Today is a precipice, a tipping point, the cresting of a wave on our shores whose depth and force we can only imagine. A departure from the relative safety and routine of statesmen for parts unknown. Odoacer having sacked Rome has now been set the task of governing it, ferociously divided. Whether or not he is “my” president. He is, for however long, our collective president. And, as a person standing on a beach facing down a wave of unknowable destructive power, I’m afraid. A simple, stark, undignified fear has taken up residence somewhere between my heart and my gut and it feels like falling. It is too easy, and naive, to say that he, his cabinet choices, and his eventual Supreme Court picks are just figureheads. These are the people who will shape our country for at least the next 2 years but more than likely the next four. Their history, experience, beliefs, and personal ethics will without exception touch each of our lives. My only recourse is to know. To do my damnedest to be informed, and help disseminate information to others. They choose bluster, dazzle, and distraction. I choose facts. This is our call to action, to information, to (self) education. To accept no less than the depth and breadth of every single one of the freedoms and protections afforded every human in this country, and to actively strive to increase those freedoms and protections for the marginalized. He is not my president, but he is our president and we the people must hold him and all those under him accountable.-EJoveJohnson
I am not powerless, I refuse to be powerless. I CAN stand for humanity in the moments and interactions of my day. I CAN support my fellow humans and listen with an open heart to their needs, their stories, their fears, their hopes. I CAN heed their words and act accordingly. I CAN stand up in the face of injustice, discrimination, hate. I CAN bear witness, and report honestly. I CAN stand shoulder to shoulder and fight. I CAN educate myself and actively involve myself in elections/organizations/and pieces of legislation. I CAN call out inequity. I CAN vote with my money to support causes and businesses that reflect my values and ethics. I CAN manifest the America I believe in in my actions and my words. I CAN, I WILL, I AM. There is no position that entitles another human to captain my destiny. I accept no authority that preempts my code of ethics. There may be many things that I cannot do or change. But, THEY for their blustering and threatening and manipulating and hating cannot change the person I choose to be. And I, I choose to be better for my species and our planet. I AM accountable to myself, to you, to our planet, and our future.
Watching the electoral map bleed last night was an experience in the surreal and sinking realization that not only are the majority of Americans ignorant to the processes of election and government, but also to the experience of American life for people unlike themselves, and the impact of American politics on a global scale. That they are so disgusted and disappointed in the “establishment” they (and by they I refer to the center/south of the country) elected a man with not one day of experience whose entire platform was hate, divisiveness, and finger pointing.
I am profoundly concerned not just by Trump, but also by the people he will (per his own reports) appoint to cabinet positions and what they each represent (money, corruption, willful ignorance, a blatant disregard for the constitution, dishonesty, abuses of power, and hate-isms). All the things he brazenly accused Hillary of for the last 18 months.
I am profoundly concerned about what the election of an unrepentant bully (and his cronies) who attack people for their race, their creed, their country of origin, their gender, their identity, who look on huddled masses of the poor, the weak, the tired, and the endangered with disgusted fear says to a world at war.
Isis (ironically, his rallying cry) spreads a terrifyingly similar message except instead of being delivered in 44 character tweets, it’s delivered with bullets and bombs. Their rhetoric is no less insidious. Their target audience no less disenfranchised by the evidently terrifying notions of equality, multiculturalism, and freedom. World wide there is a paradigm shift backwards to a modern dark ages, if we are Rome then lo how far we have fallen from our dreams of Camelot.
People may not have liked what Hilary represented, the long term politico so adept at maneuvering on the Hill and in international circles of power that she has become under her own steam one of the most powerful women in the world. That she wielded enough power to reign in the DNC by any means necessary ensuring her shot at the title fight.
She was/is terrifying.
Terrifying because she did not demure from power, but rather fought for it. Terrifying because she held her own with her male counter parts. Terrifying because she broke party lines to accomplish the business of government. Terrifying, because she thrived in one of the most contentious environments during the volatile times of the last 4 decades. SHE is is an unapologetically powerful politician and that is terrifying not because politicians should be anything other, but because she is not her husband.
She has not been groundbreaking in her politicking. There is abundant precedent for capital misbehavior to greater and lesser degrees than she and her staff exhibited. Abundant precedent for greater and lesser but equally dubious donors. Nothing she has done (or not done) is outside the bounds of what has been/is acceptable for people in her same position across time. Suddenly though, the ruthless business of politics is so unpalatable that a man with not one day of political experience, no background in law, and only marginal success in business was affirmed by 276 votes from the electoral college….. despite not winning the popular vote.
At a crucial moment in history, we did not elect a politician. We as a country have chosen leadership that is volatile and untested/unprepared who will be wading into treacherous and roiling waters (domestically and abroad) supported by a staff equally unprepared and out of touch.
We cannot change the America we woke up to today. Neither will allocating blame improve our situation. Instead, each of us must stand up and take responsibility for our role in the running of this country. We must be educated and motivated. WE the people must unite to recreate a country we can all be proud of that represents all of us equally, that lives up to the words on the Statue of Liberty. Most importantly, we must never let this happen again.