So, on 11-08-2016 the American people have chosen Donald J. Trump along with both the Senate and House. That’s the second time recently the Republicans have been given so much power. The last time didn’t work out so well, if I remember correctly, but we seem to have short memories. For me, the day after, 11-09-2016 is tough. Knowing I am not alone is a small consolation because I feel very alone. Sleep was difficult, thoughts randomly bounce around within my head and assembling them in any meaningful way is challenging. I am just drained, but I will try.
Probably the most basic questions has to be how did this and does this so often happen? My initial thoughts here go back to what it takes for a true democracy to evolve and then continue to function as such. Two of the most basic factors of any democracy: a “free press” and an “educated populace”, have been corrupted or largely eliminated. Today the press is owned by a few large multi-national corporations with definite agendas. News is infotainment, largely fact free, loaded with propaganda and possibly a new form of reality TV. The web offers a multitude of information, but filtering through the gunk to find clarity is not easily accomplished and often leaves a confusing residue. As a society our cumulative political education is stunted at best. We spend little to no effort educating our citizens about democracy, let alone finding ways for it’s practice. It requires so much more than watching commercials and standing in excessively long lines to vote. It requires historical perspective of how we got to where are today, what battles were fought and by who to gain the freedoms we so ignorantly take for granted, fail to defend and often abandon.
My greatest fears continue to center on the same two “critical issues”: Climate Change and Corporate Personhood. I see them as paramount. Climate is in danger of reaching it’s infamous tipping point and corporations and the wealthy have further enhanced their hold on our democracy, infecting it at every opportunity. Yes, I am very down and I hoped (I guess naively) for so much more in this election. So what do I/we do? I received and email (paraphrased below) from 350.org today that provided me with a simple encouragement to help keep “hope alive”.
“It’s hard to know what to say in a moment like this … But tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, the movements for climate justice, for Black and brown lives, for immigrant justice, for democracy and everyone who believes Donald Trump is the opposite of what makes America great — will step into our power together and show that the people who want justice represent a force too great to ignore.”
I will try to remember this.