Contributed by Deb Kline, Editor.
It’s early Friday morning after the election and it’s clear the marathon isn’t over. Waking up to John Legend singing, “Georgia” feeds the hope that we’ll soon realize all we worked for over these past few months has paid off and by 5 pm today we’ll be popping champagne, dancing and crying tears of joy.
We are sleepless and exhausted. We are dismayed that our country has come to this point, that the Liar-in-Chief and his ilk wasn’t swept out in a resounding tidal wave of repudim. We desperately want to go back to normal, to greet our neighbor without wondering who they voted for, to see the signs disappear from lawns, to gather at Bell’s, hug our family and friends. We want the chaos to be over.
Anyone who’s been involved in the birthing process knows it’s messy. Further, whether it’s children, puppies or a new idea, the only way the newborn thrives is with continuous care and feeding, Often, there are sleepless nights and sacrifice.
Our country was a new idea born out of tremendous hardship and sacrifice. It was born out of the strong belief that all people are created equal, and built on the faith and labor of our ancestors – some of whom went to war to protect the democracy, some of whom escaped totalitarian regimes, many of whom saw a new opportunity in this beautiful country we call home.
For too many years, however, “we the people” were neglectful caretakers. A percentage of the country thrived – or thought we did – while piece by piece democracy was crumbling. Maybe we voted, maybe we even engaged in a protest here and there, maybe even fewer ran for office or even knew who was running for office.
But, a large percentage of the country didn’t thrive. Wages stagnated. Communities were devastated as businesses found cheaper labor where there were no worker protections or unions. The wealth gap widened and anger grew. People looked for heroes, someone who might reflect their anger, someone who blamed anyone and everyone else. “I take no responsibility,” was probably among the truest words spoken by the 45th president of the United States.
There are a thousand reasons for the division in this country but the bottom line is that a deep inspection of the systemic failures is sorely needed. If nothing else, the past four years have brought that to a head. As heartbreaking of a moment it is to understand that nearly half of this country puts their faith in a snake oil salesman, we have to ask, “Why?”
Indivizzies, we have much, much work to do, and it must be done with open ears, hearts and minds. At the Protect the Results rally on Wednesday, singer Chavez Ravine prefaced her beautiful rendition of America the Beautiful with this question: “What kind of ancestor are you going to be?”
‘Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.’
With much love,