Whether a question or a statement, we have just witnessed a seismic change in the American psyche and political landscape. It is both stunning and shocking and what you make of it will depend on your personally held core values and beliefs. The voice of the “silent majority” has been heard and the challenge now is to lead and manage change in a peaceful and productive manner.
Those of us who have been around for more than 70 years can recall a different United States of America that once felt more united than divided. If there is a will of the people to work together for the common good, the hope is that we can have “ a nation, under God…..a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (Lincoln’s Gettysburg address conclusion.)
We are blessed to live in a democracy where the voices and votes of people make a difference and whether you agree or disagree with those voices and votes, the outcome of prevailing sentiment has been declared. How it all shakes out in leadership and change remains to be seen. What is clear is that the majority of people in this country are tired of politics as usual and they want a different kind of leader whom they believe will be more responsive to their needs and interests.
The virtual disappearance of the middle class, education, mounting national debt, global trade, taxes and tariffs, big banks and multi- national corporations, jobs, health care and governmental regulations make up a laundry list of concerns. The majority of Americans believe their interests have been ignored by their elected and appointed leaders. What people want is someone they believe they can trust to act on their behalf and to change the direction they think the country has been headed.
What happened is a peaceful revolution and a dismantling of the status quo and it happened in a democracy where voices and votes determine the outcome. What happened is both an end and a beginning. What happened, in the context of an uncertain future, sets the stage for a cast of new characters and a script that remains a work in progress, unread and untested as to how it will be received.