My Post-Election Thoughts

Michelangelo David

The consequences of this election are undeniably huge. Those of us who see our world as a family and our environment as a trust, and who believe that the measure of a society is how it cares for those in need, can be sad in this defeat. But the voters have spoken. I hope we all do our best to accept President Trump, pick up the pieces, and carry on. This morning—mindful of our mission to help America “keep on traveling”—I reassured our staff that, as things become darker, our light becomes brighter. Together, we will shine our light with more energy than ever.

To paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr., the moral arc of our world is long but it bends toward justice. As travelers engaged with our world in all of its diversity, we contribute to that arc. It’s a long haul, but I have confidence that that arc will bend in a way that is ultimately right.

Comments

42 Replies to “My Post-Election Thoughts”

  1. Thank you, Rick for your wise words and I also strongly agree! The power of international travel to open minds and hearts and build compassion and understanding among our human family is undeniable. We do need to keep shining our lights and bend that arc.

  2. The consequences of the election are huge. There is no reason to be sad. Those of us who see our world as a family understand that some times even family members behave poorly and cannot be trusted to be fair to others. Consequently, we have to set up a proper vetting process to make sure that some of our family treats the rest of us with the dignity and respect that we all deserve. Those of us who see our environment as a trust know that some of us, though well intentioned, may not understand how the climate and the economy work and thus may misuse government power to prevent the vast majority from using labor saving and clean energy, thus impoverishing us and causing more hardship than necessary. Also those of us who believe that the measure of a society is how it cares for those in need understand that charity begins and ends with the individual reaching into his or her own pocket and spending his or her own time to help others, and that using government force or the threat of force to make the vast majority of us do what a few political elite desire is not charity nor is it helping those of us most in need.

    Steve, quit insulting people who you disagree with politically. We all agree on those issues, though some of us are wiser in how to effect them. Bigger government is not the answer. It is, in most cases, the problem.

  3. I feel today like I did when I was sent home sobbing from my 5th grad class in November 1963. That sadness, that numbness, that loss.

  4. “Steve, quit insulting people who you disagree with politically. ”
    I wonder where is the insult. Rick insulted no one. He just expressed an opinion long held, exactly like how you have. Isn’t that what freedom is all about, express and accept the other side.

  5. “I wonder where is the insult. Rick insulted no one.”

    Actually, it is quite easy to find the insult. When you say that your political side “sees the world as a family,” “our environment as a trust,” and “believe that the measure of a society is how it cares for those in need,” you imply that the other side does not. Sorry, but both sides does. And, so I gave it back to Steve by insulting him with comments that the other political side does care about those issues….but they are smarter about fixing those issues than his political side.

  6. Rick, thanks so much for your words….when many of us have no words at all.
    I will continue to be an ambassador of tolerance and respect to all I meet abroad…what ever

  7. Rick always takes the high road. If we had 25 million more like him the world would be so much better place.
    Trolls are everywhere, but he never takes the bait. You have to respect that.
    Don’t go into the gutter with trolls. Be like Rick

  8. “Be like Rick.”

    No. I will not insult, directly or indirectly, people who I disagree with politically. Trolls are everywhere. They name call and insult because they cannot make logical arguments supported by evidence.

  9. Today’s L.A.Times pointed out that although Trump gained the 273 electoral college votes necessary for the election, his actual numbers of “real” VOTES were two hundred thousand fewer than Hillary’s. Her votes totaled 59,814,018. His totaled 59,611,678.

  10. Rick,
    Thank you for your forward thinking, positive perspective.
    As always, your intelligence and good will are inspiring…and of course, we will keep on traveling!!

  11. My takeaway from this election. I have always traveled with my parents and as a parent. These experiences have allowed me to see the world as a very diverse and complex place. I think many of the people who voted for Trump have not been able to view the world in this way. I feel the more we experience other cultures,we will grow less fearful and more inclusive.

  12. I agree with you Rick. Thank you for finding such gracious words to express what many of us are barely able to articulate today.
    And the dissenting voice here, sir, you are entitled to your opinion and don’t have to quit anything at all. Because, well.

  13. Thanks for this post Rick, and the opportunity for everyone to share their thoughts on the frankly shocking outcome of Tuesday’s election. It’s a devastating time for those of us on the opposing side. But it’s still more troubling to see these strong emotions tear us apart even further, driving people into the street to riot, set fires, and further fan the flames of discontent with their words. This only serves to further escalate feelings of fear and anger, to build the kind of divisiveness we so need to avoid. This may not be the outcome many of us were hoping for, but it’s happened and we have to find a way to work through it together. We’ve long known that not everyone sees the issues in the same light. That will never change. But remember, we’ve been around for 240 years and we’re still kicking. Neither party can win every time, as Obama so eloquently pointed out yesterday. Whatever the future holds, we’ll have to figure out how to work through the outcomes together. Isn’t that a big part of what this country is supposed to be all about?

  14. Thank you Steve for making the world a better place by promoting travel abroad and, most of all, by enhancing understanding of other cultures. Please do not stop shining the light on how wonderful the world can be if we all work together. You will always have my vote.

  15. I agree with you Rick. I hope that I am wrong and the rights of gays, minorities and women will not be taken away. I hope that we can treat each other with dignity and respect but as you can tell from some that doesn’t look like it.

  16. Rick,

    You act as if this is some major shift in America’s differing viewpoints, when in fact, this division has been with us for some time. As for someone overwhelmingly carrying the popular vote, every election is this close. In order to find a time when the winning candidate carried the popular vote by more than a 10% margin, you have to go all the way back to the 1980’s and Ronald Reagan. Let’s just all rally behind OUR PRESIDENT try to improve the lives of all Americans for the better.

  17. The election results were not what I wanted, but I am grateful to live in a democracy where everyone gets a vote. Veterans Day is tomorrow and I hope that Clinton supporters, Trump supporters, and those who supported neither Clinton nor Trump can find a way to honor the men and women who serve our country and keep our democratic way of life in tact.

  18. Greg – well said. Thank you.
    Karen – Buck up.
    Jeannie – popular vote may change- still 600,000 votes to be counted in AZ, her lead is such a slight margin, law of the land is electoral vote…accept it.
    Sean- passive aggressive tone is right on!
    Eileen – I have traveled more than 33% of the world and visited 618 cities from the tip of Chili to Bora-Bora to the rice fields of China, the Ganges River in India, to Machu Picchu in Peru and have experienced and appreciate the diversity of our world. I am a female who is a sr citizen with 2 years of college and have lived a full life. My reason for supporting Trump is to make a BIG change in our governing powers…was he the best candidate…probably not…but I did not want to see Hillary represent me or our country ever again! She can now get out and work hard with the Clinton foundation to make this a better world although without her powerful position I imagine the foundation won’t be pulling impressive amounts of funds as they in the past when she was Secretary of State.
    Scott-2 thumbs up!

  19. Thank you, Rick! I love the idea of a moral arc and the world moving toward more justice over time. It gives me hope that indeed we can move forward and create a better world for all. I am sad that Hillary did not win but I hope and pray that President-Elect Trump will be a President for all of us.
    Judy B
    Atlanta

  20. Too funny. All of you remind me why I stopped watching the news about a year ago. Ignorance is bliss.

  21. To all those who feel disappointed with the results of the election, now you know how many voters felt after the last Presidential election outcome. Everyone has survived with the current elected person because of the checks and balances afforded us under our Constitution.

    Everyone must realize this is still a free country and its citizens vote for who they want in office. Either way, Presidential elections occur ever 4 years so there will be another chance to vote.

  22. Thanks for your post. It is very difficult to have any hope at all after the dismal results of this election, but I will try.

  23. Dear deplorable
    As I believer in our constitution, I respect your opinion but would request that the discussion be kept to the facts. I have read Rick’s blog several times and do not see where he equates Trump with Hitler. Also, there are large protests going on but the vast majority are peaceful. There has been some violence on both sides, including harassment of Muslim students by Trump supporters.

  24. “I feel today like I did when I was sent home sobbing from my 5th grad class in November 1963. That sadness, that numbness, that loss.”
    Me too. Our nation has lost the opportunity for a wonderful president. My heart hurts.

  25. To all the lovely people I met on the last 3 trips to Europe I want to apologize for assuring you that the people of the USA are smarter or saner than to elect DT as president. I met people from all over the globe on my last three trips during this election campaign and have spoken with many many travelers and European residents about this election. Only one person wanted to see this election outcome and that person was from Russia. Is that curious? I am really sorry that I led all these people into a false feeling of security.

  26. Sara- This is Eileen C. I glad that you have had the opportunity to travel the world. I wish that for everyone. However I respectfully disagree with your position. I think Trump won for 2 reasons. 49% of the voters think that he is going to fix the economy and change policies that are biased toward other groups. 1.Economy- Trump keeps saying he is going to bring back steel and coal- not going to happen. We need green energy jobs and we know how Trump feels about the climate. Trump wants to fix the economy by aligning with Wall street and financial institutions. These groups don’t support workers. Also most of Trumps products are outsourced to other countries. How is that supporting American jobs.
    2. Inclusiveness- When we travel we see a world that doesn’t always look like us. But we also see that all these people from these far away places want the same things as us, a safe place for their children and respect. I wish all Americans could understand that the United States is big enough for all of us. When we work together nothing can stop this nation of immigrants. As Hillary Clinton said, “We need to build bridges not walls. So Sara keep visiting new places, and as Rick Steves says-“Keep on Traveling”

  27. I think that the new administration will do far more for minority communities with creating jobs and creating much better schools in those communities so the deserving children can get a good education and be able to make real choices in their futures than the current administration and the promised Clinton administration would have done. Every four years the democrats get the minority vote and make grand promises but ever since 1964 the outlook economically and educationally for minority communities gets worse and worse. It is time to have an open mind and give the new administration a chance. I heard just as much contempt for individuals from Clinton as I did from Trump. They both did not do well so lets see what happens. The democrat promises of inclusion have been long on words and short on delivery. So let’s see if the republicans will do what they promise. As far as the world is concerned I have traveled with and without Rick (its more fun with) but don’t agree with his view of the world. I think the world is at it’s best when the USA is at it’s best and minds abroad can change if we are inclusive while at the same time we fix some of the mess that recent administrations have gotten us into.

  28. I, along with other conservatives collectively freaked out when Barack Obama won in 2008 and again in 2012. The left is now doing the same with Donald Trump. But I never said “he is not my president” With Mr. Obama. Whether I liked him or not, he was and still is my president. In January Mr. Trump will become the new USA president and all should show the same courtesy and respect to the office he’ll hold.

  29. I expected more enlightened and thoughtful responses from such a well-traveled group of people. But maybe we have all expected too much of each other. Imagine being one of the millions of people who our new president has spent the past 18 months demeaning and insulting. Try to have a little compassion for those of us who feel that our neighbors have so little regard for our safety and well-being. How do you put a smile on your face and carry on when so many in your own country don’t value your contributions to it? This was not just another election. It’s not about left or right, it’s so much more. I feel sad that so many people don’t see it.

  30. So you state….”the moral arc of our world is long but it bends toward justice’… AND YOU SUPPORTED HILLARY?! Do you believe in equal justice under the law? What a freaking hypocrite!

  31. All,

    I’ve read all these comments several times. I think there is another point that is not well understood about the election.

    First, 44% of the eligible voters did not even vote. Why didn’t they vote? Why have they given up on the system?

    Next, Trump was basically elected by the 28% eligible voters in America’s heartland and southeast (1/2 of the 56% who did vote). These are poor people who cannot feed their families. They are so poor that they send their children to work instead of school. They hate everything because of their conditions. They feel hopeless.

    They have given up on the system and voted for change, even if it is possibly bad change. To them, any change may be an improvement. They wants jobs. They want to feed their families. They want a future.

    I suspect that none of us are in this situation. We all have the ability to travel and enjoy the world.

    While we are planning our travels, we need to be thinking about viable solutions to the problems of the heartland. Economics moved the jobs out and they won’t be coming back.
    We need creative solutions that help them and help our future, like a solar industry.

    There has got to be long term creative solutions that will address these issues. The politicians have not and will not so it is up to us.

  32. The outcome of the election did not surprize many here in Pa . Personally my surprize was with the low voter turnout given the high interest and huge resources expended .

  33. What I take away from your comment is that maybe Americans should not place so much reliance on government–whether close to home or at the Statehouse or in Washington. The heartbeat of our people can be found in our communities…and we need some closer contact here, with our neighbors from different neighborhoods, to restore our nation.

    As a ‘Reformed’ Republican, I can buy into a lot of your values. I don’t see Ms Clinton’s loss as a loss for any of those values. I see it as the failure of my adopted party to hear Bernie Sanders…and particularly the deafness of the ‘aspirational’ Clinton family to buy into the working class roots of so much of the Democratic party and to address their needs. In eight years, President Obama didn’t show much of his ‘community organizer’ days either. How long were ‘average people’ to wait?

    When I read your prescription, I am reminded of the great ‘Ricknik’ photo of you and Gene Oppenshaw “keepin’ on truckin'” on your post-grad tour! I will be ‘keepin’ on truckin’ with your blog in the time to come!

  34. I’m very concerned about the abnormal cranium growth I’m seeing in recent photos of Rick. I’m no M.D., but I am aware of some of the side effects from the abuse of illicit pharmaceuticals.

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