On Wednesday, after the election, I posted on Facebook my hope that people would stop hectoring each other about politics, at least for a little while. That post attracted two of my friends who hectored each other about politics in the comments. So, I guess it’s over, but it’s not over.
President-elect Donald Trump was heavily criticized for saying he might not accept the result of the election. He’s not saying it was rigged anymore, is he? And he has accepted the result too. Secretary Clinton and President Obama have also accepted it. The President is meeting with the President-elect at the White House today.
To be clear, I didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton. But the people who disturb me are the ones who have taken to the streets demonstrating, and perhaps even rioting. Among the things they chanted, and a hashtag on the internet, “Not My President.” Well, not yet, but effective January 20th, when he moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, and renames it the Trump House, yes he will be.
One of the things America has always been rightly proud of is its peaceful transition of power. Let’s keep it that way, please. Give the guy a chance. Even if you did vote for him, you won’t like everything he does as President. It’s the nature of the job.
His impact on the country is likely to last beyond his Presidency because there’s one vacancy now, and there are a lot of old judges on the Supreme Court. With a Republican-controlled Congress he shouldn’t have any trouble getting one appointee through. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that he’ll get to appoint two or three justices before the end of his first term.
As for the rest of it, if he screws up terribly, the American people will have a chance to thwart him by changing the House and Senate in just two years. For most of the past eight years, Congress and the President have been battling each other constantly. It might be nice to have the two bodies largely in agreement, if only for a short time.
That is, by the way, the beauty of a parliamentary system. The prime minister and the parliament agree. There’s usually some compromise involved because countries that have parliaments often have multiple political parties, so instead of one party being in charge it’s often a coalition. In the event the parliament and the prime minister disagree significantly, they don’t wait for the next election. They hold a vote of no confidence, hold a new election and vote for a government that will agree.