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« And may your future be worthy of your dreams. | Main | The Second Act (About Career Choices) »

November 10, 2016


Raymond C Pineda

From my perspective as a tax-paying citizen of the United States of America...

AGREE - I am a believer in the great American experiment.

HOPE - Democratic forms of government are difficult, and ours is no exception. To keep the American experiment alive-and-well, all Americans, including [most especially] our elected USA leadership team, need to continue doing the necessary hard work.

EMPATHY - The hard work requires agreement on common objectives through dialogue (e.g. achieving common vision on Civil Rights, Survival Basics - Food/Shelter/Clothing, Safety/Security, Healthcare, Education, Elderly Care...the "WHAT"). And dialogue can be mutually meaningful when all sides incorprate empathy.

So we should not be so casually dismissive of "what makes no sense on the surface" without looking under the surface and asking "why." As an example, for Under Represented Minority (URM) people in the USA, there is factual history of exclusion/oppression within recent memory. Today, real or perceived, URMs still feel this cloud of oppression hanging over our heads to varying degrees. And the severity of this feeling within each URM person will trigger a corresponding "act of survival" (predictability goes out the window when survival instincts are triggered).

WORDS - As an American citizen, born-and-raised in the USA, I can still feel the sting of being called/labeled FOB ("fresh off the boat" reference to post-Vietnam War refugees) as a child even though I am not of Vietnamese descent (a personal example). So a large amount of Mr Trump's campaign rhetoric over the past 12+ months definitely darkened the cloud of oppression hanging over my head.

ACTIONS - Now that Mr Trump is poised to become the 45th President of the United States of America, I am anxious to see how he will positively serve this diverse group of American people (ALL of us), so we continue moving forward as a country and be recognized as a global role model for how a country takes care of its citizens.


Why have Rom fallen?
The two most recognized 19-20th centuries researchers of Rom history (an Englishman and a Belgian-do not remember their names) had two different theories.
The Englishman believed that the Roman have become lazy, did not perform their civilian and military duties, and fell victims to their own German mercenary armies.
The Belgian entitled his famous work “Rom and Mohammad”; per him, Rom failed due to closing trade with the East, after Muslim army under Mohammad conquered large parts of Asia, North Africa, Asia Minor (present Turkey).
The Romans have been even denied access to papyrus to write their great books, since the trade with Egypt was closed.
Lack of global trading destroyed the great ancient empire.
Does this ring a bell now, about 18 centuries later?


I for one was taken completely by surprise at this election result. I suppose the nation will have the next 4 years to do some real soul searching, to reestablish trust among our diverse citizens and refocus on the spirit of tolerance and industriousness and innovation an art, and science... those things which truly make America unique and great. To turn those strengths upside down would be nothing short of self-destruction.

For those who did not vote for Mr Trump, it is easy to run toward feelings of fear and rejection. But far better for everyone to stay at the table and keep the conversation going, rather than to give up and raise hands in despair. Hopefully Mr. Trump, too, can learn to act more presidential and assume the role of responsible leadership granted to him by voters. Let him have his chance, despite the nasty things he has said during his campaign. He may learn, and so may we. We need to help him to learn and to influence him toward responsible leadership. His lack of experience should mean also that he will seek many expert opinions for advice.

At a time like this, we can take great relief to know that the USA is a nation composed of 50 different state that each hold very significan power individually and each represents a statistical sample in the great Ameican DOE. No single president can take that liberty away from us. The country was built on very solid foundations, that support th longest surviving continuous government in the modern world. Just think about that amazing phenomenon that we are still benefitting from, still growing and evolving with.


For the first time in my adult life, I am not a member of the Republican party. I changed my registration to Independent about a week before the election.

I have always thought of the Democratic party as the party that does things to make people feel good, and the Republicans as the party that does things to DO good, with “good” being judged by principles and values that don’t change with the wind every day. I felt like Republicans held a right to a moral high ground for this reason. They had clear goals, and constancy of purpose.

Obviously, I no longer feel that way.

Before I voted, I weighed the choice against my own personal ethical values. I decided that supporting a man who says and does the things that Trump says and does is an absolute wrong, no matter what. I could never vote for a man like that, for any office, under any circumstances. Representative Democracy means that the person you vote for represents you; you are endorsing their character and their decision-making process. Naïve soul that I am, I still believe character matters. That feels like a very lonely opinion today.

The fact that so many Republicans did support him, under the premise that Clinton is so evil, ANYONE is better (I heard many Trump supporters say this in interviews), does not resonate with me. The definition of ANYONE will not stretch that far for me, personally. And that thinking strikes me as mushy moral relativism, the kind of thing that I used to associate with Democrats – the whole “end justifies the means” thing. It’s disillusioning to hear it come from Republicans, good working people, evangelicals, etc. I feel like my whole reality has shifted. There’s no one I can count on.

Like George Will (one of my heroes), I did not leave the Republican Party, it left me.


The behaviors of a few in both parties are leading us down a path that is not healthy. The people of America were mostly given a choice of who to vote against because neither candidate behaved in an manner that inspired hope, tolerance, kindness, compassion, or sanity. I, for one, was left voting against one and for the first time in my voting life nearly missed the deadline dealing with my own internal anguish for my final decision. I still believe in the American experiment. I am neither Republican nor Democrat. Ask me where I stand on an issue and I will tell you.

Now I must balance my time and financial contributions to ensure venomous Republicans do not make a mess. For the last 8 years, I had to limit venomous Democrats from doing the same.

Conclusion: I must stay involved with politics and lead from below by encouraging those around me to behave in a manner that I feel is best for my country.

Burning my flag in my streets. Disgracing my cities. Destroying company and personal property and preventing me from living peacefully and comfortably is not helping me get any closer to the venomous Democrats and the media that is inciting them. I turned off my connection to network television nearly 3 years ago due to the poison emanating from my TV. I do not miss it and I will not support it. I now choose what topics I wish to research. My positions have changed little and I am far more motivated to protect my country from political fools than ever.

California Guy

Yes, the USA has 50 states, each state has counties, each county has cities, and each city has districts. So I told my child last night to continue "thinking globally and acting locally."

I re-registered as Independent over 20 years when I realized that none of the political parties had a major overlap with how I see things. I have to do more critical thinking because I want to vote my conscience, and it is totally worth it for me.

Raymond C Pineda

Thomas - I am still trying to process/understand the seeming dichotomy between my perception of Mr Trump as a negative role model and the good intentions of the many Americans who voted for Mr Trump to the Office of the President of the USA. This article's content is a good summary of how I feel.


In my view, the key divide between Dems and Repubs, between coastlines and heartland, is almost purely an economic one. For Dems, the social justice issue is a showstopper and tolerance takes priority over economic policy. For Repubs, it sometimes does not, and it seems like a distraction (since perhaps many people in the heartland or other rural areas have much less exposure to diversity of cultures). In fact both social justice and economic policy are equally important and they are inextricably interrelated.

In terms of economic policy the Dems are not exactly happy with the status quo (including for example globalization as an economic force that enriches ultra-wealthy people and ultra-wealthy multinational corporations at the expense of the working class) but they believe the benefits of the status quo outweigh the drawbacks. Many Repubs apparently believe that it doesn't, and (for whatever reasons) they chose to support the con-man who promises what he mostly likely will not be delivering. Sadly no one may be happy with what turns out ...but maybe I am wrong and I will optimistically hope that I will be proved wrong.

The thing about Americans is that at a personal level we are overwhelmingly very friendly, and that is not just an external smile. Family and community are hugely important. I like to recall that people are kind and caring on an individual level, though sometimes vitriolic in social or mass media. If Hillary Clinton failed in any way, it was a failure to reach out in a genuine way to the hearts of the people in rural areas. Sad but true. Perhaps we all should have recognized that much earlier.

Elizabeth Warren has an analysis and a stance that resonates in me, and I think others will see her position as representing what Americans should all be fighting for.

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