Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Finding Optimism Now That Trump Is President-Elect

Dear Millenial Children and Friends,

I’m sorry that I wasn’t more encouraging on the phone Tuesday when we got the election results. I was too busy sobbing hysterically to think of anything hopeful.

Now that I have had a few days to reflect, I feel better about Trump’s winning. I’ve looked back at other horrible times that I’ve experienced in American history and realized that they passed.

The darkest era in my lifetime was the Vietnam War period. That unjustified war finally came to an end. That didn’t happen, however, because of the passage of time. It didn’t happen because the War petered out of its own accord. It ended because we intervened. We marched. We picketed. We campaigned for anti-war Congressional Candidates. We opposed the draft. We draft-counseled. We burned our draft cards. We went to Canada. We went to jail for draft resistance. We boycotted Dow Chemical for manufacturing napalm. We were neat and clean for Gene McCarthy. We campaigned for Bobby Kennedy. And finally, after several years, the government ran out of human cannon fodder and the War ended.

A famous Chinese curse is “May you live in interesting times.” I have already lived through one interesting time and I’m very distressed to find myself living through another one. This time will also pass, but it won’t pass by accident. We must do everything legally possible to prevent the worst of Trump’s policies from coming to fruition. We cannot let him shut down the free press. We cannot let him jail his political opponents. We cannot let him place heavy surveillance on our Muslim friends and neighbors. We cannot let him deport all our Mexican friends. We cannot allow African-Americans to be hounded and persecuted. We will support the disabled and demand that they are treated with the dignity that they deserve. We will stand up for women’s rights and refuse to let Trump turn back the clocks to the 1950’s. We will be there for our friends and family in the LGBTQ community.

We must organize. We must march. We must write to the newspapers and our Congresspeople. We must be involved. And with our intervention, this too will pass and America’s better angels will prevail again.

I’ll see you on the picket line or anywhere else we can stand up for all the good that America actually is. And this time will pass, too. If it doesn’t, I’ll meet you at Tim Horton’s for coffee and we’ll grieve for America together. It’ll be on me.

Love, Mom 

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