Not exactly mea culpa

December 4, 2016

There’s still a very long line of folks—particularly in the media—waiting to fess up to grievous error in not seeing the impending Trump triumph before it crashed on their heads. By contrast, my modest pre-election proposal was to seek a 12-step program to help rid me of my addiction to news about his candidacy. This was of course based on my widely shared belief that his success was improbable or impossible.

 

So much for that. Given a post-election environment in which my long suffering spouse Remy plugs her ears and refuses to watch the president-elect on CNN or MSNBC, I turn for relief to the popular “Seven Stages of Grief.”

 

 Shock and Denial? Still in progress. Pain and guilt? Sure, but thanks to federal law, I was able to vote for Hillary Clinton. Sadly, the residents of my birthplace, northern Wisconsin, voted two-to-one for the Donald. No wonder my late mother left the area for the city as soon as she could. Anger and bargaining? I’m resolved to live through this. The bargaining part remains to be seen. Depression and Reflection? Another work in progress, though the depression part is somewhat pointless, as far as I am concerned. There have been a lot of drastic changes in American history, though we’ve never had occasion to put someone like Donald Trump in charge of the nuclear arsenal. If he has a 3 a.m. temper tantrum, we might not have to worry about any of this longer, particularly here on Guam.

 

Finally, there is the stage of Acceptance and Hope. I’m not there on the first, but as far as I am concerned, “hope springs eternal,” even in the face of a President Donald John Trump.

 

My hope is that Americans will start appreciating the stakes in the world riding on what they do or don’t do during elections. I don’t know if it’s at all hopeful that—once again—our 18th Century Electoral College has given us a president-elect voted for by a minority of our citizens.

 

Having just spent an inordinate amount in activities such as canvassing door-to-door during Guam’s political season, I have had fresh reminders of the consequences of our often casual approach to politics. I am thinking of the recently arrived (on Guam) Gen-Yer who blithely told me she hadn't and wouldn't be voting for any candidates here or in the states, because they were all so terrible. She hadn't registered here or back in the states due to this 'informed' conviction. I guess that she and many others these days have failed to grasp the stakes, even while living on a well nuclear-seeded island in the neighborhood of mainland China. An old and dear friend of many years from Saipan did offer a sincere mea culpa for his third party candidate vote, which I hope reflects the thoughts of many others.

 

On the other hand, I’m not exactly ready to move to Canada or some other location, given that it would make no difference, should President Trump decide to use those nuclear weapons that he noted during the campaign were just sitting around. Living on Guam, I at least see a lot of people with contrary views, even though our 32-year-old straw poll failed to predict the outcome for the first time. As you likely know, out of our island’s 32,071 voters, 71.63 percent supported Clinton as opposed to the 24.16 percent who voted for Trump.

 

Did I say something about hope? I guess we’re at least entitled to maintain it and I think we’ll somehow get through all this. Stay tuned.  (Bruce Lloyd is a veteran journalist, who has been a longtime resident of Guam and Saipan.

 

(Send feedback to bruce.lloyd.media@gmail.com)

 

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