It seems to go from dark to light to dark again without time moving forward since the election. I slept in my clothes for a couple of days and the mess from the election party is still moldering on the kitchen counter. The feeling of cotton wool in my ears and a sense of unreality still descend on me, especially when watching the news. I have been waiting for it to pass, but now I realize that I have to dig myself out of it with my own two hands.
As a big reader, I looked towards wise words that might help. I was surprised at what was of practical use. Tolle offers that the place to start is to “allow this moment to be as it is”. I guess mourning for the democracy that I thought America was may be seductive and cater to my emotions but it is not particularly productive.
Then I tried to find words from a political leadership I respected. Bernie stepped forward and told Trump that if he goes after large corporations and not the little guy, Bernie was on board. I love that such an idealist with a moral compass at his center can make a clear pragmatic stand after such a blow. I am not being sarcastic, I mean it.
And from Hillary, she understood the need to not give up and remain a public figure, even after this insulting defeat. I heard the Methodist creed she was raised with, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”. I’ve always had a historical interest in religion, but never spent anytime learning about American Protestants. I thought many politicians’ church activities were more of a fig leaf worn to fit in with middle America. It wasn’t until she spoke these words after the election, that I understood the strength, meaning and focus it brought her.
The role of the Republican Party in electing this mockery of a president should not be forgotten. For decades, the Republican Party’s brand suggested that what they offer is a sound nominee with a conservative voice. I think many older Americans believed this and so, discounted the insanity spewed from the Republican nominee. When they learn that their Medicare has been gutted, I will feel sorry for them. My parents voted Republican because they were afraid how change would impact them. The Republican Party has let them down. I hope the damage to their responsible base and overall reputation destroys them and something less hypocritical and pandering rises from the ashes.
Finally, I see the role of non-state and non-Party affiliated players had in this election. Wikileaks, Anonymous and Comey. I can’t tell if Comey was a hero or villain. Was he preventing a 2 day prior leak by renegades that he could not control by making an 11 day prior statement? Or, was he blessing the interference demanded by politically motivated FBI employees?
Now we are at a crossroads. There are states within the US that will be doing everything possible to abrogate rights that are key to people pursuing life, liberty and happiness. Indiana is already crafting legislation to be able to prosecute a woman for murder for having an abortion. Several states are ready to enact legislation to teach “creation science” as science in lieu of evolution. And Texas wants to make it a teacher reporting responsibility if they find a student to be gay, you know, like they have a reporting responsibility if they believe a child is being abused or neglected at home.
We can no longer assume these battles will be won on a federal level. On the anniversary of the Gettysburg address we cannot let our battles for fundamental rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness flag. We must try to help all who are not comfortable with encroaching limits to their freedom to relocate. There are blue states and red states and a few in between. Many of these red states already have a disproportionately large influence in the electoral college and senate because their populations flee to places of greater opportunity and comfort. Like ISIS and the Taliban, there is no negotiating with them. They have already deprived our president of his right to provide a SCOTUS appointment. And let’s be clear on this, it is for no other reason than Obama is black. The racist and misogynist undertones of this election were so prevalent they actually were the only coherent theme to the Trump campaign.
In this age of technology and crowd funding we can have each of our dogs in this fight bark. This has become a battle between the states, but we each have more opportunity to play a role than ever before. I am going to try to crowd fund a project that helps people relocate from Indiana. The first focus is to begin a drain of tech talent that could erode resources needed for local industries and their tax base in Indiana. Just its presence is a warning shot over the bow that voting can also be done with the feet. I will post details and progress on these efforts in this blog.
I am accepting we have lost our federal government to Trump and the most unprincipled men to ever lead the US. Luckily, while Trump may have promised them repugnant things, as a businessman he’s not going to protect them from the financial consequences of trying to enact them.
In a final thought on “allowing things to be as they are”, I see that our democracy is not to be held sacred above all forms of governance. I think less of democracy for bringing us to this tragedy. So, if working with Russia will bring a quick end to the suffering and bloodbath in the middle-east, so be it. It’s a pragmatic act with a payoff of ending a holocaust. Removing Saddam was no blessing to the Iraqis and the same is true of Qaddafi. If Asad lives another day and the wholesale misery is halted, so be it. I cannot stomach a fight to bring our “democracy” to anyone else. Brutes can find a way to rule under any system. Stopping this horror would bring the most good to the most people seems eminently reasonable. As we are in bed with Trump, Putin crawling under the covers doesn’t seem so bad.