Reflections on the Election bis

Donald Trump
The President-elect of the United States

The tone of my first reflections on the 2016 general election, written before voting began, was hopelessly smug and made unwarranted assumptions. I assumed that the data we had at the time were true and that it was pretty likely, though hardly certain, that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election and that the Democratic Party would retake control of the Senate. To quote a former governor of Texas dispatched early in the primary season, “Oops.”

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Reflections on the Election

Statue of Liberty
Credit: Celso Flores

America will shortly limp across the finish line of the 2016 general election. This has been an unprecedented campaign season, and no matter whom you support, no matter whether you are an American or a concerned friend of America abroad, I am sure you will not say that it went well or that it reflected well on America.

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Editorial: Trump’s Dangerous Speech

Le Peril Juif

If you have not read Donald Trump’s speech from yesterday, you should. It’s the kind of speech that made the grandparents of us American Jews keep packed suitcases in the closet. It turns out the reason Mr. Trump is on the verge of an historic defeat is the international financiers and media elite who meet in secret with their candidate, Hillary Clinton, to plot the destruction of American sovereignty so they can bleed the country dry. I’m going to reprint a long excerpt, but you really should read the whole thing:

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This Is Not A Drill!

Great Seal
Don’t Panic!

First, to those of you abroad who are friends to America. Don’t worry! We are a strange country filled with strange characters. But our wise founding fathers bequeathed us political institutions that have proved surprisingly strong for more than two centuries. For now, thank goodness, it seems highly unlikely that Mr. Trump could win a majority in the electoral college, and if the worst happens, we have institutions designed to check a wayward executive, and with the strength, under the Constitution, to do it if necessary. True, Republicans in government and in public life will have to find the courage to stand up to the candidate who, apparently, is the choice of the majority of the members of their party. But I am hopeful that many will, in the end, be on the right side of this.

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Chief Justice Gants’s Remarks to the Islamic Society of Boston

As a counterweight to the Trumpism that I decried in a recent post, I want to draw your attention to a speech that the Chief Justice of our Supreme Judicial Court, Ralph Gants, made at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center. The Chief Justice reached out to the ISBCC and asked for the opportunity to address the congregation. His speech is short on flashiness and long on American (and Massachusetts) values—a great response to much of the nonsense we’ve had to hear recently on how the United States should treat its Muslim citizens. Well done, Chief Justice Gants!

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See Something, Say Something: Letters Blogatory On Trump

If you see something, say something

Readers abroad, you may not have heard the phrase, “If you see something, say something.” It’s something we here in the U.S. see all the time in public places and on trains and at airports. The idea is that if you see an unattended package on a seat in your train car, let the conductor know. This idea is part of the response to the new threats we face in the post-9/11 world.

I want to put the saying to another use today. We’ve all read about Donald Trump’s recent outrageous statements. (more…)

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