Trump’s In. Now What?


2016-11-09 – I’ve been trying to answer the now-what question.

I have to be honest and say that the election scares me. And it’s not just because of what Donald Trump and his minions will do with the powers of the presidency. It’s also because of the failures of my side in the national struggle.

Life doesn’t stop. I have a job. I have a family. I have friends. I have a community. Those continue. I have beliefs and I speak out. That is not going to change. I can’t tell the “other side” what to do. They just slammed the door in my face. So, now what?

I shared a post on Facebook today from Michael Moore. It’s called the “Morning After To-Do List.” I don’t agree with everything on the list. I especially disagree with his call for retaliatory obstruction. (I’m okay with principled and selective obstruction, but not a tit-for-tat return of what the Republicans did to Obama.) In spite of this point of disagreement, I thought it was important to pass his ideas on.

The thing that especially caught my eye was his point 4:

  1. Everyone must stop saying they are “stunned” and “shocked”. What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all “You’re fired!” Trump’s victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.

The sad thing is that the supposed party of compassion (my party) was never able to extend its compassion to white America. They had “white privilege.” They were stupid. Their religion was obsolete and tribal. They were deplorable.

But the only one who had white privilege was the billionaire who took on their cause. And the irony is that he doesn’t appear to have any clue about how to solve their problems—except the problem of pride. They are proud today.

We could have listened.

Maybe it’s not too late.

My struggle in compiling my own to-do list is that I want to preserve my values and be open to the suffering of other without being a total moosh.

We say we’re the inclusive party. We need to find a way to include those who turned to Trump. This does not mean accepting the hate. But it means to be tolerant enough to look for common cause. It means listening, not yakking. It means loving your neighbor.

* * *

For the last several years I’ve been working on a novel called Cain’s Mother-in-Law. For the last couple, I’ve been trying to adapt it for musical theater.

The issue has to do with why brothers can’t get along. It’s a timely topic.

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