Hillary Clinton Won? Let’s Be Accurate

Hillary Won. No, she didn’t! Yes, she did! Come on, people, let’s be accurate.

The airwaves are already filled with advice about how to help our young people through this divisive moment in American history. One important bit of advice I haven’t heard yet: be accurate.

who-we-areSo much of what people say to each other is ego-speak, words that express our world-view in an effort to bring other people’s world-view around to ours. Such arguments define our tribe rather than further discussion. Should we teach Huckleberry Finn, or natural selection, or Ebonics? Such arguments are not about education, but about who gets to brainwash the children into which culture.

Election time is grand time for ego-speak. One often doesn’t hear anything but ego-speak. Now, however, in the interest of the children and the nation, we should drop the ego-speak, and be accurate.

Unlike most of the adults who surround them, a child’s brain is on a mission to build itself into an accurate model of the world. Now, to serve the children properly, parents and all other educators must serve that mission. Instead of telling children “the truth,” we should be strengthening their reality-testing mechanism.

Here’s an example. My wife Victoria wrote:

Hillary Won. I’m not dreaming or delusional. Hillary Clinton won the vote for President of the United States.  She lost the election, yes.  But she won the vote.  Why does that matter?  It matters because accuracy matters; it helps us discern and communicate the truth.  It matters because people will extrapolate from the results of the election, and if they are not accurate about the results, the wrong narrative will emerge.

As of this morning, with 99% of the vote in, Clinton was ahead by about 400,000 votes. (update 12/5: 2.65 million). Therefore, the following statements are accurate:

  • There is no silent Trump majority.
  • A majority of American voters are ready for a woman president.  They selected one.
  • A majority of American voters selected the candidate who said racism, sexism and bigotry is wrong.
  • A majority of American voters rejected the platform that was anti-immigration, anti-trade, anti-Obamacare.
  • A majority of American voters selected the candidate who was for women’s reproductive rights.

Victoria continues:

Am I just being a sore loser? No. I’m being accurate. We lost the office of President, and I’d rather we would have won it. But being denied that, I don’t want the minority to win the narrative. Because the narrative matters, too.  It tells us who we are; it tells the world who we are. And, yes, there are many of us who are scared and racist and sexist. But there are more of us who are not. The majority of Americans want a country that is fair, inclusive and progressive. That’s why we can’t leave. Or retreat into hating “America.”  We are America.  Say it loud and say it proud: Hillary Clinton won.

One important test of how educated we are is: how good are we at thinking creatively and critically in collaboration with others so that we collectively come up with a closer approximation of the truth than we had before?

For anyone worried about the future of America at this point in our history, this is my recommendation: let’s all practice the disciplines of good educators, the disciplines of surfacing the truth together. What do we tell the children? Let’s be accurate. 

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4 Responses to Hillary Clinton Won? Let’s Be Accurate

  1. Gary Gruber says:

    “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald …
    This seems like one of those winning the war but losing the battle situations which is the opposite of winning the battle and losing the war. I call it a “paradox”, one of my favorite words. Paradox does not just mean an apparent contradiction. if you translate it literally from the Greek, it means that which is contrary to public opinion. That was an aha moment for me.
    Does it make it any easier to live with a paradox? Not necessarily but I have often found myself in conflict with the status quo as well as with the private opinion of others. Is that ego getting in the way? Probably, so I’ll just set it aside for now and continue on, leaving the debate (and the debacle) to others for some kind of peaceful resolution. As for me, it all comes a little too late for me to engage as I once did. For that, I am both sad and grateful. I voted early and left for Mexico.

  2. Rumsey says:

    Rick (aka Gary?) & Victoria:
    Accurate? Have you read the post-election New Yorker or Time issues. While they describe what happened in neat, easy (but really, hard) to understand terms…and at length, they do not cut to the chase. Nor do you, although your cause is completely valid and needs to be beaten into the heads of the folks who won’t or can’t listen.
    It’s the system stupid. Or is it the stupid system. And isn’t that what all the unrest and divisiveness is about.
    Would ANY of the Blue voters even entertain the notion of an Electoral College dissolution?
    That vendetta aside, I cannot put aside the things this man has said and done. You cannot undo all the negativity he stands for and threatens to accomplish. It is NOT time to “all be Americans.” We are not Nazis!

    Oh, was that out loud?

    Love and Kisses,

    Rumsey

  3. Bill Gravitt says:

    Rick, thank Victoria for me, her words bolstered my faith in the American people. If you know any way to get a message to Prez elect Trump, I’d like to suggest he publicly accept Mr. Khan’s offer of a copy of The Constitution–and then read it! An anecdote to Gary G. above, I was in Mexico for the 2nd debate and saw Red caps with the words “Make America Mexico Again.”

    Technically, Trump won’t have won the election until the Electoral College votes in December. I hope they don’t create chaos by overly exercising the “faithless elector” option. As appalled as I am about the election, we need stability at the moment. The vote by the Electoral College is a hurdle we have yet to traverse.

  4. Bill Gravitt says:

    I forgot to state the lesson here–for us and for our kids, which is: This is what can happen when you live in a republic, rather than a democracy.

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