To Tristan, My Newly-Married Friend: Thanks for the Friendship Defined by Differences

(English Only) Tristan, As I attended the ceremony celebrating your matrimony with Becca, I thought about our friendship–about how it all began, how it deepened over the years and how it’s thrived on our many differences. I remember your joking once that I’m the first Republican you’d ever met, and

 

Why Donald Trump Won: Decade-Long Struggle of the Democratic Party with White Voters, and Other Unexplainable Factors

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series United States Presidential Election of 2016

I, like most others, thought that Hillary Clinton will defeat Donald J. Trump with a comfortable margin on election night.

I was clearly wrong, but before getting into the why, permit me to start with what I got right.

In the footnote to my pre-election perspective, I noted how the conventional wisdom focusing on the Democratic Party’s advantage in the changing demographics of America is an incomplete story because of the party’s loss of the white vote.

I thought a good way to start the discussion in this post was to revisit the four states I mentioned in that earlier post–West Virginia, Missouri, Montana and South Dakota, all of which have a predominantly white electorate yet are outside of the South–and see how Hillary Clinton ended up performing there.

 

Donald Trump’s Election Requires All of Us to Listen, and Have Faith in the U.S. System of Government

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series United States Presidential Election of 2016

Donald J. Trump is president-elect.

Much like me, you are probably stunned with this statement and are still unable to comprehend how this is so.

One thing is for certain, though. What you witnessed last night was fury in ways previously unseen.

Consider: only 37% of the voters believed that Donald Trump was qualified for the presidency and only 34 % believed that he had the temperament for the office. This is a stunning statistic. In effect, many voters said they knew Donald Trump wasn’t fit for the office of the most powerful man in the world–and they didn’t care.

This can only be called a “scorched earth” philosophy of voting: just throw a grenade into Washington, D.C. and see what happens, results be damned. People were that angry with the status quo.

 

No, I’m Not Voting for Trump, but I Get the Message

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series United States Presidential Election of 2016

But if you are dismissing the entire Donald Trump phenomenon as merely a movement by racist, xenophobic, sexist white Americans, you are part of what has created the problem.

If you take issues with this, consider: how would you describe a person who goes to church every week, is not troubled by prayer in public schools, owns a gun, believes abortion should not be readily available and gives credence to intelligent design?

 

2015, a Busy Year with Moments of Reflection and Fun

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Christmas Letter

As I look back on the past year, which flew by even faster than usual, the biggest news for me was the retirement of The Honorable Peter E. Doyne, the Assignment Judge of the Bergen Vicinage of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

Judge Doyne was my first boss and mentor. I became his law clerk right out of law school, when I had little knowledge about the law and knew even less about working to earn a living. I learned how a model lawyer ought to look and behave in the year I was with him simply by observing. I owe much of who I am today to the judge.

 

2014 Was An Uneventfully Fulfilling Year

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Christmas Letter

It is hard to believe, but this past September marked three years since I transferred to Tokyo. I am entering my seventh year with my current employer, meaning that I have now worked in the Tokyo office longer than I did in New York.

How time flies.

Life is interesting in that you remember important milestones in your life, no matter how long ago. I first moved to the United States when I was eight years old, and I still vividly recall the mixed emotions I felt eight years later when I reached a point when more than half of my life was spent in the United States. Now that I have reached a similar milestone, this time professionally, I feel nostalgic going through similar mixed feelings I felt so many years ago.

Apart from going through a major milestone, my 2014 has been uneventfully fulfilling, both in and outside of work.

 

Democracy in Action I: Michael Sessions, the 18 Year Old Mayor

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Democracy in Action

Many people have a calling to politics. What made Michael’s calling unusual was that at the time he decided to run, he was 17 years old, still only a junior enrolled at a local high school.

Michael’s age wasn’t the only challenge his campaign faced. Earlier during the school year, he mounted a losing campaign for vice-president in his school’s council. Now in his run as the face of the city, he was facing Doug Ingles, a 51-year old incumbent and an operator of a roller skating rink. And his campaign chest consisted of only $700, money he saved up from a summer job.

 
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