Democrats! Relax, Breathe in– and Get Ready to Work

Talk about disappointed and angry white males, I’ve been out of sorts since late Tuesday night. I haven’t killed anybody, but have embarrassed myself with two seperate rants. Forgive me, Customer Service Department at Express Scripts!

Teeth-gnashing, second-guessing and fault-finding began after the first vote totals began. It continues today, as it will for some time. May we not circle the wagons and shoot in. Instead, let’s breathe in, relax and take some time reflecting and assessing. Along the way, there are a few things to consider.

  • Democrats didn’t turn out. As of this writing, Hillary has received 59,938,290 votes. Obama received 65,915,79 in 2012 and 69,498,516 in 2008.
  • Republican vote was also less than four years ago. Trump received 59,704,886,less than the 60,933,504 that Romney received AND less than McCain’s 59,948,323.
  • White, male working class voters did come out in greater numbers for Trump, especially in the heretofore “Blue Wall” states that Trump won.
  • However, if the Democrat vote had turned out in those states, Hillary would have won.
  • Don’t believe the pundits and their opinions right now. They were wrong last week and for months and even years before that.
  • We don’t need to address the discrete issue of jobs and opportunities for angry white males in the Rust Belt or elsewhere, but jobs and opportunities for both genders in all parts of the country. This especially includes inner cities and Greater Appalachia.
  • We are weaker in local and state offices than we are in presidential vote. Talk about your ground game! It turns out that there is one we have ignored.
  • Sexism, racism, nativism and xenophobia affected some voters, but we will never be able to figure out who or in what proportion. So, we don’t need to call anybody “deplorables,” but need to focus instead on our goals and tactics.

Meanwhile, let’s also remember that we our values to use in deciding upon those goals and tactics. In her concession speech, Hillary said:

“So, let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear: making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top; protecting our country and protecting our planet; and breaking down all the barriers that hold anyone back from achieving their dreams. We’ve spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American Dream is big enough for everyone — for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities.”

You might say it a little bit differently, but those are values worth working and fighting for.

Change—and grace—show themselves in unexpected ways. The “Trump video” is well-known, and by now eight women have come forward to give the lie to Trump’s claim that “he never did anything wrong, it [the tape] was just locker room talk.” Some men acknowledged that they did, indeed, talk like that and many of Trump’s supporters said, in essence, that such talk was expected and to be accepted.

In other words, Trump and those who approve of “locker room” talk such as his agree that is acceptable: to objectify and minimize women; “rate” them on their “looks;” openly leer as they approach; and, discuss various methods of sexual assault and battery that they would like to commit upon them. Worse, most heterosexual men, including me, have been guilty of such sexism to one degree or another. That does not excuse it. That does not make it right.

It is something that we men need to struggle to end. That is where change and grace comes in. Perhaps the tape and subsequent allegations made against Trump will serve to bring about much needed change and raise the level of the familial, social and cultural relationships between men and women in our society.

An article in yesterday’s New York Times suggests that this week’s events might give women a new way of seeing their own experiences with sexual assault and male sexism going forward. You can find the article here.