Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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Well that was a surprise…

Okay then…

Change.

The people want change. They will get it.

Big change will come with this national presidential election. Blowing it all up should be the result. That might be the only good thing I see as I write this before the final call on Tuesday night. There needs some blowing up. For me, it is just morally difficult to tolerate the tenor and face of the change and the blower upper.

The future will be very different starting this week. That’s not all bad but it will definitely be interesting.

Apparently Canada’s immigration website crashed about the same time the stock market futures dropped about 1,000 points Tuesday evening.

What will be the takeaways with Donald in the Oval office? Let’s speculate…

Obamacare? Gone.

Immigration? No path to citizenship — Brown skin? Good luck. Show us your papers please.

Muslim ban? Sure. It will keep us all safer.

EPA regulations? Bye bye. Boy that water tastes good. So does the air.

Fracking? Bring it on.

Coal? Let’s use more of it.

NATO? Why bother?

Lies? Offensiveness? Crassness? It works.

Facts? They are up for debate.

Supreme Court? Expect more Clarence Thomas and less Sonia Sotomayor.

Climate Change? It’s not real anyway so ignore it. Sorry mammals.

Presidential Temperament? Apparently doesn’t matter. Just hit them harder when they hit you. Boom!

I said more than once the last few weeks that the polls were not to be believed but thought Hillary would win a close one. I was right – and then really wrong. It’s somewhat numbing.

I was hoping under a Clinton presidency, the country’s future infrastructure focus would be one of modernization. It would focus on wind, solar, smart grids and the future. Now maybe there will be an immediate focus on infrastructure with a new wall on the southern border. Not what I had in mind.

It seems perhaps that the growing income disparity is splitting the country and that was reflected in anger and despair by voters during this election. People want to feel like they can get ahead in this country and they were not feeling that. That needs blown up. Hillary didn’t give anyone confidence that she would actually work for that change. Maybe Donald will, but at least he promised something out of the ordinary and he said things would change. That is why he won.

As the economy was revving up, the big gains should not have gone to just the most wealthy of our citizens. The middle class deserves a piece of that pie. If the gains of a good economy are not more equitably shared, there will be real trouble. That doesn’t mean we need to turn the country into a North American socialist center but it might mean paying people honest wages and corporations, not making decisions simply on the bottom line for shareholders but figuring in fair and equitable policies for those that work for them.

Will Trump pivot income disparity to that place? I can’t see it. I do see him gaining confidence in his authoritarianism bent. And that to me remains scary for this country.

None of us really have a clue what will happen after January 20. I know the Republicans will be able to do pretty much whatever they want. So expect some change. We’ll see how much change is wrought, how quickly it comes and how much it is really liked. We’ll get more of a clue in the next couple of transition months.

Many assume Mike Pence will be de facto president and Donald will be The Face. I think we will see how the constitutional theory of checks and balances will work in interesting times. Separation of powers? It may come in handy if some of those in Congress and the court can find their conscience.

This was one of the most vitriolic presidential election campaigns in history. I’m afraid for the tone that has been set. It is not a pleasant tone. And if that tone has proven to work, why would it not become the new norm…both in politics and society? Trump’s tone offended me deeply much of the time, but here we go.

I heard from some of my Republican friends Wednesday morning. They were quite happy. Republican Nation or Trumpland they exclaimed. The map is really red for sure. Congrats. I’ll keep an open mind. Let’s see where we all are on the happiness scale in two years.

It is what it is. The next four years will no doubt be a wild ride.

Closer to home—

The local county election was a better example of representative democracy. Four neighbors making points about why they should sit at the county commissioner table. That’s the way it is supposed to be. Thanks to all four men for stepping up and undergoing the glare of a public spotlight that is not always comfortable.

Congratulations to Jonathan Houck and John Messner for working hard to attract the votes that did indeed put them in that commissioner seat.

Houck and Messner now get to deal with sage grouse, oil-and-gas issues, backcountry conflicts, broadband improvements, affordable housing for local workers, and a litany of other items that directly impact our lives in this valley. We trust they will do so ably and hopefully have a little fun in the process.

In the meantime, be glad to glad to live in a small town, off the beaten track in the mountains of Colorado. We feel a little more isolated after Tuesday and that is not necessarily a bad thing. If this election indicates a return to tribalism as opposed to a unified nation, at least be glad we are part of this tribe.

—Mark Reaman

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