Greetings Daughters, Nieces and You:
Well, America recognized one of two possible political choices this month. I couldn’t have protected any of you from either choice. While it’s a terrible feeling for a mother, as a human being I’ve come to understand the futility of trying to protect people from politics. Observation, action, and more observation are better for life in a land ironically called the "United" States. Fortunately, those of you who know me - know I can't sugarcoat it. My life experiences gave me "dealing with" not coating skills.
My presidential voting experience is similar to Sorkin's because this election wasn't "the first time my candidate didn’t win" - in fact, I've never had a candidate make it far enough to even possibly win. After the election, I felt a bit guilty about writing in names on my ballot for state representative because I thought it may have invalidated the entire ballot. However, I ended the guilt with the reassurance that my write-ins weren’t the tipping point in this election.
What I continue to find of growing interest is that this is the first time so many folks have the opportunity to experience the country's thoroughly incompetent and dangerous ideas, as a serious psychiatric disorder that has only been building to another psychotic break. This is not our country’s first or last "collective" mental breakdown. It just has the most consciously aware participants to date. The foundations for our current psychosis began in the 1640s when the colonial customs of indentured service became laws establishing servitude for life and differentiated treatments for "whites" and "blacks" confined by law to service for life.
So who really won the election? It wasn’t just Donald Trump, his racially and economically diverse collective of supporters, Mr. Duke (formerly of the KKK), the Klan, white nationalists or any number of sexists, racists buffoons. There are more winners than you’d think. Ask yourself: What is winning? Come on, you’re my daughters - this isn’t the hardest question I’ve ever asked you. Right! One way to understand what something is - is by understanding what it isn’t.
Unfortunately, political winning isn't about issues; political winning is about how to frame and reframe issues, so more people see them at the moment their voices can make a choice. In this sense, you're winners because current politics have reframed issues about gender so clearly that I don’t have to waste energy trying to convince you that sexist, racist buffoons exist. That’s just one of many winning realities the 2016 U.S. elections gave us.
Now, we can move on forward to more productive realizations like the fact that "the same office held by Washington and Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, F.D.R., J.F.K. and Barack Obama, will be held by a man-boy who’ll" (Sorkin) still be constrained by two historically idiotic notions:
- a two-party system is democratic
- any decision made by individuals elected to make judgments (for life) in a court can be supreme
It was their ability to collect and embody their fears in an individual that produced our current political predicament. Additionally, if there are Muslim-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and African-Americans shaking in their shoes today, believe, those folk were shaking before the election. A large number of Americans understand that America has been hard-pressed to produce a culture capable of making them okay with packaging away their fears. Afraid or not, those willing to participate in the voting process weren't aware of how much the collective fear of Trump supporters outnumbered their fears. Anti-trump voters are just beginning to understand that their tendency to segregate their fears guaranteed failure.
Before moving on to ideas for how we might address our country's psychotic state, Sorkin asks, "What wouldn’t we give to trade this small fraction of a man for Richard Nixon right now?"
My answer: Nothin'. I'd give absolutely nothing because my experience with "collective crazy" leads me to know that which created the psychotic break is capable of reframing and repairing it.
I suggest you re-read Sorkin's letter (Click Here). He includes a list of suggested actions you might consider. My only addition is to remind you that "It's okay to be afraid. Be afraid. Then do things anyway. Sometimes, you have to do things afraid" (Mutasha Muhammad, 1930 - 2011).
Mother, Aunt, Human being.
11 November 2016