Consent of the Governed

It seems that we will be having a President Trump after all.  I read an article that was claiming that the United States has become the laughing stock of the world after the last election, and I felt like it was missing the problem with this leadership entirely.

I don’t care that we’re a “laughing stock” around the world, because I don’t think we need their approval for how we run our country.  If you let petty thugs push you around with mean words and jeers, you’ll never be an independent person, and that is just as true on the international level.

But I do worry for the future with leadership like this.  Our President needs to lead everyone, not just the part of the country that voted for him.  He’s said he wants us all to “unite behind him”, but it’s not our job to fall in line.  It is his job to inspire us to follow his lead.  Explain how this plan of yours benefits us, how it will be implemented.  This President-elect was elected on the back of some of the most divisive public positions, and offensive opinions, of anyone in recent history.  I’ve done my best to understand what is appealing about him.  It seems like he’s interested in getting the working class back to work, protecting our industry from foreign competition using unethical and unsustainable means of production, and fixing or eliminating the problems of healthcare reform and the Affordable Care Act.  Those are things I can get behind.

But this man and his administration are openly hostile to nearly everything I care about, and finding anything to appreciate about him is difficult because of his prejudices.  If it turns out he only said those horrible things to get elected, he won’t be any different than any other politician.  I do worry that the tenor of his leadership is already very aggressive, and the people he inspires are more likely to do ill than do good.

I don’t care if the rest of the world, who do not live here, do not approve of how we lead ourselves.  I do hope our leadership will be someone I can approve, or at least tolerate.  I said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s not my job to fall in line behind you, it’s your job to convince me to follow you.  Our government was founded on the idea that our leadership rules with the consent of the governed, and there’s a whole lot this particular leader has promised that I won’t consent to.

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