The president of the United States of America is now nearing the midpoint of his term. What this nation witnessed during the 2016 presidential campaign was a successful effort by a political party to put forth a candidate patently without the historical qualifications to serve as our nation’s leader. They brought forth a racist describing 11 million undocumented immigrants as rapists and drug dealers. They asked us to vote for a sexual deviate with a validated history of violating women both vocally and physically. They endorsed a man of great wealth gained in part through his adroit manipulation of our bankruptcy laws. They endorsed a religious bigot who would bar Muslims from entering our nation because of the actions of a miniscule few. The ultimate irony is that we found ourselves installing as president a candidate who received approximately 3 million less popular votes than his opponent.
Many of those among us who are lifelong Republicans had no doubt in our minds as to the character shortcomings of the individual who has become our president. Despite our concerns, in our land of democratic governance, candidate Trump rightfully won the presidential election . In retrospect, it is fair to note that because of his great wealth he was able to personally finance almost totally his self-promotional campaign for his party’s nomination. His total lack of respect for the other candidates also seeking the nomination will long be recorded as dark history in the annals of presidential campaigns.
Two years later President Trump, despite valiant efforts by his various campaign managers to remake his public image, retains the same personality shortcomings he possessed before assuming office. Therefore, a legitimate question remains as to how much of his current public media persona is a scripted attempt basically an attempt to cover up of what he has shown of himself to our nation and the world to date?
It is also appropriate to note that President Trump has tapped a deep reservoir of anger and fear within many Americans who understandably feel betrayed by both parties. It is fair to point out that those on the left neglected our broader citizenry as well. For example, nearly 60 percent of our population was systemically ignored within our educational system when career and technical education became second fiddle to the notion that only a college degree was a worthy goal. Many others were sold a bill of goods that if they worked hard, took care of their families and served their communities, they would experience economic and social stability. Little did they know those at the top would focus on a financial bottom line and grow rich at the expense of the dreams of conventional American citizens.
These same political liberals made their own situation worse as they focused on expensive, dependency-creating programs offered in silos trapping many families at the survival level. The ultimate bottom line is that winning is losing when solutions are based upon the extremes of either political party.
Those who yearn for the restoration of dignity, knowledge and respect within the political arena need to step forward to accept overdue full responsibility for the nomination and election of our elected leader. Let us hope patriotic Americans of both political ideologies learn from their recent complacency. Let us pray they will reach out to each other in mutual respect and rise above demeaning adversarial political conduct. Despite their philosophical differences, may they pledge to work together to once again create balanced governmental policies administered by esteemed leaders serving all Americans and strive to restore our nation’s historical domestic dignity and international respect.
Richard A. Johanson of Clovis is chair emeritus of the Fresno Business Council and founder of Johanson Transportation Service.