Thursday, November 10, 2016
The Tipping Point of America's Decency
How could this country have really elected Donald Trump. We have seen the Native American's pushed off their lands for big oil and yet we did not think we had sunk this low. We have seen women's rights being scaled back State by State, and chess move by chess move, and yet we did not see this coming. We have seen big corporate interest grow an elite upper class while the middle class sunk into a debt filled stupor, yet we did not see this coming.
That night my 9 year old fell asleep on my lap while he cried. Literally, he cried himself to sleep with fear and sadness for what could happen to our country and our family. He knows that we are dependent on the affordable care act for benefits. He knows we depend on the economy for our living and worries that a down turn could destroy our fledgling businesses. He worries as a minority we will be treated with contempt and discriminated against. He is 9 and should not be worried about any of this.
The next morning my 13 year old was too upset to face going to school. He was up past 1:00 am listening to the results as they came in. He got up early and tried to get ready for school. He could not stop crying long enough to face the day. My son was very involved in the election process. He did phone banking, walked in marches and canvased for Bernie Sanders. He support other battle grounds for the democratic party as the election came close. He even started researching his path to political office and dare I say...the President of the United States. He wanted to feel that all his hard work had amounted to something. Yet, he couldn't find any worth in this result.
I moved to this country at the tail end of the Clinton presidency and lived through 9/11 and the Bush Years. Then Obama came in and was road blocked at every turn imaginable. Now Trump actually was elected after all the hate and lies. First Bernie was robbed of his place and now Trump actually won. The scary point was that so many people, when left in their own space of privacy, actually decided that Trump was a good idea. They decided to choose his hate, bigotry, misogyny, ego, greed, lack of respect for women and minorities, and complete lack of experience.
Now the theory has been spread around that the reason people voted for Trump was that they were desperate and looking for something that would change their world. They were looking for something other than the usual that had brought around no advancement, more debt and more struggle. They were looking for someone to take them back in time to when they had viable jobs and the American Dream really meant a house with the white picket fence. But what they failed to see was that they elected what had been draining money out of their world. They elected a greedy, unethical, corporate criminal.
I will tell you what will not bring the American Dream back to life. Obstructionist Governors and Senators that would not allow even the most basic of job bills to pass will certainly not result in new opportunities. Taking away health care from millions of people and taking away coverage for people with pre-existing conditions will not bring back the American Dream. Alienating and vilifying minorities, women, and the disabled will probably not do it either. Adding more money into the pockets or corrupt corporate millionaires will only continue to drain this county of its soul.
Now one more things that we need to consider. I hate to make the parallel that has been made over and over, but lets go back to Germany after they lost WWI and the world economy was failing. People were desperate, they wanted change, they looked at minorities and outsiders as a drain on their world. They were willing to elect evil and vicious leaders that tries to take over the world. The result was millions of people dead including my family and specifically my the people of my faith. It also brought about decades of the world looking at all German people as being part of the evil forces.
So how will the people of the world look at Americans? How will they consider us after Trump is unleashed on the world? How will the world fair with his finger on the military, his ignorant evil cohorts controlling our world, women's rights set back decades, and minorities treated with contempt. Will the world feel sorry for these scared people or blame them for their ignorant and frankly inexcusable choice.
So how do we console our children. How do we give them hope in the future when our hope has been ripped away from us? How do we prepare them for the world of tomorrow that they will inherit? How do we explain how so many of the people of this country could have made this choice?