I do believe that I have heard the word impeach more times in the last three years than ever in my lifetime. Perhaps, when Nixon was impeached that word was thrown around often, but I was young, so have a foggy memory of that event. In reality, I doubt it. In fact, we heard about the idea of impeaching Donald Trump even before he wasn’t elected.
In hearing the word impeach so many times the last few years, I, however also pay attention to the words surrounding the notion of impeachment. Libtard. Radical. Evangelical. Crazy. Messiah. Chosen. Hate. Corrupt. Morons. Idiots. Liar. Cunt. Dick. I could do on and on. The vitriol is palpable and the anxiousness toxic.
Impeach, as a transitive verb, means – “To cast doubt on, especially, to challenge … credibility or validity…” As I watched the hearings yesterday morning and listened to all the media rhetoric, a thought crossed my mind – in a way, we are impeaching one another. Every single one of us. We have, and continue to, cast doubt on each other; we do this continuously. We point fingers. We’re angry. We’re distraught. We all read and share propaganda – both sides are guilty of this. It is almost as if we are so desperate, so blind to our own idiosyncrasies, we are simply imploding.
Add mass shootings, imminent climate change threats, mass immigration and refugee movements, illegal incarceration of immigrants (including children who are dying), white supremacy rallies, children killing other children in school, police brutality, race riots, a massive nationwide housing shortage, income inequality is the highest it’s been in over 50 years in the United States, worldwide conflict and wars, and a serious drug addiction crisis plaguing the United States. This is what we are dealing with. Right here. Right now.
I feel uncomfortable every time I leave my home now.
It’s frenetic out there.
It’s angry out there.
Always one video away from going viral – allowing us and our rage to grow even bigger.
Yet, I am honest with myself. This didn’t start with Trump. We’ve been headed here for quite a while. We must have not been paying attention. Too bold to think it would get worse. Too stupid to care. Too cocky to enliven ourselves to reality. Too selfish. Too apathetic.
But. This is it folks. We are at this time in history where we must literally choose to save the planet, ourselves, and each other. Or not. Honestly, I think it might simply be too much for us. We feel powerless. Lackadaisical. We have no trust. And we are afraid. Very afraid. Of everything.
We are so lost – clawing our way through this incredibly dense forest, with so many thorns, crawling, lashing, screaming – we are bleeding out. I almost feel that Donald Trump is a symbol of how much we’ve messed up. Because all of us together, act like him. We aren’t kind. We hurt others. We evoke anger. We created this. All of this. We are all culpable in one way or another.
Sometimes I wonder how I can cause less harm in the world. Who I vote for, obviously, matters. Yet, on the other hand, who I vote for, seems to not matter, with a system that is undeniably flawed. What I wear matters. Yet, I can’t afford to buy clothes that aren’t made by sweatshop labor. How ridiculous. What I eat matters. Yet, I can’t afford only organic food, made available by Whole Paycheck. I could keep going with this, but, you get the gist. Although it is not impossible to live and not harm other humans and sentient beings, it certainly ain’t easy.
I have no words for all of us as we move through this world of muck right now. But, I can tell you what I plan to do.
I plan to listen. I plan to be kind and maintain the utmost compassion I can, for everyone and every living thing. Even for those who cause me and others harm. I plan to practice giving, of my time, my presence, my positivity. I plan to not spread hate, even as others spread hate. I plan to remain human, in the most grounded and faithful way I possibly can. I plan to recognize humanity in everyone I encounter. And, I plan to do all of this with, and here’s the Kumbaya moment – love. That’s all I’ve got. That’s all I have. That’s all I can do. Because in reality, that is what God is doing right now. God keeps giving us a chance. Chance, after chance, after chance. And we just keep blowing it. She is so darn patient. He must love us. Because had that been me, I would have said, Sayonara, a very long time ago. Yes, She must love us. Because we certainly don’t love each other. Or, we don’t know how to love each other through all of this. This is hard.
Impeach! Impeach! Impeach. The call for impeachment is like a pack of hungry, righteous Hyenas, smacking their gums – this is the chance everyone has been waiting for. They’re all yelling. Yet, is anyone really asking what that means for our country? Doesn’t anyone else recognize that we are, in fact, literally on the brink of a civil war? Please don’t get me wrong. I implore the Universe daily, that it rids itself of Donald Trump as our President, before he hurts anyone else. I wish him no harm. I would simply be ecstatic if he were no longer the POTUS. I am all for justice. If that means Donald Trump is impeached, then so be it. What I hope for, is that we don’t continue to disparage each other and to harm each other as we move forward, or backward, or sideways.
The impeachment of us, will be detrimental to the world. The impeachment of us, is what we really must stop. The impeachment of us, is what the real danger is. The impeachment of us, is what we should all be afraid of. I know I am.
Karen Leslie Hernandez is a theologian and interfaith activist. She has published with several media outlets including the Women’s United Nations Report Network, The Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue/Studies, the Interfaith Observer, and she is the only Christian to have published an ongoing Op-Ed Column with OnIslam out of Cairo, Egypt. Some of her past gigs include designing and teaching an Interfaith Dialogue workshop with Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, as well as spending three years working with United Religions Initiative, in several different positions. An Over-Achiever, Karen has not one, but two theological master’s degrees – one from Andover Newton Theological School, the other from Boston University School of Theology. She did her BA at Wellesley College, graduating with honors in her major, Peace and Justice Studies, where she wrote her thesis on Al Qaeda and their misuse religion for political gain. Karen currently lives in California, works at two faith based non-profits, teaches workshops throughout the Bay Area, is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree at Claremont School of Theology, and she is also a certified domestic violence advocate.