Accept, unite and move on to greater goals

Yatindra Bhatnagar

Now that Donald Trump, the newest leader of the Republicans, has won the election and is the president-elect of the United States of America, it’s time for the people - more importantly the very vocal, sometimes unruly, supporters of the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton - to accept the verdict, unite and move on to greater goals under the new, and of course, the untested leadership. Give them a chance, others had it. 

It is heartening to note that all the big media organizations such as the mighty New York Times in the East and Los Angeles Times in the West, and many in-between, finally admitted that their reading of public mood was wrong. They may or may not accept that their support to the wrong candidate was totally wrong but it’s also noteworthy that there is a widespread soul-searching in the media empire. Even the editors of the New York Times have acknowledged it. They, and the people, now know why Trump won, and why Hillary tasted defeat; what was right, and what was wrong all the time. LA Times admitted that “signs were always there” (but we didn’t care to read, realize and accept.)

However, there is no real and sincere soul-searching and admission of endorsing the wrong candidate. They keep on harping on their position, one way or the other, criticizing Trump for this and that, past, present and also in the perceived future. They are (like the LA Times) still giving disproportionately large space on their pages to the supporters of Hillary Clinton and for blasting Donald Trump. The other side is rarely seen.

It’s also wrong for a big number of Hillary-supporters to come out of even schools, colleges and other places to very vocally and aggressively demonstrate against the winner and still support the loser. To express their disappointment and feelings, to mourn and lament their loss is natural, normal, and legitimate. But there is a limit for everything. The media is adding fuel to fire with highlighting and justifying anti-Trump protest and unruly demonstration with burning of the effigies and photos of the president-elect. This is shameful, disgusting and unacceptable in a democracy, much less in this great country. Stop double standard!    

To keep chanting “Trump is not my president’ is wrong, futile, undemocratic and ill-advised. Some have expressed their strong opinion in filthy and unacceptable language also on the social media. That is not done. That is not the sign of a civilized society. That is not accepted from any person, group, party or leadership. This will not take the protesters anywhere. Imagine if Trump had lost and his supporters had taken to the streets – as some feared before the results. Would you have Okayed, tolerated or justified that? Never. Why a double standard now?

Why can’t some stop being a sore loser? Why can’t people who profess and vow for democracy accept that verdict? The existing rules and constitutional provision have given Trump the election victory and that has to be accepted by the leaders of opposition, the mainstream media and the common people. It’s pathetic that the retiring Leader of the Minority (Democratic Party) in the Senate, Harry Reid, gave vent to his frustration and has blasted Trump accusing him of all kinds of ‘crimes’ three days after the election result. It’s disgusting but what can you expect from this man! My fear is his comments will add fuel to fire.   

The protests and asking the Electoral College to switch their votes to Hillary at the formal and final vote by this “special voters group” is neither proper, fair, uncalled for or justified, logical and acceptable. In a game the losers don’t question, reject and protest the outcome and take to the streets to ask the referees to change their decision and overturn the result. To bolster their position, to start and continue with provoking slogans, obstruction of traffic, burning photos, holding people and normal life to ransom on the streets and freeways, and even in front of public offices, is a big disservice to the community and the country.

We know that at some places disgruntled supporters of a losing team adopt unruly and violent tactics but that behavior should not be repeated after the election verdict. You have the next game to win, the next election to sweep. In sports there are a fixed number of games in a season. In a political democracy the games are played more often, and for generations, to give opportunity to one and all.

Now the disgruntled supporters of Hillary Clinton have instigated and organized to collect a large number of signatures and petition the Electoral College to change their pledge and favor the Democratic candidate. They claim to have more than 2 million signatures.

What Hillary-supporters and her campaign could not do in the regular election they want to achieve through the back door. The petition to the Electoral College is on the wrong path and sets a wrong precedent. If the system is flawed, why didn't Democrats move to change it when in power? Clearly it's a tactic to start a different kind of movement and show 'head-or-tail-I-have-to-win' mentality. Nobody should fall for it otherwise it will ignite the other side and there will be a rival petition in favor of Donald Trump. You don't want to have a system of winning elections with petitions by the defeated candidate's supporters.

There is no other way but to accept the result peacefully, constructively, pro-actively, and, in an orderly manner, for at least four years.

In this case President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have to play their part quickly, carefully and effectively to end these political protests and restore political normalcy. They should exhort and appeal to their supporters to not give vent to their emotions in a wrong manner but instead to accept the results, move on and devote their energies for the greater good of this great country.

The work for those elected has been cut out clearly – the people expect them to deliver. But the responsibility of the people at large, supporters and critics of this party or that, is also very clear – do your duty, meet your obligations and play an active and constructive role in the huge task of nation-building. Keep a watch. A lot has to be done all around to make the nation safe, secure, strong and prosperous. The challenges are many, let’s face them together. 

11/12-19, 2016