Editor’s Note: The author of this op-ed recognizes this is an unpopular opinion and as such deleted a posting that comprised the following work. The body isn’t even cold yet, nerves are raw, people are scared and angry. Those who aren’t are jubilant and determined. When you throw those two sets of people together, things get raw. Take this for what it is, a message of hope.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
Of the votes cast in the 2016 Presidential Election, 24% of all Americans voted Hillary, another 24% of Americans voted Trump and another 50% were so disenfranchised they didn't vote at all. When you consider the well documented, often repeated, offensive remarks by our now President Elect we find ourselves in the most absurd of situations. I count among my friends people from all walks of life. Different belief systems, sexuality and religions. Today and I imagine for many days to come, they are terrified of the what the future holds. To them, I offer the following opinion piece as what I hope is, at worst, small consolation and at best, a glimmer of hope.
First, let’s take a little of the FUD out of some policy stuff. Half of the goals/beliefs Mr. Trump is on record as espousing have been opposed by his own party and the other half are unconstitutional. The President is not an island onto himself, our founding fathers made sure of that. In the meantime, I'm hearing rumors that a decent amount of high-level government employees, key advisors, are retiring. This is a double edged sword in that while a fair amount of institutional knowledge walks out the door, so goes archaic modes of thinking.
Consider this an opportunity. If you want to ensure that our President Elect doesn't go off the deep end, then I would ruminate on being the change you want to see in the world. There are positions in the administration opening up, positions that you, dear reader, security professional or otherwise, can apply to and ensure that good council gets its voice heard among the bad.
From FUD we come to facts. Trump got elected because he made promises to a disenfranchised population. These people have been painted with a wide brush as racist, homophobic, xenophobic etc. The reality is, yes, some are that and worse. However, there are others. Those who have no formal education and no path to or hope of ever getting that education. They see higher learning and better paying jobs as forever out of their reach. Imagine the desperation they must feel to throw a Hail-Mary pass of putting an absolute wild card in office.
I grew up in Detroit where my dad was a Ford factory worker. I know the desperation in people's hearts when they hear "We're shipping our production plants to Mexico. Start looking for a new employer." Remember that when you are marginalizing these Trump supporters you are alienating people who, for all intents and purposes, believe that they were cornered and had no other alternative.
Remember that if you are labeling these people as racist misogynistic, homophobes you are practicing the very thing you preach against. A sizable portion of our population have been dealt a devastating blow. Trump is an unknown political entity but a well-known public figure for all the wrong reasons. It's time to redirect your hatred and anger towards being the change you want to see in this administration and help to safeguard the rights of your fellow citizens.
Regardless of what you think of the opinions I’ve just expressed I only ask one thing. Love one another. Be good to one another. Trust but verify and if you still don’t like what you see, we have considerable talents at our disposal to give our best shot at maintaining balance. Sharpen your skills and mentor those who are seeking to better themselves. The juxtaposition of political ideals has never been sharper but in the chaos there is opportunity. We might not be able to see through the smoke just yet but if there was ever a time to work together, this is it.
- Anonymous Author