John P. Smeekens
Outta This World Order
It is one week after the 2016 presidential election has come to a close. Donald J. Trump has been elected to be the 45th President of the United States. There is a major divide in our country at this time. Secretary Clinton won the popular vote by over a million more votes than President elect Trump. By the time this paper comes out we will see if the Electoral College votes to install Trump or they throw some kind of Hail Mary pass.
Tensions are high. World leaders and American citizens are anxious about the radical change Trump has declared he will bring to bear. Every day since the election there have been protests around our country. There have been citizens that support Trump, some, seemingly unconscious of the irony, waving the Confederate Flag, telling the protesting citizens to get over it, you lost.
There are backers from all sides saying we need to come together behind our President-elect and give him a chance to get the job done. Often I have heard people say that if Trump fails- all of us fail. I anticipate that anyone reading this article would want our country to prosper, not fail. I certainly do not want it to fail.
I am heartened that the Millennials and Generation Z dove into the democratic process with tenacity I had not seen before. Yesterday, I watched 14 year old high school students protesting and marching in Washington DC. Gives me hope that they will stay involved and strive to become the leaders they want to see run this country.
I was disheartened by people that voted third and fourth party candidates as an objection to the two party system. If you want more than a two party system, it needs to start well before your candidate loses his/her primary. And perhaps if Independent Bernie Sanders had held true to being an Independent instead of running Democrat, this would no longer be a two party system. Let that sink in.
I am always dismayed by the eligible voters that do not vote. It’s hard to have a government claim it is by and for the people when almost half of them do not vote. We must give urgent attention to determining why this happens: is it disinterest? Lack of time, transportation, childcare? Voter suppression?
As Americans we like to see our republic as the highest form of democracy and one to be admired around the globe. We’ve been fighting for it and seeking to create a more perfect union for over 200 years. Now the world is starting to look at us like we are the crazy uncle whose stories you suffer through at family dinner, while the others roll their eyes behind his back. Only this uncle is armed for Armageddon. Let that sink in.
President-elect Trump has promised to be the president of all Americans, “drain the swamp” and ‘bind the wounds of division.” Currently, President-elect Trump is choosing his transition team and cabinet. So far they do not look like promising outsiders or unifying leaders that he told us would bring about positive changes. Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff? He is a Washington insider and the chairman of the Republican National Committee. White Supremacist Steve Bannon for Chief Strategist? At the time of this writing the Secretary of Labor has not been named. That job is intended to protect American workers and worker rights. But the names I see that are being considered for that position have a history of a much greater allegiance to protect employers and not workers. To a large chunk of society the potential cabinet and presidential appointees are notable mostly for their racist, sexist, and homophobic views and for being often a politically inexperienced crop of wealthy white people.
Oh yeah, and there are media reports that he wants his kids to have top secret security clearance. Anybody else remember the audacity of First Lady Hillary Clinton trying to shape universal healthcare in the nineties? And my goodness, Michelle Obama telling us to exercise, wearing sleeveless dresses and showing her arms! Arms, I am willing to bet, every woman over 50 would love to have. How did we get from there to here? Here being where the next First Lady, Melania Trump, has plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speeches, posed naked for a magazine and lied for years about having a college degree. Here being where we elected a president that bullies and brags about sexually assaulting women, makes fun of disabled people and slews vile comments about immigrants, veterans and women.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I did not vote for and do not look forward to Donald Trump as our next president. He will be my president regardless of my disdain. I love my country and honor its constitution. The constitution gives me freedom of speech and freedom to protest and I intend to do both. I will continue to promote and vote for the politicians that I believe have the best interests of our postal jobs and my belief system.
I can’t speak for all postal employees, but I need this job. No matter who postal employees voted for, we had better come together and be vigilant about job security, wages, benefits, and safety. We had better police our elected officials and their appointees. We better pay attention before we lose our great gig. After all, Mr. Trump does not believe in paying his own employees.
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The 480-481 Area Local maintains offices at 810 Livernois in Ferndale, Michigan 48220 and represents all APWU members in the following USPS installations: Almont, Allen Park, Anchorville, Belleville, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Brighton, Carleton, Chelsea, Clarkston, Clawson, Davisburg, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Fair Haven, Flat Rock, Garden City, Grosse Ile, Hartland, Hazel Park, Highland, Keego Harbor, Lake Orion, Marine City, Marysville, Michigan Call Center, Michigan Metroplex, Milan, Milford, Mt. Clemens, New Baltimore, New Boston, New Haven, New Hudson, Novi, Oxford, Pickney, Plymouth, Pontiac, Port Huron, Richmond, Rochester, Rockwood, Romeo, Romulus, Royal Oak, South Lyon, South Rockwood, St. Clair, Sterling Heights, Trenton, Union Lake, Utica, Walled Lake, Warren, Washington, Waterford, Wayne, Westland, Willis, Wixom, Wyandotte and Yale.
The Union office is normally open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday and the telephone numbers are (248) 543-3262/3263/3264. The 24 hour number is (248) 543-3262. FAX: (248) 543-2750.