My youngest daughter texted me a few hours ago. She had been watching the election results with her girlfriend and others at a bar in safe blue Portland, OR. This was all she said,
“I’m so scared.”
“Baby, don’t be scared. Detroit and Madison may save us all (this was before the state was called) Don’t be afraid ..” I went on. “ we have our family and friends and I believe we will always have hope.. We will prevail..”
Then feeling like my grown daughter was a small child calling me when I was late to come home and read that nights stories I wrote,
“Go home .. turn off the news.. snuggle up with each other and the puppy. The world will still need people of good will tomorrow.”
2:04 am in the safe blue city of Seattle – in the safe blue state of Washington – on the safe blue Pacific coast. I know my children and family and friends are in pain. They are not all in a safe-blue-space. At least half of this entire republic is frightened for our democracy this morning.
At least another half of this land is overwhelmed with new hope. These fellow Americans are sensing the sweet fresh air of justice finally served. They have experienced a reckoning.
Over the past forty years the Republican Party has germinated and beckoned this movement of silent desperation. They feed it with hate and vengeance and blame of the OTHER. They plowed fields of hideous innuendo and outright un-factual half-truths and even more vicious goddamned lies made up from the ether-of-division and from the whispers of small sinister soulless men. They planned and they plotted through a mesmerizing glitter of gold-plated-rubbish and the never satisfied consumption of useless things and yet more futile stabs at dehumanizing greed. They left their privileged white pawns leaderless, ignorant, stupefied, shamed and completely bankrupt.
And the cowards of the Democratic Party let them.
Now we are here.
Almost every scientific poll .. WRONG.
Almost every political pundit .. WRONG.
Almost every major newspaper .. WRONG.
Almost everyone on the planet Earth ..
S T U N N E D.
But not the true believers. See how dearly they believed?
They went all in.
They were not stunned. No, not the ones who have been left behind by the self-satisfied future-seekers who damn well left them behind.
And we should not be surprised. Not if we can stomach being honest with ourselves for a moment of reflection.
We really should have seen this coming.
The most committed wins.
How many homeless does it take?
How many bullets fired in anger at the unmoving targets of the innocent does it take?
How much profit from our investments does it take before we know that so many are being left underfoot for our success to be realized?
How long do we push too-many people through that too-small opening of opportunity before the hole is filled and the left-behind are .. left forever behind?
When do these voiceless, and former proud workers of America’s past say.. enough?
One of my former students sent this email a few hours back..
“I’m at sea. I don’t know what to do. I’m in total despair. I could really use some words of encouragement or hope.
How do I keep going in a world where a man like that has the support of my country?”
This is how I lamely replied,
“We can figure it out together .. We must. We will .. tomorrow we can begin.”
Finally another former student posted on facebook..
“Comfort me, dammit!”
I wrote this..
“We can figure this out .. together. WE WILL .. together..
We cannot follow Orpheus down to the underworld to revive what has been lost .. or sing celestial songs to make the sun rise only to be torn apart like Orpheus was by those who could not hear the divine music.
No – we must own this national shame and be the courage for our children’s children’s children to claim that the day of white imperial hubris has come to its logical tragic conclusion..
as brutal a task as it may turn out to be.. we are left to cry as one – the prophetic word ..
“THIS is NOT who we are .. we are a people
of MERCY and JUSTICE and PEACE.. “
I will stand with you and your generation to the very end..
PS: This is only the beginning of a miracle we cannot yet see.. do NOT despair my dearest friends..
He is just a man.. that is all..
We .. we are a people.”
Epilogue: Final words from a past president on the occasion of the concession telegraph to their opponent.
“It’s now apparent that the American people have chosen you as the next president. I congratulate you, and pledge to you our fullest support and cooperation in bringing about an orderly transition of government in the weeks ahead. My best wishes are with you and your family as you undertake the responsibilities that lie before you.”
And I signed it, Jimmy Carter.
Remember: Black Lives Matter
Our country is bigger than any one man. Our institutions are stronger than the program of one man. As President Obama said, the sun rose this morning and we will all get through the time to come, fighting for the ideals we have always believed in.
I agree with everything in this article except this “They left their privileged white pawns leaderless, ignorant, stupefied, shamed and completely bankrupt.
And the cowards of the Democratic Party let them. I don’t view my party as cowardly. Yes change absolutely needs to be made, but cowards no.
I too received a call from my daughter during the election returns when it seemed more and more likely that our next president was going to be Donald Trump. She was in disbelief and expressed her fear for her future. I am the mother of a lesbian daughter, my pastor is a gay man and MANY of the people I love and cherish are part of the GLBT community. They have fought so long to have their basic civil rights acknowledged. Now it seems that for the 2 or 3 steps forward we are taking 10 steps back. It is hard to find words of comfort for your adult chlld when you are feeling the same fears. I encouraged her to turn off the TV, watching a bunch of talking heads sit around and speculate on what now seemed inevitable isn’t really healthy. She called again this morning,
well, it really happened she said. All I could muster up was “yep”. She was a supporter of a 3rd party candidate. I am all in favor of more options, God knows we are in desperate need of change from the bottom to the top. But you can’t just throw a 3rd party candidate on the ballot, vote for him and feel vindicated that you have done what you could. Start at the local levels of government, get organized. I implore you, study your history, know what’s going on, research on your own, don’t listen to the media and don’t follow blindly in the footprints of your parents. YOU are our best and maybe ONLY hope for a better tomorrow. You hold the key to change, don’t stay in the shadows, make your voices heard NOW, You must spread the love and acceptance that your generation is much more in tune with than the generations before. Things will change as you pass that on to your children and so on and so on. Take heart, you have more power than you think or realize. Let your light SHINE and do not give in to your fears, Fear is part of what brought us to this historic moment. Be BOLD in what you know is right and be PROUD of who you are: white, black, gay straight, Christian, Muslim, Hispanic, Asian, rich, poor,……… none of those things keep you from educating yourself and speaking the truth in love. Let all the grief and anger and confusion you are feeling motivate you. Hold on to hope and work for change . It can happen. Love will unite and fear will divide.
Singer songwriter and civil rights activist Holly Near wrote the following words that seem very fitting and I hope we all take them to heart…. ” RISE UP to your higher power, Free up from fear, it will devour you . Watch out for the ego of the hour… the ones who say they know it are the ones who will impose it on you ” (from a song by Holly Near) Go forth in the love and mercy of a higher power.