Sunday, November 13, 2016
By Stephen L. Wilmeth
I remember exactly where it was.
My granddad and I were parked on the eastern slope of the Little Mulies waiting for sunup. The pickup was running and the heater was winning the assault against cold air from outside. Soon enough we would face that cold, but, for the moment, the magic of a November sunrise would dominate our attention. Little was said as the crimson glow grew into a crescendo of light and a spear of direct rays exploded over the Treasure Mountains thirty miles to the east.
Over the next seven to eight minutes, the magic of the predawn display emerged as a new day. It was to be a day of a hunt that was matched with the smells of cured grass and juniper berries, the sound of rocks rolling, clear visibility that only New Mexico mornings can produce, and a shared day with the single man most influential in so many things that would endure for my lifetime.
I don’t remember what all was said, but the impression of that particular sunrise left me with a permanent preference for early mornings. It isn’t any one particular thing. It is the combination of all the senses rolled into a cacophony of impressions. All the subsequent days might not have been good, but, left in unitary suspension, mornings have never failed to offer me hope.
Kate was tossing and turning at 2:30 AM, Wednesday, November 9, 2016, when she finally announced she was going to go face the reality of who our newly elected president was. We had avoided the TV all Tuesday evening with its tedious, unending negativity toward the candidate of our choice. So, there we were just before the witching hour clinging to each other with dread of what we expected to discover. Certainly our mood was affected by the overwhelming bias of the American press from nearly all quarters.
In the hour before, I had dreamed in dreary stupor that Mr. Trump had triumphed. The conclusion was the result of murky logic in the kaleidoscope of unconscious thought. At least it seemed logical. Standing there waiting for the outcome, though, cast suspicion on any such expectation.
When it came, the message left us suspended between disbelief and elation. Mr. Trump, President Trump, our choice in what we view as the most critical American election, prevailed against the combined forces of the Establishment. It wasn’t just the Democrats who were expected to crucify any Republican candidate and it wasn’t just the press that has become the real loser in this entire sordid affair of deceit, gross incompetence and bias. The most perplexing antagonists were the Republicans who had demonstrated they really don’t understand the destructive implications of our country’s condition. They would rather “focus on a campaign (their) families deserve” than support the candidate the constituents of their party selected to become their leader.
We all had to wonder what that meant.
What were the issues of concern for their families? Was it the looming $20T debt they seemingly play tiddlywinks with? How about the homage they pay to a sitting president that has gotten everything he has been programmed to destroy by fully funding his ambitions? Was it the continued, bombastic display of offense they project through a litany of political transgressions and constitutional fornication they crow about but can’t fix? The list of those offenses can no longer even be arrayed because of the frequency and the expansion of horrors that have been heaped upon our nation. One has run into the other, and all they seem to be able to accomplish is pass continuing spending resolutions and schedule committee hearings.
Name one, ONE, committee hearing that has led to resolution.
The Republican family dog fight started with the Bush bunch. They were offended by the street fighting, and, besides that, coronated little brother, Jeb, was stiffed by the sweaty minions.
Former puff ball candidates McCain and Romney joined the crew of the jeering peanut gallery. The former in his own foul mouth, womanizing prominence and the latter in his holier than thou inability to actually fight for this country. McCain’s little South Carolina buddy didn’t catch any fancy in his quest for presidential glory so he started throwing spit wads at the process, and the list of fair weather conservatives followed his lead and added their voices. Ohio governor and presidential sore loser Kasich put self and family ahead of country and simply couldn’t understand the stupidity of the American voters for not sending him and all his important bureaucratic experience on a golden charter directly into the White House. Idaho Senator Crapo was next. He was offended by the bad words. He had never smoked much less cussed behind the barn. New Hampshire’s Senator Ayotte could no more utter a bad word than she could pass up the latest spending package.
Sally Jewell’s sister separated at birth, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, announced with authority that the Donald had “forfeited any right to be nominated” even though the tax paying subjects had tallied more primary votes for him than any candidate in history. Maine’s Susan Collins displayed her underlying communistic tendencies by vowing “to write in someone else”. Alabama’s stately governor, Bentley (the Forgetable) “cannot, will not vote for Trump” as did his state’s Representative Martha Roby. Ohio’s Senator Portman was going to do the really novel thing by voting for Vice President Pence and Utah’s incessant congressional talker, Jason Chavitz, vowed to vote against the Trumpster before he grimaced with a gas pain and concluded it best to vote for the Trumpster.
And, then there was the distinguished gentleman from Wisconsin, House Speaker Ryan, he who had never signed any business check on the front side before becoming the ruling cheese head from the great north. His instructions were for Americans to “vote your conscience” as he disappeared into a white out to prepare for his speaker duties.
With such leadership, is there any wonder self, oh, I mean family honor is elevated above unity and party function?
The dawn of Wednesday morning was like the retrieval of that dawn of so long ago on the side of the Little Mulies.
Our street fighter had won, and we stood there clinging to one another in near disbelief when incredulity gave way to exhilaration. Our emotions ran the gamut. Maybe there will be relief for us. Who knows? Maybe we can make plans for future capital projects on our federal lands ranch. Maybe we can actually structure opportunities for the succession of our children into the business. Maybe there is hope for Constitutional revival, but it comes with no real leadership from the Republican system. It is going to take a street fighter with a constitution of steel that has been absent in the hierarchy of the golden thrones of this party.
That character, though, does exist. It exists down here in the muck and the mire of the real American world and in the mind and the soul of one Donald Trump.
Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Despite the concerted effort otherwise, … We, the people prevailed.”,