Dialogue – The Next Four Years: Empathy and Vigilance

Dialogue – The Next Four Years: Empathy and Vigilance

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Karleen C. Chinen
Commentary

We’ve had a week now to digest the fact that come Jan. 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as our country’s 45th president. I can’t bring myself to say, “our president.” That’s going to take some time, if ever.

On Nov. 8, I began following the election returns at work, and then went to see a film at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival. Up until the lights went down, most of the people in the audience were checking the results on their Smartphones. I could tell that some of them, like me, were becoming increasingly concerned about the growing number of states going red . . . for Donald Trump.

The film started and all of the phones returned to their owners’ pockets and purses. All eyes were focused on the screen. And then, about 10 minutes before the end of the film, a technical glitch with either the film or the projection equipment forced the house lights to go on. The Smartphones quickly lit up again. I began to hear the comments: “Oh no! He has Ohio and Florida, North Carolina . . . and Pennsylvania . . .” Donald Trump had pulled away in the Electoral College. It was a sickening feeling.

More than feeling sickened, I was angry. Angry because the powers that be in the Democratic National Committee had refused to listen to the people. From the get-go, they had anointed Hillary Clinton as the party’s candidate and they refused to budge from that position, no matter how well Bernie Sanders did in caucuses and primaries. Granted, he did not get the required number of delegate votes to win the nomination. But with the weight of the superdelegates and the power of the DNC behind Clinton, was it really a fair contest?

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