Editor's note: Stanley Bing is bringing his famous brand of wit and irreverent humor to TheStreet.com. In addition to twice-weekly columns, you can catch Bing in occasional videos on TheStreet.com.
It's a new morning in America. I say this without irony, because it's not a time for irony, or cynicism or fear, as enured as we are to those emotions as we are, as easy as they are to achieve. The president-elect talks a lot about hope. For the majority of Americans, that seems to be an attractive proposition.
There's often a feeling for people in business that we exist in a bubble, separate from the rest of the world. We have our own books, many of resplendent fatuity, that goose us up and tell us how to win friends, influence people and retire either rich or poor, depending on the current fetish of the time. We have our own schools that teach us how to push people and assets around like figures in a ledger. Often, we wear uniforms that distinguish us from civilians, from ripped tees, jeans and stubble on the Left Coast to ultra-shined wing-tips and pinstripe on the Right and everything in between. When we fail, people do not mourn. In many cases, they cheer and deplore any efforts to save us from our self-inflicted doom.
Tuesday night, at least for a moment, that bubble burst, and suddenly everybody was just an American, no matter how we make our living. Momentous events do that to people: draw them together for a time. In that brief interlude, much is possible.
I'll tell you what I mean. I was in a room with a whole bunch of business types. We don't talk about politics most of the time. When you have to live with people, you don't want to descend into substantial conversations very often. True of families, corporate and otherwise.
We were watching the results come in. None of us wanted to go home. At 11 p.m., the outcome was at last official. Elegant speeches were made on both sides. There was a scent in the air, as there is after a great rainstorm, the smell of ozone and fresh cut grass. We all kind of just stood around, taking it in. Faces appeared slightly different ... more open, less guarded. We were, in a way, in uncharted territory. It felt a bit like the '60s again.
"Well," said one guy who already pays about 50% of his income to one form of federal, state or local authority or another. "I never thought I'd be so pleased to pay even more taxes than I do right now. But I gotta say, this is great." Then he got on the phone to his son, who was at that moment in Times Square with a mob of celebrating young people.
Like I said. It's just a moment in time. Perhaps we should all consider how it might be possible to extend it for a while.
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