Donald Trump is exposing for us, serious weaknesses in our system. It is very hard (if not impossible) to indict a POTUS (though I think there is disagreement on that). I’m going to be cautiously optimistic in a way that few people are: I lived through the Bush years in a very intense way as an activist. I understand that Trump is worse than Bush by far, though let’s be clear that Bush accomplished more damage over the course of 8 years than Trump has been able to do in a few short months – that’s not necessarily comforting when we think about how much time Trump still has in his first term and there could be a second.
But I also want to say this: during Bush’s terms it made no sense to me. The country was often head over heels in love with him after the tragedy of 9/11 and then allowed him to lead our nation into killing more civilians than can possibly be named, to engage in torture, to continue a campaign of homophobia that was vicious, to attack social safety programs….and if you stood against him, you were labeled as being in favor of bin Laden (somehow). It seemed to me, that the nation did not feel the same way as it was being portrayed….that we would turn around on this. And we did. With a cost that is too big to name but we did.
We’re still in that Bush moment – the energy behind Bush’s success is still playing out. It needed more time to play out, as that energy is so horrifying that it will be relentless. And yet, in my experience, no matter how horrible it gets, no matter how dark it gets, no matter how much it feels impossible to even breathe in all of this – it literally gets better. And often in ways that you don’t seem coming.
Gandalf reminded Frodo that there are other forces in this world besides evil. Yes, the Dark Lord has returned greater and more terrible than ever he was in the form of Donald Trump….and he’s making everything turn to shit. But remember that shit can be transformed into fertilizer. And it will. Our job cannot simply be in a constant of outrage. We also must build for tapping into our power and reclaiming that power in ourselves and in our world. We can do this. The power is there. It is good to feel the feelings of darkness and danger and pain and depression – they are real feelings. But the light is coming through the cracks and we are going to do this together: hand in hand, arm in arm, We are going to Imagine Better. I believe this.
Friends of mine who are feeling very dejected feel that happy endings are not inevitable. I agree with those friends. But I also do not believe that I or any one is a simple spectator. We are shaping the world through our magic – remember that magical phrase, abracadabra? It means, “I create as I speak.” Now, more than ever, we need to create a new world as we speak. We need to console and love each other and embrace each other and embrace ourselves and embrace fragility and loneliness and despair while also embracing the new world we get to build out of these ashes. So ABRACADBRA! Let’s imagine better!!! YES WE CAN. YES WE WILL!!!