I came to realize a couple days ago that I am working through the 5 stages of grief. I have been grieving for the death of a country that … perhaps… never existed at all. I really thought that this was a nation of greater ideals than the last year has proven to be the case.
The idiocy of 60 some million people voting for a man who had demonstrated in numerous ways that he was despicable was bad enough. I don’t know how much more he could have done to demonstrate how completely inappropriate he was as a leader of the U.S. than he had already done during his first 70 years on this planet.
But what has amazed and saddened, and grieved me the more has been the willingness of other men and women to stand by and applaud him all in the name of gaining more power for themselves. Any illusions I might have had about the noble words on paper that are to be found on the Constitution, or the Declaration of Independence, or many of the well reasoned and eloquent speeches given by previous presidents and congress people have been dashed. The U.S. was a good idea. But in the working out of it we seem to have killed it. Congress doesn’t work. The man in the White House is an embarrassment to the nation. And the population is normalizing obscene behavior as acceptable. If that’s not something to grieve over, I don’t know what is.
It’s a simple message that these young men have to share and they will ultimately overcome — I have no doubt.
I have recently cut back my presence on Facebook. There’s not much sense in feeding the fury of a few. There is so much garbage out there, and so many people complaining about what is happening without taking any action. The world doesn’t need more complainers. It needs more people willing to stand up and act.
White supremacists are an abomination — let’s be clear. Racial hatred and bigotry and discrimination have been around a long, long, long time. U.S. society has tolerated hatred and bigotry, we have harbored it in our veneration of Civil War imagery and ideals. We glorify violence in our entertainment and our media. As a culture we are to blame for not putting the KKK, and white supremacy, and all the other hate mongers out of our society. They have no place in this world — they never had a place in this world. Their existence has always been tolerated by those who knew better but were hesitant to act, and hesitant to take a stand.
I fear that by men and women in power failing to take action they are in fact cocking the gun of future violence. We forget that historically when ideals truly become abominable it is predictable that masses of people will arise and tear down the emblems of tyranny and hatred. We saw statues of Lenin and Stalin torn down. We saw the wall in Berlin torn down. During the Arab Spring the same things happened. When people are truly offended by their oppressors there is no stopping them. Those who hope to cling to their privilege have something to fear — they can see the end of their privilege and that ought to chill them to the bone. But they will not win.
Clearly, we in this country are still struggling to develop that degree of disgust; that level of disapproval; the waters of fury are building and one day will overflow like a flood. But it’s a day that is coming and those who think they can reverse the course of history to what we were in the 1960’s are mistaken. Those who think they can preserve their status as privileged, have a sad day of reckoning ahead of them. Sad for them, but others will rejoice that finally their yoke has been overthrown.
You cannot turn back the tide of time. The world is witnessing and judging whether the U.S. really stands for the things it talks about or whether our 2 centuries of bragging about our values and ideals are real, or just a lot of hot air. In part this is about the man in the White House — but it is about so much more… so much more…
We face so many dire situations in the world; and we are wasting so much time on partisan bickering all because we have elected to the highest position in the land someone who is unfit for any office. While millions are displaced, millions more starve, we throw verbal stones across the North Korean border flirting with Nuclear catastrophe. Species are disappearing from the planet and we twiddle our thumbs. Millions live in poverty and we pretend it isn’t happening. In this country we imprison the poor and we pardon the rich. We shoot men of color for doing very little and when White Supremacists march down the street behaving worse not a shot is fired. Violence by the police would be easier to understand if it was consistent, but the fact that it is not ought to be speaking volumes to those of us who wear no uniform — but it seems to fall on deaf ears.
These are troubling times.
But we aren’t going to improve them so long as good men fail to act.