Expect a wild ride with Trump

So, it really happened. Donald Trump apparently has been chosen by the electoral college to become the 45th president of the United States. If he really meant all those statements he made during the election, we are all in for a wild ride for the next four years.

Those of us who did not support him, and it seems more than 2 million more Americans voted against him than for him (that’s a topic for another column), are wondering just exactly how our nation might change.

Surely, we have nothing to fear from this man, who shortly after the election results came in, proclaimed that he will be the president of all Americans: Mexicans, Muslims, members of the LGBTQ community, even Mennonites, who surprisingly considered him the lesser of two evils. Thanks to all the evangelicals in this country, we now know how important the gospel is to our church leaders when it comes to attempts to exclude people different from us.

But I digress.

Trump has already shown he will defy convention in nominating many to his cabinet who don’t have any experience whatsoever in the fields they are tapped to lead. Why should we be surprised? The man has no experience he can apply to his new job either.

Take his pick for education secretary. Should we be concerned that Betsy DeVos has no background in education, is a strong proponent of charter schools and has donated millions to Republi­can political causes?

And, then there’s Dr. Ben Carson, the president-elect’s choice for director of housing and urban development. Should we be skeptical just because he has been quoted as saying he believes poverty is a choice? I think that it is encouraging that Trump chose someone to his cabinet who opposed him during the election. Before he became so presidential, The Donald would have labeled him a loser.

Several Kansans are under consideration for cabinet posts. Mike Pompeo is the choice for CIA director, and even Gov. Sam Brown­back is under consideration for ag secretary. We should be proud that we Jay­hawkers can potentially supply the brain trust that has worked out so well financially for our humble state.

Those of us who live in the center of the nation should also be encouraged that we soon could be much closer to the beach. If we ramp up our use of fossil fuels as the president-elect has vowed, and the climate continues to warm, we can expect much of the country’s lowlands to be covered with water.

Maybe Missouri will have some ocean-front property in the next couple of decades. Think Branson on the beach. Unless, of course, the melting polar ice caps are just a hoax, as many Republicans continue to believe. Our friends up north are likely just overreacting to the shrinking glaciers and rising waters.

Trump also promised that the border wall will be built in its entirety. Perhaps we should take the plan a step further and build a huge barrier that will keep hurricanes from crossing from Mexico into Texas. That could mean less humidity for us here in Kansas.

It is likely first-lady-elect Melania will not carry on the anti-obesity campaign of Michelle Obama. That means those pesky school lunch rules will go away, and we can all go back to stuffing ourselves silly without a care in the world. There is nothing more American than our right to walk around Wal-Mart in our sweats and slippers on a Sunday afternoon without others criticizing us or suspecting we are covering up our flab.

And, here’s more good news. When Mr. Trump sends all the illegal immigrants packing, we will no longer have to stand in line for those sought-after motel maid, roofing and landscaping jobs that have been taken from us by those willing to work harder for less money. We will have many more opportunities to pick fruits and vegetables and pour concrete in the hot sun.

Perhaps conservatives will finally be able to rid the country of the Affordable Care Act and all the paperwork that has tied up the healthcare system. We can expect efficient, cheap, high-quality medicine to blossom if the ACA goes away, can’t we? On Medicare or Medicaid? No worries. Republicans are going to come up with a much better plan.

Remember, some in the new cabinet believe poverty is a choice. Homelessness must also be a preference, right? People are usually on welfare because they don’t want to work. The elderly surely make a conscious decision to get cancer or Alzheimer’s disease.

And speaking of choice, the president-elect will probably have the opportunity to nominate more than one Supreme Court justice during his tenure. Roe v. Wade could finally be struck down, and abortion doctors could be sent back to the alleys and makeshift clinics where they belong.

So far, Donald Trump’s election has been great for the stock market, which is soaring to record highs on the hope that he will be more amenable to fat cats and bankers on Wall Street. It’s been years since they precipitated that little recession thing that happened in 2008. Why not let bygones be bygones?

Most importantly, we no longer have to teach our children and grandchildren to be civil to one another. If there is one thing this election has taught us all, it is that we can feel free to say what we want to about those who are different from us.

Apparently, from now on, it’s the American way.

Bob Woelk teaches English and journalism at Hillsboro Middle/High School. He can be reached at woelk@embarqmail.

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