Happy Camper or Bitter Winner

I went to bed election night at around 1 am pretty confident that Trump was going to win the election. Out of the remaining five states, just about any two were a path to victory and Trump was leading in all of them.

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Jenny and I had decided to go camping despite the big night. After having pulled two back to back sixteen-hour shifts, I wanted to get away. My work let me take an extra day off in addition to my normal mid-week days off. We took full advantage of it. Jenny had wanted to go camping for the duration of our marriage. We did camp out in a friend’s back yard, but that didn’t quite count. It was very important to her and I had just not made it a priority until now.

I woke up Wednesday morning to Jenny’s good news. “Trump won the election, Scotty!” She told me eagerly.

“Oh.. well that’s good,” I responded without surprise. She had woken up several times during the early morning and finally the curiosity prompted her to look up the results. She was certain that I wouldn’t mind being woken up with the good news. She was right, but in addition, I had gotten very good sleep from the cool night in the tent. I started the fire and we had our breakfast and coffee.

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It’s no Kerig, but it’s still coffee campfire 

I hadn’t been running around telling everyone who would listen that I thought my candidate was going to win in the weeks and months prior, but when asked, and I was asked many times, I gave the same answers: “Yes, I think Trump will win and I’m not even worried about it.”

Some would respond with, “I hope you’re right,” others would laugh at me and proclaim that Hillary was going to win in a land slide. Of course I wasn’t 100% sure. Unlike those who laughed at me, I knew I didn’t have a crystal ball.

Earlier election day a friend called me and asked me the question. I responded the same way. He replied, “But the polls show that Hillary is up by a healthy margin, there’s no way Trumps going to win.”

“It’s not like the polls have always been right you know. They were wrong in Reagan’s first election… I know that’s going back a while…” I explained. I also told him about the Facebook followers and rally crowd sizes but that didn’t phase him. He was convinced Clinton was going to win. “Well if you’re right, then it’ll be the first time you’ve been right this whole campaign” I stated. It wasn’t entirely true though. He had told me Cruz would win Texas and he was certainly right about that.

“It’s too bad I won’t be able to get my steak dinner” he lamented. We had made a bet on “the wall.” He bet me that not one foot of the wall would go up. He was convinced that it was all campaign talk.wp-1479933051004.png

Throughout the post election day I kept updated even though I was supposed to be camping. Jenny was very understanding. I watched Trump’s victory speech which was very graceful. I watched Hillary’s concession speech. It was equally graceful and I felt for her loss. Finally, I watched President Obama’s speech which at first sounded ok, but as I watched had seemed to be an attempt by him to insert himself into relevance. I watched most of these right before Jenny and I went fishing. Even though the State Park had just stocked the pond with six hundred catfish and we were using large worms, we caught no fish. I had extra energy to burn off and fishing wasn’t doing it for me. I hoped that hiking would help. I checked my phone for updates on what was happening with the world. Some news source video clips on YouTube now were titled, “How Trump Won” and “What Trump needs to do now.” I was incredulous. These same talking heads have been wrong all this time about so much and now they wanted continued as if they had any credibility.wp-1479933054785.png

Now, when Donald Trump announced that he was officially running for the presidency, I was laughing with everyone else. I felt sorry for his expanded ego that I fully expected would be deflated in a matter of a few short weeks. Jeb Bush was leading in the polls and was the likely nominee. I wasn’t crazy about it, but he didn’t have a bad record and I was preparing myself for that inevitability. Then Trump’s ranking in the polls rose until he rivaled Bush. That’s when I started paying close attention. I was impressed, and I haven’t underestimated him since then. Yet for the duration of the campaign, I had to put up with an onslaught of confident forecasters of doom as they were proven wrong time after time. Furthermore, these same erroneous prophets pranced forward with new prophecies with as much confidence as if they had been spot on the entire time. I had tuned out most of them both on YouTube and Facebook. It was the only way I was going to retain my sanity. I had six reason why I thought he would win and I shared them when asked, but I’ll save that for another post. Click here

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Our hike included a walk across a water bridge

As we walked the two and a half mile trail, I lost my signal. I had only brought my phone with to take pictures. Jenny had also brought hers too. I should have left it. I was so upset at these people for being the wizards of smart while being so wrong that I couldn’t think about anything else. The hike did help, but I had a difficult time enjoying the fact that my candidate won. This wave of incredulity hit me and I wanted those who had been wrong the entire time to eat humble pie. Before the election started I was preparing myself in the case that Hillary won. I wasn’t quite sure if I would be apathetic or sad and depressed. I jokingly told people that if she won that I would stay until the civil war began. Then I would move to Chile in South America. I really thought that eventually the idea of secession would begin with Texas and several more states would join. What an absolute humorous surprise that an exact opposite reality presents itself today. California wants to secede. Well they can take their one-hundred and twenty some billion dollar debt, add their share of the national debt, and take it with them as they leave.

The rest of the camping trip was better as I relaxed and enjoyed the outdoors. Today, a Trump victory is the gift that keeps on giving. I am no longer a bitter winner, but just smile like I did through the campaign because, even though I don’t have a crystal ball, I’m pretty sure I see the future and that future, ultimately, is much better than the last eight years.

See also

Trump Presidency: Year One  (A dire prediction)

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The hot coals of our camp fire made a face

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