It is now Monday morning, five days after the new President was elected, despite losing the popular vote.
For many of us, and for me too, losing this election feels like losing everything we have worked to achieve during our whole lives. One of my friends wrote, “I am totally distraught and unable to focus.” My cousin said, “I feel like I am in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s.”
I have been scouring the internet to try to figure out what we can still do to try to create a world that guarantees liberty and justice to all people and all beings in the web of life.
There is much to fear. The rise of White Nationalism. The end of environmental protection. The end of Roe vs. Wade. The end of gay marriage. The end of voter protection. Even more dark money in politics. The end of American democracy. Pussy grabbing and hate speech normalized. Mass deportations. A hollow narcissist’s finger on the nuclear trigger.
While I feel shocked and numb, I also feel an eerie clarity. The election of the new President may be worse than anything that has happened to our country in my life time. But it is not the first time that “my fellow Americans” have elected a President whose values are diametrically opposed to my own.
Yes it is bad.
But it has been bad before. Remember Nixon? Remember the Vietnam War? Remember when most black people in the South could not vote at all? Remember lynching? Remember women dying of back alley abortions?
And it is bad now. Let us not forget Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Let us not forget women murdered by their husbands and partners. Let us not forget that mass extinctions have begun. Or that people have begun to flee Africa because of global warming. Or that the US is still in Afghanistan and did not create peace in Iraq.
Those of us with a radical progressive political agenda would still have had to fight for our ideals if Hillary Clinton had been elected. We were gearing up for a long fight. Hillary Clinton was and is far more progressive and far more qualified than Trump. But there was no certainty that she was fully committed to the Democratic platform. Nor was there any certainty that if she was fully committed to the platform, she would have been able to implement very much of it with a hostile House of Representatives—even if the Democrats had won the Senate.
There are important things she could have done and would have done. She would have appointed progressives to the Supreme Court, assuring the preservation of abortion rights and gay marriage, possibly restoring voter protection and limiting the influence of dark money. But would she have reined in Wall Street? Would she have changed from a liberal hawk to a champion of peace and a demilitarized America? Would she have committed herself to doing what it really would take to save the environment? Could she have gotten guns off the streets in America? Could she have reformed the police? Could she have changed the way the media fails to cover public policy issues accurately and in depth?
Things will get worse—for immigrants, for minorities, for women, for gays, for the poor, for animals, for the environment—with Trump as President. Suffering will be increased. And that is good reason to feel sad, to feel empathy, to feel compassion, to feel angry.
At the same time, we must keep on keepin’ on, holding on the vision that we can create a better world and fighting to achieve it, as we have done all our lives. That has not changed.
Michael Moore suggests a place to begin:
Must quickly and decisively form an opposition movement, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1960s. I will do my part to help lead this as I’m sure many others (Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, MoveOn, the hip-hop community, DFA, etc.) will, too. The core of this opposition force will be fueled by young people who, as with Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, don’t tolerate BS and are relentless in their resistance to authority. They have no interest in compromising with racists and misogynists.
Elizabeth Warren urges us to volunteer two hours a week for a progressive organization–such as Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, or an environmental group–to strengthen these groups so that when the time comes of act together we will be ready.
We must keep on keepin’ on, as we have done all our lives.
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Carol P. Christ’s new book written with Judith Plaskow is Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology. They are co-editors of Womanspirit Rising and Weaving the Visions. Carol wrote the first Goddess feminist theology, Rebirth of the Goddess and the process feminist theology, She Who Changes.
Listen to Judith and Carol’s first interview on the book on Northern Spirit Radio and their second on WATER. Carol and Judith will be speaking about their new book at the American Academy of Religion in San Antonio on Saturday and Sunday November 19 and 20 and at a public lecture on November 21 in San Antonio.
Carol P. Christ leads the Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete. Join the 2017 spring and fall tours now and save $150.