Yeas, nays for Trump
On the day after Tuesday’s presidential election, the outcome drew a mixture of yeas and nays from politically active Kansans.
Saline County Republican Party Chairman Clarke Sanders said voters wanted change when the nation voted for the Republican Donald Trump-Mike Pence ticket Tuesday.
“People were tired of the establishment. They were tired of the establishment of Republicans, tired of the establishment of Democrats,” Sanders said.
“We talk all the time about change. This is the guy who can bring about change.”
Former Saline County Democratic Party Chairman Phil Black said he didn’t want Trump to be the next president.
“But he will be. We’ll take an accounting of it in four years. Some folks I have talked to are just so upset that they can’t get past it. But they are going to have to,” Black said.
Also disappointed with the election are members of the LGBT community.
Equality Kansas Executive Director Thomas Witt said Vice President-elect Pence has a long and ugly history of bigotry and intolerance.
“I am sure he is going to be using as much influence as he can use in the White House to push that bigotry and intolerance on the rest of the country,” Witt said.
He said marriage equality is constitutional law.
“I don’t see the U.S. Supreme Court not only not willing but unable to take it up soon,” he said. “The number of years it would take for another marriage case to get to the Supreme Court, I think you could measure it in decades.”
He said executive orders from the Obama administration, particularly dealing with gay rights, are at risk.
“As far as ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell,’ that’s statute,” he said. “I do not see that as a fight Congress will want to wade itself into.”
The danger to the LGBT community will come in the form of even more aggressive religious objection bills, he said.
But that could change with new House and Senate members.
Had a feeling
Randy Duncan, Republican Party chairman for Kansas’ 1st District, said he was optimistic of a Trump victory weeks before the election, despite polls showing Democrat Hillary Clinton leading.
“I just had a feeling. As we got closer, I thought, ‘The national polls aren’t right.’ Donald Trump is a winner, just like in the primary,” he said.
Salina City Commissioner Trent Davis said barring a world war, the election will not materially change the lives of most of those who feel that they, not just Mr. Trump, won something big.
“Trump’s personal gain will not quickly trickle down to solve the daily frustrations that have carved despair, misdirected anger, powerlessness and hate into the faces and behavior of those yearning for any change, anywhere they can find it,” he said.
“Similarly, those who feel they lost something Tuesday night need only look deep into their heart. The passion inspired by a dream, a particular social change, or whatever got them involved politically in the first place, should still be there.”
He said in any contest there will be winners and losers.
“What’s great about our American democracy is that a ‘loss’ does not get you kicked out of the arena of participation. The smallest voice can wield influence and invite compromise. The mettle of your conviction is tested when you have to work hard to achieve your dream,” Davis said.
Duncan said Trump cracked “that blue wall,” getting voters in traditionally Democratic states to cross party lines to vote for him, he said.
“He was underestimated from Day One. Established Republicans thought he was a flash in the pan; that he would be in and out in a month or two,” Duncan said. “It’s an amazing story. He rewrote the Republican playbook.”
Duncan was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, where he supported Ted Cruz but ultimately cast his vote for Trump.
Black said he wants to see a smooth transition from one administration to the next.
“We don’t want to do what we feel like was done to us when (President Barack) Obama was made president, that we recognize the most important part of all this, is that there is peaceful transition of administration of the government,” he said.
Black said that while the 2016 presidential campaign appeared negative, unscrupulous campaigns date back to 1800, when John Adams ran against Thomas Jefferson.
“Those guys had some real contentious, nasty, nasty races, calling each other sons of a prostitute,” Black said.
Adams’ men called Vice President Jefferson “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.”
“It was just really bad, but the transition of government was peaceful,” Black said.