I’m Sad Today

Trump’s election makes me sad. Although there is a winner, there really aren’t any “winners”.

I’m sad for the people who voted for him that come from rural America and working class backgrounds. They have a reason to be upset because their past prosperity is diminished. But I fear that Trump used them as a vehicle to gain office, not because he was a champion of theirs in his heart of hearts.

I’m sad for those same people because the jobs and prosperity they used to have are gone forever. Such is the nature of capitalism and globalization and the internet-enabled world. Those old jobs aren’t coming back, no matter the leader or his policies. They were sold a story that they can have their past back, which they can’t.

I’m sad because the true source of future prosperity for those people is learning new things, and we’re not talking about investing in them to enable this. Education has been and always will be the great enabler of economic progress. This retooling of our workforce could take a generation, and sadly no politician wants to run on a platform of long-term solutions over short-term rhetoric.

I’m sad for women. It’s a double-barreled setback for gender equality when a viable female candidate was beaten by a provable sexist.

I’m sad for immigrants and ethnic minorities. We’re repeating another cycle of blaming the country’s woes on the newcomers and politically weak. Ask the African Americans of the South, Boston Irish, New York Italians or San Francisco Japanese how it felt in past decades when they were scapegoated for whatever problem the country faced at the time. Obama’s presidency as a step forward in race relations now seems to be at risk.

I’m sad for children, who see a leader who says things they know to be wrong and aren’t allowed to say in their own homes. This didn’t make our jobs as parents any easier when it comes to teaching our children civility and a moral code.

I’m sad for LGBT communities, because the long road to acceptance and inclusion is made longer during times of intolerance. We’ve come so far in 50 years on gay rights; I fear the progress will be stalled.

I’m sad that our country’s electorate is divided along such clear lines: rural versus urban, and the associated industries that sustain each populace. These divisions are a cultural and industrial chasm that don’t appear to be on a path to any near-term convergence.

As such, we have no winners today.

We have many who lost. We have others who think they won, but really didn’t gain a long term solution to their ills.

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