COMMENTARY: THOUGHTS ON THE ELECTION AND A TWO-DOLLAR BILL
I’ve always liked $2 bills; I use one for a bookmark. TJ is on the front and the classic vision of the signing of the Declaration of Independence is on the reverse.
I was looking at it last night and wondered what those rich, white guys might think about the rich, white guy that is the President-elect. For that matter, I’d like to know their thoughts about the woman Presidential candidate who lost to him and the sitting President, a black man.
Barack Obama could not have voted until 1870 and Hillary wouldn’t have been eligible to vote until 1920, almost 150 years after the D of I was signed.
I suspect that very few of you who receive this email voted for Donald Trump. So far, ten days after the election, I have yet to talk to anyone who said they voted for him. We live in tribes these days.
I was in Denver on the night of the election at the annual conference on Environmental, Sustainable and Impact investing. Attendees were gratefully distracted during the day and excited as the polls closed, but then the mood quickly changed. Disbelief, sadness, fear and grief reigned as the state maps changed from blue to red. We cried, we hugged, we speculated, we drank.
The next day we knew that instead of having our first woman President, we would have a shockingly uninformed and undiplomatic billionaire as our country’s leader. We wondered how America might change having a President and Congress (and soon the Supreme Court) whose values differ from ours. Most disturbing was the knowledge that almost half of American voters chose a candidate who made so many offensive statements and used fear and hatred of other Americans to rally his supporters.
A wonderful column by Ailene Voisin in The Sacramento Bee offered a quote that mirrored my feelings. Greg Popovich, the outspoken basketball coach of the San Antonio Spurs said, “You thought you lived in a country with certain values held in esteem, then you find out those very values aren’t very important to half the country.”
I was also at the same conference in 2001 when 9/11 happened. Back then the speakers and attendees also provided support for one another and vowed to move forward. If I could not be with my family, there was no more wonderful community to be with in times of supreme stress.
As the grief subsides we must deal with the reality of how we cope and what we can do next. This New York Times op-ed article by Nicholas Kristoff is worth a read:
Lots of people have been asking me what I think will happen with the stock market. My answer, as usual, is that I don’t know. I suspect that President Donald Trump (get used to that phrase) will do lots of things that won’t make sense, but the stock market often acts independently of political policy and economic actions.
The next national election is two years away, but we can still vote with our dollars and our time. How we invest, contribute and spend has an impact. These actions support the values that are already under attack well before Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.
This commentary is for educational purposes only and are not intended to contain recommendations or solicit sales on any specific investment. Opinions expressed in my commentaries and my website do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization mentioned.