It’s 3 a.m. Wednesday as I’m struggling to understand, like many of us, what happened with the election of Donald Trump. The candidate who is best defined perhaps by his book, “The Art of the Deal” defeated the candidate who is also best defined by her book, “It Takes a Village.” These books represent accurately two radically different philosophies.
“The Art of the Deal” clearly reflects a zero sum, winner-take-all philosophy of “I win, you lose” as the benefit of competition.
“It Takes a Village,” in sharp contrast, clearly reflects a “win-win” philosophy of cooperation which recognizes that the single-party best, can be the enemy of the two-party and larger nation good.
In sum, the election was a battle between the supreme value of individual freedom in itself for the individual and incidentally benefiting the village, and the mutuality value of seeing the individual as existing more naturally in community (my own value) for the mutual benefit of the individual and the village.
Both views are compatible with the larger value of American pluralism which recognizes that we are a democratic republic and there is no one single absolute best way to either organize or govern a society as diverse and complex as our own. The only enemy of a democratic republic is tribal absolutism, which prevents all voices supporting this form of government from being both represented and heard.
My take is that Donald Trump won because his supporters and the supporters of Bernie Sanders were part of the same larger “left behind” wings of both parties. Sure, Bernie supported Hillary, but the enthusiasm wasn’t strong enough for Clinton among his left-behind supporters versus Trump’s left-behind supporters. These wings of each party rejected the business as usual approach of leadership in both parties, and the party with the least unpopular candidate won.
Maybe I’m wrong, probably not.
Tom Murphy