People of good will felt they had nowhere else to turn

Published 10:00 am Friday, November 11, 2016

To the Editor:

Full disclosure: Neither Trump nor Clinton earned my vote, so I cast it elsewhere. Also, I generally vote with conservative candidates, to the extent that there are any, especially on fiscal issues. Finally, I am assuming that some of you care what I think on these matters, which I’m willing to admit may be delusional on my part.

My sons attend a school with this motto for their sports teams: Win with humility, lose with dignity! I must say in an informal survey of friends this morning, the Trump fans are doing a far better job of living up to this motto than are Clinton supporters. Since last night I have observed Clinton supporters call all Trump voters racist, sexist, misogynist, crass, bullies among other things, and therefore America is a sexist, racist country. The prophecies of doom are over the top. Mr. Trump has certainly said things that make reasonable people draw such conclusions about him. And clearly a portion of his supporters are drawn to such rhetoric. But really, all Trump voters and all of America too?

I have also seen more than one friend say that they are ashamed of their country today. But think about this for a moment. With the shift of a few hundred thousand votes here or there, these folks would have had the outcome that would have made them proud? The same can be said of the last presidential election. America is a closely divided country politically and has been in terms of popular vote for the last 25 years at least. And you somehow thought with these two candidates that situation was going to change?

At some point, those of you who are so dispirited need to turn your ire on your candidate and your party. President Obama won re-election against Mitt Romney, who, in my opinion, was perhaps the most decent and well-prepared presidential candidate in recent memory. But he was also boring and out of touch, at least as portrayed in the campaign.

I heard the stunning news from exit polls on ABC this morning that Trump got a higher percentage of women, Latino and Asian voters than Romney! Do you think this is because of Trump’s improved appeal to these constituencies? No, the difference is Obama and Clinton! In the two off-year elections of the Obama years, Republicans made historical gains in Congress, governor’s mansions and state houses. These outcomes were a reflection of voter concern with the President’s policies. But in 2012, President Obama won re-election over a much stronger Republican candidate than Donald Trump. This outcome was a reflection of the President’s personal charm and political acumen.

Hillary Clinton has neither of these qualities, and she has a demonstrable problem telling the truth. She also is a prototypical example of the entrenched, ruling, political class that made the Donald Trump candidacy viable. Therefore it is quite understandable why many voters turned to Trump. Not because they are racist, sexist or whatever name you want to call them, but because they are people of good will who felt they had nowhere else to turn.

I, too, am concerned about some of the ideas President-elect Trump espoused on the campaign trail. A comforting thought is that many leaders of his own party express similar concerns. I have faith that our system will allow those ideas to be vetted much more thoroughly that they have been in the campaign. America is not perfect, but it has improved in many ways in my lifetime and will continue to do so.

Galen Butler