the Informed

Moving Forward in a Time of Crisis

November 8th will go down in history as the day the American people chose hate. The outcome of this sickening circus act is deeply disturbing for reasonable & thoughtful people around the globe, and for good reason. What was once merely fear has become reality. Where there was once hope, there is now despair. A world where racism, sexism and hatred are rapidly becoming normalized - this is the new reality. But we need to face that reality and move forward despite it all.

With 75 pending legal actions against him, not the least of which is the alleged rape of a 13-year old girl, the President-elect is clearly not a man of character. He has proven this time and again throughout what has been the most bitter, perverse and foul election campaign ever fought. The long list of allegations against him are familiar to all of us by now, and his equally long list of insults, of bigoted & racist comments have become part of our zeitgeist. His hate-speech has become the battle-cry of so many of his supporters, the violence he incites so embraced by the ignorant and hateful. There is no doubt in the minds of so many that the newly elected leader of the so-called free world is not a man of morality, honesty or decency. Vowing to "make America great again" (when exactly was that?) he is poised to turn the clock back on the hard-fought progress of the last 50 years. The right side of history is clearly of no concern to him, nor is the truth. As we saw more and more states turn blood red on the TV screen, our fears became reality and our hearts sank. A true representation of a country that has lost its way, of an empire in decline. As the cracks grow ever larger and the nation crumbles beneath itself, they have allowed their fear and anger to give way to hatred.

When we all watched his victory speech, many of us still in disbelief, it became clear that when this man is not spewing hatred, when he is not hurtling insults like a spoiled brat, he is completely ineffective, When he is not spewing hatred, when he is not hurtling insults like a spoiled brat, he is completely ineffective, powerless to move a troubled nationpowerless to move a troubled nation. While he spoke of unity, he was insincere. All that he could muster was a variation of a hollow, repeated phrase: "they're great people. Really great." Parents grappled with how they would explain to their children that this bad, bad man had become their President. And we felt a very real fear for our future in that moment, in a time when reason and equality need to take center stage more than ever before, not greed, lies, hatred and immorality. The sickness many of us felt in our stomachs then was overshadowed only by our sickness at hearing the words misogyny, racism, sexism, like some disturbing mantra of hate, repeated over and over again the world over. Make no mistake about it - the newly elected 45th President of the United States of America is a man who brags about grabbing women by their genitals without remorse. The newly elected 45th President of the United States of America is, in no uncertain terms and by his own volition, a piece of shit. Within hours of his victory, of the loss the world then suffered, articles began to appear discussing paths to his impeachment on the day he takes office. A unified nation seems far from possible now. The division he has helped create is now very, very deeply carved in the fabric of American society.

So where does this leave us, those among us that want a world of tolerance, equality and inclusion, of environmental resposibility and a world free of the ravages of poverty and of constant war? How do we take this terrible turn of events and move forward to tackle the real problems that we face together? As I write these words, there are protests happening in Austin, in New York, in San Fransisco and in Chicago as people chant "Trump is not my President!" And while some are taking action now, many feel crippled and are only left with the slight hope that he will destroy himself before he takes the Oath of Office. But hope is not enough. Not nearly enough now. This man has crossed all boundaries of decency and been rewarded with the most powerful position in the world. A position that he is not remotely qualified for. Hope is not enough.

While it's much more likely that civil war will break out in the US before any sort of revolution would ever be organized, the activists and supporters of democratic socialism and other just ideologies need to use this setback as fuel for a movement against hatred. There is no other choice now in these dark times. We all can make a stand against sexism - today. We all can make a stand against racism and hatred - today. Many are taking to the streets around the US to make this very stand at this very moment. We all have the choice in what Environmentalism, women's rights, immigrant's rights, LGTBQ rights - they are no longer separate issues, they are all one issue. The issue of what is rightwe buy, in what we do, in where we work and what we support. More than ever before, we need to speak not with votes (the winner of the popular vote did not win the Presidency need I remind you) but with resistance and with activism. We need to talk to our neighbours, to our colleagues and, yes, to those that support this deplorable man. More than this, we need a real leader now - not a President, but a leader outside of the political circus that can unite activists around the world to stand up for what is right.

Environmentalism, women's rights, immigrant's rights, LGTBQ rights - they are no longer separate issues, they are all one issue. The issue of what is right. If ever the world needed a wake-up call, this is it. If we are scared it's because we ought to be. If we are fearful, it's because we know we are heading into an abyss. The only thing left to do is to speak out against evil in all of its forms and fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. We owe it to each other and to our children. Take your fear and make it a weapon of love. Do something, do what you can in any way to help the cause of justice. The future depends on it.

As Zach Stafford wrote in The Guardian just moments ago on the protests currently shaping up in Chicago: 

One woman saw this coming together of people of varying ethnicities, religions and sexualities as hope. “This is the America I identify with,” said Nicole Endenova, a young woman of colour, as she stared at the crowds.

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