The President-Elect of the United States


NOVEMBER 9, 2016


Photo: AP

I still can’t believe it either.

On Tuesday night, when it was becoming clear that Donald J. Trump had been elected the 45th President of the United States, I began to experience the five states of grief — denial (“This CAN’T be happening!!”), anger (“Who are these jerks who are voting for Trump?”), and bargaining (“Maybe there are uncounted votes in Miami-Dade still to come, please!”).  By Wednesday morning, I had reached depression, or more accurately for me, sadness.  (I’m still a long way, though, from reaching Stage 5 — acceptance.)

The sadness that I feel today is certainly for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, as well as their families, staff and supporters.

But now that Republicans have captured the White House and both houses of Congress, I feel particular sadness for what the country is now going to lose as a result of this election.

The chance that we may have had at last a progressive Supreme Court?  Gone.

The continuation of the Affordable Care Act?  Not likely or else it will be so gutted that its numbers won’t add up to aid the people it is now helping.

Obama’s executive order protecting children of undocumented workers from being deported?  Say bye-bye, as the threats to families’ deportation will probably grow more real.

Roe vs. Wade.  Once Trump gets his fifth Supreme Court justice, a woman’s right to choose will likely be far more limited, if not eliminated entirely.

Climate change will most likely be turned into a punchline with little GOP support as the coastlines continue to rise.

Marriage Equality?  If you want to wed your same-sex partner, you may not want to take a chance with this Congress and potentially this GOP Supreme Court.

Free trade — Trump is against it, and any deals such as NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, intended as a counterbalance to China’s growing business dominance in the world will probably disappear.

Deficits will likely go up, and it will be the middle class and the poor who will likely be most hurt by cuts in programs.

And that’s just for starters.  It will be so heartbreaking to see President Obama’s hard-fought legacy be wiped out by the results of one day’s election.

If there is a bright spot in all this, more Americans appeared to have cast their votes for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday than they did for Donald Trump even though he garnered enough Electoral College votes to be declared the winner.  (This marks the sixth time in the past seven Presidential elections where the Democratic candidate won the popular vote.)

But now the Republicans, who have spent the past eight years trying to obstruct every program proposed by President Obama, will now themselves have to do the governing.  In an eloquent concession speech on Wednesday morning, Clinton observed that “We owe [Trump] an open mind.”

Let’s hope that President-Elect Trump keeps that same open mind about the rest of us.