I’m not experiencing pain and sense of loss because of the behavior and statements of President-elect Trump and his followers. My anger, pain, and sense of betrayal stem from how many Americans were tricked and others decided to betray the social contract of all-for-one, one-for-all when they voted with a strong voice against President Obama’s legacy and the vision of Hillary Clinton and said “Yes!” to Donald Trump.This blog, Don’t Fall Apart, does a great job of describing the angst and the stress Hillary voters are experiencing. To me, the anguish is so much more. I’m feeling a strong sense of betrayal and dread that Americans, specifically white Americans, really are a bunch of racist, misogynists, xenophobic, ignorant fucks – perfect mirroring of their adored figurehead, Donald Trump
I’m angry and hurt that this nation made it clear that it has abandoned:
- women (expecting their right-to-chose, their equal pay for equal work, equal opportunities),
- our hard-working immigrant population (seeking a better future in America, respect and fair, humane treatment),
- the sick (looking to the medical care safety net of the Affordable Care Act),
- the poor (needing the assistance safety net help with food, shelter, work-training programs),
- the elderly (facing an uncertain future of cutbacks to their Social Security lifeline, their Medicare being drastically modified)
- the down-trodden and homeless (needing a help hand, job training, understanding and compassion)
- the mentally ill (needing assistance, housing, therapy)
Don’t get me wrong, I find the horrible statements made against the above groups, the language and behavior, lack of compassion and acceptance of “the others” that Trump (and his band of racists) harasses, ridicules, physically assaults in person, in the press, on TV news cycle – all of that is reprehensible and casts such a bleak pall over America.
We’ve seen so many times where members of the American Taliban (ultra-Christian Right, misogynists, racists/white supremacists/KKK hiding behind the clever tag of Alt-Right) vilify women, non-white people, and progressives who stand for social justice and the social welfare contract. These American Taliban call themselves God-fearing Christians, who shield themselves behind their Bible, spouting their hatred all the while they profess their sense of entitlement, white privilege, power and strength because of their Savior. My recollection of Jesus’ teachings are caring for others above yourself – where did that mindset go?
Here’s a great guest piece on Bill Moyers’ web site Farewell, America that I totally agree with. The thin layer of veneer that was hiding white hatred, white male insecurity has been pulled back and exposed with the millions of votes for Trump. The writer, Neal Gabler, questions if our American society will ever be the same!
It’s just after the Christmas season, right before New Year as I write this. I’m searching for words that can help soothe my soul and prepare me for 2017 and the Trump Presidency. (Holy shit, whoever thought we’d be facing that nightmarish reality?!?) Here’s an insightful thought from Kate Johnson, a contributor to the January 2017 issue of “Lion’s Roar” Buddhist magazine Have a Very Buddhist Christmas
“As a dedicated dharma practitioner, my beliefs have changed, but my longing for unconditional love and a fresh start for humanity have not. I still see Christmas as a time to celebrate the shared wish for a better world. It seems like we all want peace and for everyone to be safe and fed. Yet we have all contributed to a system in which these things seem impossible, and that truth is breaking our hearts.”
Yes – the truth of our national betrayal does break our hearts. Let’s not live with broken hearts or anger and frustration surging through us during these next four years – let’s reach out and help our fellow Americans, all of them! Here’s a wonderful quote from revered teacher, Joan Halifax, Roshi from an article in Lion’s Roar Buddhist magazine published soon after the election – Buddhist Teachers Respond to News of Trump’s Presidential Win:
“So please, stop and look deeply, and let’s work together in not building a contentious future, but a generative one. And let’s not pretend we know, but be open and learn; let’s bear witness to what is happening in our country, in our world, and take wise, compassionate, and courageous responsibility. Let’s reach through differences, listen deeply, and ‘give no fear.'”
Let’s move on and not cling to the anger and bitterness of this past election cycle. Let’s now continue to remind our elected officials that they work for us, they should be doing our bidding and reminding them that their well-heeled contributors/corporations needs and desires do not take precedence over the citizens’ needs. I don’t give a whit about the Citizens United decision – yes, I want it reversed but that might be a while with the new Supreme Court this next year. We must tell our elected officials that we are watching them and we hold them accountable. We won’t let them take America down with them as they stuff their pockets full of corporate cash.