A gray rain started to fall around 11:30 this morning. It was under that meteorological condition that Mr. Trump became our new president. I have no choice but to wish him success to a degree, for if he utterly fails then our country fails. However, his interests are not my own, and for the sake of many of my friends, I wish his success in pursuing those interests to be limited.
Mr. Trump, in my opinion, does not have the experience to lead our country internationally. Whether you agreed with Mr. Obama’s policies or not, they were measured and thought-out. I see no evidence that Mr. Trump can have measured responses to international incidents, and that is my biggest fear from his presidency. I wish his cabinet good luck in helping him learn to make those measured responses.
Provided Mr. Trump does not start a new World War, my personal chances of surviving his presidency are excellent. This is not true for a handful of my friends and friends-of-friends, at least one of whom I know has been in the process of getting their final effects together, expecting to lose their insurance coverage and subsequently their life.
Mr. Trump will not significantly impact my health insurance. I am a healthy, middle-aged individual with insurance through my employer. However, I have been considering what it might take to start my own business and strike out on my own, possibly with camera in hand, and I may be more hesitant to change jobs or even careers should the proposed changes to our health insurance laws take effect. But I know people who will now find health insurance harder to get or be denied insurance altogether. I wish my transgender friends the best of luck in this regard, especially those who are just discovering who they are. The pitfalls are many, and I fear that the holes will be dug deeper rather than be filled in.
Mr. Trump may fatten my wallet. I don’t really need my wallet to be fatter. I may want it to be fatter — I know very few people who would say otherwise — but I do not need it to be fatter. Whether due to Mr. Obama’s policies or due to my own growing up and becoming more fiscally responsible, the past 8 years have seen stability in my bank accounts. Others have not found this to be true, however. My neighbor has been out of a job for most of the Obama presidency, and he was a floor manager in a factory. Mr. Trump may find a way to return manufacturing jobs to America. However, most experts agree — and my own eyes confirm — that the future of American jobs is not manufacturing. The relentless advancement of automation is the main reason why this is so, not trade policies or lower-waged jobs oversees. These jobs will be illusory, and there will not be many of them. To those people looking, I wish you well in finding them, and I hope that Mr. Trump succeeds in this regard. Know, however, that this success will be temporary, and prepare you and yours for the days ahead when it is service, not industry, where the jobs lie.
I have seen people critical of millenials for wanting free education. I understand those criticisms, but think they are misguided. I now receive free warships and bombers and the bombs to go with them. Don’t get me wrong; I do realize the importance of national defense. But I would rather sacrifice one of those ships — and I believe it would only take one — and use that money to providing that education to people. That, to me, is a more long-term investment in the future of our country: it will train people for the jobs that we will have in the next 15 to 20 years, rather than relying on training them for the jobs that we have had for the past 50 years but are now disappearing.
I don’t fear the police, but I know people who do and have reason to fear. I can sympathize and support, but I will never know. I have more friends of Latin-American descent than of African-American descent, but I wish both communities luck in dealing with the police community. And I wish the police community patience in dealing with people who might fear you.
I have many Jewish friends. At least one family has seen swastikas sprayed throughout their town. This is not something I have to fear, and is not something that I would blame Mr. Trump for directly, but his personal policies do seem to embolden those who represent the worst of our society. Would that the police would pull over any white, bald-headed male that they see and inspect their cars for cans of spray paint; then that community would know somewhat — a small somewhat, but a somewhat nonetheless — of what it means to be profiled by the police.
And so evening falls and night comes. I shall sleep, and when the sun rises tomorrow it shall be little different for me. Expect to see pictures from Valley Forge National Historical Park, for the photography group there has an outing tomorrow. The gentle rhythm of the rising and setting of the sun will not change in the next four years, and the pastel paintings of sunrises and sunsets will continue. There is beauty in this world when you look for it, and I will continue to be out there in search of it. And I would urge all of you to take a moment to stop, consider, and understand everyone that you meet. Understanding is the foundation of love, and in love there is beauty. And in beauty, there is peace.