The excerpts below are from two speeches that bookend our thinking about the recent election of Donald Trump as President Elect of the United States. They are from two very different historical leaders, spoken 104 years apart from one another.
The first is from a speech in 1857 by the ex-slave and Abolitionist's leader, Frederick Douglass, during which he said:
"This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both".
"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.... Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others."
The second is from an excerpt of a speech given by former General, and then President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. In his farewell address to the nation in Jan 1961, he said:
"(W) e can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions."
"This conjunction of an immense military establishment and large arms even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society".
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist".
"We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
The recent appointments by President Elect Trump of so many former generals and other military personnel to his cabinet or as special White House Presidential Advisors prompted our quote from President Eisenhower.
Shortly after the announcement of the election results we also watched and listened to several persons who were protesting the election of Donald Trump. When a TV reporter interviewed some of them, in response to the reporter's question whom they had voted for instead of Trump, many of said they had not voted at all; others, for one of two third party candidates.
We thought, WOW!
THE historical facts are that several people were injured, some killed during the 1960s, simply for trying either to register or to actually vote.
Then there are others opposed to Trump who blamed his election on "Russian hackers" and James Comey of the FBI public disclosure that Hillary's private email server was the continuing subject of an investigation, but that no unlawful wrongdoing had occurred by her that rose to the level of a potential federal prosecution for a breach of "national security" arising from her disclosure and/or transmission of "classified documents".
There have now been more recent additional post election assertions by the Democratic party and Hillary Clinton's campaign, that in spite of Trump's receipt of more electoral votes, that Clinton received almost three million more popular votes therefore, she has been "popularly elected POTUS"; and, the Electoral College should be abolished.
Finally, Democratic Party leaders and their supporters in the Media assert that Trump only won because he courted and organized white nationalists and racists in those States in which he won greater electoral votes in the Electoral College.
Rarely, if ever did we hear or read from any significant media or Democratic Party source make any reference to the distrust, and unpopularity of Candidate Hillary Clinton among substantial segments of the voting public. Additionally, none of the establishment leadership of the Democratic Party in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Cambridge, MA, Martha's Vineyard, New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, could conceive of the realistic possibility that Hillary Clinton would be defeated by Trump.
Their inability to see this was and is rooted in their continuing condescending views towards "those people" who live in other parts of country-- people working at two jobs to make ends meet and growing more and more upset by the daily illegal entrance of persons from Mexico and several other Central and South American countries; whom "those people" believe are responsible for limiting or reducing their good paying job opportunities along with being burdened with the increase in the rising costs of various State "welfare" and "Medicaid" assistance programs, the deterioration of their public schools, etc.-- all, "disproportionately" impacting their taxes as LEGAL residents within several States.
To those persons who regard Trump's election as "catastrophe" we would like to remind them that there were events and circumstances that occurred in our country 50-100 years ago that posed as great or greater threat to the daily lives of African-Americans and other people of color than ANYTHING that has occurred or recently occurred from the election of Donald Trump.
The obvious challenge confronting persons of good will today is best summed up by the title of a book written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, in 1967 "WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE-CHAOS OR COMMUNITY?"