One week later and the dust still hasn't settled. It will probably take quite some time for the affected world (oops, I guess that's probably just about everyone) to understand what happened on November 8th; to understand how a man who derides just about every form of humanity and makes no bones about letting it be known, will step into a space hallowed by individuals known for dignity, their desire to do unto others and at least some modicum of moral integrity, and become the leader of the free world.

But we have no choice. Just as elsewhere in the world, the American people, at least a great many of them, have made it quite clear that they want to reclaim, what they feel was taken from them, whether a job or a way of life.

How fitting that all this drama has taken place on the threshold of the Thanksgiving season. Turn the clock back a few hundred years. Let's consider the story of the Native Americans, the indigenous population of the American continent that was certain that the land they inhabited and cultivated, the land where they raised their children and lived their lives, was one hundred percent theirs.

And then what happened? A wave of immigration. Remember? A whole bunch of white people arrived from the British isles and various points across the European continent. We call them pilgrims in an attempt to erase their immigrant identification and give them a more glamorous, "founding fathers" kind of image, but they were actually, bona fide, immigrants! And although some were there because of wanderlust, an attempt to explore the globe or new avenues of trade, most were running away from religious persecution, intent on finding a better life in a place where they'd be able to live without oppression: a life of opportunity. Sound familiar?

Well, we all know how that story ended, but today it seems relevant to consider how it played out. It's pretty clear that those Native Americans felt cheated by the fact that these immigrants were taking their food, their land and their livelihood; frustrated that, in no time at all, these new arrivals had established a pretty fine looking life, shrinking their piece of the pie to virtually nothing. Dial up to 2016. The Native American tribes that still exist hold deep-seated resentment regarding a wrong that can never be undone: one long tale of having everything taken from them. (See: Dakota Access Pipeline.) Not a pretty picture.

One of the facts coming out of all the ink being spilled analyzing the results of this presidential election is that the Rust Belt population feels quite like those Native Americans: frustrated and indignant at the fact that others--no matter of foreign or national origin (the Coastal Elites apparently being especially irksome)--have had the nerve to move forward and prosper while their lives disintegrate. Years of production, all of that activity that actually made the United States so great!, have been reduced to a memory--people dedicated to the building and maintenance of a nation are now left to fend for themselves without the industries upon which they depended.

Into this muddy picture stepped Mr. Trump with his vow to make America great again, targeting precisely that population that lost the most over the past decades, moving from center stage to the wings; thoroughly marginalized. He made promises to those who'd gone from being America's bread and butter to its throwaway crusts and, not surprisingly, they took the bait. On November 8th the Rust Belt population roared, making it clear that they were "mad as hell" and "not going to take it anymore."  

And so, they chose a wretched, undeserving figure who despises most everyone but himself in order to bring change. Change no matter the cost.

Well, as Garrison Keillor so aptly wrote: "Boy, are they going to get it." Yes indeed! Just look at what's been unleashed!!! Those who chose change, ignoring the true nature of the man in whom they were putting their faith, have placed all of us, both Coastal Elites and Middle Americans, Southerners and those from the great Heartlands, in not only economic, but, even more significantly, moral peril. The fiber of society that was already stretched to the breaking point, now threatens to unravel completely.

Fine. They made their point. But that same population is going to soon realize that life in Middle America cannot be restored with empty promises and an anti-establishment stance; that new opportunities will never come from resurrecting outmoded technology. Just as the Native Americans could not compete with the tide of advancement, including intellectual, societal and technological improvements, brought to the Eastern Seaboard in the 17th century, no part of America can stem the current tide of hi-tech innovation with its replacement of human effort with the mighty microchip.

So. Now what? What's the plan for this post- 11/9 (how eerie) world? While those in Washington, D.C. scrape together a government (apparently more challenging by the day), the American people have to roll up their sleeves and get to work. This effort begins in the classroom with a serious effort to educate our children about the many different people that populate the greater United States, much as we have, for years, educated them about the multiplicity of cultures abroad. For while the internet has opened up the world to billions, it's neglected to foster true awareness and appreciation of what's right here at home. In addition, the American people are going to have to start embracing the enormous contribution of the immigrant population, characterized by brain power, a serious work ethic and genuine dedication, that is part and parcel of our country. Not for nothing has American been, for centuries, known as the great melting pot! And most urgently, we're going to have to stop the wretched culture of hatred that, although seeping out between the seams for quite a while, has finally broken the dams and is presently running unchecked.  

Fact is, we've got quite a serious mess to clean up. It's time to dig deep, look inward and tap this country's multiple national resources. When you start from zero, every step forward is a gain.


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