ON ELECTION EVE I finally got really excited about the first Democratic female president. Two days before that the adult choir at the UU church where my daughter sings did a decent version of Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman," and I think that kick-started my enthusiasm for the history that was to be made. When the clock struck midnight on November 9 none of it mattered. Donald Trump won the 2016 US presidential election, and the man who had a decent chance against him, Bernie Sanders, never got it.
Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation, Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all, Hail to the Chief, as we pledge cooperation In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call. Yours is the aim to make this grand country grander, This you will do, that's our strong, firm belief. Hail to the one we selected as commander, Hail to the President! Hail to the Chief!"
Gulp, as the cover says, is right. Trump's inauguration is just over a month away but as inevitable as it seems, each day also brings a new level of dismay over the shape his administration is taking and what it means for people at home and abroad.
The truth is lots of folks are nervous and others are downright scared. Scared that white nationalists will further mainstream racism. Scared about losing health insurance. Scared of being deported. Scared of being put on a registry and discriminated against over religion. Scared that the right to an abortion will evaporate completely. Scared that any gains in addressing climate change will cease and reverse. Scared that the war machine will kick into higher gear. Scared that public education will be gutted. And scared that truth and evidence don't matter anymore.
Fear is an evolutionary biological response that functions to protect us from threats. Humanists and other compassionate rationalists need to channel that fear into action, even when it seems like were spinning on a daily wheel of misfortune. I pass Comet Ping Pong to and from work and wonder what's next. One day an elitist hatemonger is named White House chief strategist and the next a climate change denier is tapped to head the EPA. A non-educator and voucher proponent for education; for labor, a guy who prefers robot workers over humans (because robots "always upsell and never take a vacation"); and an ExxonMobil CEO for secretary of state. (Why is this starting to sound like "The Twelve Days of a Plutocratic Christmas"?) Rick Perry running the Department of Energy? Goodbye renewables;...