Shortly after November 8 election results came in, I was scheduled to give a lecture to a group of Certified Public Accountants.
By way of full disclosure, I was also a candidate for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on the same ballot as Donald Trump. (Editor’s Note: Col. Ryan was successfully elected to represent the 101st legislative district based in Lebanon County.)
When I arrived on the morning of November 9, the trauma of the election results to so many people in the audience was palpable. I felt empathy for those who were stunned by the results. At the same time, I watched the mainstream media to be in shock, disbelief, and a numbness that I had never before seen.
Despite over $1 billion spent to disparage the President-elect, those in power failed to understand how they had lost grasp of the plight of the average American.
The government under President Obama tried to convince you that health insurance was the same as healthcare.
The left tried to convince you that the banks were the source of all evil; that any opinion not consistent with theirs was hate speak; that safe spaces could be havens for anyone whose sensibilities were offended; that Islamic extremism was a figment of your imagination and the list goes on.
What the liberal media passed on as revolutionary change to our culture most of us felt that change was nothing more than an affront to civility and common decency as well as undermining the freedoms of all.
Attempts to rewrite history shook the very foundation of hundreds of millions of Americans. On November 8, 2016 America pushed back!
The illogical precepts of government finally came home to roost and resulted in the defeat of Hillary Clinton and the policies of the past 8 years. The "silent majority" had spoken.
While the popular vote went to Hillary Clinton, the entire structure of the electoral college was designed specifically to protect against the kinds of abuses illogical behavior can cause when either side can sway certain segments of the population at the expense of all of us.
In the face of mounting health insurance increases and diminishing healthcare, Obama’s own words came back to haunt him. People realized that they now had health insurance but few had healthcare. People realized that the Supreme Court was correct in that the Affordable Care Act was nothing more than a tax increase on the middle class – a devastating tax increase! People rebelled on November 8.
In a similar vein, the government blamed the housing bubble on the irrational behavior banks and no one else. The banks were in fact the blame for taking advantage of a poorly designed and the illogical governmental policy that everyone must own a home regardless of income.
People however began to realize that after years of blaming George Bush and the banks that perhaps the eight year crisis as a result of a systemic failure of government and the government regulations that it spawned. People rebelled on November 8.
The government concurrently radically changed America in the context of President Obama. Anyone who discussed Islamic Terrorism worried that Loretta Lynch or the Department of Justice would find them "guilty" of hate crimes. Terms like workplace violence at Fort Hood and anti-gay in Orlando were clearly illogical to our people who saw it as Islamic Terrorism and we rebelled on November 8th.
Safe places became the new word of the day. People have become so frail that even words immobilized them. Students took to the streets with little or no provocation and little to no facts. Freedom of speech was bantered about as appropriate only if your cause was the one that they supported. Shutting down streets and highways as civil protests were met without any intervention by authorities and government effectively shutdown. The people rebelled on November 8.
Double standards of laws which applied only to those outside of government offended us. It was illogical that Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted for lying and for compromising classified information when the same rules caused members of the military to spend years in prison or to be disgraced. The people rebelled on November 8.
Edward Snowden, an alleged traitor, was viewed as a hero and peoples’ sensibilities were shaken. The Internal Revenue Service attacks on conservatives and the failure to take any action on Lerner strained credibility and the people rebelled on November 8.
Critical thinking is essential for any society or culture. Without it there is a complete breakdown of the social fabric of society. As more and more people see their sensibilities strained the breakdown of that form of government is inevitable.
"Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness." (source: criticalthinking.org)
On November 8, 2016 the nation railed against their illogic of what they have been told.
On November 8 the people rebelled and logic prevailed.
Col. Frank Ryan, CPA, USMCR (Ret) was elected to the PA House of Representatives in 2016 and served in Iraq and briefly in Afghanistan and specializes in corporate restructuring and lectures on ethics for the state CPA societies. He has served on numerous boards of publicly traded and non-profit organizations. He can be reached at [email protected] and twitter at @fryan1951