Well, we have learned a lot about our country last night. Much of it very distressing. And like many of you, I felt a great sorrow - a sorrow for my country - my family- and my friends. Clearly there are many Americans who voted for Trump who feel that they have been left behind, and they have elected a man of no intellectual or emotional grace or basic government experience to lead them to his promise of a better life.
I had tried to calm my own anxiety - and it has been hard to do so. One thing I have learned over a long lifetime is that hating facts does not change them - acting upon them with reason and calm does make for change. Vigilance is called for. Not hysteria. Even with the appointment of a right wing judge to the Supreme Court it will be hard to take away certain liberties such as a woman's right to choose, or gay marriage, although some may try. And if such efforts are made there are a vast number of citizens who will stand up in protest. It will be harder to face this new Trump presidency if people exhaust themselves with rage over what he has said. Let us wait and see what he does. And be prepared to protest with vigor and a respect for the law. It is good to recall that Trump was once a liberal of sorts - that he has been one who devolved into a right wing ideologue in order to gain power. We may be fortunate in the fact that this is a man without strong principles - one who acts pragmatically rather than ideologically. Oddly, I am more concerned by the men he has surrounded himself with, the Giuliani and Christie team - whose advice can only be toxic.
For a long time the right have claimed that the power to change laws should belong to the state government, not the federal government. Well, for those of us living in New York, Illinois, California and other blue states, we shall do just that. The right has demanded that the Federal government get out of our lives - and with Trump as President I am happy to oblige. We can create pockets of democracy to make life tolerable while working towards the restoration of a nationwide liberal democracy.
It is easy to win an election on exciting bias in people but it is hard to run a government on a pure ideology - on a hatred of the other - even an ideology which speaks of building walls and excluding people must deal with practical realities. The practical facts of life will make it difficult to fulfill many of Trump's campaign promises. If Trump sticks to the rebuiliding of our infrastructure - the broken roads, the dangerous bridges - new and better schools and occupies his energies in doing so - something positive may come from this - although we must always be on guard against the nativism and bigotry with which he ran his campaign. Much will change. And very little of it seems good to me. I wish I had words of comfort for all my friends - I wish I could find those words for myself - all I can say is that we must wait and see - and prepare ourselves for what lies ahead - I can only recall the words of MLK - "We shall overcome." And we shall - if we do not let panic replace our passion for a better world.