THE MOURNING AFTER
Surviving the Spectre of the Next Four Years
Artwork: OH, AMERICA by Gee Vaucher
I thought it was last week that we turned the clocks back an hour, but this morning I feel like we turned them back 50 years.
My shock and awe over the election results has given way to deep grief as I allow the implications to set in. I feel like the country I love has just been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
But as Hillary Clinton said in her concession speech, this is not a time to give up on all the things we have been fighting for. It is a time to come together as a nation and double our efforts to protect what has been accomplished and keep moving forward.
Here’s some of the advances we have made that are now jeopardized:
- The Iran Nuclear Deal
- The Paris Climate Agreement
- The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
- Planned Parenthood, Birth Control, and Abortion rights
- Racial justice
- The safety of immigrants
- Environmental protection
- Bank regulation
- Social Security
- Balance in the Supreme Court
- Respect in the eyes of the world
- Gay marriage
The pundits will be talking for days about how this happened and who to blame, from the media, to James Comey, to the pollsters, to Hillary herself. But we are all in this together, and we all share the responsibility.
However, three things stand out for me:
The first one is that we have no system in place to disqualify a candidate who had:
- never served political office
- wouldn’t release his tax returns
- had 3500 lawsuits pending
- who insulted every race, class, and gender
- whose finances were based on cheating and fraud
- who lied with impunity
The second is the elitism of progressives, who think we are so spiritually advanced, so intellectually sophisticated, and can be self-righteous to a fault. We (and I include myself in this category) failed to reach out to those who are dispossessed, angry, and hateful, and relate to their pain. When our shadow parts are denied, they take over the wheel. They are now driving the country.
The third is the failure of the Electoral College. Though it will take weeks before a final vote is tallied, it appears that Clinton won the popular vote by about 200,000 votes, a slim margin, yes, but this is how we lost Al Gore back in 2000, and three presidents before that. (Andrew Jackson,in 1824, Samuel Tilden in 1876, and Grover Cleveland in 1888.) How many times does this need to happen to change this outdated system?
The election is a year-long distraction from the deeper issues that we must address in our world. Though I don’t like the outcome, I am glad it’s over. We have a lot of work ahead of us to come together again and earn back the respect that America once enjoyed in the world. No president can make America great again. Only We, the People can do that.
To that end, tune in this Sunday to the massive Day of Healing and Reconciliation event, broadcast online and live in D.C. to help bring the country back together again. It’s free and involves people from both sides of the aisle to start a new day of reckoning. I’ll be there, broadcasting from Kripalu, and hope you will join us.