Conservatives, Liberals, Progressives…what’s next for 2017?

pro-poor policies, pro-family policies, political activism,

So I will acknowledge, with the understatement of the year, that this week has been an emotional one for many Americans as well as people abroad.

While I did expect Trump would win, I think what surprised me was how he won. Many states that reliably voted Democrat since the 1980s, turned red and even the states that Clinton did hold onto, like Maine and Virginia, she did so with a 0.1% margin in her favor. While I feel that her campaign and the DNC especially did many things wrong, I will only sum it up to this: hubris. They underestimated how angry, fearful, despondent, and tired people were with 1996 rulebook to politics. Trump is a populist candidate and they needed a populist face to counter him, but the Democrats did not produce it. They stuck to the same message, and took some things (people) for granted and that is why they lost. The biggest upset is now the GOP is consolidated and it is the DNC that is in a crisis mode and they need to shake things up and do an autopsy as to why they are not relating to middle America.

I am probably what some people will call a liberal elite, however my family and I, are by no means rich, elitist, or insider to any political machine. My mother and father were both born and raised poor in a developing country, and came to the United States in the 1970s because their only choice was to stay home and continue starving or take a chance to go to college here and have a decent life. Luckily, each (separately) chose the latter, and settled in my hometown of New York City. I had a good life, I went to a private school that was adamant about bringing quality education to lower-middle income neighborhoods, and then I went to a prestigious private school in an upper income neighborhood before going to public school, then college. I know plenty of young people, whose parents came later in the 80s and 90s, and their families had a much harder time establishing themselves. Under Reagan and Clinton, immigration laws changed and funding for ESL, GED, and citizenship classes dried up in a lot of places; these are the resources that my parents and many immigrants used to assimilate into American society and become part of the American Dream.

Donald Trump will be the 45th president, and although I have mix feelings about this, I will follow Seth Meyer’s path. The fear, anger, and sense of loss that many left-leaning and centrist people felt this week is probably how Trump supporters felt for years and maybe decades. It would be wrong of me to think that my feelings are more valid than yours. While I may feel that Trump will not benefit you or your families, especially in the long term, I hope that he proves me wrong and that he does not forget you.

It is important for me to say this, because many Clinton supporters and left-leaning people are blaming the loss of this election on the wrong thing. The reason I believe in universal health coverage, education, and an enforcement to market regulations is because in my academic research, I compare the poor in countries that do not have these things (Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Haiti) with the poor in countries that do have them (Sweden, Tunisia, Germany) and see a difference in how people live. The quality of life is different for everyone when we have pro-poor policies, in other words, pro-poor is also pro-middle class and what we had since the 80s has not been that. It would be hypocritical of me, to call myself a pro-poor advocate who can “relate” to the poor in Africa, the Caribbean, or Latin America, but remain blind that there is an under-privilege class outside my doorstep in America and my adopted home of the U.K. Maybe the last thirty or forty years have not befitted everyone and we need to think about where we go from here. So now that I know some people who did vote for Brexit and some Trump supporters, I can empathize and hopefully they empathize with me about the elusive American Dream and the reality where the law respects the rights of all persons and opportunity is open to all.

Thus, this is what I will continue to fight for, under every administration going forward. So liberals, progressives, conservatives, patriots, and freedom lovers: put away the tissues and let’s hold our leaders accountable, starting January 20th, 2017.

Send me your thoughts @ReporterandGirl or post them on Facebook.

24 thoughts on “Conservatives, Liberals, Progressives…what’s next for 2017?

    1. I know, hence my last post about going out and voting even if you want to write in the name of your friend. Just do it. But our election process needs to reform to, as many people find it inconvenient to vote.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If there was electoral reform there would be higher numbers. For example, Tuesday was identified as a voting day because many people lived for from polling places and needed Monday to travel. Today, many people work on Tuesdays and can’t afford to take half a day off to vote. Many states have also passed voter ID laws, which disenfranchised elderly voters. And lets not talk about what happens at the polls.

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      1. So…your suggesting a LARGE % of the 46.9% fall under these assumptions? Noting, the voter turnout in the larger metropolitan areas were down much more than rural areas. Wouldn’t that suggest access to polls is not as big of a factor?

        Humans respond to ideas that create a sense of urgency within us. If they had announced free Iphones with every vote, the number of non voting people would have shrunk dramatically. If the convictions are strong enough, the actions will follow? Complacency, rather than all these other issues you suggest seems to be more plausible.

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      2. Hi Plectrum,
        I though I sent you the link to PewResearch Center as they have the breakdown of who voted and didn’t in 2016. This article: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/08/02/u-s-voter-turnout-trails-most-developed-countries/
        Talks about why America is behind other developed and even underdevelop countries in voter turnout and what some countries have done. The 46.9% number you quote, I believe is for this year’s election? However, turnout can vary whether it is a general or midterm election. So this article by Bloomberg lists top three reasons why certain demographics do not get to the polls as easily. http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/graphics/2016-non-voters/. So to answer your question, the reasons why (ppl do not vote) varies by different demographics – age, class, race, ability, and geography.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m familiar with the Pew research, and I do respect their work. That being said, Gallop CEO suggests it difficult to specify that 46.9% group precisely due to the lack of real access to them. They don’t actually get polled and most of the data is implied rather than actual sampling. Regardless…the number of DISENFRANCHISED people is much greater than those with availability issues! That’s the bottom line to all my statements 😎

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      4. Yeah, thats true. Its hard to find reliable survey or data on why people don’t vote. I know there are online polls, and there was another study I came across that talked about the “consistent voter” versus the intermittent voter vesus the nonvoter, and the various reasons they give for voting, sometimes participating, and not participating. http://www.people-press.org/2006/10/18/who-votes-who-doesnt-and-why/ However, if this election has taught us anything, it is that we can’t go off on polls, especially if pollsters/researchers leave out a siginificant part of the population.

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      5. Yeah, I mean Obama’s 2008 campaign was engaging with younger voters (social media and online and text message fundraising). Sanders and Trump were good at that too. Not sure if Clinton picked up on that, she has a social media presence, but I don’t think she used it the same way the other guys did. Really, each campaign plays to their base and getting them out. Since Clinton relied on some older voters, she an organized GOTV on the ground in some states, like organizing rides to the polls, etc… however, Trump didn’t have that and he got more people to register as Republicans than other candidate in history. So insiders play to their supporters in terms of trying to mobilize them. What we need is a non-partisan group like Rock The Vote, that mobilizes and organize people to register, get involved, and stay engaged. But I am on the side, that our system does not want people to vote or be engaged.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Very well said! And I think it’s going to take all of us who understand the socio-economic and political dynamics (of not only what happened with this recent election, but what has been happening in this country for quite some time), to continue to speak out and really come together and share knowledge and resources to get us through these next 4 yrs and beyond.

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