This post is my proposal for Resetting the American Dream in a Good Way.
Part 1 is a summary of the current data related to President Trump’s election and approval, and how I make sense of this data as someone who has been Post-Partisan since before I was a Woodstock-attending teenager in the 1960s.
Part 2 is how I view The American People’s Great Hidden Mandate of 2017 in light of that data.
Part 3 is my proposal of a first significant step toward Honoring the People’s Mandate.
PART 1: The Data & How I Make Sense of It as a Post-Partisan
The final election results are in. They’re described by The Cook Political Report, whose mission is to provide independent, non-partisan analyses of U.S. elections: http://cookpolitical.com/story/10174.
A) THE VOTE TALLIES
** President Trump won the Electoral College vote by 77,744 votes. He primarily accomplished this through Electoral College votes in three swing states: Wisconsin, Michigan, & Pennsylvania.
** Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote nationally by 2,864,974 votes. (HRC: 48.20% vs DJT: 46.10%). This was out of a total of 136,628,459 votes cast.
** Only 5 US presidents have won the presidency via Electoral College votes without also winning the popular vote. Three in the 1800s and two in the last 16 years: George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
B) THE VOTER FRAUD QUESTION
** In 2014, a 200 page report that was issued by the “Bi-Partisan Presidential Commission on Voting Administration” concluded that voting fraud in the U.S. was so tiny as to be insignificant.
** Thus far, no compelling evidence has been made public that indicates this report’s findings are no longer relevant.
** No solid evidence has emerged thus far that “3-5 million votes were fraudulently cast” (as President Trump contends), let alone that fraudulent votes are responsible for having given Mrs. Clinton the popular vote victory.
C) THE “VOTER MANDATE” QUESTION
** Less than half (48+%) of eligible voters across the United States voted in this election. Based on this, only 28.3% of eligible voters actually voted for Mrs. Clinton and only 27.1% of eligible voters actually voted for Mr. Trump.
** This means that neither Mr. Trump nor Mrs. Clinton received anything even remotely resembling a “popular mandate.” In contrast, President Trump has asserted on numerous occasions that he is indeed acting in accord with popular mandate.
** President Trump entered with White House with the historically lowest approval ratings ever for a just-inaugurated President. He continues to have record high disapproval ratings compared to his predecessors.
D) THE “METHOD OF ELECTING” QUESTION
** The United States remains the only major democracy in which national political leaders are NOT elected by the popular national vote.
PART 2: The American People’s Great Hidden Mandate of 2017
Here are my interpretations of these results along with my beliefs about their implications.
A) President Trump did not, by a longshot, receive a “national mandate.”
B). The fact that MORE THAN HALF of voters did NOT vote for EITHER of the two main Presidential candidates in this last election indicates to me that massive numbers of voters were not enthusiastic enough about either candidate to vote for one of them… AND that massive number of voters likely did not believe that voting for either candidate had a reasonable chance of positively impacting our current extreme political dysfunction.
C). I believe this means that the vast majority of voters, regardless of whether they voted, believe that our political system is profoundly broken, and that the vast majority are not sure what to do about this… or even if anything can be done about this.
D) The record high disapproval ratings that President Trump continues to have about his handling of his role as President says to me that even though there were enough people who want radical change in Washington to have gotten him elected, not nearly enough approve of how he has thus far been going about doing this, overall.
E) A case might be made that the ways the mass media have been covering the Trump Presidency has been significantly influencing this negative public opinion. A case might also be made that some of the Executive Orders, and some of the direct remarks made by President Trump and a number of his key spokespeople since he became President, are what has been most significantly influencing this negative public opinion.
F) Either way, I believe that the most important thing right now is to focus our attention on how extremely disenchanted the vast majority of Americans are with the profound dysfunction in Washington, because downplaying this will water down the likelihood that the substantive changes that the majority of citizens seem to want will actually occur.
G) I further believe that the continuing attempts to deal with Washington’s profound dysfunction by further fueling ideological extremism and hyper-polarization will produce is yet MORE dysfunction, instead of moving us toward the Constitutional & Governance Reset that I believe the majority of citizens know is needed. More divisiveness will not give them that they want.
PART 3: Resetting the American Dream
For all these reasons, I advocate a different change path. I advocate that We the People insist that a Great Dialogue be convened among wisely selected conservatives, progressives, libertarians, greens, and others, who are capable of and dedicated to “both/and” thinking, principled discussion, psychological-mindedness, and collaborative synergized solution creation. (In selecting the term “Great Dialogue” I’m drawing on President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” initiative of 1964.)
I advocate that the Great Dialogue’s mandate be to develop proposals for pragmatic integrated solutions that can best accomplish a Constitution-Centric Power Reset for restoring effective collaborative governance, citizen self-responsibility, and business social responsibility… in order to establish a cultural climate in which we harmoniously thrive as a diverse society that actively participates in co-creating a thriving peacetime economy that preserves personal freedom while nourishing the common good.
I further advocate that this Great Dialogue to Reset the American Dream be facilitated by one or more top experts in collaborative synergistic problem-solving (instead of mediators who facilitate compromises). Part of this might be accomplished through utilizing the Reconciliation Roadmap I’ve previously illuminated.
I view what I am advocating as a 21st Century parallel to what President Truman did after the end of World War II, when he convened a group of people in business and governance with the task of coming up with a plan to keep our economy growing in peacetime while minimizing the chances that what happened in Nazi Germany could happen here. I discussed this in my TEDx Talk on The Hijacking of the American Dream.
Bottom line:I believe that President Truman had the right idea but that he implemented it in a faulty way. The people he assembled in the late 1940s unintentionally generated a version of the American Dream whose devastating unintended consequences play a massive role in having helped to create our current social and governmental dysfunction. It’s time to reset that faulty dream in truly good ways, and to do this reset transparently this time (unlike in the 1950s, when that version of the American Dream was developed and installed covertly). This, I believe, is one viable way to help initiate an authentic and truly healthy version of Making America Great Again. This path is a noble one for Turning Our Turmoil Into Transformation. If not us, who? If not now, when?