(My Thanksgiving prayer)
It’s Thanksgiving week, two weeks after a very divisive election campaign in the United States. It’s the right time to reflect and ponder what we can be grateful for, amidst many matters that we may not agree with, nor even could fathom why things happen that way.
The stunning victory of Donald Trump, a complete outsider from the political establishments, has surprised millions of people, the media and even the national pollsters. Thousands of commentaries have been written trying to analyze why he won, despite his own share of human frailties, personal biases, foul language and lack of respect for women, Islams, Asians, Jews or Mexicans, or even to veterans who became POWs and PWDs! To the utter surprise of about half of the entire electorate, his “Make America Great Again” promise resonated much better with the people that made him win. This was despite all the heavy “baggage” that were thrown against him by his opponents from his own party during the primary, as well all the other parties during the heated campaigns.
Trump was able to exploit the liberal media to cover him throughout his campaign because of his calculated unorthodox ways and verbal assaults against so many groups of people and ethnicities that always made them as “breaking news.”
Cumulatively, his “genius” ways of campaigning turned several critical blue states, especially in rural America (that Democrats completely ignored and assumed to remain blue) where poverty is also serious issue especially among non-college educated whites, into red. To millions of these neglected Americans, Trump appeared to be their redeemer and savior to their economic woes and declining standard of living after eight years of a Democratic administration. The majority desired change, and the change promised by Trump appealed more to them versus Hillary’s promised change.
Hillary proved to be a bad messenger to market that needed change, considering that she has been in politics for over 30 years, compounded by the trustworthiness issues that plagued her throughout the campaign.
The 2016 election is history, and one significant blessing that we as a country still enjoy is the peaceful transition of power from the Democratic Party (Obama) to the GOP (Trump). I admire the humility of both Obama and Hillary in conceding defeat and advising their millions of supporters to give the president-elect a chance to prove himself. Obama declared, “If President Trump succeeds, then the country succeeds!”
The next four years will be the judge. If his rhetoric are just empty promises and the present problems — from economic to national security, to trade relations to immigration, etc. — remain or even get worse, then his presidency will just be one term. And that will give the Democrats strong reasons to say, “We told you so!” and they will come back stronger in 2020!
Looking back at America’s history, however, I pray and still believe that we will survive the next four years of Trump presidency. I will personally wait and see what Trump will do, and not just relying on his tweets and words that are often contradictory to his actions.
The recent election has divided this nation, but America has experienced more bloody divisions in the past which were more tragic, like the American Civil War, and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. The voice of reason and the collective actions of the vast majority of Americans prevailed. The strong fiber of freedom and democratic principles “ OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people,” born from the blood, sweat and tears of millions of Americans from all walks of life, will hopefully remain as the strongest glue and foundation of this country’s freedom, liberty and justice way of life, that still remains the envy of the world.
With a vibrant freedom of the press, coupled with countless organizations and parties that are watching vigilantly over the Trump administration, I am conditioning my mind to be optimistically hopeful that his campaign promise to “Make America Great Again” will be realized, with his excellent business sense by appointing capable cabinet members, and directors and administrators of various agencies of the federal government. His anticipated appointments of several justices to the Supreme Court will tilt the pendulum to the right and will have an impact to the national landscape. His presidency will be a more lasting legacy than his well-advertised success in his Trump organization. His material wealth may be ignored by historians after he dies, but his accomplishments or the lack thereof as POTUS will be in history books centuries after him.
The last election should give us some dire yet timely warning of what could happen to this country if the trend of disunity and distrust from each other continues. To help cure this national malaise, we must ACKNOWLEDGE that there is indeed a problem to be solved, and then we must also be vigilant and be AWARE of the various ramifications of Trump as a complete outsider. His being a challenger from the private sector could make him like God’s anointed David slaying the giant Goliath (Washington) that contributed to a massively obese government making it very inefficient to ease the sufferings of millions of disenchanted Americans in their lives.
Furthermore, we the people must also do our share by our own ACTION as law-abiding citizens in whatever capacity, like an honest taxpayer, or simply becoming a producer and not just a welfare beneficiary consuming dole-outs from the government, or becoming an entrepreneur-employer and employing others.
This Thanksgiving week, I think it is quite timely and appropriate to reflect and ponder this poem by a Denver Rotarian, Dr. Keith M. Kent, entitled “Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments,” that was made quite universally popular by Mother Teresa who is now a saint, when it was found hanging in one of the children homes of her Order in India:
Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
Let us all do our best to help Trump and our country become a better place for all of us. The president alone cannot do it by himsef. We the people MUST also get engaged and do our own share of AAA: Acknowledgement, Awareness, and Action as much as we can.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
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