donations when Mrs. Clinton was S0S and campaigning. Her hypocrisy to me was truly a character issue that I could not vote for, even if it meant voting for the alternative.

    As a legal immigrant, I followed the rules and laws of the USA to become a citizen, and paid taxes since the first day I received my temporary green card, the immigration issue was also a factor.

    Hopefully Mr. Trump continues the path he has set with his transition team, there’s a varied team assembled,and if he was seriously anti LGBTQ, Mr. Thiel wouldn’t have been offered, nor accepted a position on his team, and obviously it is Mr. Trump, not Mr. Pence who is in control of this. Mr. Trump’s campaign manager was the first woman to have overseen a successful presidential campaign, and I hope he continues to reach out and bring in people that reflect the diversity of our country.

    Needless to say every time someone labels Trump voters as deplorable, racist, uneducated, homophobic etc, they really just alienate even further the large majority of good honest people that voted against Mrs. Clinton, and it’s hard not to take it personally.

    There will always be outliers in every group, not all 60 million Trump voters are racists, homophobes etc but unfortunately a small portion will be, just like the 60 million Hillary voters are not racists or homophobes, but there is that small portion that is. The hysteria that is coming from the disappointed people whose candidate lost is misdirected in my opinion. It should be directed at the establishment that rigged the Democratic primaries against someone who would have easily defeated Trump, that enabled a candidate truly so abhorrent to half the voting population (and many Democratic voters that stayed home) that they would rather vote for Trump than her.

    • Sean Edwards

      Derek, thank you so much for contributing. My great-grandparents were immigrants, and my grandparents expressed the same sentiment. “Our family played by the rules, we did what we were supposed to, and it isn’t fair that others aren’t being held to the same standards. And in some cases, they are receiving state help that we are paying for. I played by the rules, and now my taxes are helping others cheat.”

      At the same time, I love immigrants and want more of them here. If people want to come to this country and contribute to our great society, then let them. Why would we turn them away? Of course we need strong boarders. But we really need an immigration overhaul, that way more good people can get into this country legally. That’s my 2 cents, anyway…

      Thank you again for contributing.

    • Jen Colville

      I completely 100% agree with everything you said

  • James

    Well Sean thank you for the sanity. One of the things I said before the election was the simple fact that if Trump did get elected he would be held in check by both the Republicans and Democrats and especially the media. If Hillary got elected evidence suggests that this would not be true.
    With that said I am surprised as well by the hysteria from Sanders supporters who were against corruption and working against Wall Street all the while not understanding the Wall Street gave millions and millions to Hillary and very very little to Trump. Trump is more like Sanders then they realize.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you James, and good points!

  • Carrie

    I understand with what you’re saying but I do not agree. The day before the election there was a KKK rally in my state, the day after swastikas appeared spray painted on buildings in another city, at one of the universities here all the black students received text messages threatening to lynch them. At a middle school kids were going through the halls screaming Trump and white power. This is all within less than a week. When people tried to gather for peaceful assembly to show solidarity for the community we we threatened with gun violence. This is just within my state, not even counting all the stuff going on around the country. However, we have not heard one peep from Trump denouncing these hate crimes. I think a lot of the protests are not so much pro-Hillary as showing solidarity with the community against racism and violence.

    • Sean Edwards

      Carrie, I understand why you feel the way you do. These hate crimes are not okay. I have been tweeting Trump, calling him to denounce these actions. However, my following is quite small, and I don’t think he’s noticed 😉

      That being said, he may not be saying anything because he feels he’s already denounced this kind of activity. Take a look at this: https://youtu.be/cilXJk2qfCE

      I didn’t see it until after the election. But I wish I had seen more of this stuff before hand.

      • Lanora

        He denounced it on 60 minutes. Quite bluntly.

  • Randal Rowland

    Sean – great article and perspective and I appreciate your moderation of replies and asking people for facts. One thing you didn’t mention and that is the Media. I feel the media has been a great disservice to the public throughout the campaign and now post-election. I have lost all faith in reporters as most have allowed their bias to taint the facts. This occurred on both sides but I tend to feel there has been extreme favoritism to the Democrats (but I don’t have facts and I support that). Now all the post-election trauma and the Mwdia is right there again to blame Trump supporters. As we have seen there is violence on both sides, protesters may be getting paid and bused into larger cities (agianni don’t have facts but you can not trust the media), there are false accusations that the media is quick to jump on (the Muslim woman that lied about being attacked by Trump supporters as now
    Confirmed by the FBI), etc. I think if the media didn’t sensationalize all the protests and violence we would see much lesss of it

    • Sean Edwards

      Randal, I agree with much of what you’ve said. Here’s one thing we have to keep in mind, news agencies are businesses. They need to keep viewers in order to keep money coming in. Thus, just like any other business, they have to sell a product that people will buy. I know that rich people influence the media (by emphasizing and de-emphasizing certain stories), but if we want someone to blame for the state of the media… we may need to look in the mirror. People don’t really want the facts. If they wanted unbiased, objective news, those news outlets would still be around today. Sensational news grows (or at least maintains) viewership. The rich and influential can only do so much to influence the news inside that reality. They have to fit their agenda inside a package customers will watch. So, if we want to see the media be more unbiased, then the marketplace needs to demand it. Right now, the marketplace wants sensational news. And that is sad.

      Thank you contributing. I appreciate it.

  • Cailin Temple

    I have to say I found this post and most of the comments refreshing in their lack of bitter anger, instead embodying the civility and respect towards other people’s POV that I wish were more prevalent both in social media and out in the real world. If more of us could come together and express our views without resorting to violence in word and deed, then maybe we could move forward together, finding solutions that would help us all.

    I appreciate the idea that how we respond to this election reflects who we are. I assume by the basically respectful tone of those commenting that none of you were out there pulling people out of cars or causing violence to anyone who didn’t vote the same as you. That shows that you have restraint and acknowledge there are better ways of communicating your POV. So if anybody attacks a woman or minority now because Trump won, that reflects on that person’s own misogyny and racism and is most definitely not okay. And if anyone beats up a Trump supporter, that reflects that person’s bigotry and is also not okay. Can you imagine someone beating up say a black woman who voted for Trump (yes, he had supporters of many colors and gender) because that made her racist and misogynistic? Pretty ridiculous.

    I have felt like the whole election and also the aftermath of the election has been surreal. I never in a million years thought Trump would win. And I also didn’t expect this kind of extreme reactions to his winning either. I understand grief. I definitely understand concern. I’m a minority woman myself. But I don’t understand people in my community categorizing all Trump voters as mysogynists and racists and being afraid to walk down the street in our very heavily Blue community. I don’t understand universities cancelling class or making tests optional for students in consideration of both professors’ and students’ grief. I knew a guy in medical school who had his home broken into and was beaten up by the robber as he sent his pregnant wife and child outside for their safety and to get help. After a night at the hospital he still went to class and took his exam. And if he can do that after a brutal attack, then, dudes, go to class and learn the things you need to learn to get out and make the world a better place.

    Instead of name calling and attacking the other side, we should all focus on what we can do to “be the change you want to see in the world.” I think this is what you meant at the end when you looked forward to this craziness being over and letting us go back to living the life we want. We can all fight for what we believe. Just do it the way Cameron Sterling says: with peace, not guns.

    Trump is one man. Yes a powerful one. But if every one of us are committed to being vigilant about protecting those in our community that are attacked for no other reason than who they are, then WE would be the powerful ones. We determine how safe and tolerant our families and communities are through our examples.

    • Sean Edwards

      Cailin… this. This is awesome. Thank you.

    • Jen Colville

      completely agree. i know there are many that feel the same as you.

  • gail

    The problem with Trump is that he is ignorant of how government works and too used to his wish being a command. All he has to do is pick up the phone and start ordering federal agencies to do…or not do…whatever he fancies at the moment. Most serve at his pleasure and can be fired without cause…who’s gonna refuse him? It takes time….lots of time….for either congress or the supreme court to stop him from ordering unlawful actions. He could do a lot of damage in the meantime.

    • Sean Edwards

      He could, but will he? We’ll have to wait and see. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kat

      This is probably one of the more ironic things about this election. This is what a decent number of Trump voters felt was occurring currently with some of Mr. Obama’s executive orders, and felt would continue under Ms. Clinton, if not become even worse. There was a feeling that Mr. Trump’s lack of political background would be useful to limit that behavior. My other question on Mr. Trump’s potential use of “executive fiat” is does he really and truly run his business that way. That’s his TV persona, but is there evidence that he runs things that way all the time. (And if there is, I’m happy to reconsider my thinking on that).

      As Sean said, it must be a wait and see.

      • Sean Edwards

        These are great questions. I hope he’s more level-headed when he’s really working on something. However, his behavior after winning gives me cautious hope that he can be level-headed. I stayed up to watch the results, and when Trump came out to give his speech, I was completely expecting a “I won, you lost, nanana boo boo” kind of speech. But that didn’t happen. I remember turning to my friends right before the speech, saying, “Well, this is actually happening. If he’s going to be successful, he has to turn off the crazy. Lets hope he can turn off the crazy.” And he did. But, like I said, it only gives me cautious hope that this point. Lol.

  • Ruth H

    Congratulations, you have moderated the most civil discussion I have seen in months. Oh, there were a few flame throwers but you turned the other cheek and remained civil to even them.
    Your article is very well reasoned and responsible.
    Thank you.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you, Ruth! I appreciate it.

  • M

    Easily written by a white male. White privilege at its finest. I assume nothing about you but the fact that you are educated and not a minority. The assumption is due to how well your piece is written along with your picture at the bottom of the post. I believe what you have taken the time just reiterates the issues at hand. I am surprised even by your piece…your resume shows extensive research yet your piece talks about a voter deriving their self esteem from a win or loss. To simplify it into that mentality is trivializing the real issue. Trump does have the power to appoint people that could possibly repeal much of our “progress”. I think you should reach out to some people that don’t look so….welllllll white or male. Those conversations should be with people of color, members of the LGBT community, and women that have been sexually assaulted.

    • Sean Edwards

      M, I would ask, between the two of us, if someone where to read what I wrote, and then what you wrote… what do you think they’d see?

    • Jen Colville

      what progress are you afraid of losing?
      same sex marriage? no change
      obamacare? um, yes because its not fair to ALL americans and it looks like he is going to ammend it so that its fair to everyone. he also is going to fix what is wrong with it with insurance companies but no, people shouldn’t be losing benefits unless you are not an American. If American than shouldn’t worry. if disabled, low income, ederly, than it wont affect you.

      Im just trying to figure out what progress you are actually scared about losing.

      I voted for a prop that I felt had merit but it didnt vote. so confused about. but it included police trainings & a jury (not just white and male) not internal affairs to conduct a trial on a cop shooting of an unarmed african . american. but I guess it didnt pass. Confused since I live in a blue state too. i really thought it would. i thought it was going towards progress.

  • Sylvia Morales

    I’m a minority. I’ve never felt that way though. Ive always felt that I am an American Citizen and proud of it! I voted for DT and for the first time my I saw many people vote republican when we were conditioned to be democratic. I know of many who were shunned and back talked too because of this fact. I felt the need to unfriend people on fb. I know it may be childish perhaps but I realized I don’t need anyone who’s afraid of what DT said about a wall and illegal immigrants to insult my position. I didn’t vote for Obama either. I felt he was the wrong person for the presidency and to me…he proved me right. I can’t believe how people are taking his win!!! I couldn’t fathom Hillary and all the strikes she has against her to be my President. I’m middle class and regardless life is still hard for me. When I see all these people in my community living Mexico. So because they’re kids were born here they’re afforded full college grants and all the help needed yet my kids did not qualify for so much. I just think it’s not a fair deal. You get educated and your kids will not qualify for grants. You don’t get educated and you are handed everything free. I’m tired of that rampant waste. So stop crying and feeling a loss and start living the best you can. I pray things change for the middle class!!!!

    • Sean Edwards

      Sylvia, thank you for comments. I understand your frustration, and I applaud your convictions. I agree, we all need to take a chill pill, realize a lot of what we fear and/or think was spun by the media, and realize that the majority of Americans are good people who want the right thing for this country. We may just disagree with how they want to do it.

  • Debbie

    Sean, this is a first time for me to read your article and comments. I want to say thank you and let you know I really enjoyed. I will definitely be back. How often or how can I find out when your having these discussions? Sincerely Debbie

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you Debbie! I try to post consistently, but I often fail. However, this post has gotten WAY MORE attention than any other. So, maybe with an increased audience, I’ll write more… 🙂

      You can follow me facebook, facebook.com/seaneauthor and you can sign up for email updates here: http://seanedwards.com/download

      Thank you!

      • Debi

        Sean, I am not going to contribute to this thread of conversation, however I will be following you. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the thoughtful comments that have been stated in a tone of respect and diginity. Thank you for being diligent in keeping the responses kind. I have learned a lot from your writers. You are very right, when someone phrases their thoughts in a respectful, non confrontational manner I listen. And I have listened through this thread.

      • Sean Edwards

        Thank you Debi!

  • John

    Sean Edwards, after reading your article, I feel your education in both sociology and psychology needs a refresher course in general fear tactics which both sides used. It’s how trump was able control under educated as he did. But, it comes down to the racist and sexual discrimination he raised in hate towards many Americans which about half the country seem to share in his views. I, as an American, am ashamed at the harted he brings with him. Also, he can make laws as he sees fit using an executive order. Same as Obama did during his term. So, to say that he can’t just make any law he wants is insulting to those that know it is possible to be done. Both Congress didn’t have enough votes to over turn his orders nor did the Supreme Court. So, before you write an article regarding things of this nature please, make sure your facts are correct and not a suggested belief from you.

    • Sean Edwards

      John, I understand that Tump made some TERRIBLE comments. But he also said things like this: https://youtu.be/cilXJk2qfCE

      It is my believe and opinion that much of the hate towards Trump was generated by political spin (using fear tactics…). The Right did it to Hillary as well. I would invite you to take a step back and analyze the facts of this situation. Can Trump really be called a racists, sexist, homophobe when the top 3 people in his team are a woman, a gay guy, and a minority?

      I saw a lot of headlines pushing opinion and speculation as fact, and I didn’t see many headlines about his promises to protect minorities (see above video). I didn’t vote for him, and I’m not defending his campaign. I’m just trying to relay the facts.

      Thank you for contributing.

  • Marissa

    THANK YOU, SEAN! I have been feeling somewhat out of place throughout this election season as a pursuer of hope. I’ve been trying to take a step back to see the bigger picture. No one’s identity is rooted in who they voted for, and it has been so discouraging reading/hearing so many hateful words being directed at those who take a differing stance. Honestly, I don’t know a whole lot about politics, but your perspectives make me want to learn more…you make politics less…scary? haha. I felt like I could take a deep, calming breath after reading this article. Phew!

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you!!!! That makes my day. You have no idea. If you want to know, I have a book 😉 Its on Amazon, or you can download it for free here: http://seanedwards.com/download

      Again, your comments are VERY appreciated, and you never have to read my book. Just wanted to put it out there.

  • t

    I appreciate your article, but it didn’t ring true for me. My tears weren’t for the reasons you suggested, but as a white male, you wouldn’t necessarily understand. I felt defeated to think that so very many of my fellow citizens would choose the person to be the figurehead of this country that is a bully, that mocks and belittles his opponents, and a person that objectifies and minimalizes women. Trump is about anything but equality. One step forward – seeing a viable female candidate for president… two steps back – electing an elitist, sexist, xenophobic chauvinist as the leader of the greatest country in the world. That is what brought my tears. For me, for my daughters and future granddaughters.

    • Sean Edwards

      T, I would invite you to take a step back. I have made no assumptions about you, or why you can or cannot understand something… based on your ethnicity… OR gender. I would ask that you extend the same respect to me. Thank you.

  • Laura

    Just a question Sean, do people just not want to believe that the media is to blame for a good 70-80 % of the protests that have turned violent, along with the division of the races? I tend to think of myself as a critical thinker, I have yet to see many people do that lately. I have a 27 year old daughter who is ashamed to be associated with the so called “MILLINEAS” generation. She cannot believe the behaviors of her peers, she see’s that they feel they are owed everything while doing nothing to earn it. The lack of respect they show people my age, is it true to state the fact that media has a large role in forming those behaviors as well as the parental role, and the lack of them being taught to think for themselves? I guess what I am asking is how did we as a society allow the media and those in power become the better influence on this generation? They seem to be lacking that critical thinking for themselves and are easily swayed by what they hear and react inappropriately with little or no consequences, and are definately getting alot of attention for their bad behaviors. Just wondering thats all. Thank you for putting out there the fact that people are so quick to believe media and not stop to get any facts, let alone think about how they are being controlled by a biased media. It’s just I feel the media in general is creating the tensions between the races and are partly responsible, as well as the people for allowing themselves to be controlled , what happened to thinking for ones self? Just wanted to put that out there. Thank you

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you Laura, these are some great questions. I have 2 thoughts.

      First, I too am a millennial, and like your daughter, I don’t fully identify with my generation. I admire their heart for change, but they lack the ability to organize a rational argument. Which leads me to my first point…

      1. We stopped teaching kids philosophy in school, and instead emphasized things like reading “Lord of the Flies” and “The Great Gatsby” (2 super inspiring pieces of literature that sure to propel young people to excellence and fill them with ambition… I hope you detected the sarcasm) Don’t get me wrong, I believe in getting kids to read. But when you sacrifice basic reasoning skills to do it, I have a problem.

      I can’t site the source for this at the moment, so I apologize, but I heard a report that the millennial generation is the least likely to have “developed a meaningful philosophy for living life.” #truth

      When I was finally introduced to philosophy, logic, and reason, it felt like a breath of fresh air. I began to see how I was a walking contradiction, and how so many of my values clashed with each other. I had to actually think through my most cherished beliefs. And many of them did not survive. But most of my generation were not taught to do this.

      For instance, many people in my generation believe that Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders were similar politicians. They voted for both. Those two are nothing alike. They mutually exclusive political views. And the fact that so many of my peers don’t see that… concerns me.

      2. We can’t be too quick to blame the media. Consider this (please note, I copied this from another response I wrote, I didn’t want to write it multiple times): News outlets are businesses. And just like any other business, they need to make money to survive. And to make money, they need to produce a product people want. If they don’t, the business will go bust, and that news agency will go the way of the do-do bird (which I hear they may try to clone back into existence??)

      News agencies need to keep viewers in order to keep money coming in. Thus, they have to produce news people will watch. I know rich and powerful people can influence the media (by emphasizing and de-emphasizing certain stories), but if we want someone to blame for the state of the media… we may need to look in the mirror.

      People don’t really want the facts. If they wanted unbiased, objective news, those news outlets would still be around today. Sensational news grows (or at least maintains) viewership. The rich and influential can only do so much to influence the news inside that reality. They have to fit their agenda inside a package customers will watch. So, if we want to see the media be more unbiased, then the marketplace needs to demand it. But right now, the marketplace wants sensational news. And that is sad.

      Thank you for contributing.

      • Jen Colville

        In Sociology 101 we were taught that media is there for information but also can be used to brainwash the public. these were the extremes. when the elite and government controls media you are starting to live in a socialism/communist nation. we were headed in this direction.

        than the fact that it was the 1st time a woman has a chance of winning the general election that sold a story(the marketing and money. ) than a businessman that wants to have less government in control of everything. a patriot vs a socialist.

        60 minutes has Trump regarding his policies and I feel it will be enlightening. hopefully he will speak to the people about people saying and doing awful things to people.

  • Jeannie Creamer-Dalton

    Interesting article and responses, which I hastily skimmed through, but will come back later to carefully read. I just want to comment on your response to Elizabeth Solomon’s question: “If we have an economic downturn, will he (Trump) focus on his companies or the country?” You said that Trump has to put all his business holdings into a blind trust, which is incorrect. All other members of congress must put their holdings in a blind trust, but the president is not by law required to do so. You also stated that you think Trump is wealthy enough not to fear a downturn. I hope you are correct. However, don’t forget he has many businesses in many foreign countries, especially Russia and China, which could affect many foreign policy decisions, not favorable to the USA. I don’t know if it is a worthy source, but a report by Scott Dworkin, senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition, came out today on Occupy Democrats facebook page, stating that Trump has incorporated almost 250 businesses in Russia. This directly contradicts Trump’s prior statements over the summer, about having no business ties to Russia. Interesting! Perhaps this is where he got the money to finance his campaign. Would these businesses, along with businesses in China and other countries be listed on his US tax returns? How will all this affect his presidency and our country?

    • Sean Edwards

      Jeannie, thank you for raising the issue around the blind trust. Will have to look into that. Even if he doesn’t have to put them into a blind trust (or something similar), he will be under the biggest microscope any president has ever faced. So… hopefully anything nefarious will be caught.

      As for Trump’s holdings in Russia… I wouldn’t be surprised, but I’d also be slow to accept it as true. If Trump said he didn’t have any businesses in Russia (which I did not hear, but I’ll take your word for it, for the sake of argument), and he does… Yeah, lieing about it is very bad.

      However, just having businesses in Russia is not bad in and of itself. Lieing about it is. And receiving illegal foreign campaign funds through those corporations is extremely bad. But I think we can all agree that they need to be proven before we pass judgment. Does this need to be investigated? Yes. But accusations ≠ truth… something our candidates wanted us to forget.

      Again, thank you for contributing. You raised some good points.

  • Jeannie Creamer-Dalton

    Thank you Sean Edwards for your book “American Resurrection,” which I intend to find time to download and read. 🙂

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you!

  • Jenny

    I am a Christian and I do not believe in abortion. I do believe that life begins at conception, however I do not believe that government has the right to tell a woman what choice she HAS to make. I am old enough to remember pre Roe vs. Wade and abortions were happening and not only were the babies aborted but the mothers died because of the condition of the clinics and the lack of care for the mothers. Abortions are going to take place whether they are legal or not. As for being racist, I do hear racism from some of my acquaintances who are republican. I am a closet democrat, because I was taught who I vote for is my business and because I live in a republican city. The statement was made about a friend of mine that she was a democrat so she was an atheist and if you are a democrat you believe in abortion. I am not a minority, but I do have concern for my brothers and sisters who are. I believe we have to give this new administration a chance and pray he doesn’t do all he said he was going to do during his campaign.

    • Sean Edwards

      Jenny, this is some level-headed stuff. Thank you for contributing. Its people like you (and MANY others who have commented) who reinforce my faith in humanity.

    • Shawna

      Just wanted to comment on your statement that abortions are going to take place whether they are legal or not, so therefore they should be legal. This argument had always bothered me. Marijuana was just made legal in my state and one of the most prevalent arguments in its favor was that people were going to smoke it anyway! Actions should not become legal merely because people are going to do them whether they’re legal or not. Anyway, off-subject comment about something that’s been bothering me recently.

      • Sean Edwards

        Lol, I agree. I support decriminalizing drugs, but not because of that argument. I do understand the compassion in the abortion debate though. If you feel someone only has 2 options, 1) Get a legal, safe abortion, or 2) get an illegal, highly dangerous abortion, then compassion can easily motivate you to make abortion safe and legal, even if you don’t personally agree with it. That’s not my position, but I can understand it.

  • Cathy

    The deep sadness in not about who won or who lost as a person. It is about the loss of decency with regard to our fellow humans. Here is a man who ran a platform of hate, bigotry, xenophobia, and racism. He normalizes sexual assault against women. He represents everything everyone should be against and yet he won. Our deep sadness is not superficial. It is about the fact that bigotry and racism have a bigger voice now. We know government is divided to protect us for the most part. But Republicans are majority in both the House and Senate. And people have a legitimate right to fear here. If he follows thru on any of his campaign promises, if the ACA gets dismantled, if gay rights lose ground, if families get torn apart because he deports 11 million peaceful people…and there are so many more hatefilled promises… any one of these things will cause heartbreak and disaster for people I love. So no, we are not depressed because our candidate lost. We are deeply saddened by realizing that a huge swath of people in this country chose to embrace hate and bigotry. They chose a man who lies and cheats the little guys. Our hearts are broken for them, which is why our sadness is so ginormous. He normalizes all the things we have been fighting for as a country our entire existence. That is why we are grieving.

    • Sean Edwards

      Cathy, this is the question I am asking a lot of people these days… If Trump truly ran a campaign based on xenophobia and bigotry, then why are so many of the people in his campaign (and businesses) minorities, immigrants, and women?

      Trump said some terrible things. But, so did Hillary, and the political spin was outrageous. On both sides. Headlines were masquerading opinion and spin as fact. I heard a lot about Trump’s hatred of minorities. But I never saw this in a headline: https://youtu.be/cilXJk2qfCE

      All I’m saying is this… Is it possible that this election generated more mistruth than fact? And is it possible that both candidates weren’t fairly portrayed in the campaign? And is it possible that (just like how Hillary doesn’t assassinate political opponents) that Trump isn’t the xenophobic bigot so many believe him to be?

      You don’t have to accept that as true, I just ask you to consider it. I did not vote for him. But I’m giving him a chance, and I’m trying to look past the misinformation and find the truth. And you know what I’m finding? It is far more complicated than this election made it seem.

  • Dianne Ziegler

    The uneasiness comes because all branches are predominantly Republican…….I have not forgotten what they did to this country when Bush was President…….it is a reality…..this country was at the brink of true disaster. I never thought they could do that much damage until it happened. People lost homes snd businesses. Gas was at an all time high. It was a very bad time. President Obama directed this country fighting the Republicans all the way. So if you think I believe the President doesn’t have much power…..I don’t believe you. Trumps demeanor and language are of no comfort. But I’m glad you think you know better……maybe the Bush years didn’t affect you then.

    • Sean Edwards

      Dianne, the causes of the financial crisis were far more complicated. And even though I was no fan of Bush, I’ve personally never bought the “it was Bush’s fault” argument. Giving out home loans to people who couldn’t afford them was one the main causes, and I don’t know how much Bush (or his policies) were involved in that.

      • Jen Colville

        exactly. this was with financial people. we lost our home too. it was awful and we weren’t even delinquent on one payment but when moving (no choice either) the market was lower than our loan. we were in AZ at the time which was one of the worst states affected.

      • Will

        One could very easily argue that if there is blame to be placed on politicians, both parties hold an equal share of blame in the 2008 financial crisis, primarily due to deregulation that occurred under Alan Greenspan, who served under both Republican and Democratic presidents. Banks were limited to single states and their ability to offer investment products was limited. With deregulation companies suddenly merged into interstate behemoths that were too big to fail.

        If one believes the reporting done by Michael Lewis (I do), the blame should truly be placed on the banks–who, as Sean noted, gave out risky loans, then packaged them up and sold them as safe investments.

        The tricky part begins as we look forward. Do we give the banks back their ability to do as they did before by repealing Dodd-Frank (which is, in many ways, the platform of the Republican party–which can easily be googled) and trust them to have learned their lesson, or do we as a society demand that these institutions follow certain rules to ensure that they can’t gamble with our money? Do we revert to some of the pre-1990 financial system?

        Any Business 101 course will tell you that a corporation is a collective of owners whose purpose is to maximize shareholder wealth. That’s not a bad thing; the generation of wealth is often good for everyone, assuming that the corporation acts ethically. Unfortunately, history has shown us that individual ethics are often not enough of a match for the drive to profits. Wells Fargo, Deepwater Horizon, Union Carbide–the list goes on and on. So, while I agree that too much regulation is a bad thing, so is too little regulation. We as a society (and regardless of what some may say, we are still the government) have an obligation to ensure that these entities whose purpose is the generation of wealth for its owners does no harm to society while doing so.

      • Sean Edwards

        Will, you make some very good points. Too much regulation kills production. Too little oversight can make room for grave abuses. Hopefully, Trump’s experience will give him some insight into these issues. Or hopefully Congress will make sure he pays attention. But ultimately, it is up to us to tell our representatives what we want. We’ll have to wait and see what happens!

  • Marcia Bell

    Blessed are the peacemakers.

    • Sean Edwards

      Amen! Also, the cheesemakers.

  • JonInVa

    Problem is that, with Obama, the President is now issuing Constitutionally-suspect executive orders which a complicit Congress allows. More and more Congress is abdicating their role and power and allowing the other branches to run wild. That has to end now.

  • Nicolette Wessling

    The author of this post is difficult to take seriously because he does not appear to fit into a marginalized group. His perceived insecurity does not speak to any of the fears or “insecurities” of POC or LGTBQ or immigrant or any other marginalized group. Our outcry is not about the unlimited power or fear that Trump embodies. Our outcry is presented with the fact that a man who is at best a “good businessman” and at worst someone who could look at my daughter, mother or sister and “grab them by the p****” is now the leader of our country. Think of all the leaders who had hearts filled with selfish ambition, greed, lust, hate… were the people not affected by them? I do not fear Trump or the power he holds, BUT I DO wholeheartedly grieve for anyone who is now afraid for the stability and safety of their family. I am afraid of an entire people group who profess to seek the greatest good, to show the greatest Love and have now given power to hate. We are asked to protect the widow and the orphan. Not to tell them their fears of being abandoned are simply insecurities and blindly imploring them to trust in areas they have yet to be shown are trustworthy. They have already been abandoned, they know the implications, the emotions, the hurt and how they are challenged on a daily basis with hate. Yes, our hope, from those who know the power of Love is to continue and to press on in circumstances that seem hopeless. And thankfully, I do see people around me doing, standing up, protecting– and creating more influence for marginalized people. “Therefore, when someone like Trump wins the presidency, we have confidence that his influence can only go so far. Congress can keep him in check.” But Congress cannot keep these people, the people who take after the President’s heart, in check…. This is not an attack, this is not to shame, this is the honest reason why we grieve. This is why we outcry: https://twitter.com/i/moments/796417517157830656

    • Sean Edwards

      I understand your concern, but I invite you to take a step back and look things outside of the campaign spin.

      Trump said some terrible things. I won’t deny that. And I won’t defend them.

      However, Hillary said some terrible things as well. Different kinds of things, but to some, equally as terrifying.

      Trump is not the bigot the media made him out to be. He will not challenge the LGBTQ community (even though Pence has different positions). For instance, I saw a lot about how bigoted Trump was, but I never saw this: https://youtu.be/cilXJk2qfCE

      I respect your concern. I agree that our President-elect has said some inexcusable things. I just don’t think he’s what the campaign pin machines made him out to be.

    • Marcia

      Nicole, I think the idea of a marginalized group is very narrow to many, but in actuality it should be pretty broad. Case in point, Christians. While Christianity is a majority in our country try, Christians are having more and more trouble voicing their feelings about things. Nobody seems to be sympathizing for them. The fact is anyone can consider himself/herself marginalized if they let themselves be.

      • Sean Edwards

        Marcia, I would agree that Christian perspectives are being shunned. However, Christians have held the seat of power for a long time. I don’t condone shutting their voices. But Christians have used their legislative majority to control and marginalize people in the past. I am a Christian, but I have vigorously fought against things like banning gay marriage. As a Christ-follower, I never see Jesus telling us to control how people live their lives, even if they don’t agree with us.

        For the first in living history, Christians are beginning to feel what other groups of have felt for a long time. That doesn’t make it alright. And it shows us that maybe we should reconsider the role of government. Because now that we’ve opened the door to controlling others, once a new majority gets into power, they can use that same precedent and power to do it to us.

        The solution is a government limited to the protection of individual rights. If you want to know more about this, you can check out my book (its on amazon, or you can download it for free here).

        Thank you for commenting!

  • Tracy Renee

    Great article! Sean, you would make a great arbitrator! I just wanted to add that going forward, DT is going to have an uphill battle getting an unbiased message across through the mainstream media given how much disdain there is for him now, with the exception of Fox News. But the majority of Americans don’t watch Fox so idk how he might overcome negative spin in the future.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you!

  • Martin Nussbaum

    True. But the alignment of conservative power in each branch of govt at state and federal and soon scotus level does not bode well for income equality and compassion in this country. The checks and balances the author speaks of in that situation are illusory.

    • Sean Edwards

      Martin, you are right that the government leans right, but that happens in election cycles. Look at President Obama. He went in with a full congress as well. And don’t be fooled. Trump has many enemies in the republican congress. He will have a harder time than many presume.

      • Marcia

        Is there some irony in how much you have had to defend your comments about what was meant to be a very simple civics lesson? To add to what you have said, it would appear that if people really want to bank on change, they might do it by turning over Congress, but how many of our legislators were re-elected?

      • Sean Edwards

        Great thoughts Marcia! Thank you for commenting!

  • Gee Savaiinaea

    I believe that the motivation for Trump to get elected was based on the economy and people wanting change.
    But there is so much more that needs to be addressed.
    I can forgive some of the disparaging things that I heard him say during his campaign.
    My concerns are, that I didn’t hear any plans to change the state of our nations racial issues, or white privledge issues.
    If I was white and enjoyed some privileges I would be fine with it but I am not I am African American, Samoan, and Native American.
    Minorities have found that having money still does not make us equal.
    In most cases education does not make us equal.
    So to hear the things that DT did say in some of his speeches, pleaae tell me where I am to find hope.
    Do I think he is a racist? No I believe that he just like other white person, they don’t necessarily want bad things to happened to minorities but they will not step up and use their privilege and power to do anything about it.
    It is obvious that minorities have very little power to help ourselves, because we are not the ones in power, so how am I suppose to feel about a DT presidency?
    The same Ole, same Ole. I guess I can feel better that DT made some his positions known on how he feels about minorities.
    He and others in our government have the power to change things in this area, but will they?
    I believe if it doesn’t effect them directly, they might feel bad but will make no effort. History has proven that.
    If we believe that DT will not actually do some of the things that he said in his speeches like build a wall, deport people, etc…means that he lied. Lied to get votes.
    I only wish that more people could understand what I am saying.

    • Sean Edwards

      Gee, I certainly understand your concerns. And you raise some excellent points.

      What concerns me is this: “It is obvious that minorities have very little power to help ourselves, because we are not the ones in power, so how am I suppose to feel about a DT presidency?”

      This is a lie. You are in power. The government works for you. They are your employees. And, quite soon, whites will be the minority in this country.

      I am libertarian, so I side with democrats on a lot of issues. But I have a serious problem with some of their minority positions. Mainly, they don’t give people enough credit. Many of their laws and positions are based on a victim-mindset. And when people adopt a victim-mindset, they abdicate power over their own lives.

      Immigrants and minorities are what have made this country great. I don’t buy into the rhetoric that minorities need special help because I don’t believe minorities are weak victims. I DO SUPPORT protecting minorities from racism and those abusing their power. That MUST STOP. I hate it.

      You can take hope in yourself, just as I intimated in my article. You determine your destiny, not the President. If you encounter bigotry, you have to realize you’re bigger than that, and the bigot is the real victim, because they have chosen to judge you before knowing you. Who knows what they could be missing out because of their prejudice. What awesomeness do you have that they’ll know?

      As I said earlier, I’m a libertarian, but one thing I like about Republicans is that they believe in the individual. You don’t need state help or special treatment. Rise or fall on your own merit. But I’m pretty sure you’ll rise. It’s what humans do. And even if you fall, I have faith that another awesome human will help you out. We are all full of amazing potential, and we are powerful. No matter our ethnicity, religion, or economic situation. Don’t buy into the rhetoric that the rich and powerful are keeping you down. IF THAT’S TRUE (and that’s BIG if), the only way they can keep you down is if you determine that they have the power to do so.

      So take hope in yourself, and do good. Because that’s who you. You rock.

  • Jen Colville

    another thing when i hear people crying out about sexual assault and that they don’t condone it and based on the soundbites from Trump a decade ago that were edited heavily than why did CA pass a prop to allow non violent criminals out of prison? non violent crimes are sexual assault, molestation, child sexual assault? it goes on and CA primarily voted for Clinton but didnt vote NO on this prop or the other prop to have better police trainings and trials with a jury (all races & gender) instead of internal affairs investigating (judge/jury) for police shootings for unarmed african americans? Im so confused that if liberals actually cared for these items than why didnt these props pass?

    • Donna

      Ummm, sexual assault, molestation, etc. are actually considered violent crimes. Non-violent crimes are drugs, thefts, etc. There are many reasons that props get voted down that have nothing to do with how they feel about the issue. I voted against an amendment in my state that involved fighting sex trafficking. I am very against sex trafficking, but I did not support how the measure would be funded at all so I voted against it.

      • Sean Edwards

        Good point. Just because someone votes for, or against, something does not mean they are either 100% for or against it. What I personally find annoying are all the campaign signs that say, “Vote Yes For Fire Fighters!” or “Vote Yes For Teachers!”. What, if I vote no, does that mean I hate fire fighters and teachers? Its manipulative and wrong. My knee reaction is to vote against whatever they want. But, fortunately, the rational part of my brain forces me to calm down and actually study the issue. Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Thank you for commenting.

      • Jen Colville

        unfortunately you are incorrect. i did a lot of research on all the props. and apparently the non violent felons are charges of sexual assault, molestation. think about it. im not saying i agree but these are the classifications. there are more not just these examples. It was just a question I had why did this one prop pass and the other didnt? especially for the state of CA. I will have to find a link or pic explaining what I am saying to back up what I am saying.

        i can understand not voting for a prop due to funding. but I just didn’t understand why this passed? I actually looked it up because I wanted to know what a non violent felon is? how are drugs not violent?

      • Jen Colville
      • Jen Colville
  • Matt

    So many people here kinda miss Sean’s point. Trump as president doesn’t have the POWER to do half the stuff people think he can do. Local laws and politicians have far more of an impact on our lives than the president does, unless the president abuses his executive power. Let’s say Trump stacks the Supreme Court with conservatives and they overturn Roe v. Wade. Probably 30 of the 50 states would have laws allowing abortion within a week. Every conservative justice that’s opposed Roe v. Wade–every one–has said it’s an issue for the states, not the federal government. Our system is designed to give more power to state government that the federal government. It’s called federalism, and it’s a beautiful thing.

    • Sean Edwards

      Federalism is a beautiful thing. And a lot of people are saying, “Not My President.” They’re right. He isn’t. He’s the President of the Union of States. Your local state governor is “your president,” for lack of a better term. Which is part of the reason for the electoral college. You aren’t voting for the president. You are telling your state electors how to vote. And the state is voting for the president. If we pulled the President down to the individual (as in switching to a pure popular vote), we would undermine the constitution further erode the sovereignty of the states.

      Thank you for commenting! I appreciate it.

  • s

    Sean – I am glad that I found your article. Thank you for the non-spin view point of what happened.

    IMO – I feel like Trump out foxed everyone and worked the electoral system. How any business entrepreneur IMO would approach the same situation.

    No campaign is lily white and both sides were burning the midnight oil finding the next “scandal” that could be used and HRC had the media to help. But, this time there was a candidate who actually pushed back. I hear the word bully used a lot, but has the viewpoint been shown how Trump might have been bullied? The media pumped him up so much before because it was in there favor to their ratings… but when there were two left standing – they tore him apart. The just didn’t think DJT would push back that hard.

    He was the outsider who took on Washington – middle America’s champion.

    I for one was not surprised at the outcome and actually walked around Election Day knowing he would win. How? For the week prior, when HRC could barely fill her rallies, but DJT had people waiting 2.5 miles in line to see a speech which was broadcasted on TV. Who has those 5 hours to wait? Someone with a cause and a fire in the belly. HRC brought out the celebs – one for hispanics, one for the black vote, one for the older vote, and then the working man. All were so out of touch with what was going on in the world. Then fact that HRC had Beyonce and JZ talking about Btchs and Hos? Nothing against their music, but kinda sent the wrong message if you were trying to make DJT look bad. It only solidified their vote. The media spun- up their glory girl and kept their followers in the blind. What was the reason again for HRC cancelling the fireworks the morning of? IMO she knew.

    Why did the media get foxed? They had done their job – spun every story they way they wanted the public to see. But what they didn’t see – the PC culture who created the silent voter. – I didn’t tell anyone I was voting for him – what would I be called? Well all your posts above will tell you…so I was one of those voters. The PC culture is not a positive thing when either side feels suppressed. I too voted on other issues than the man himself. I just hope he surprises everyone.

    I believe we are two groups on either side of the media pond only looking at the opposite groups reflection of the “Media’s Description” of who they decide we are. Until we start to hold them accountable for the false spinning news – we will have a hard time coming together.

    With column like yours – I have hope 🙂

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you for sharing. I really hope people take this part to heart:

      “I believe we are two groups on either side of the media pond only looking at the opposite group’s reflection of the “Media’s Description” of who they decide we are. Until we start to hold them accountable for the false spinning news – we will have a hard time coming together.”

      That’s gold. Thank you.

  • Katie C

    If I’m understanding correctly, you argue that Trump is not in fact a racist. Then why did he say the Mexican judge could not be impartial? You say he does not misjudge Muslims. Then why did he advocate for a ‘ban’ and say they need to be watched? You say he is not a misogynist, then why did he say one of his accusers was not attractive enough to warrant sexual assault? Why does he talk about women getting on their knees for him?

    These are of course words, not actions. Yes actions matter and given his volatility, we should not assume what his will be. But words and ideas matter too. They are the basis of much of our culture and national consciousness. They are the seeds of tomorrow’s actions. To me, Trump’s win said: we are okay with a man who speaks about people with such unkindness to be the voice of our nation. In that way your article resonates deeply, as I do feel my ethics must be different from those who were complicit it affirming Trumps words and ideas in the ballot box.

    I don’t expect a leader to be perfect, but I do expect them to preach love and kindness or at least not preach prejudice and hate. Is that too much to ask?

    • Sean Edwards

      Katie, you raise EXCELLENT points. And, as I’ve said in many comments, Trump said some TERRIBLE things. Inexcusable things.

      However, I take issue with this: “To me, Trump’s win said: we are okay with a man who speaks about people with such unkindness to be the voice of our nation.”

      If you read some of the comments on this post, every Trump supporter contradicts this statement. Just read why they voted the way they did.

      I still want to point back to my article: Where is your hope? In your own strength as an individual? Because it should be.

      Now, if Trump starts rounding up minorities and the LGBTQ (which, I’m pretty sure he won’t), I will stand besides you and fight back. That’s why we have the 2nd amendment 🙂

  • Ki Carl

    I was not in favor of either candidate. I really didn’t have anyone in the race to cheer on. However, when it became apparent who was going to get elected, I got hit with a wave of panic, reminiscent of when the 2nd plane hit one of the twin towers. My exact words on that morning were, “oh my God, we’re going to war!” I genuinely fear that our new smack-talking president is going to say something inappropriate to the wrong world leader, and we’re all going up in smoke. I would not have had that feeling if the other candidate won.

    • Sean Edwards

      A valid concern. Lets hope he can reign in that temper.

  • Rachel P

    Hi Sean,

    I just wanted you to know that your educated, rational and fair-minded assessment of our country’s current situation has been passed around the social media world as proof that intelligence and logic is still present in quite a few people. I feel that your words are representative of the majority, not the loud and emotionally driven minority. I’m proud to have shared this with those in my Facebook “world”, garnering likes and subsequent shares from individuals on all sides of the political spectrum. It’s a shame that anyone could read your words and STILL clutch to inane and illogical perceptions but I guess that’s why it needed to be written in the first place. I did not vote for Trump, I am not a republican and I do not condone or support the vitriol he’s shared during the campaign or anyone who has used or continue to use it as fodder for their own hateful thoughts and behavior. However, it’s unreasonable to believe that all of his (65+ million) supporters share these opinions, just because they looked passed them. I know for a fact not all democrats condone all that has been said and done by their own representatives over the decades.

    I just wanted to say thank you. It’s appreciated and needed.

    • Sean Edwards

      Rachel, this means so much to me. You have no idea. Years ago, when I decided to wade into politics, I set out to have a conversation. My goal was to defuse political war, and start a discussion where we debate ideas, and don’t attack people. Even though one post is kind of small in the scheme of things, your comment (and others like them) tell me there is hope for us all, and warms my heart. Thank you.

  • Alanna

    I feel the need to speak about where this article vastly misunderstands what is happening.
    HRC was not my candidate, not my first choice; however, I thought she would be decent. Trump, on the other hand, has normalized hate speech, spoken about his desire to advance oppression, and violate human rights. I don’t think the world is going to end, in fact as a privileged white woman married to a white man, my life probably won’t change at all.
    What I am upset about is the pain those I am here to serve are in. Those underprivileged, minorities who are sitting in my office in tears because this has already hurt them before a single new law has passed. They have already experienced hate and rejection in an intensified fashion over this election season and we can only expect that to continue unless we speak out and stop it.
    This doesn’t involve placing my faith in the wrong place: my faith has never been in the American system or a candidate. It involves hurting with my brothers and sisters who have discovered our country elected a racist, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist man to the highest office in the land. A man that has vowed to drastically effect their lives.
    So my lament is very akin to many in the Psalms that lamented the political powers of their time. They were considered prophets for speaking out and although I don’t believe my words are prophetic, I believe in following their example of speaking the truth even when it’s misunderstood by many.

    • Sean Edwards

      Alanna, I understand your concern.

      However, I would invite you to take a step back and ask a very simple question (posted by another commenter): Could it be that we are two groups on either side of the media pond only looking at the opposite groups reflection of the “Media’s Description” of who they decide we are?

      The fact is, besides some TERRIBLE comments, Trump’s actions don’t reflect the bigoted, xenophobic narrative. I did not vote for him, but I feel I must bring facts to the table. His transition team, and his campaign team, had women, minorities, and gay people. Did he say some EXTREMELY unsavory things? Did he help Hillary’s campaign spin machine by making horrifying, off the cuff remarks? Yes. However, the facts lay in who he’s hired and how he’s run his organizations. I have not done a ton of research on that front, but I’ve seen enough to believe he isn’t a bigoted xenophobe.

      • Fran Dunaway

        Then why is he surrounding himself with people who are?

      • Sean Edwards

        Yeah, his choice in Chief Strategist… concerns me. But I need to do more research before I jump to conclusions.

      • Jen Colville

        honestly Ive been trying to figure out why people say Bannon is a racist? what I am understanding is that there are followers that are white supremacists and I guess they have left racist comments. yes, they should’ve been deleted but I doubt Bannon was moderating the site and comments. (Sean you are amazing to respond to comments). but than we are back in full circle. i found out Bannon is a veterans (officer), he even has a best friend from college that happens to be African American and Bannon is a Chief strategist to kind of keep a check & balance with the chief of staff.

        I just feel like we keep going back in circles to fear and speculation. plus I am sorry but I find the fact that there is a very small group of racists (that yes are doing horrible things and are not ok) That doesn’t mean Trump is that way . yes he said there are Mexican immigrants that are criminals. there are. of course we know not all. same with muslims. why is everyone keep generalizing??

  • JLambyG

    Thank heavens for honest folk who recognize the truth when they see it and will acknowledge it even when it challenges their deeply held and cherished beliefs.
    In all my life I’ve never seen so many who are drunk on the Kool-Aid (on both sides) and they don’t even seem to realize it!
    I applaud your voice of reason! Your words are like a breath of fresh air.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you so much!

  • Patty Sviem

    I will never forgive Trump for his hate speech. From day one of his campaign he called people rapists snd drug dealers and his speech never improved. He can fix every ill in America but his path to the presidency is an American disgrace. One comment I read in this conversation talked about second amendment rights. We have all the rights we need to bear arms. If your child or grandchild had been killed at New Towm you would not be promoting gun rights. Look at Dick Cheney. Has he said anything about gays since his daughter came out of the closet. Hypocrit. Donald Trump is no different. Let someone grab his daughters pussy and we will hear an entirely different outrage.

    • Sean Edwards

      I would ask that you forgive Trump. Not for him, but for you. Unforgiveness is a prison we lock ourselves into and give someone else the key. We force ourselves to eat anger and drink judgment. It poisons our hearts. And it keeps us from loving our neighbor. Especially the ones who voted for Trump.

  • This is the first thread that I have seen where people are discussing elections without wishing death to each other. ‎Dee Bond Pozarowski said the following and I thought people on this thread might be interested.

    Sean, thank you for keeping this thread civil!

    “I keep seeing people post on how they are terrified, or scared? Well.. what are you scared of exactly? War? Because that’s happening. School shootings? Because that’s happening. Pipeline? That’s been happening. Terrorism? Definitely alive and well. Going broke due to health insurance? Mm yes. Corruption throughout the system? Already there. Police officers being murdered? Yep, that’s happening. Bullying? Check. Loss of jobs? We’ve got that on lock. A tanking economy. Yep. Being discriminated against for your religion, political views, sexual orientation, race? That’s been going on. Rape, murder, violence, riots.. all going on and has been.
    So tell me, what are you scared of that is not already happening basically everywhere? This isn’t a Trump problem, this is a people problem. Y’all need to reevaluate your own selves..
    Maybe America is a little too scared and a little too easily offended.
    Quit being scared, crying around, offended by everything.. step up and do your part as an American, no, as a damn human being. Treat others with respect, help and encourage one another, raise your kids right, be a contributing member of society. Make sure your hands are clean, that’s your job. Burning the American flag? Get out of here with that crap, how about you do your job to make it a better place.
    But right now, all I see is hate. It’s disturbing, and the ones with the most hate are being exactly what they claim to be against.”

    • Sean Edwards

      Lara, you are welcome! Thank you for sharing.

      I understand what Dee is saying, however I would use a different tone. In order to keep things civil, we need to engage with ideas, not attack people (or look like we’re attacking them). I don’t think Dee was trying to attack people, but some her language could make people feel attacked. And when someone feels attacked, they don’t hear a word you’re saying. They’re only focused on making it out of the conversation without looking like the bad guy.

      Again, I thought she brought up some great points. I simply would have taken a different tac 🙂

      Thanks for sharing!

  • Jan Voci

    Sean- Great article! Lots to think about. Reading through all these comments- I’m truly impressed with your gentle coaching of civil discourse.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you!

  • Dahlia

    Sean, your point is well taken. No man/woman can solve the problems of the world, nor can they solve all the problems of their own nation. I always have pointed out that we should never even suggest that our leaders, sports stars, etc., be set up as role models; though we should be able to hold them to a higher standard, if we put so much power over our lives, in their hands. Nevertheless, let’s not forget all the tyrants of the world to whom “the people” gave the power and who later turned around committing great atrocities against “the people”. It is interesting to see who Mr. Trump is surrounding himself with. This, along with his hateful language is what terrifies people. I don’t fit into his perfect America, I am female, overweight, an immigrant, and a person of mixed race. In his language of choice, he has hated everything about me. I am a US citizen and have lived here longer than I did in my country of birth. Let’s pay close attention and not let anyone steal our democracy. I hope for all our sakes, that Mr. Trump’s presidency will serve all Americans well.

    • Sean Edwards

      Dahlia, I’m so sorry you feel that way. The language used on the campaign trail was terrible. You fit into America just fine. Thank you for being here.

      I would like to ask one question, though, and I hope it brings you some hope. Is it possible that your perception of Trump’s America was influenced by the campaign spin? Both sides did it. So, I’m not singling Hillary out. The right made Hillary look like an elitist who sat above the law, and assassinated anyone who stood in her way. And the Left made Trump look like xenophobic bigot.

      However, neither of these narratives are true. They are manufactured. I did not vote for Trump, and he said some TERRIBLE, inexcusable things. So I am not defending him as a supporter. But, it has become apparent that you may very well be at the center of “his” America.

      He has hired many immigrants. He has minorities and women working for him in very high positions. And he’s hired a gay man to be a senior leader on his transition team. He openly says he wants to make it easier for immigrants to get here, AND he wants to strengthen our boarders. I personally don’t think a wall is the answer. But, boarder security is one of the few responsibilities of the federal government actually listed by the Constitution. I personally want a total immigration overhaul. I love immigrants. My great-grandparents were immigrants. Immigrants make this country great. So, if he does make it easier for people to come to the US, and add to our society with their skills, culture, and perspective, then I’m happy about it.

      But, we’ll have to see how things play out. I am cautiously hopeful that you may be the perfect candidate for his America.

  • Debbie

    Well said! Bravo. So happy that someone is thoughtfully writing a voice of sanity.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you!

  • Pingback: Hysteria: 2016 Election Post-Op and Fallout | The Universal Spectator()

  • Addison Witt

    A very good and insightful article. Here is the deal. “How you do anything is how you do everything.” Words do in fact matter. Trump has said a lot on the campaign trail in the name of “shock rhetoric,” much like a Howard Stern if you will. As much as one’s meaning and intent can be explained away, those words do have consequences. The words have life. And like all things that have life there is a birth process, a growth process, and a death process. You don’t just get to say the words are no longer said and therefore they didn’t have a meaningful impact in the first place. Trump also surrounds himself with a nefarious group of people inside America, as well as some rather shady world leaders. Both of these relationships are bringing to the table a lot of double-dealings that could be brought into questions regarding National Security for a US President. We still haven’t seen Trump’s taxes and many Americans could care less. Perhaps they may care later, perhaps not. On Trump’s two reality series, “The Apprentice,” and “The Celebrity Apprentice,” he perfected his entertaining skills where he learned to divide people into two categories; attack and counter attack. As the President is the leader of our Nation, we follow his guide, even from an emotional perspective. Pay attention to how both the “attack & the counter-attack” has increased. It will continue to do so. I rather enjoy using this crude example as I find that most people will gain a visual context to help make my point: The body follows the head of the snake. People actually know that the President has limited power. Yes, many people are under-educated about the role of Government in general, but human intelligence does in fact comprehend that the person in the top-level position in our Country has an emotional, philosophical, and ideological influence upon the Nation. That means this person influences us all in some way. And while some people will openly and whole-heartedly accept this influence, others will vehemely oppose those ideas that seem counter intuitive to their view of democracy as they perceive it to be. And that is what some people are intrinsically reacting to.

    • Sean Edwards

      Very well said, Addison. I agree. His comments and “shock and awe” strategy were unfit for the President. However, after he won, he appears to have turned off the crazy. I hope he can continue that trend, because we need a level-headed president. Not the guy we saw in the election and in the general election debates. However, his recent behavior has given me cautious hope that things will be okay. But, we’ll have to wait and see.

      I do agree with your snake analogy, and I think we’re seeing some of that with the perceived rise in xenophobic harassment. I also have faith that the people will only follow so far. I know history shows us that isn’t always true. But society moves forward, and people get smarter. So, here’s hoping that the body can cut off its own head if it needs to.

  • Wendy L

    Holy moly, Batman. Sean Edwards, you deserve a medal, or knighthood, or some major award for taking the time to answer each of the comments on your article.
    I commend you for trying your best to encourage others to do their own research instead of relying strictly on the press, or hearsay with which to form their opinions, and to gently nudge us all to take a moment to walk in someone else’s shoes. Engaging people in conversation is the first step, however my expectations are not very high that many people are already cemented in their opinions and views of what the future will look like, and that everyone different from themselves just don’t “get it”.
    Anywho…I just wanted to recognize you as one of the few people out there trying to get us to think for ourselves, instead of spewing the old “let’s just get along and work together”. Well done.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you Wendy! I have enjoyed commenting and engaging with you guys. I’ve actually learned a lot about this issue by just doing so. My next post will incorporate much of what I’ve learned and experienced here. Its been fun!

      However, you should know that I haven’t responded to every comment, so don’t give me a medal yet. I have responded to most. But, for some I simply deleted because they obviously had no intent on having a discussion. And others I deleted or simply approved because that issue had been brought up in another comment.

      And, I just realized that I have things set up so that people can comment WITHOUT moderation if they’ve already mode an approved post. I think I’m going to change that. Lol. That way I can make sure things stay civil.

      Again, thank you for the encouragement! It means a lot!

  • Fran Dunaway

    I am really appreciative to have found this site. I’ve been looking for a forum to have a non heated, sound bite driven discussion as I personally struggle to understand why anyone voted for DT. I have friends and family who did and I am trying really hard to ‘get it’. Because to me DT is and has continued to show us who he is. His words, his actions, his tweets and his on camera recordings. He’s vulgar, mocks people and demeans women. This isn’t the media painting an inaccurate picture of the man. These are his own words and behavior. No one disputes me on this, right? He’s appointed an equally vulgar man as his Chief Strategist. Without discussing his opponent or all of the important reasons that our country is so divided, but just focusing on who this man is – help me understand why his supporters aren’t outraged by that. The people marching in the street are outraged. I am outraged. This is at the core of it for me. This is a man unworthy of the position of Commander in Chief of this great country I live in. Anyone who dismisses his words and actions as theater are looking for rationalization. My question is this, what is it going to take before you look at the man and say ‘enough is enough’? These are the reasons I will march with millions of women in January. Because of who this person is, at his core, as he has shown us again and again.

    • Fran

      Please only use my first name.

    • Sean Edwards

      Fran, you have some valid concerns. And I want to address them, but this post kind of exploded (so I can’t respond in detail to everything), many other commenters have articulated why the voted for Trump. I would encourage you to read through a few of those.

      This thread has taught me a lot about this issue, and my next post is going to address some the bigger, sincere, level-headed things brought up here.

      I don’t want to sound like Trump… but for the most part, these are fabulous people (those commenting). Sometimes they get a little trigger happy with their words, but I genuinely believe they want to have a real discussion.

  • Jeanette Bell

    I’m still celebrating his win people who are afraid didn’t listen to what he really said please look up on YouTube

  • Mark

    I haven’t read all the comments but there is another reason to be upset, for a person to represent our country that has demeaned women, made fun of the disabled, reneged on contracts as a business man and encouraged racism, is not my idea of what we should have for a president

    • Sean Edwards

      Hello Mark, I would encourage you to read through some of these comments. Your perspective may change. Either way, thank you for commenting.

  • Very good post 🙂 the world isn’t going to end at the hands of one man. It’s up to us, individuals to make a difference. We need to stop complaining and start doing. And sorry about not reading your name before sharing on twitter 😂😂😂

    • Sean Edwards

      Hahaha, no worries. I thought it was funny 🙂

  • TomboyTexan

    Excellent article. Personally, my hope and future are in the hands of my creator. But at the same time, I don’t choose to stick my head in the sand. I am shocked that so many people seem unfazed by the corruption of HC and everything she touches. I am not naïveté enough to think that Wikileaks “created” thousands of emails that prove various acts of corruption in the Democratic Party, the State Department, The Clinton Foundation, etc. One day soon, our children and grandchildren are going to pay a big price for current voters who choose to ignore the scandals of our government. THAT is what many Trump supporters are rebelling against.

  • Richard Underwood

    Sean, I agree with much of what you have written about as it pertains to Domestic policy. However as someone outside the borders of the United States I wonder how you can reconcile Trump’s view on foreign policy and why the larger world should not fear his presidency.

    He has indicated he will withdraw from the Paris Accord. He has stated he may withhold or withdraw support to NATO. He did state and then soften his position on the Iranian agreement, first to tear it up, and then simply to renegotiate it. He has stated very clearly that he will not approve the TPP and will renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from it if it can’t be renegotiated to his satisfaction.

    How will his aligning with Moscow, he seems to idolize Putin, hurt the European nations or the Middle East conflicts or his rhetoric against China the Asian nations.

    Should the greater world be hovering in fear as this is one area that the President does have considerable influence, or was this too simply spin to garner the votes of the unemployed and underprivileged.

    • Sean Edwards

      You raise some valid concerns. And I share some of them.

      When I read Trump’s foreign policy positions (without the spin), I actually agreed with much of it.

      As a libertarian, I don’t agree with our nation building agenda. And Trump says he wants to get us out of that. He wants to come down hard on ISIS, which, as long as he listens to his advisors, wouldn’t be a bad thing.

      As for NATO, I don’t know if he actually wants to pull out. I know that’s what he’s said, but if you read his full position, he wants all members to pay their share (if they are able). He feels that we shouldn’t be paying for the defense of countries that could be paying for themselves… which isn’t that crazy of an idea.

      Also, his negotiating style is to initially ask for the preposterous, and then move towards common ground. (Which, one could argue, may also explain some of the preposterous things he said during the campaign…). So, he may merely be negotiating, hoping to get the other countries to take him seriously. But, that is just speculation on my part.

      I don’t know enough about the TPP or NAFTA to comment, I’m sorry. I just be making stuff up. Lol.

      As for Russia… I doubt VERY much that he wants to idolize Putin. I think Trump has a very unconventional approach to foreign relations, and that confuses other politicians and pundits.

      Remember, he’s a businessman, not a politician. So, if he’s able to make a deal with Russia that makes us both happy, reduces the risk of armed conflict, and gets Russia to stop undermining our efforts in Syria, then I’m all for it. As long he doesn’t give away the kitchen sink in the process (however, he doesn’t seem like the type).

      But, these are just my opinions on the issues. We will have to wait and see.

  • Lui B. Whelchel

    Great discussion…critical thinking at its best…a very informative source of qualitative data. May this discussion lead to a wise collaborative conclusion towards transformation. Appreciate the initiative, Sean!

  • Daarsees

    This has been the greatest evidence that common sense still exists. I applaud you. I myself sided more with the libertarian party than either of the political machines. I’ve been independent since I was old enough to register several decades ago. I felt this election was a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. But in my heart I felt our nation needed a business man as our president. To right the ship. I also knew not to buy in to the fear-mongering, media spins, and to research things I heard on the media. At its core, the media is big business and biased, swaying in the sea of monetary influence. The media is not here for the people and we have to take what is served to us with a grain of salt. There was nothing on hillarys’ platform that made me want to support her. I try very hard to not judge my “friends” who have responded emotionally to the election, or Stated how distraught they are in fear of the LGBT of immigrant friends, and it is painful for me to not share my opinion that America has become a cry-baby nation and we were raised better than that. When did America loose its spine. But I don’t post those things, because thanksgiving dinner might be awkward.
    I’ve seen no real evidence that these groups will be targeted. I trust in the system, mostly. I truly pray this election will start a revival and citizens will become more involved locally in their government. We have become a very lax nation, putting all our eggs in one basket. Letting others speak for the multitudes. I wanted a president who I felt says what needs to be said. He may need some coaching, but I find it refreshing. Being PC has gotten out of control and hampers our own civil rights when you dig in. If a baker has to make a cake and write a message that go against his own faith just so a person who wants the cake isn’t offended, then let him make the cake with no writing. Compromise. Needs to return. I’m rambling now. Thanks for our article.

    • Sean Edwards

      Some great thoughts! Thank you for sharing!

  • Bonnie

    LOVE your article. Just the facts. I have had so many discussions with people in which I tried to show them facts and not sound-bites, but they refused to listen. Great article. We need MORE from you!

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you!

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  • Carol

    Trump and every other president has a huge ‘administration’ which is where many of us Americans DO have a problem and expect the president to handle. These agencies and departments have been legislating through their regulations and expecting the American people to fund it all whether we believe they are warranted, helpful, desired, etc. This is where we want huge change – elimination of many that have become a detriment to the quality of life, ability to earn a living, ability to enjoy our lives. This is where the president has a lot of power for change.

    • Sean Edwards

      I agree that small committees and organization legislating through regulations need to be address. Friedrich Hayek wrote a great, though heady, book on this called The Road to Serfdom. Basically, as we aggregate more and more power into smaller groups (like the ones you mentioned), the potential for government overreach grows exponentially, and is very dangerous to individual rights.

  • Gee Savaiinaea

    I appreciate your faith in me to achieve in society. Thank you.
    But Faith without works is dead.
    I agree I do not need programs or special treatment to achieve, but it doesn’t matter what I believe if I am not given a chance.
    I speak especially for the black men in my life from personal experiences.
    As a self sufficient, and successful minority, the campaign ran by our president elect makes it obvious to me that I am not valued.
    The appointments that our president elect has made also gives me pause.
    I know that I may be straying from the original subject at hand, but I believe you have an ear to hear and a platform to bring issues to the forefront.
    I do not know if you have black friends or not.
    I would challenge you compare the things that you know about minorities verses what we know about white people.
    There are things that I know about my white friends that in order for me function in society or work place I have to know.
    This is not reciprocated to me as a minority. I can give you examples if you like.
    My point is that if the people who govern our great nation do not understand minorities in a comprehensive way, how can they ever help us achieve equality? They do not even know what equality looks like to us. Currently that is not a priority.
    So when my president elect uses the rhetoric and the attitude that he took through out his campaign leads me to believe that we still are not a priority and can’t be until attitudes and understandings change. I do not see the effort, in fact the opposite.
    Yes in the near future the vast amount of our population with be people of color so do we/I have to wait until then?
    Honestly I do not feel like a victim I am frustrated and concerned for our future as a Nation. A Nation divided against itself can never succeed.
    Thank you for listening.

    • Sean Edwards

      Gee, I’m very sorry you feel marginalized. And to better understand, I have a question. You made this statement:

      “My point is that if the people who govern our great nation do not understand minorities in a comprehensive way, how can they ever help us achieve equality? They do not even know what equality looks like to us. Currently that is not a priority.”

      What does equality look to you? I’m serious. I want to know. I can’t know (I’m not a minority, and I haven’t lived in your shoes).

  • David Wheeler

    Sean, I agree with nearly everything you say. Even the things I disagree with. Keep it up.
    Trumps rhetoric seemed cartoonish to those of us who saw through him. But it has unleashed, for those who did not, a license to hate. I am not as concerned with his Presidency as I am the attitude his followers seem to believe is now the societal norm. And I worry about his appointments to the Supreme Court.

    • Sean Edwards

      I’m saddened by that as well. He did tell these people to stop, though I was hoping for more. But, to be fair, CBS kept that clip locked away for 2 days… 2 days dominated by hate crimes (from both sides). Seems like releasing that sooner could’ve helped things, its almost like they didn’t want that message getting out there. But, Trump also had other opportunities to address the issue.

      As for the Supreme Court, I assume you’re worried about Roe v Wade.

      I’m a libertarian, and agree with democrats on a great many things. However, there is a logical argument for overturning Roe v. Wade (unrelated to religion or faith). You can check it out here: Why Being Pro-Life Has Nothing To Do With Religion

      Thank you for your comments!

  • Dennis Hubert

    I didn’t think Hillary was going to save us but I fear Trump will destroy us. So, yes, I cried for all of us.

    • Sean Edwards

      I can understand that. Let me ask a question: If we fear what a specific person can do (like Trump), should we allow any one person to have that much power?

      Here’s the logical problem I’m having with the Trump backlash: People want their cake, and they want to eat it.

      Both sides were terrified of the other getting elected. For someone to believe that Trump could be the next Hitler, you have to accept that the office of the presidency has the power to enact fascist policies… power the founder fathers specifically tried to keep out of the hands of the president (they didn’t call it fascist, but you get the point).

      It also means the office of the presidency has the power to enact sweeping policy changes concerning “social progress.”

      If we accept this position, then every election becomes a choice between which kind of quasi-dictator we want. A liberal dictator, or a conservative dictator. This is exactly the problem I outlined in this post. There is an internal contradiction amongst many Americans (on both sides of the aisle).

      For Hillary supporters, they’re okay with a super powerful president… as long as their candidate gets in power.

      For Trump supporters, they’re okay with a super powerful president… as long as their candidate gets in power.

      (I’m over generalizing for effect, I know not everyone thinks this way. Just making a point.)

      Do you see the problem here? We’re okay with one quasi-dictator as long as they align with our ideals.

      If we are terrified with what Trump might do, then we need to rethink how powerful we want the government to be.

      If we support big government, meaning the expanse in welfare and government oversight, we are creating an ecosystem to be terrified.

      When we give the President as much power as we have (or congress has), we are the ones to blame when some one truly scary gets into office. We have set the precedent.

      We can’t have our cake and eat it to. If we want the government to be powerful enough to solve social ills (like poverty rates, education, etc…), then we can’t be surprised, or afraid, when someone we don’t like gets to wield that kind of power.

      We made this bed, now we have to sleep in it.

  • David

    Simple and true. Heck, we’re the same way about football teams. We insist on tying our self image to teams and celebrities . . . and politicians. Popularism replaces principle.

    • Sean Edwards

      You know, I’ve thought this same thing! “Why do I get depressed when my football team loses?” Because I placed a piece of my value in that team. I value my ability to make a good decision, and when my team loses, it reflects on my choice. Their loss implies that I backed the wrong horse, and that I’m stupid for doing so.

      Most of these thoughts aren’t conscious, but I realized they were there…

      • I think this point is far more apt than people may realize 🙂 I know that I have really taken team losses to heart to the point of I think I have some type of pathology 🙂 I have thought about the same thing in terms of the post-election emotions people are experiencing. Thanks for the original article BTW, it captures something I have been thinking about. I will be adding “cult of the presidency” to my vocabulary.

      • Sean Edwards

        Thank you!

  • Heather Garrison

    I really enjoyed reading this. I agree with everything you wrote.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you!

  • Carolyn

    Great article. I wish people would slow down and take a breath…a really deep, cleansing breath. I made the mistake of attempting to explain to a friend that the USA isn’t going to implode. As I was having my head ripped off, I realized how emotional and raw my friend was feeling. However, I still couldn’t grasp their feelings — I understood their underlying fears but I don’t believe we’re going to implode. This article has helped me view the situation from another perspective. I also appreciate your responses and the articles. Thanks.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you! I’m glad you found it helpful.

      You are not alone in your experience. Here’s what I’ve learned: Treat people’s fears and emotions as real (because they are), then challenge the idea. People get argumentative when they feel judged and/or don’t feel heard. It never works when we try to invalidate someone’s feelings. They are feeling they way they do for a reason. It is my believe that every feeling we have is in response to a thought (or series of thoughts) we’ve had, either conscious or unconscious.

      People are genuinely afraid because they genuinely believe Trump is the next Hitler. Just like many republicans were genuinely afraid of Hillary because they genuinely thought she was going to single-handedly rip up the constitution.

      Once we step into someone else’s shoes, look at life through theirs, and temporarily accept their values (which you have to do to understand them), we come to a very different, more compassionate perspective. We don’t have to agree, but at least we understand. And once that happens, I’ve found people are much more receptive to hearing other ideas.

      Its when we invalidate someone’s feelings when problems arise. At least, that’s my opinion. I’m getting of my soap box now. Lol.

  • Jon

    This is a great piece of writing. the “Cult of the President” is a medium we have seemed to be drifitng into in regards to our political stances. The “Cult” as it has been called, started with Washington (He is a demi-God to the Masonic Lodge.), but became galvanized with the death of Lincoln and then stamped and sealed with Theodore Roosevelt. We do not get “facts” we do get sound bites, and those sound bites drive our political belief. Love him, or hate him, Trump is an accident of History. He is the result of the perfect mediocrity of the US government at all levels. The things that have come out of his mouth are shocking. And, although it was campaign bluster, and shocking people into getting to vote for him, I agree with some of the above statements: His election has some small groups believing (I believe this) that it can be a “hate” free for all. And yet, on the other side, the “liberal” protests are created by the same emotional hate that the other side is exhibiting. Maybe we have put way to much faith in government at all levels. Roosevelt’s Square Deal (Theodore) really set us on the movement that the Federal Government can fix anything. There certainly times when stepping in has been the right thing to do. But at the same time the result has become this bureaucratic monolith that at times reminds me of the beast slouching towards Bethlehem

  • K. Joos

    Good article with some insightful observations. I think you soft-pedaled naming the root of “the problem.” It is us, the American electorate. We are no longer a nation who understands the specialness of the government which leads our country, as codified by The Constitution. Gone are the commoners who would digest impassioned treatises on political nuances like those captured in the Federalist Papers. Instead, we’ve been replaced by a bunch of Xbox-addicted C-students in Civics, who got away with not learning about the intricacies of our representative democracy, because it was “too hard.”
    We got what we deserved, and the reactions you share above underscore that. The question is now, how do we retool our culture and education system to return to a more intellectually capable American electorate?

    • Sean Edwards

      Those are some great questions. I can’t cover them all, but I do have a book that touches on a lot of it. Its called American Resurrection. You can get it on Amazon.com, or you can download the PDF for free.

      But you’re right, the answer comes down to re-educating people in philosophy. I have another articles has gotten a lot attention (well, not compared to the attention THIS article has) about that as well, called “The Single Most Important Subject You Could study.”

      Thanks for sharing!

  • Scott

    Sean,

    I am now a fan!!! Not because I agree with you on everything you have said, but you are showing by example how to have an intelligent conversation with those who have contrary opinions. Your calm demeanor and caring are loudly proclaimed by your soft words and statesman-like approach. I find that refreshing, especially with respect to the written forum. I have found that in this world of social media it is so easy to write vile and hateful things that most would never say to someone’s face. Keep up the good work and thank you for setting a great example.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you! I really appreciate it 🙂

  • Greg

    With respect, I disagree with the premise of this article.

    1. The Cult of the Presidency
    I haven’t spoken with anyone who believed that Hillary was going to be some great and powerful figure who would change the course of their lives. Many were greatly concerned by what a President Trump would do, which leads me to my second point.

    2. The President isn’t that powerful
    While it is true that there are checks and balances within our system of government, it would be foolish to think that the President is a toothless figurehead. He is solely responsible for carrying out foreign policy, he is head of the executive branch and as Commander in Chief, he has broad powers with respect to the military, even in situations where Congress has not declared war. In short, a President can do a great deal of damage before any of the checks and balances kick in.

    In totality, this article seems to suggest that the disappointment people feel is misplaced and driven by a fallacy in their thought process. This strikes me as dismissive and more than a little arrogant.

    I’m curious; did the author even talk to the people who were upset on election night or did he just presume to know what they were thinking?

    • Sean Edwards

      It was an observation. And I’ve had many discussions with people who were upset election night.

      As to your points…

      1. You actually defended my position. If you fear what Trump can do, then you accept what Hillary could’ve done. They’re inverted, but the same thing. Fear is just hope for a negative future. I know that sound weird, but both hope and fear are two sides of the same coin: what you believe about the future. Generally, we feel hope when we believe the future holds good things. And we feel fear when we believe the future holds bad things. Where did you place your hope? In the government?…

      So, if you fear Trump because of his potential power, it begs the question… are you okay with anyone having that kind of power?

      2. The president isn’t as powerful as people think… yet. Presidential power has grown consistently over the last century. But neither candidate would’ve been able to accomplish half of what they promised. Even with control of Congress. President Obama had both houses when he entered office, and he had a hard time getting his agenda through congress.

      You say this: “In totality, this article seems to suggest that the disappointment people feel is misplaced and driven by a fallacy in their thought process. This strikes me as dismissive and more than a little arrogant.”

      My response: Yes. The disappointment people felt after the election had more to do with how we perceived the election, not the election itself. When you understand the role of the President, and the role of the individual within society, such disappointment isn’t necessary.

      But here’s the real question: Do we want a political system that causes genuine fear over an election? Should anyone have that kind of power? And if you think so, what are you really saying?… That you’re okay with a quasi-dictator as long you agree with them? Is that really what we want?

      • Greg

        Before I respond further, I have a question. Is your argument that the presidency isn’t powerful or that the presidency shouldn’t be powerful?

        I suspect the nature of our disagreement may center around where and how the power of the president could be used or abused.

      • Sean Edwards

        Ah! Good question. I’m kind running on two different tracks, depending on the thread.

        Argument 1: The president is not as powerful as we believe. Trump will not be able to do much of what we promised, so there we don’t need to panic about the fourth reich or anything. But, he is more powerful than he should be, and he’ll have more power with a loaded congress (though that congress doesn’t love him…).

        Argument 2: How powerful do you want the president to be? People believe the president is very powerful, and they appear to be okay with it… as long as the right candidate wins. I’m address this issue as well.

        The president shouldn’t be very powerful, and but he/she is powerful. More powerful than they should be. But not as powerful as most people think… but if he/she were, people seem to be okay with it (as long as their candidate wins).

        Does that make sense?

  • Rachelle

    Hi Sean, you make some very valid points but I personally felt devastated by the election results because of the negativity and hate that Trump inspires in people. A friend on Facebook posted a few days ago how she broke up three young men slapping around a black woman behind a grocery store, shouting at her “Now that Trump is president, you better get your ass back to Africa!”

    That’s why I’ve been crying. We seem to be reverting back to a pre-civil rights era where people feel entitled to be hateful because of who our leader is and what his beliefs are.

    He may not be able to change laws so readily but his influence is very powerful by him simply being himself. Ignorant people take his words as law whether they are or not. And that’s what’s frightening.

    • Sean Edwards

      Rachelle, that’s terrible and never okay. And if you read through some of these other comments, I think you’ll see many Trump supporters who hate these actions just as much as anyone.

      One of the themes throughout this comment thread has been the false narrative pushed by both sides about the other candidate. The right did it Hillary, and the left did it to Trump. Both sides said and condoned bad things. However, I would like to invite you to consider the idea that Trump himself is not a racist or a bigot. In fact, if you look at the people he’s hired, and placed into some very influential positions, you’ll see minorities, women, and even LGBTQ. Would these people work with him if were a bigot? I have a hard time believing that.

      Now, his rhetoric has caused damage. People like the ones you mentioned have taken what he said, or more accurately, taken the soundbites of what he said, and felt validated.

      Don’t be fooled, people with these prejudices have always been there. Now they just feel comfortable showing themselves. Its not like Trump created a new problem. The election as a whole ripped a huge gash into this country, and now we’re seeing things we didn’t realize were there.

      Even though I wished he would have said more, Trump did condemn these actions. And, lets not ignore the violent crimes being committed by Hillary supporters. This election has exposed some serious issues, on both sides of the aisle. When one group feels validated to beat up minorities, we have a problem. When another group feels validated to beat up people who voted for a different candidate, we have a problem.

      If we’re going to mourn this election, we need to look in the mirror. We need to mourn the decisions we’ve made as a country that have brought us here.

      Thank you for sharing, I appreciate it.

    • Kim

      Rachelle, these horrible people existed before the election and they will exist until the world’s end. Stupid people look for excuses to hate. Blaming Trump is like me blaming Obama for racial unrest. It’s silly. people hate, period. No one forces them to do, no one encourages them to do it. Trump never once said one bad thing about African Americans, nope. You have a choice, be upset about it or be a better person. Make those folks take responsibility for their actions.

  • Michele

    Another article about centering on me me me! How about considering the full impact of all of the self absorbed critters who have complete control of the government. I voted for Clinton for one reason – the Supreme Court. Trump’s choices made in collaboration with the Senate majority will change our country for the next generation. Has the potential to destroy our Mother Earth. The author is simplifying a very complex situation into a self-centered all about me response. It’s not about my self-esteem or wanting the President to make me feel better. It’s about the horror of having a man like Trump with his hand on the button and a Congress destroying all of our futures. It’s about seeing a group of people who used rage as their motivation to vote for people like Trump, Ryan, et al. and the impact that that action has rippled out into the world. We are all connected, all one, a whole. There are things worth fighting for. And yes, the world can end tomorrow when you have a reactionary toddler at the helm of the largest military industrial complex in the world.

    • Sean Edwards

      Michele, I understand your concerns. Let me ask you question, when communicating like this, how often have you seen someone change their position?

      • Tanya Del Vecchio

        Michele may not want you to change your position, Sean. She’s stating her opinion and I think it’s valid.

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  • People see through their own lens… when they want to see anger and hate – they will. When they want to see optimism and encouragement – they will. It’s easy to sit behind a screen and make judgements and profess allegiance, but it’s a greater person who will step up and BE that which they want! You simply cannot protest what you don’t want and expect it to lead to what you do… Speak up for what you promote and it will be yours/ours!

  • Diane

    Sean I love this web page but I have one question for you. You don’t you mention the baggage that Hillary has – Why? I don’t believe a word that woman says and truly believe her and her husband belong in jail. Their foundation is nothing but a way for them to put money in their pockets. I will say I did not read the many many comments on here so if you did say something I apologize.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you Diane. Just as I don’t accept the Trump narrative, I don’t accept the Hillary narrative either. I haven’t done extensive research, but I’ve been involved in government enough to know how to interpret news stories.

      I worked for an elected official for several years. And in that time I got a small glimpse into the underbelly of politics. And you know what? Most of those people are good people. Furthermore, the media just got stuff wrong. All the time. Since I was on the inside, I knew what was going on. The news was simply wrong 90% of the time. I don’t think they were being malicious, I think they didn’t understand what they were talking about. They heard numbers and figures (out of context) that sounded bad, ran the story, and then I’d bang my head against the wall.

      They were just ignorant (in the truest sense of the word). And that taught me to be VERY skeptical of news stories about politicians (even the ones with whom I disagree).

      As I said, I knew some of these reporters, and they weren’t bad people. They were just reporting what they thought to be true. And they didn’t have the background to understand the full context of what was going on. So, if reporters get stuff wrong when they’re just trying to report, imagine how wrong things are when stories come from agencies with real biases.

      Therefore, I try to glean just the facts and filter out the fluff. So, when a news stories popped up about the Clinton Foundation, I mostly ignored them. They felt familiar. Like people not understanding the system and/or intentionally trying to smear Hillary’s name. Maybe that was naive on my part, but hopefully that answers your question.

  • Sheryl Millsap

    Sean, I’m wading through some of these comments…I just want to say that I understand the points you are making and you are right!

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you!

  • Pamela Ethington

    I don’t buy that. You say that the racists emboldened by his campaign constitute only 10% of his supporters, but what does the elevation of an alt-right person like Steve Bannon in his administration say? That is the most troublesome aspect to me. I think it would go such a long way if the other 90% of Trump supporters would decry that in a loud voice.

    • Sean Edwards

      Pamela, how many bigoted misogynists do you know? Out of all the people you personally know (as in, you have good sense of who they are), how many of them are racists?

      I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many. So, it would be illogical for me to assume that most of the people I don’t know are racist. I have to accept the idea that I am special, and the people around me are special, but everyone else is bad. That sounds like tribalism (which is the bases for racism).

      I’ve spoken with Trump supporters (many of them in these comments) who are not racists. That narrative just doesn’t appear to fit reality.

      As for Bannon and the Alt-Right… Yeah. Not thrilled about that.

      But, have you read Breitbart? I hadn’t. And its easy to jump on the “Bannon and Brietbart are racists” bandwagon when everyone is screaming it at the top of their lungs.

      I went to their site and spent about 30 minutes on it reading various articles, trying to get a feel for their site.

      It is definitely conservative, but that doesn’t make it racist. They have stories about minorities that aren’t racist. And they have minority authors. Racist means you think a person is inherently “less-than” because of their ethnicity. And in the brief time I spent on their site, I couldn’t find evidence of that.

      They aren’t afraid to attack liberal sacred cows, but again, that doesn’t make them racist.

      I’m going to be honest, up until this point, I didn’t know anything about the Alt-Right. I only knew what the headlines said (and I knew better than to trust them).

      But I found an interesting article about the Alt-Right on Brietbart. I learned a lot. I don’t agree with them, but I don’t think they’re what most people believe. A few are classically racist, but most don’t appear to be. And Breitbart condemns institutions like the KKK. Furthermore, the author does not identify as Alt-Right. You can check it out: http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/03/29/an-establishment-conservatives-guide-to-the-alt-right/

      From what I could determine, Breitbart appears to prize itself on protecting people’s rights to express their opinions (free speech). So, they will have authors who wildly disagree with each other post on the same subject. To the untrained eye, it may look like acceptance. But I don’t think it is.

  • Dan

    I vote on a one issue analysis – who they’d nominate for the court. As you the article says the rest is really rhetoric. Ironically if we had a time machine and could go back in time 18 months or so and get Trump to come off the escalator and announce he was running for president as a DEMOCRAT – he probably wins and likely the people praising him would be complaining and complaining would be praising! He’s not an ideology. He was hiring LBGT and offering benefits to same sex partners when Hillary was supporting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He’ll probably have more women in his cabinet than any president ever.

    • Sean Edwards

      We’ll see about that last part! It would be funny though…

  • Andrew

    Sir,

    I agree with you about there being a cult of the president and that tying our self-worth to a particular individual is self-defeating. But it’s not quite as simple as that. The candidate is the figure head, symbolic in many ways, of the party to which we subscribe. It’s less about tying our self worth to an individual are more about tying our self-worth the party to which we subscribe and with which we identify. The party which represents best the things we care passionately about. As it is the only office for which all Americans can vote, it serves as a barometer, rightly or not, of how the country as a whole feels about those positions we deeply and passionately care about. And when we find that more people than not do not care as much about those things that we hold sacred, it can be quite depressing. The fact that Clinton won the popular vote is more cause for depression for many, even though in the end it does offer reason for hope.

    But as a Libertarian, I would think or at least hope that Trump’s authoritarian streak, and the very legitimate concerns for his temperamental fitness for the job, especially his penchant for intimidation and revenge and difficulty handling criticism and dissent (however inflated they might have been during the election), would give you at least some pause and concern. Yes, we have very strong institutions and we have checks and balances in place. But the Presidency is far more powerful now than it has ever been in the history of this country. The surveillance capabilities that the government has now and the laws currently in place under the Patriot Act should make you more uncomfortable now as a Libertarian than they may have in the past. Add to that the fact that there is now at least some small question to the allegiance and motivations of the director of the FBI, perhaps the most powerful police organization on the planet, which utilizes many of those surveillance capabilities. Add to that the fact that in general we have an ultra-militarized police force. Add to that the fact that his most fervent and radical supporters are heavily armed. It is not terribly hard to see how many of our strong institutions could possibly begin to crumble.

    I am not explicitly trying to equate our current situation with Nazi Germany. There are many, many differences. I am not trying to be hysterical. I don’t think the likelihood of a comparable situation is all that great. But the greatest lesson of Nazi Germany is that it is precisely when too many people disregard the possibility, or do not think such a thing is at all possible, is precisely when it will happen. However unlikely it may be, it is within the realm of real possibility. And due to the reasons listed above (and more) it is more possible for it to happen in this country now than it ever has been before in our entire history.

    That in itself is depressing.

    It should not be blithely dismissed out of hand. Some vigilance is required.

    • Sean Edwards

      Agreed, vigilance is definitely required. “A republic… if you can keep it.”

      And, as a libertarian, you bet I have some issues with Trump. However, everyone is talking about what’s wrong with the “other guys.”

      I’m trying to get us to analyze our own values and how we as individuals respond to various situations. Ultimately, we can’t control the outcome of the election. We can cast our vote and played our part. But after the its all done… its done. And like much of life, we have to determine how we’re going to respond.

      This is my response: Do we really want a system where the election of a candidate causes real fear in half the country? If we fear what Trump can do, does that mean we would have been okay with what Hillary could’ve done? Are we saying that we want a super-powerful (almost scary powerful) president, but only as long as we agree with them?

      Ultimately, I want people to ask themselves what kind of government they want. And what kind of government they want their kids to inherit. Is this it? One that is so big and powerful that people are genuinely frightened by an election?

      This is not how things were designed to operate. And it doesn’t have to continue.

      We hold the power. We can decide what kind of world we want. And, frankly, either choice made me sad. It told me that many Americans want an authoritarian in the White House… as long as they agree with them. Democrats wanted Hillary to force their agenda down people’s throats, and Republicans want Trump to force their agenda down other peoples’ throats.

      I wanted a president who didn’t want to force any agenda down anyone’s throat (apart from protecting our rights as equal individuals).

  • Denise

    This is horrible, so sad, and totally unacceptable. (Yes, I am registered as a Republican and usually vote that way, though not always – I did not vote for Trump, I voted 3rd party – just for background; I have voted for Democrats on occasion when I felt their views aligned with my personal views). Did Trump say things that are wrong? Yes, he did. But who promoted the worst possible interpretation of what he said? Who tried to make sure everyone willing to listen (on both sides – because you can’t limit your audience to only to one side in the national news) believed that Trump is a racist and would condone racist behavior? Surely the Clinton camp promoted this interpretation and gave it a heavy-handed spin. Therefore, the left promoted this atrocious behavior as well. I do not feel qualified to assign a percentage of blame to each side, but as I see it, both sides participated in creating the perception that led to this behavior and both need to participate in promoting a better future and positive relationships and behavior among all Americans (not by legislation, but by example, through both words and kind actions).

    • Sean Edwards

      Well said, especially this part: “as I see it, both sides participated in creating the perception that led to this behavior and both need to participate in promoting a better future and positive relationships and behavior among all Americans (not by legislation, but by example, through both words and kind actions).”

  • Theodore Seeber

    I suggest humbly that this is a related article:
    http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/11/16/you-are-still-crying-wolf/

    • Sean Edwards

      This is really interesting. Thanks for posting. I like his use of real data.

  • Ann

    I appreciate your perspective and commitment to stay away from the divisive rhetoric that is so pervasive now. I also do not believe that the president has much power according to the constitution, but our chosen leader does say a lot about us as a nation. Yes, we have other chosen leaders, and he needs cooperation from the other branches of government to get things done, but his statements, character, and demeanor represent us all. The world is watching. The kids are watching. WE are watching. I’ve never seen someone insult so many people and lash out so childishly, least of all someone attempting to hold a position of such power and authority. I do not believe that this man has the character or temperament to lead. As others have said, his statements gave given people the impression that it’s okay now to harass and discriminate even more than they were doing before. I know that he did not create these attitudes, but his election has emboldened these people to unleash their racist, xenophobic views on others, and he has done virtually nothing to address it. His plans to roll back environmental protections could also have catastrophic consequences. We don’t have 4 or 8 more years to wait to take action to reverse climate change. Can we do a lot as individuals anyway? Of course. Can he do a lot of damage on that front, along with his fellow republicans? I fear that the answer is yes. If I’m missing something, please let me know! Thank you.

    • Sean Edwards

      Ann, this is a very well, balanced position. And, honestly, I agree with you. His temperament was not befitting the President of the United States, and it is embarrassing. The whole election was embarrassing.

      I don’t know what this says about Trump, but its interesting to see the different side of him now that he’s won. If he’d of acted like he’s acting now, I think people would be a lot less fearful with him as president. He hasn’t lashed out or been childish with his remarks (for the most part). He’s acting more… presidential.

      But, he did act like a child, and we all remember it. He has a lot of work to do if he wants to undo that impression. If he can maintain his demeanor, and keep “the crazy” turned off, I things will be okay. And, who knows, he may turn out to be a decent president. At this point, we have to wait and see.

      The environmental ramifications of this election cause the most concern for me. I’m a libertarian registered as a republican, so I don’t find too many environmentalists in my social groups, lol. But, it is of great concern for me. However, I also recognize that the climate argument has been politicized–by both sides. Now, you can’t be a republican and believe in Climate Change. And you can’t be a democrat and question some climate policy. We can’t even have a discussion about it anymore. If we want to have fruitful discussion about climate change, then we need to de-politicize it (i.e., stop calling “the other” position names, and actually engage with them…).

      This goes to my point in the article. Many of us have placed a piece of our identity in who we elect, which is also tied to party positions. So, if someone challenges my party’s position, they’re challenging me and my ability to make a good choice. Subconsciously, people feel that they need to defend their position to protect their person. And they’ll abandon all logic if they feel threatened enough. This is not a value judgment. All humans do it. We have an innate need to protect our sense of self-worth. It isn’t bad, it just is what it is. And once we realize that, dealing with people becomes a lot easier.

      So, to answer your question, we as individuals can change the conversation. We can listen to people who oppose climate policy, listen to their concerns, see life from their eyes, temporarily adopt their values (to better understand them), and empathize (who knows, we may even learn a few things). People can tell when you’re truly trying to understand them. And I’ve found that once they know you’re listening, they don’t really care if you have a different opinion. As long as they know you aren’t judging them for their position (i.e., as long as they know you don’t think less of them because of their position), they no longer have to defend their position to protect their person. And they become much more receptive to new ideas.

      The other thing we can do is hope. Hope that Trump looks as the data and makes a position change. He’s done it before (changed his position), and he’s doing it again. So, there’s hope. But, I believe changing the conversation is the best option. And if you’re afraid that will take too long, just look at the grass-roots movements that fueled Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Individual, grass-root movements can change a country in very little time.

      Ann, again, great thoughts. Thank you for sharing.

  • Bill Nelson

    At the beginning of these comments you used the word “bigot” to refer to a businessman or woman who refused service to an LGBQT person. That sounded pretty judgemental. The very few instances where that has occurred has been the result of the shopkeepers personal religious values. Are they not allowed to have those? And is it not bigotry against religious people that has stirred up this hornets nest?

    In the next paragraph you apologized for Republicans who hold what I consider to be media induced hysteria against those of us on the Right. Again it sounds like you are rather biased against Republicans for their opinions. Doesn’t that go against everything you’ve tried to say in your initial article?

    • Sean Edwards

      I did not mean to be judgmental. Maybe I didn’t give enough thought to my words, and I apologize for that.

      Shopkeepers are absolutely allowed to have religious values. I wrote a post a couple of years ago called “Why Businesses Should Be Allowed To Discriminate“, and it covers this subject.

      I think the bigot comment may have been in relation to race issues (at least in my head). If you don’t want to serve black people… you may be bigoted, lol. However, that’s your right as a shopkeeper, and I’ll defend it. I think its bad business, and I don’t agree with your choice, but I’ll defend your right to make it. That’s what I meant.

      I’m not sure what you meant by apologizing “for Republicans who hold what I consider to be media induced hysteria against those of us on the Right.” Can you clarify?

      You should know this… I have problems with many republican policy positions. I may be defending Trump a lot in these comments, but that has more to do with me being a libertarian. When I’m around democrats, I’m often wearing the conservative. When I’m around conservatives, I’m often wearing the liberal hat. Why? Because there are good things in both parties. And there are bad things in both parties as well.

      The two points I made in this article where: 1) We shouldn’t place our hope (and sense of self-worth) on one person or political party. They aren’t powerful enough to fulfill that need. Our hope needs to be in something else. 2) Do we really want a government where the election of a candidate makes half the country genuinely afraid? Should the presidency be that powerful?

      Questioning republican values does not go against either of those points.

      But hear me: I attack ideas, not people. I may disagree with many of President Obama’s policy positions (and I can be very vocal about that), but I refuse to attack him as a person. I think this has become a forgotten art today. Today, if I attack your ideas, it means I’m attacking you. And in order to attack your ideas, I have to attack you and your character as well.

      I choose to believe that all people are innocent until proven guilty. In that, I assume their motives and character are good unless proof can be produced to the contrary. Thus, I can attack Obama’s position on the Indefinite Detention Clause in the NDAA, while still believing he’s a good person who wants good things for this country. I just don’t agree with how he’s doing it.

      I believe Republicans want good things for this country, and I respect that. I do, however, have serious ideological issues with some of their party positions. Does that make me “biased” against them? It depends on how you define bias.

      I hope that clarifies things.

      Thanks for sharing.

  • Broderick

    Sean, I applaud this logical and calming article. Constitutional balance and separation of power are critical to our form of government. Most people haven’t studied the constitution, have not put this power shift in perspective. I like what you suggested at the end. Lacking knowledge of the process and principles on which our federalism is based from the beginning, the void was filled with unusual emotion and projections of success beyond reality. So in every way I think your article helps people. For the ones who can handle it, I would add these three factors which helped cause the intensity of this emotional response (1) The current president has been allowed to far exceed the traditional guard rails of power, strengthening the impression a president is unfettered (2) DNC with the Clinton political machinery and media created an echo-chamber, a bubble of unreality for the Clinton supporters for a long time. When the echo-chamber burst, many Clinton supporters freaked. Such a reality break and can produce hysteria, depression, and illogical actions by some who cannot reframe it logically and subdue the emotions of shock and disappointment (3) DNC and surrogates created this bubble of exhilaration which transcended and ignored facts to mold public opinion for a flawed candidate. In business, it’s called false advertising. Now the advertisers are working overtime shifting blame.

    • Sean Edwards

      Broderick, thank you for comments! There have been some great articles on the “echo chamber” effect you’re talking about. You’d think it would get better with the internet (access to far more news outlets), but its actually getting worse. We can selectively choose which news sources we want to hear, and which opinions from friends we want to hear. This makes it really easy for people to live in a fake bubble. We believe everyone thinks like us, and that we are the majority… because our facebook news feeds tells us so. Furthermore, we can think that anyone who thinks differently than us are uneducated laypeople. They appear to be on the fringe of society… but our view of society has been distorted. Those individuals are merely on the fringe of our reality distortion field. Our view of society and “the fringe” become skewed and disconnected from reality.

      And then the truth comes crashing, and suddenly we realize that reality doesn’t live on facebook.

      This is not a criticism. This is observation of something we can all do. It is very easy today.

      Thank you again for sharing!

      • Broderick

        Sean again I agree with you. We can all expand our viewpoints to include many sources and from other views. In my 69 years and counting, I grew up in a southern segregated area but learned fast from my first job at a local pharmacy and soda fountain, that we are of the same essence under our skins regardless the color. It has guided my thoughts. I would walk over and engage in conversation with ALL. I learned we all had mostly the same interests at age 16-17-18. Later as an engineer, philosopher, human behavior specialist, technical author, and leading heart technology salesman, I learned much more. This echo-chamber effect has become worse as you say, becoming (once again) dangerous to all. External funding for radical views and activists has increased the bubble size and intensity of echo on the hard left side. I think the far right echo is real but orders of magnitude smaller. I think we need to expose and criminalize destabilizing forces per the existing laws. Thanks again for the article. It sure got a discussion going. That is good. Real communication is the universal solvent.

      • Sean Edwards

        Thanks Broderick! This is great! You’ve led quite the life. Written any books about it??

  • Kieran
    • Sean Edwards

      This is a good article. It is definitely meant for Christians, but I encourage others to read it. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Jesse Call

    With humility and the utmost respect, congratulations you get it. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to see to the root of issues that lie at the heart of every human being. There is so much interference full of all kinds of powerful energy: Fear, hate, non acceptance…it is possibly the most challenging thing we face in life to get to a point where we don’t just understand it intellectually, but we get it via our actual experience and own understanding. Congratulations Sean Edwards, you get it!

    • Sean Edwards

      Thank you Jesse!

  • Shawnah

    I did not vote for either Trump or Clinton. I had followed Clinton’s career for a while and saw how often she flipped on issues which did not set well with me. I also did not agree with many of her policies and the email issue gave me pause. Not because of what happened with them but more of what was in them. As for Trump, I have disliked him for as long as I could remember. I have found him to be a horrible business man but an excellent marketing magnate. Many of his personal business ideas were badly done and guaranteed to fail but he marketed them ingeniously. Mainly, though, he marketed himself and that is what his true career is built on. I read an interview a few years ago that happened after he spoke to a large crowd in Las Vegas. The interviewer pointed out that his demeanor and how he spoke changed when he got up on that stage. When asked about this Trump basically said that he gave the crowd what they needed to hear in the way they wanted to hear it. When you want to pull in a certain group you get down on their same level. The crowd was a working class group and his getting down to the same level included offering up large amounts of dirty jokes and cursing. The same interviewer asked him about a bill that was proposed concerning downgrading the medicare that people receive. He bashed the person that proposed it…not because of the plan but the fact that he proposed it so openly. He admitted he liked the plan but said that he would have just talked about how good the plan was and not about what was actually in the plan. When you have votes to win you don’t do anything that could lose them. So to jump back to today…when I started watching his campaign I could not help remembering these words as I watched him play the crowd and saw how he rarely talked about what he would do while in office except to say he had great plans, the best plans. I think he often fed to the insecurities and fears inside of the people watching him and gave them an outlet that they have been wanting. So, honestly, it is not Trump I worry about as much as those that use his words and offerings as reasoning. I had to watch as EVERY single member of my family (brother, aunts, uncles, cousins) fell into it and started spouting words and offenses I never knew they had inside them. Some of those things about Muslim immigration, Islam, registry, and even going further in saying all Muslims should be locked up. I know that Trump did not say this and I also know that much of what he said cannot hold ground legally but a door was opened. I know in one of your comments you said that if he ever came to take away minority rights you would stand with them. I hear these same words from many of those that voted Trump….but these words come from some of the same people who think registering all Muslims, and blocking Muslim immigration is a great idea. I do not believe that all people who voted for Trump are bigots, racists, homophobic, or so on. I do think that there are many people that voted for him for other reasons besides these problems. But enough was said that does make me worry. I will not let my fear consume me but I will defend by position and also keep a watchful eye on what happens within our government. Because this is my reality. I am a non-religious (but faithful) caucasian American woman who married a proud Muslim immigrant (15 years ago). I currently live in an Islamic country of my husband’s birth where my husband is working with American companies (oil, gas, and gold). I am raising my two children in-between these two countries because we have to fly back and forth between here and the US yearly. This has been my life for the past 6 years. Every time we fly my husband was stopped and searched, our luggage was searched, he was held for 2 to 4 hours in immigration 4 out of 5 times while the people told me to just leave the area. They even tried to make me leave once while holding my passport as well as my children’s (who are American citizens). One of the things that gets brought up is an association with a leader of a terrorist group. That association is from when he was 8 or 9 years old. His family lived in a house for 6 months while his father worked for the UN. This house HAPPENED to be a couple doors down from another house where this “leader” lived. That leader was a 13 year old boy at the time. They were not friends, they did not play together, go to the same school, or spend much time around each other at all. Regardless, it keeps coming up as an association and a possible mark against him. Of course each time they admit it is groundless but it doesn’t change the fact that it is kept on the books. So basically my husband has a mark against him from living in a house for a short time as a little boy. A house that happened to be close to where another little boy who grew up to be a killer lived. Let’s move on to this summer trip. This time my husband was not with me and my kids. It didn’t matter. This time it was my son they pulled to the side, refused to allow me to go with them and only watch from far away as they searched and spoke with him. When I asked them politely to let me be close to him they told me to shut up. I politely tried to reason with them, they threatened to arrest me. So I stood there as they searched my son and asked him questions I could not hear. My son had just celebrated his 12th birthday a few days before. What if one day one of the people my son lives by or goes to school with does something horrific. With this thought process he becomes almost accountable and it will be held against him. Especially if it is worded “just right”. Now don’t get me wrong I do understand why people are afraid and why this is done but until this becomes a constant in your life you might not understand why people would be afraid of what could affect them. I see it in how the news portrays an incident or attack. More often than not a white male is written up with just his name and no indication on his race or religion. A black male is often written as such including his name but no inclusion of his religion. But a Muslim male not only includes his religion but also his immigration status, and his ethnic heritage. And it usually eludes that the situation MIGHT be terror connected. This plays into the fears of society and what ends up happening is that if the situation is determined not to be connected to any terrorist group….in peoples minds it’s a lie. When you read or watch a falsehood often enough it becomes the truth. This can be used in many ways. This builds up in people and when they are given a chance to express it….it comes out as a burst without thinking of the consequences. Reality is that Trump played on these issues to bring in more voters. He saw what some people wanted and he gave it to them. It doesn’t matter whether or not he really believed what he was saying. It matters more that many people wanted what he offered. Trump is just a man. He may have governmental groups behind him or beside him on issues but it is the voter society that has the numbers to make the changes. It is this society that I worry about. When an idea gets stuck in the crowds mind they can become bulldogs after a bone. I just hope the wrong ideas don’t get stuck. I don’t want to force my ideas, wants, or choices on others no more than I want other’s forced on me. I will give Trump a chance as I will give those that voted for him a chance. But please..don’t tell me I have NOTHING to fear.

    • Sean Edwards

      Shawnah, I’m going to be transparent, I almost didn’t approve your comment because it was so long. But then I read it.

      Thank you.

      This is a perspective I obviously don’t have, and I appreciate it. The actions you have described are not right. I have been an outspoken critic our immigration system for a long time. The situations you’ve described further exemplify why we need reformation in our immigration program.

      As for your experience with your friends and family… I’m sorry. You are right, you do have things to fear. However, I would argue that these elements (even those within your friends and family) have always been there. Then, with the campaign spin in full swing, these latent prejudices were allowed to come to the surface. Basically, I don’t think Trump created any new bigotry. I think these prejudices were always there, people just didn’t feel free to express them.

      Now, I will say this… I don’t think Trump is 100% to blame for this. He said some STUPID things, terrible things. But the campaign really skewed them as well. He never supported the KKK, and he never supported white supremacy. These were accusations made against him. And they were baseless. But they were implied and stated as fact. Furthermore, Trump’s words on immigration have been “hard-lined,” but they’ve been *mostly* fair (I haven’t heard them all, so there could some that aren’t fair).

      What do I mean by that… He says, “I want to build a wall AND put a big beautiful door in it.” Translation: “I want to secure our boarders AND I want to make it easier for immigrants to get here legally.” I can support that. But that’s not what people heard. The campaign spun it into: “Trump is a white supremacist who hates minorities. If you value your rights as a minority, then vote for Clinton.” Come on…

      In regards to Muslims and a muslim registry… I am 100% against that idea. It is wrong on every level. I can understand the desire for more advanced screening in “high risk” locations, but we need to guard against racism and prejudice if we do that. We can’t ignore that there are some radicalized muslims who want to do as much harm to our nation as possible. However, we can’t let the actions of a few dictate how we treat the majority. It is a sticky situation.

      And, I think Trump was flippant with his words. I think he did exactly what you described. He played off of people’s fears. But, he’s already backed off his claim to temporarily ban muslims from entering the country. And he’s backed off is claim to deport the 11 million illegal immigrants. I have a feeling he’ll continue to back off some of his hard-lined positions and come to more moderate solutions. But, I could be wrong.

      You have had real struggles, and I’m sorry. You also have some valid fears, and I’m sorry. I want to encourage you though, it is my belief that most Americans are not racists. If you read through some of these comments, you will find many Trump supporters who are neither racist, nor bigoted. I still have hope that this country is moving forward. Just more to the right of forward, lol.

      Don’t get me wrong. There are some pockets of islamophobia. And those pockets feel emboldened. But I believe they will pass away into the night. Our country is better than this, and we’ll grow beyond it. Hopefully sooner than later.

      I’m sorry for struggles. Thank you again for sharing.

  • Mike J.

    The raw emotion exhibited in the comments following your article proves your point. It certainly has to do more with the person than the election. This raw emotion unfortunately disallows any chance of reasonable and rational discussion. Also evidenced in the majority of remarks.

    • Sean Edwards

      I would concur, and I would also point out that a lot of the commenters have been open to discussion. Which leads me to believe people want a place for good conversation. People want to discuss ideas without being judged, or labeled a bigot. People want to empathize with others, and they are open to new ideas once they know they aren’t hated for their ideas. Thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing!

  • Mark Sales

    Sean, I bookmarked this article a few days ago and finally got to reading it, and about an hour’s worth of the comments. I really appreciate your inclusive tone in your writing and encouraging people to have an open mind, their being cautious of belittling writing, and your acknowledgement of other opinions. Thank you for being one of very few (by all appearances) voices of reason in this whole nasty business. I will try to continue to follow you for future articles or topics, and will download and read your book. Keep up the positivity. Like you, I believe we are all being played by different camps and people specifically trying to steer our opinions and votes. I did indeed vote for DJT, but not for his stated ideas or potential policies as there is certainly plenty to dislike. I voted for a potential reset of our circular path of say-anything-do-nothing “bought” candidates. He could turn out to be a nightmare but I really doubt it. I do not think he will be near as problematic as many people seem to believe. Let’s all just take some deep breaths, watch and listen very carefully, and pray that this goes well. This could be our (the collective U. S. A.) real shot at breaking free of the system so many of us, on all political sides, despise.

    • Sean Edwards

      Thanks Mark, I’m glad you found the article encouraging, and I’m impressed that you read the comments! Thanks for reading, and I look forward to seeing you in future discussions.

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  • Dennis Hunter

    Sean,

    I am an African-American born in the 1950’s and somewhat a student of history. Your analysis, while uplifting, fails to take one central truth into account in the case of the African-American and other minority communities in our countries history. The government is the final guarantor of any freedoms my fellow Americans chose to allow me.

    I do not say this as an alarmist nor a victim, but as a fact of our shared history. It was not a black uprising that freed the slaves, but well meaning government forces. And from that time to the 1960’s and beyond, our (and your) freedoms were enforced by government.

    Yes we marched, protested, voted and performed civil disobedience. But all of that was an appeal to our fellow citizens and the elected government.

    In the end even your own appeal is for a government to obey it’s own founding documents (that they freely can amend or reinterpret).

    We only effect government power via votes appeal, or other methods to terrible to contemplate. (votes that are counted and overcome a rigged system, notice the person who won the popular vote has lost more than one election).

    So while I join you in your appeal for fair and lawful treatment in accordance with the principles we share, I am old enough to have lived through a time when government did not protect me. And I know that change only came when it did.

    Did I misplace my confidence?
    Did I buy the likelihood that I can be a victim (again) if the opponent wins?
    Did I swallow the idea that one person (the guy that runs the government that has been protecting me) can fix THAT problem?
    Did I drink the partisan Kool-Aid that said, “if the other person wins we’re all doomed”, (no just 49% of us).

    p.s. The KKK is marching in NC again. So do I get a gun or trust my new government?
    p.p.s I do like you article. and I pray that you are right. But just in case …

    • Sean Edwards

      Dennis, I have contemplated your comment for several days now. It really affected me. One thing I’ve loved about the comments on this post has been the different perspectives I’ve gained. It has opened my eyes to a many sides of this issue I had not considered. I still believe what I wrote, but thanks to people like you, I’ve gained a much deeper understanding of this very complex issue.

      Not only am I too young to remember the segregated south (I wasn’t even a twinkle in my mother’s eye at that point), but I’m white, and haven’t had to go through anything like that.

      Maybe it is my youthful optimism, but I’ve never considered it a possibility that we could return to the racist laws of the past. My public education (and I’m assuming most others) drills the horrors and injustice of our nations past so much that it is hard for me to believe anyone in my generation could ever allow that to happen again.

      One commenter posted a link that looked at the statistical data about the KKK and racist groups in the U.S., and I found his analysis both shocking and encouraging.

      Organized racism is far smaller than the news wants you to believe.

      According Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernardino, there are only about 5,000 members of the KKK in entire country. And the Southern Poverty Law center puts it at 3,000. Which is a pale comparison to the 5 million it had in the 1920s, which saw its highest enrollment. (http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/07/us/klan-numbers/)

      Scott Alexander, the author of the afore mentioned post, also said this:

      “David Duke called a big pan-white-supremacist meeting in New Orleans in 2005, and despite getting groups from across North America and Europe he was only able to muster 300 attendees (by comparison, NAACP conventions routinely get 10,000).” (http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/11/16/you-are-still-crying-wolf/)

      I believe that represents a massive change in our culture since the 1960s, which should encourage us.

      However, that is no guarantee. Even though things are getting better (despite what the news tells us), things could turn south… fast. We’ve seen it throughout history many times.

      So, what do we do? I don’t ever want to see the return of systemic racism in this country. It is horrid and inhuman.

      We must hold our government to its founding principles… through the civil protests you described, and then by the barrel of a gun, if necessary (that’s why the 2nd amendment exists).

      Slavery was legal in the constitution. And that is a stain on this country’s heritage that we will never be able to wash away. But, we can do right by it by making sure it never happens again.

      Most of our founding fathers new slavery was a abomination, and they also knew that writing slavery into the constitution was hypocrisy at its finest. But, many of the states wouldn’t join the Union if they banned slavery, and the founders felt that national security required them to kick the slavery can down the road.

      Despite that glaring failure, our founding principles severely limited the government so that people would never have to experience what you experienced. The reason America is amazing rests in its birth. It was–and still is (even though she’s forgotten her way)–the only country to be built on the idea that no man can tell another how to live their life. It smacks at the very notion of authoritarian governments, and keeps them to heel.

      That’s all fine and dandy, you may say, but Trump won the election, and racial hate crimes are on the rise.

      Is racism on the rise? Has our country fallen back 60 years? No. Don’t believe that hysteria.

      As I’ve already said, KKK membership is paltry compared to the past. And there are no other serious contenders for organized white-supremacy.

      What this election did was reveal what was already there. Unfortunately, Trumps election, and his bombastic language, have emboldened these people to be vocal, whereas before, they were silent. They thought society had left them behind, and that if they spoke out in public, they’d be lambasted. But, because of the campaign rhetoric (from both sides), they feel like they have an advocate in the white house (and even though I didn’t want Trump to be president, I don’t believe he’s their advocate).

      We are not seeing a rise in racism as much as we are seeing the racism that was hiding beneath surface. Trump did not make people racist. Racists now feel like they can speak up.

      To sum up: I am deeply humbled by your comment, and I appreciate your perspective. I have come recognize just how much my perspective is limited. I also believe the campaign spin contributed to our current situation, and despite what we see on the news, the statistics show that organized racism is the smallest its been in recent history. And that should encourage us. However, there is still considerable racism in the country, and that must end. And the only way to secure our rights in the future is to force our government back into its original confines (sans the parts about slavery…), and keep it there.

    • Peter McMahan

      In a republic, which America is supposed to be and the article points to, 100% of the population is protected by individual rights outlined in the constitution rather than civil rights. If minorities shared the same INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS being included in the 100% of the population then you have nothing to fear from the KKK. The KKK could be seen as more of a product of Democratic construct in which a 51% majority white group controls 100% of the population regardless of color. But the fact is that minorities do share the same tenants as “The Majority”. In fact we should stop using race as a descriptive for disparity in our society. If we held true to a constitution that guarantees certain inalienable rights then we can all share in the protection of our fundamental law rather than the benevolence of a government.

      • Sean Edwards

        Peter, these are some great thoughts, and I agree with them.

        In my latest post, I talk about seeing the world through the eyes of minorities, and how several comments on this post altered my perspective on the issue of race.

        In theory, Individual Rights should reign supreme. And if we could hit the “reset” button and start over, that would be all we have to do. Because, as you said, if the government is limited to protecting individual rights, civil rights wouldn’t be an issue.

        Furthermore, if people are paid according to the value they render, then there would be no need to look at socio-economic trends by race. Your skin color wouldn’t matter, just your work ethic.

        That being said, I also understand that people who have been oppressed by racism have a hard time seeing this as the solution. I can see how people of color might feel afraid that the majority could simply vote their rights away… again.

        It is a valid concern. I agree that the ultimate answer rests in limiting government to individual rights. But the fears of minorities are not unwarranted. Many of them remember the segregated south… Systemic racism (real systematic racism) was alive an well within their lifetimes. It is easy for me, a millennial who never experienced the segregated south, to disconnect those events from the present. But that is short-sighted on my end. For many, the civil rights movement shows that the government can’t be trusted with the individual rights of minorities. It has been too soon to say, “Oh, that could never happen again,” because it happened recently.

        I don’t have the answer to this issue. Right now I don’t trust the government to protect my individual rights, so I can’t tell minorities to “trust the system.” And when they hear a white guy talking about limiting government to individual rights, it is easy to see why they’re worried, cautious, and extremely skeptical. To many in these communities, special “civil rights” laws help safeguard their rights in the future from oppressors.

        The only way a libertarian system will work, is when the culture at large adopts a truly limited government philosophy, and we reinforce individual rights within the constitution to make sure these kinds of abuses don’t happen again. But right now, when minorities hear us talking about individual rights, many of them (rightfully so) are saying, “Yeah right, we’ve seen that before.”

        Its hard, because limited government is the solution. But because the government has abused its power so much in the recent past, very few people believe it can be restrained again. Especially if a bunch of old white men (who don’t understand what its like to be a minority) are in control.

        Again, I’m not disagreeing with you. I totally agree. I just feel like my eyes have been opened to some of the broader complexities of this issue. Thanks for writing.

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