Dear Overseas Friends......

(riceviamo da una cara amica e volentieri pubblichiamo)

Nancy Bracken Garson
Dear Overseas Friends,

I have had a number of letters from you recently asking my view on what just happened in the US election.  So I thought that perhaps I should put my thoughts together, as well as possible, and send out a general letter.The symptoms, dynamics and outcome of our election are complicated to understand, even to someone like me, who has spent a number of years in the active practice of politics.  But here, I shall give you the simplest answer I can: We had a Brexit vote, and those in England who are discontent with the present socio-economic system, including the arrival of new immigrants, are the same ones here who voted for Trump: the majority being white men with high school educations.We all understand that we are living in the midst of a huge economic and social revolution caused by the development of the internet, robotics, social media and international trade. I’m sure with 50 years’ distance we will be able to see it more clearly.  But presently, we are caught in a period where many less educated members of our country’s workforce have been displaced by obsolete businesses, and by competing cheaper labor from developing nations that close manufacturing companies here.So there are many in this country who have been trained for jobs that no longer exist, and often they do not have the skills to enter the “new” job market.Additionally, as Europe is well aware, when political crises occur in other countries, like the Middle East and Northern Africa, it is very difficult to stop the influx of humanity, seeking stability, peace for their children, and who own GPS systems, from finding their way to other nations. It has been so for the US for a number of decades now, from most of the Spanish-speaking countries of Central and South America, to the south of our borders. We also encourage the best and brightest youth from around the world to study at our universities, and many of them from India, Pakistan and China, end up staying here after their education, either legally or illegally. In about 30 years, the US will no longer be a white majority country.  This is difficult for many who understand their country through traditional history and churches.  While all of our inhabitants are immigrants from somewhere originally (outside of the Native Americans), from our founding until the 1960s, they were predominantly from Great Britain North, Central & Southern Europe, and Russia, with the exception of the black slaves who were brought from Africa in the first 200 years and some Chinese who emigrated to California in the 1850s and onward.And then there is the political system.In a plan devised by our Founding Fathers to withstand the onslaught of ‘mob” voting, and to better balance the outcome less in favor of the larger populated more “industrial” states, there developed this system known as the Electoral College.It is way too complicated to try to explain here, but one of the (intended?) consequences, is that in 2 of our recent elections—the 2000 Bush vs. Gore, and 2016 Trump vs. Clinton—both Republicans won the Electoral number required to win the presidency, even though THE DIRECT VOTE of the population was both in favor of the Democrats, for Gore by a million votes, and for Clinton, by over 2 million votes.It is also important to understand that for whatever reason, the US traditionally has had a very low registered voter election turnout rate, (unlike Europe), generally in the 48-53% range.  And of all the registered voters only about 53% have indicated a party preference - about 24% Republican and 32% Democrat, with an infinitesimal number for a few minor third parties.But that means that only about ½ of the voter population participates in the primaries which pre-select the party candidates!And then there is the general anger amongst most of the population about the poor way the Congress has carried out their mission the last 8 years of passing legislation for the benefit of the country.They have been mostly obstructionist, and more interested in attacking individuals than in passing annual budgets and dealing with crisis from the Zika virus to the pollution of our air and water.So the voters have said “enough”.And while the “uneducated white men” are responsible for Trump’s win, so are the liberal millennials who supported Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary, but who would not come out to vote for Hillary for their own idealistic reasons; the same with the black vote which did not come out in the same numbers as they did for Obama.Both groups will now reap the negative results of their failure to come out and vote.And lastly, we have the personalities, careers and political philosophies of our 2 candidates: Clinton and Trump. Never before in our voting history have we had the 2 presidential candidates with such high “disapproval” ratings.Never before has such an inexperienced, uneducated candidate for political office been a representative of one of the 2 major parties.Never before have the “official” politicos and journalists so misread the underlying sentiment of many of the American people during the primaries or the general election.I am in shock, as are half the people in this country that such a person as Donald Trump, a misogynist, racist, outright liar, and someone inflaming all the “hate” sentiment in this country, should represent our nation.Psychologically, he is unstable and “trigger-happy”. He seems to have no “core”, no moral or political philosophy, has no ethical concerns about his many business and family “conflicts of interest”.He seems to be totally unaware of the responsibility and seriousness of the office, displaying his “television” personality even in choosing his cabinet members (many of him are completely unqualified in the details of their department).My only hope is that Trump does something so unethical, that even some of the Republicans in Congress will vote for his “impeachment”, or that maybe after a year, even Trump will realize that the job is too difficult for him and resign.I am so fearful for my country and the world,