We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

To Donald, my classmate

427 0 0
By Michael L. McManus

It has been suggested by many that it is proper and virtuous to congratulate the winner of a contest, regardless of many things, not the least of which would be the virtues and foibles of the winner. I am not here to do that. But I am here to express my congratulations and well wishes and God's speed to the new President-elect Donald Trump.

Some of my readers have been carefully following this thread. Am I for or against? Whose side am I on? And, why? Was McManus a Clintonite, or a Trumpee?

I have hundreds or thousands of student followers here in Korea from the three universities at which I have had the honor to teach: Gachon University, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and Sookmyung Women's University. They follow my writings and we stay in touch through the amazing networks like Facebook.

Whenever the subject of who would be best as the next President of the USA (POTUSA) came up, I would be in a real dilemma. See, I am a professor, mostly, i.e., a teacher. I am a writer of books, and a columnist for the great Korea Times. I have a very deep sense of responsibility. I could affect others' opinions, and deeply.

Words are crucial. Every slant, here or there, could brand you, one lethal way or another, with associating or supporting the wrong candidate.

All through this with the 2016 US Presidential election, I had this problem, yet with another layer or two on top of all this! Here is the very key set of facts that have been personally most amusing, and in my recent writing, most encumbering. Donald and I are classmates. We are official graduates of the Bachelor of Economics, Class of 1968, at the Wharton School of Finance and Economics, University of Pennsylvania. We share the moniker of "entrepreneur adictee," or more precisely "entrepreneur patholigique." We followed different pathways after graduation, but we sought some designations of success and major achievement. We were inheritors of a generation of fathers who taught and preached success. I went for the academic-entrepreneur style of success. My classmate went for that of his birthplace and neighborhood _ Wall Street and the world of New York City real estate _ and it's completely different brandings of success, I mean completely different. Wharton was diverse. It is the only place to have born such different offspring. Yet, we are bonded.

The election really split families and friendships across America. Different generations. Some valuing diversity, some personal thought. Some valuing community thinking, some valuing absolute individual rights over community thinking to the extent that it became a boiling point on the streets of American cities. Family tales would experience awkward dinners which would end in silence, because members could not speak to each other. Everyone felt so strongly. Obama and his programs were everything right; Obama and everything went wrong. America needed fixing; America was basically fine. It was in many brutal battles at the good old oak table. No one ever won the argument. Many went away hurt, angry.

I remember a time when, even though I was trying to privately remain neutral, I said where I was leaning, and my own........

© The Korea Times