Monday, December 5, 2016

Confession Time - I Didn't Vote for Trump


Putting the Trump victory in perspective...I continue to read messages blaming me and others like me for the Trump victory because we dared to argue that Hillary Clinton was not an option.

That isn't to say Donald Trump was the ideal candidate but he was the option that America offered and so he was the choice I promoted. In the end, I think he is going to surprise everyone because he loves his country. He believes it is a land of opportunity; he gets what is so special where the Washington politicians have forgotten. And if, as I have been accused, I am responsible for the election of Donald Trump...I wonder when I should confess that I couldn't even bring myself to vote?

That's right. Guess what...I didn't vote.

Because despite having the legal right, I left America amid the memory of many of my high school friends speaking about how they would sooner leave America than fight for it. It was the post-Vietnam, pre-9/11 America and the youth of my generation just didn't fight. Like the Hollywood celebrities who threatened to abandon America if Donald Trump was elected; my generation was raised to give up, rather than give all.

At least I cared enough about America to be honest, to give the country of my birth my respect and my honesty. I left, which is more than those actors will do and moved to a land where our sons (and daughters) serve with pride. They are raised to know the day will come when they will pick up a rifle and fight. They do not think of leaving if the party for whom they vote is not elected. They simply accept that there will be another election, another chance and for now, we work for the safety of all.

I have had one son go to war two times; I have stayed awake nights knowing my sons are out there...somewhere...in the cold, in the rain, perhaps in an Arab village searching for a suspect or weapons. I have listened to the sound of explosions coming through the phone line when the oldest son called and felt, really, the vibration of the cannon's roar. I have been to funerals for soldiers who didn't come home and for three teenage boys who were murdered because in the eyes of our enemies, even they were soldiers for Israel.

I have cooked for the Sabbath knowing one son was standing with a gun pointed at violent protesters...and I was desperate enough to believe him when he called me and lied through his teeth telling me he was safe back on base because he didn't want me worrying the entire Sabbath. And I listened and cried when he called to tell me that the 23 soldiers taken to the hospital after an Arab rammed his car into them as they walked in Jerusalem were from his unit.

And often when my sons came home in uniform, I looked at them and realized anew what I thought as I packed to leave America over 20 years ago. I do not believe you should live in a land for which you will not fight; I do not believe you can profess to love a land if you are not willing to defend it against those who seek to destroy it.

And the irony is, I didn't vote because even though I believed that Trump was the only viable choice, the best of what there was, I am shocked at the vehemence, the anger directed at me and at those who voted for him. And then, then I saw this posted to Facebook. Snopes, which has lost a tremendous amount of credibility of late, makes an attempt to prove the numbers wrong but in doing so, actually strengthens the argument by proving only a relatively small discrepancy in the numbers.
There are 3,141 counties in the United States.
  • Trump won 3,084 of them.
  • Clinton won 57. **
** Note: A Snopes article confirms that there are 3,141, but claims that Clinton won 164 counties (still, giving Trump over 2,800 counties more than Clinton so I doubt Clinton can claim much of a victory. She still lost the by-counties tally by a huge amount).
There are 62 counties in New York State.
  • Trump won 46 of them.
  • Clinton won 16.
*** Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 1.5 million votes.
In the 5 counties that encompass NYC, (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Richmond & Queens) Clinton received well over 2 million more votes than Trump. (Clinton only won 4 of these counties; Trump won Richmond). Therefore these 5 counties alone, more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country.
*** These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles.
The United States is comprised of 3,797,000 square miles.
When you have a country that encompasses almost 4 million square miles of territory, it would be ludicrous to even suggest that the vote of those who inhabit a mere 319 square miles should dictate the outcome of a national election. Large, densely populated Democrat cities (NYC, Chicago, LA, etc) don’t and shouldn’t speak for the rest of the country.
*** I couldn't find any place in Snopes that disputes these statistics.He won in at least 2,800 more counties and in apparently about 3 million more square miles.

Donald Trump won, not because America lost its mind, but because it was in danger of losing its soul and it fought back. I watched unbelievable manipulation by the media the day before the elections and thought to myself...America can't be that stupid. And as I watched the reporters come to grips with clear evidence of a Trump victory, I realized that America was not stupid.That America was great, that it wanted to be great. Again. 

I didn't vote for Donald Trump but that doesn't mean I disagree with the results. Despite the numbers, I think Donald Trump was given a clear mandate and I think it is arrogance and unAmerican to fight the will of the people.

Donald Trump won the election. More, for the first time, he showed the logic of the electoral college. The future of America cannot be decided only in New York and California. That is the clear message. And the other message is clear as well. Four years will pass quickly enough - it always does. If you voted for Hillary Clinton, it is time for you to do what you were horrified to think Donald Trump would not do. Accept the results and stop assuming the worst.


Stop because you are hurting friends simply because they dared to disagree with you. You are hurting yourself by focusing on the anger instead of on the future.

But most of all, you are hurting the United States of America by refusing to accept that others are not stupid because they didn't support your choice; that others are not less American. 

A vote for Trump was not a vote against people of color, against people of any particular sexual orientation. It was a vote against Washington, against politics, against media manipulation. But most of all, and perhaps the hardest thing for some people to accept, a vote for Trump was every bit as much a vote for hope and tomorrow as the vote you cast for Clinton.

I love America enough not to vote because I didn't want to be where I am now - accused of doing anything to destroy or harm America. But I knew, as I watched the first election reports come in and Clinton took an early lead, that I was prepared to continue loving an America under Hillary Clinton. 

I didn't vote, but you did. Now it is time for you to accept...accept, or destroy. Destroy friendships and relationships but worse, destroy the foundations upon which the United States was founded.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wait, Paula... does the IDF have "safe-spaces" for your young people??? Are they taught how to deal with micro-aggressions from the Palestinians?

I worked in higher-ed for over 15 years and I'm sadden and discouraged by the current state of affairs in the US.

Hadassa said...

We don't have "safe spaces". We have "protected areas", from missiles, and unfortunately they get a lot of use.
The Rabin assassination was a terrible blow to Israeli left-wing youth, and I don't recall any of them needing a "safe space". I doubt they'd react much differently today.
Hadassa

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