Protesting the Trump Election. Say What ? ! ? ! ?

If Hilary Clinton had won the presidential election, and there were groups of people booing her, the individuals so behaving would be considered horrific sexists. And while not everyone has liked Barack Obama, it is very clear that booing him would have been considered none other than a horrific form of racism. So, it is mightily puzzles me that people think that booing Donald Trump is just fine. After all, it is not as if he won the election because he rigged this or that voting area of the United States. Or, it is not as if he paid people to misplace or inaccurately count the votes. Quite the contrary, there is a straightforward sense in which Trump won the election fair and square. And it utterly stupefying to me that there are lots of folks who cannot except that.

Surely, the argument can be that only individual whom someone should accept as the elected President of the United States is someone whom that individual wanted to be president.
Let’s see, I did not want Hilary Clinton for President and I did not want Donald Trump for President. Does this mean that I am justified in yelling extra loudly? Indeed, should I maintain that very system is utterly messed-up because, after all, the person I wanted to be president was not even running for the office?

Lest there be any misunderstanding, I certainly believe that protests can have their place. After all, in terms of racial equality, the United States would not have made anything like the progress that it has made had there not been protests against racial inequality. But the protests for racial equality were very much drawing attention to the quite inexcusable wrongdoing of holding that a white person is morally and intellectually superior to a black person because and only because the white person is white.
I fully grasp that there are lots of folks who preferred Clinton over Trump. But that truth does not exactly mean that there were enough folks who preferred Clinton over Trump. For if there had been the case, then she would have won.

And while I will not claim that when it comes to ethnic diversity Clinton’s moral sensibilities are lacking. But then I will not make that claim about Trump either. Just so, it would seem that in this regard there is a parallel between Clinton and Trump. Neither strikes me as a gift from the heavens in the matter of ethnic diversity. After all, it is not as if one just likely to either with a Hispanic or African-American person as one is to see either with a white person. No, the majority of either’s closest friends are white. And while I certainly think Hilary Clinton is quite intelligent, it does not at all occur to me to think that she is brilliantly insightful when it comes to matters of ethnic diversity. And guess what? I do not think that Trump is brilliantly insightful when it comes to matters of ethnic diversity.

For me, the difference between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump is that Trump is far more of a realist than she is. The wall on the southern border strikes me as a very clear case in point. There can be no question about it: Such a wall is needed.

Lest there be any confusion, my view is not at all that Trump was the best person ever to run for the presidency of the United States. Alas, I can say, though, is that I detected a realism in Trump that I did not detect in Clinton. Perhaps things would have been different had she not been the first woman to run for the office of the President of the United States. For it is clear that many supposed that her being the first woman to run for the office essentially assured her the election to the office of President of the United States. And I do understand that line of thought. Moreover, she is undoubtedly a smart person. But then Barrack Obama is also a smart person. But guess what? Being smart is hardly a sufficient condition for holding the office of President of the United States.

On the one hand, I am not under the delusion that Trump is perfect. On the other hand, I do know that there are colleges where faculty members are concerned with undoing the damage that they think that Trump will cause. All that I shall say here is that a self-made millionaire cannot possibly be all that dumb. Or, if he is dumb, then hell: I want to be just as dumb as he is ! ! ! And yes, it is very much the case that I do want to see a woman president of the United States of America. Say what? ! ? ! ?

© 2016 Laurence Thomas

About Laurence Thomas

Laurence Thomas is Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Department of Philosophy at Syracuse University. His most recent book is The Family and the Political Self and his most recent article in French is "Juifs et Noirs: Au-delà du Mal" in Trigano (ed.) Juifs et Noirs: du Mythe à la Réalité. Thomas has published numerous essays on the topic of friendship. The essay "The Character of Friendship" has appeared in volume on friendship, entitled Thinking About Friendship, edited by Damian Caluori and the essay "Friendship in the Shadow of Technology" has appeared in the anthology Moral and Moral Controversies edited by Steven Scalet and John Arthur. His most recent essay--entitled "Being Moral and Handling the Truth"--is about circumstances under which it is morally permissible to lie. Indeed, an example is given in Section IV of a lie being morally virtuous.
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