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Thoughts After the 2016 Election

Posted by Paul Linzmeyer
Paul Linzmeyer
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on Thursday, 24 November 2016 in Wisconsin

clinton-trumpWe must start a dialogue now with one another to understand how we can aspire for the goodness in our state and how together we can make our state a model of “we the people…with liberty and justice for all”.


GREEN BAY - This election has torn our country apart.  While many of us are repulsed by the rhetoric of the campaign, there is one silver lining from this election and that is the cancer that has been in this nation forever is finally exposed.  The exposure of bigotry, hatred, marginalization and fear is our “soft under belly”, which could bring down this grand experiment, our democracy.  However, there are really very few truly evil and hateful people in this country.

The Trump and Sanders campaign exposed a strong populist desire for change that the Clinton campaign failed to understand.  Perhaps, the Clinton campaign had no way to actually come to grips with this need for change as they are part of the problem.   But the Trump campaign fed off the cancer and helped it spread its unprecedented debasement of us as people and a nation.

Trump’s election campaign slogan of “make America Great again” is so wrong.  If we reference the democratic standard of “we the people…. with liberty and justice for all”, we have never been “great” as we have continuously and still do have social, economic and environmental injustices for many of our people.  And unfortunately, this trifecta of injustice is spreading to a much greater portion of the population.

As “perfect” is the enemy of “better”, so is “great” the enemy of “good”.  Goodness is defined as integrity, honesty, uprightness, probity.   Goodness, morality, and virtue refer to qualities of character or conduct that entitle the possessor to approval and esteem.  This is what we should aspire, not greatness.  Greatness is a concept of a state of superiority affecting a person or object. Greatness can also be referred to individuals who possess a natural ability to be better than all others.  The concept of greatness should be abhorrent to us as it opposes everything of what our democracy stands.  Rather than pursing greatness, we should aspire to what is good for all us, as people and as a nation.  Rather than the tide of goodness raising all of us, greatness signifies winners and losers.

Wisconsin secured the Trump’s election but it was clearly because the turnout of voters was much lower than in 2008 and 2012.  I believe in the people of Wisconsin and in our “Forward” aspiration and our “can do” spirit.  We need/must start a dialogue with one another to understand how we can aspire for the goodness in our state and how together, we can make our state become a model of “we the people…with liberty and justice for all”.  Now that we see clearly the cancer that could kill us, we should work diligently and passionately to overcome it.  As a cancer survivor, I believe fully that we can do this.  I could not have possible survived by my own greatness (which I would never describe myself), but only because of the goodness that was aspired to by family, medical staff, friends and the community.

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