Tags Posts tagged with "President-elect"


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By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

However devoutly to be wished, the election results concerning the next President of the United States of America are not yet known. Nor will they be for a good while, it would seem, as the avalanche of mailed ballots needs to be counted and recounted for accuracy. The suspense and anxiety remain.

What can any one of us do?

For starters, we do the obvious. We wait. As adults, we know we don’t always get what we want when we want it, and that goes for the political world as well.

This year, 2020, will be known as the year we all waited. We are waiting for a vaccine to save us from COVID-19 too. But while we are waiting, there is a lot we can do.

First, we can calm ourselves down. It does no good to hurl accusations and invectives at each other for believing differently. We are, for better or worse, all Americans, and we will be moving forward from here. As to how we can calm down, I suggest (and it may seem ironic) that we watch and listen to less news. One or two good and brief news reports a day should do nicely. My own preference is CBS News at the top of the hour on my clock radio first thing in the morning and PBS News Hour or the BBC in the early evening. I stress “early” because I don’t want the news to be the last thing I hear before going to bed.

As for the rest of the day, besides the daily efforts to keep life going — from brushing one’s teeth to doing our best job at work and at home — we can use our energies productively instead of shouting into a void. We can make a big difference on a local level economically and socially. We can donate food, and perhaps even time, if done safely, to local soup kitchens and food banks.

We can also donate unused clothing and even furniture through the offices of local houses of worship. We can spend a little time on the phone, calling those we love who live elsewhere in this large country, and those who live nearby but are elderly and don’t get out much, to keep relationships vibrant and perhaps share a laugh or two. Sometimes people just need to talk with someone who will listen in order to feel better. It is a merciful thing just to be willing to actively listen.

We can shop locally, especially at this holiday time when store owners depend on revenue gained during the last quarter of the year to keep them in business. By and large, those store owners and their employees are also local residents and the first ones to underwrite educational and sporting events for our children and funds for community betterment. If we don’t want to go indoors because of the risk of contagion, we can call in to the store or restaurant and the merchandise or orders will be brought to the curb. Or we can call and ask what precautions are being taken to ensure safety within a store: masks, social distancing, hand sanitizing and so forth to help us decide if we feel safe there. Together we form a tight community and look out for each other.

These are all pretty obvious, but we need to be reminded, especially when there is so much noise abroad. And I will further share with you my personal ways to escape the tumult of our times. Thanks to the marvels of technology, I think of my children and grandchildren as being in the computer room, in a way, where we Zoom with each other regularly.

And I regard my smart TV as a temporary replacement for the plays, musical performances and other cultural events that have of necessity been put on hold.

Netflix and other services allow talented actors to hang out in my family room, available with their performances at the mere flick of a switch. At the moment, I’m watching “Outlander,” a love story couched in time travel. Being transported to a different time can remind us that people have had their challenges whenever they have lived, and by and large survived them.

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Horrible acts are now connected with the name of our President-elect Donald Trump. Yes, I’ve heard the counter argument that these acts would have been committed anyway and that the media — yes, the cursed media — is overblowing and overplaying them.

Or, is it?

My question to the president-elect is: “Why haven’t you been more forceful in showing disdain, disappointment and disgust over these acts, whether or not they might have happened even if you weren’t elected president?”

Is he worried people might think he’s being politically correct? Does he think being sensitive to others, paying attention to circumstances in which bullies run rampant or, worse, commit violent, harassing or illegal acts is a sign of weakness?

He has an opportunity to lead the nation. We owe him that, just as President Barack Obama and the defeated Hillary Clinton have said. He will be the president and, as such, he will have the attention of a world ready to react to every word he says.

Why, then, can’t he say how horrified he is by these acts? I heard that he indicated to CBS’ Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” that he wants people to stop. Really? That’s it? That’s the best a man who never seemed at a loss for words can offer?

He should tell those who commit hate crimes that he will come after them with the same fury and attention that he promised to send home illegal immigrants. He should make it clear that he, his administration and this country will not accept teachers who suggest they will send African-American children back to Africa, among other intolerable words and deeds.

Of course, Trump can’t be responsible for the actions of everyone in the country. But, he can and should lead by example. He can set the tone, making it clear that no matter who else he appoints to his administration or what those other people may have done or said in the past, he is the president and he has a zero-tolerance policy for the kinds of hateful actions people are committing in his name.

The media has a job to do. Reporters shine light in areas where there might otherwise be darkness. Even if the president-elect doesn’t like the news as he reads it, he can do something about what’s being reported instead of blaming the media for sharing bad news.

Even buying into his argument that nothing has changed since his election, he should push for change, for opportunity, for freedom and justice for all, and not just for those who elected him.

Look, I get it: I’m a huge Yankees fan and it sickens me when my team wins and some other Yankees fan acts out against the fans of an opposing team. I can argue that real Yankee fans wouldn’t do that and I can say, “Stop.” But the future president of the United States can and should offer more.

You want people to know they can’t connect your name and your presidency with hatred, then make it clear that you won’t tolerate it and that this is not who you are — and it is not the America you will be leading. Our president-elect had strong words for his opponents in the primaries and for his vanquished competitor in the general election. Where are those strong words now that some people in the country are acting in ways contrary to the principles on which this nation was founded?

Please, Mr. President-elect, take this moment to address those elements of this country who seem to define and justify bad acts in your name.