Soapbox

A grandmother’s wisdom on the morning after Trump’s election

Trump barely smiled during his victory speech and kept his eyes fixed on his screens.
Trump barely smiled during his victory speech and kept his eyes fixed on his screens. The Washington Post

Hello Rex, Jasper and Sunny. This is a message from my side of the generation gap.

It’s the morning after Donald Trump’s stunning election as president. As a lifelong Democrat, I find my own response somewhat stunning, as well. I am feeling strong. Resilient. Energized. I suspect it’s because we baby boomers have been through this. This is “normal,” for us.

We are accustomed to being on the losing side and dismissing America’s silent majority as a bunch of mindless Archie Bunkers. That’s how we roll. In 1972, my first year to vote, Richard Nixon was re-elected in a landslide even though most of the details about the Watergate burglary were known. It’s instructive that it didn’t take long for Nixon’s gigantic ego and crippling paranoia to trip him up.

The constitutional bulwark that snared Nixon is still in place. Meanwhile, we have tough Democrats in Congress to keep an eye on Trump. And – this is new – there are conservative congressional Republicans who don’t like him, either. My hope is they will rein in outrageous spending for Mexican walls and curtail other international blunders.

Yes, the prospects for the Supreme Court are terrible from a liberal perspective. But even if Hillary Clinton had been elected, her getting any justices confirmed was pretty problematic.

Another thing working against Trump is the chronic fickleness of the American voter. Obama lost control of the House in 2010 and was hamstrung ever since. Same thing could well happen to Trump in 2018.

Donald’s very contrariness might work in favor of social justice and the environment. He doesn’t stand for specific policies, except for undoing those international trade deals. And he seems to have few compunctions about changing positions. Now that the campaign is over, he may revert to being less hard-line on abortion rights, for example. He may concede that climate change is real. We can hope.

But I’m not kidding myself. I do believe Trump’s election was a shot in the gut to civil rights, to world harmony, to the environment. My biggest fear is that Trump’s administration will be taken over by some Dick Cheney type – an evil Svengali who will get us into wars for greed or revenge. God help us if that happens. Baby boomers, once galvanized by Vietnam, understand that danger all too well.

Still, bloodied but unbowed, I remain,

Your loving grandmother.

Dorothy Korber is a retired Sacramento Bee reporter who lives in Grass Valley. Email her at dorothykorber@gmail.com.

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