Tuesday, January 10, 2017

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: What's Important

As we approach the inauguration of Donald Trump as the
new president of the United States, there is an unusual
preoccupation with the individual and personality of this
businessman from New York City, and it exist on both sides,
that is, those who voted for him and those who did not.

This preoccupation is quite understandable considering the
unprecedented nature of Mr Trump’s candidacy, both his
extraordinary success, his verbal controversies, and the
passions, both positive and negative, that he aroused. It has
already been pointed out by others that much of the divide
is not so much ideological (since Mr. Trump’s ideology is yet
so undefined), but more whether he is taken literally (as do
many of his opponents) or not (as do many of his supporters
who were looking for a champion to deal with their concerns).

Of course, it is inevitable that such a strong and volatile
personality that Mr. Trump projects will be a major focus of
public attention, but I suggest that as his administration
begins and takes the wheel of governing, we turn our attention
also to the issues and problems the nation as a whole faces,
and which frankly are bigger than Mr. Trump’s personality
and his Twitter account.

Incidentally, those who want President Trump to cease and
desist from twittering, I think, will be disappointed. It was a
a tremendously successful communications tool for him
during the campaign, and enabled him to speak directly to
voters without interference from a hostile media. It can also
be a useful tool for him as president. That does not mean all
of his Twitter comments were correct or laudable (I criticized
several of them during the campaign), but as I previously
pointed out, it gives Mr. Trump direct access in the same
manner that President Franklin Roosevelt achieved with his
periodic and now legendary fireside chats; and photogenic
President Kennedy achieved using televised press

There will now be a reset of many domestic and foreign
policies. They will include tax reform, a new healthcare
program, redirections in education, immigration, defense
spending and alterations in our international relationships.
Most of these changes will come as a result of discussion,
negotiation and compromise between the new president
and the leaders in the U.S. house and senate. Democrats
will, and should, be part of this process.

As I have mentioned so many times, and others so much
more knowledgeable than I am about technology have
predicted, there is a new world unfolding, not far ahead of
us, but right now --- under the feet of our daily lives. This
new world brings with it many benefits, but also problems
and unintended consequences which should concern us ---
all of us, whether we are liberals, conservatives or centrists.

The shock of the 2016 election should now give way to less
emotional considerations than our disappointment or joy
about who won and who lost. National elections will follow
in 2018 and 2020 --- soon enough to pass judgment on what
will now soon take place.

Copyright (c) 2017 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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