Kashmeri: Trust

Dec 13, 2016

Since the election of Mr. Trump, I’ve heard from many friends that they’re still upset and angry about the November surprise; many are afraid they’re witnessing the beginning of the end of American democracy.

I tell them I believe this election will serve as the gateway to an America that will be far more aligned with the needs of all of the United States and to the world of the twenty-first century, than the America that existed prior to the election.

Consider that half of the people who voted in the Presidential election believe their needs had been overlooked by the ruling class of, in their words, elite politicians, mainly on the East and West coast. Supported by equally elitist think-tanks and Universities, this ruling elite had created an America out of touch with the needs of people who live in the rust-belt, or in that part of America that the elite flies over when crossing from Washington DC or New York to Los Angeles or San Francisco.

While our leaders talked International trade pacts, assumed America’s destiny is always to lead, made alliances to underwrite the security of some of the world’s richest countries, spent trillions on unending and unwinnable wars, back in fly-over land some 50 million people saw their incomes stagnate, their roads, bridges, airports, and transportation systems crumble, and the future of their children turn uncertain.

This was the pressure cooker that was waiting to explode and it did on November 9th - wiping out the political order that was. But it could have been worse. Another 4 years and the political pressure cooker might have exploded with even more force. Or to put it another way, a Turkish friend who’s well placed in his country’s establishment, observes that at least we weren’t faced with what a similar political upset in Turkey produced - a dictator in waiting.

It’s true that the election reordered the governing landscape and we don’t yet know how it will all play out. But a country that a mere century and a half ago survived a civil war that cost 600,000 lives, and has the constitutional checks and balances that America still does, can certainly deal with this political upheaval.