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Tuesday, November 8, 2016
The new American hero
Leesa K. Donner
It could be said that our nation has long been defined by its heroes – from George Washington to George Patton and every single one of those brave individual Americans in between. They are the ones who fought the good fight and won the wars, the ones who created a country of power and greatness the world heretofore had not objectified. But this election has brought to the forefront a new American hero, one who has endured personal violence and defamation, witnessed unspeakable collusion in once trusted government agencies, and made a loud and salient point that will never, ever be silenced.
That collective hero who stands in the gap for the disenfranchised, marginalized, alienated, and excluded American is none other than the Trump voter.
This hero has been subjected to organized violence at political rallies now made demonstrably clear by the WikiLeaks emails. They've been harassed and called vicious – dare we say – deplorable names, not to mention the breathtaking collusion among the president of the United States, his political hacks at the Justice Department, and perhaps even the FBI. The sustained endurance of this hero and his unwillingness to sit down and shut up when told have been nothing less than inspiring.
Much has been said about this election, decrying it as hideous and repulsive, with enough rancor on both sides to last for eternity. And while that may be a valid perspective, one could also make the case for this being a deeply soulful stirring of the hearts and minds of American men and women in search of true liberty.
As this campaign for the presidency comes to a close, a couple of stories stand out as nothing short of inspirational. Sunday night, the Trump campaign – running three hours behind – finally showed up after midnight in the tiny town of Leesburg, Virginia. Upon their arrival, thousands of cheering enthusiasts, an undeniable throng of supporters, greeted them with signs and shouts and even children raised above the crowd on the shoulders of their parents. The sense was that these people weren't going anywhere and would have waited until 3:00 AM for that Trump plane to land.
Another is the report from North Carolina, where the Trump campaign office had been defaced. Open-carry folks came out to protect the property from further violence. God bless those Second Amendment people.
So today, dear hero, as you head to your local poll and sit in that private booth or behind the curtain, as you cast your vote for an albeit imperfect but good man, I stand and salute you. The outcome of this election could ultimately prove what John Stuart Mill's classic essay "On Liberty" presciently points out: "… there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them[.]" But it should be said right now that these American people will not politely and quietly succumb to the tyranny of majoritarianism. And if, perchance, the good does prevail, then the brutality and intensity in this most righteous of battles will have been worth it.
Either way, this new collective American Hero has a calling to rise up and fight on.