Sunday, November 13, 2016

Aftermath

"And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” — John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States

LIKE MANY of you, Paul and I have been in shock and grieving since the election — full-blown grief, the kind endured when a close family member dies.


We're not alone in this. Many of you have told us that you have been experiencing it in the same way . . . a sense of such loss and bereavement that it can only be expressed as that felt when there's been a death. 
I feel like I'm sleepwalking through a waking nightmare. 


At the moment, one of the ways we're minimally coping is by having initiated a complete media blackout.


I fear that those who have elected Donald Trump know not what they have wrought. With a Republican majority in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, there will be no checks and balances, a precarious condition in the best of times no matter which party it is, exponentially more so when someone as narcissistic and unprincipled . . . with no moral compass and nonexistent impulse control . . . has been given the keys to the kingdom.


I've heard from friends from other countries; they too are fearful. Apparently so are investors; the Dow dropped 700 points at the news of Trump's ascendancy.


As afraid for our future as I am, my primary emotion is sorrow. I am heartbroken that normally benevolent people, or so I thought them to be, could endorse, support and vote for someone who


– is being sued for raping a 13-year-old girl


– has described women in the most vile and demeaning ways and boasted about having groped and assaulted them


– has demonized Muslim-Americans, Mexican-Americans and African-Americans . . . and immigrants while having married two of them


– has paid no income taxes for 18 years


– touts his business acumen while having declared a $916 loss in one year


– has declared open warfare against the vital Fourth Estate




In particular, to those of you who are so proud, self-righteous and self-congratulatory about your Christianity — I ask you: How could you elect such a vulgar, amoral man?! How could you?!?! 


He has no more familiarity with what is 'Christlike' than Kim Jong-un; probably less. That so many could be so gullible as to fall for such an obvious huckster and charlatan grieves and astounds me.


And in response to those who say, "We'll be okay. Our country survived George W. Bush, we can survive this," I think, "Not necessarily." 


There are plenty of Americans who did not survive, the ones who came home in body bags, for instance, killed in unfounded wars, the ones who died because they didn't have access to health care and couldn't afford the medicine and procedures they needed, the ones who died as a result of an NRA-created gun nation. And the US economy certainly barely survived! Do you remember how tanked it was by the time George left office?


And BTW, did you not study history even a little bit? You've heard of the Roman Empire, right?


Bill Brauch, a person I look to for wisdom and good sense, said something I believe to be profound and insightful: By his reckoning, though little noticed at the time, our nation made a pivotal shift in course when Ronald Reagan took the patriotism that animated John Fitzgerald Kennedy's uplifting appeal, "And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country,” and turned it upside down into undisguised self-interest by basing his campaign on this self-seeking precept, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"


It's natural to want to prosper, but that small vector change when extended over the intervening years has turned us into a nation of blamers and demanders whose motivating priority is avarice.


My first instinct was to shrink my universe way, way down — down to the two of us, our furry children, Mama LogliPaul's parents, Galen and Dee


Actually, that's not quite true. My first impulse was to move. To a blue state. A state capable of repeatedly electing a know-nothing blowhard like Steve King and two such past-their-sell-date, special interest tools as Terry Branstad and Chuck Grassley, probably isn't a good fit for us.


I'm grateful to the residents of my virtual village, many of whom have been of great comfort to us, as have some IRL friends and surrogate family members. I admire the resilience, relentlessness and courage of Bill Arthur, a veteran of 40 years of environmental campaigns and battles, Kit Bonson, another activist veteran, Tiffany Allison, Gretchen Lewis and Don Myers. Karl Schilling, Galen Brooks, Deb ArthurDee Cogden, Paul's mom Phyllis, Lynn Hicks, Carol Rothman and Bill Brauch have been patient listeners and commiserators.


Thursday night Paul and I were still at work 
in our office on Grand Avenue at something past 5 PM when I heard shouting . . . the moving, organized noise of some kind of protest. I thought, "It's got to be a Trump protest march," and in two seconds, I had decamped from my desk, flown out of the door — no coat, no scarf, no phone — and I ran down the street to join. Paul said that he heard me go, got up to go after me, and in the time it took him to leave his desk, trot down the stairs and open the door, I had utterly disappeared from sight. 


I borrowed a young woman's phone and called to tell him where I'd gone, though he was already on his way with my things.


It was a group organized online by someone named Leah, and I was unquestionably the oldest person there. It was comprised of 99.9% 18-year-olds and 20-somethings, both men and women, but mostly women, all ethnicities and colors, although mostly white. Their presence and tenacity made me laugh and cry all at once. I went around hugging as many of them as I could, telling each one how grateful and proud of them I was. It was the first moment of hope Paul and I had had for two days.


In response to this march and other outpourings of indignation and alarm that have coalesced into marches and demonstrations, I've heard people say, "It's not going to do any good. It might feel good, but it's not going to help."


Paul and I disagree. The protest marches against the Vietnam war helped reshape public and political opinion about the war, and isn't letting others who share similar feelings of anxiety and sadness know that they're not alone of value? Isn't seeing and hearing young citizens find their voices and exercise their Constitutional rights as American as it gets?


A brief video Paul took of the march is below. But before I say goodnight, I want to remind you of just who those who voted for Donald Trump have elected. This is a vetted, verified quote of his from 1999. 


"As you know, there's been this amazing, amazing, amazing response to my candidacy. It's unbelievable how amazing it's been. Now, I know some of you guys choke on the fact that people love me – love me. Well, guess what? I could care less what you think. As long as I'm a candidate, you have to cover me, which is good for the Trump brand, which just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. It's a win-win for me because no matter what I do, I get phenomenal, amazing, unbelievable publicity. You have to give it to me for free. You have no choice. You're sheep."


Yes Trump voters, you've just elected the crown prince of selfishness and greed. Congratulations.


2 comments:

  1. I've written very little about it too. Grief and fear have paralyzed me, prevented coherence. I hold no hope that the electoral college will correct the situation. Peaceful protest is our right. A duty even.

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  2. Thanks for the mention. We need you here!

    ReplyDelete