A Post-Election View From A Moderate

“A moderate? Ha! I’ve seen your posts. You voted for Clinton.  You’ve been vocally anti-Trump. You must be a crazy liberal!”

Well, no, actually, I’m not. My mom use to tell me that way back when… your vote was private. You kept it to yourself.  Now, after this election, there’s a similar vibe. If you say you voted for Clinton you’re a crazy baby-killing, God-hating, latte-sippin’ liberal, and if you say you voted for Trump, you’re a racist, sexist, xenophobe filled with hate. The reality? Most of us are none of these. We are, in fact, a member of the non-vocal majority of moderates struggling for representation and hoping for a savior.

This election took it out of me. I did not vote for Trump, clearly. But while I respect the incredible career and accomplishments of Hillary Clinton,  I too, was sick of the political dynasty families and I didn’t want to see another Clinton or Bush in the white house. But I voted for her anyway, as it was a vote to keep a billionaire experienced only in being a billionaire from the all-important job of running our nation. I saw that many were actually voting against the “system” more than they were for voting “for” Trump.

But he won and here we are.

But I  believe that no matter who we voted for, we moderates are worried. We are unhappy with the extreme views on the left and the right, because most of us are somewhere in-between on most issues. And I believe that even those right-leaning people who voted for Trump for any reason, are  bit worried too.

Here’s the thing: I may think a surgeon is an elite snob who is out of touch with my world, but  if I need heart surgery, I want him or her operating on me anyway. I may think the smug pilot flying the plane I’m on from Cleveland to Portland isn’t in touch with the common-folk passenger, but I want him flying the plane. Mr. Trump might have been an interesting cabinet pick or financial advisor, but he should not be flying the plane.

As a common sense thinking person who cares about our country, I believe we should be able to express concern and criticize our president and not be called a sore loser. I didn’t like a lot of what President Obama did. But when I (or anyone) expresses concern over the fact that Republicans and Democrats BOTH worry about Trump’s defense of Mr. Putin and Russia, who has historically always been an issue for the U.S. (um, remember President Reagan? Cold War? Tear Down That Wall?) we are called out. Why are so many people who voted for Trump trusting Putin and Wikileaks founder Assange over our U.S.  intelligence? This is not a republican or democratic issue. This is a security issue. I’ve always thought that the President really doesn’t run the country anyway. Big Pharm, Big Ag and Big Oil does. But now that we have a future president in bed with those 3, and with the Russian government, I think there is cause for concern.

I am beginning to understand that the average rural American in fly-over states didn’t feel represented by our current president, nor would they have felt represented by a political dynasty player like Secretary Clinton. But I am struggling to understand how they think this billionaire can relate to their pain. It has long-been the republican administrations that have cut aid and reduced programs in these very states that help these very people. I read a quote by Oscar Dean Ray who said “We Made America Worse Again, and did it as fools cheered. A lot of those cheers have gone silent as our new president picks mostly people for important positions whose only goals in life have been wealth and power for themselves and their friends. We will pay a heavy price for this mistake and the people who cheered I am afraid, will pay the heaviest.”

I hope he is wrong. I hope that the very people Trump says he will help will not find that if they lose their jobs, savings, or homes, the safety nets like welfare, medicare, medicaid and social security that they wanted taken away from everyone else are suddenly gone for them if they need them.

There simply has got to be a middle ground for this great nation to survive.

This particular moderate wants a government big enough to keep us safe with systems that include a military that can defend and protect our freedom without policing the world and infringing our way of thinking on others. Big enough to protect our electric and cyber grids from hacking. Big enough to protect us from the greed and corruption of politicians and corporations that can buy them. Big enough to protect us from dangerous food and drugs; and from those who would poison our environment and destroy our national parks. Big enough to protect those who cannot speak for themselves, children, the elderly and animals. Big enough to use our tax dollars for these things, plus a solid infrastructure of roads, bridges, and improved public transportation. And big enough to provide education at all levels to keep us competitive globally in a world we are falling way behind.

And conversely, I want a government small enough that my personal rights are protected. That no one should be able to tell me what religion to practice and condemn me or others who practice something different; or nothing at all. Small enough that no one religion, including Christianity, even though I am Christian, should monopolize our country to the point it controls our government. Small enough to allow me to live with, love and marry whoever I want, or not marry at all. Small enough to not tell me who can be in the hospital making end-of-life decisions on my behalf. Small enough to protect my right to end a pregnancy within a limited amount of time, or to protect the life of the mother. Small enough to stop spending my tax dollars enforcing laws against growing or buying a plant that can be grown in my backyard that has better medical benefits than most but is illegal because it doesn’t benefit large drug companies.

I’m hoping (and praying) that the moderates of both parties take over and really make our country great, not again…just great. The only extremism should be an intolerance for intolerance.

The common sense members of the GOP should stand up and stop what they see as dangerous behavior in our president-elect. The common sense Democrats should stop the “they did it to us so we’ll do it to them” obstructionist behavior if, in fact, there are programs and policies worth supporting because they will move our country forward.

The vocal minority is winning right now, represented by those on the extreme religious right….or the extremist left, spewing hate and intolerance on social media and on 24-hour news networks. They don’t represent me.  And if they don’t represent you, we moderates need to rise up, on social media, in-person and beyond and speak up to find like-minded people to put into politics. We need bridge-builders, diplomats, statesmen and women who we can respect, look up to, and not be ashamed of.

We need a new generation of politicians to work together to put the good of our country ahead of the good of their party.