A little over a month after our 45th President was sworn into office, the country is still reeling from the consequences of one of the most significant elections in our history. The pundits and polls were patently wrong in predicting the outcome, and just fewer than 60% of eligible voters actually cast their ballots in the 2016 presidential election. That means 40% of eligible voters did NOT vote, at all, and now we find ourselves even more deeply divided than we were before. The truth has become suspect and elusive in our nation’s capital. In fact, truth is routinely traded for absolute falsehood and alternative facts, and then used to promote accusatory television sound bytes, 140-character twitter wars, and ever-changing policy positions that are dependent on what time of day it is, as much as what kind of media attention can be generated from its pronouncement.
Critics and political commentators are outdone by what the current administration does on a daily basis, and just how “all the president’s men” (mostly white men and mostly old men connected to money or the military industrial complex) conduct themselves in the “People’s House” doing the “People’s business.” The word unprecedented needs to be retired from the vocabulary of political terminology and descriptors used to interrogate the current administration; and what its ultimate agenda means for the citizens and people who are outside of the dominant culture’s experience because it is used so often, that it has lost its impact.
Now the people have begun to recognize what the last election actually means in real-life terms. What it means to the middle class, the immigrant, the inner-city poor, to black and brown people of all ethnicities, to gay and transgendered people, to women’s reproductive rights and equal pay for equal work, and to environmental protection and public education, and, ultimately, what it means to the unending struggle for equal justice under the law. Yes, elections have consequences and the position we now find ourselves in as a nation has a direct correlation to whom we have elected as our president and leader of the free world. What we have to look forward to is daunting, whether good, bad or ugly. There is a dis-ease and distrust as people take to the streets in protest of a government that seems to have turned so extremely to the right (ALT right) that even the global community has joined in protesting what is happening here in the USA. The basic character and moral high ground with which the USA has enjoyed a long and enduring leadership role in the global community is now being scrutinized and undermined by a scattered and unfocused white house that appears to be playing patriot games with a Russian dictator and government bent upon inserting itself into the U.S. political power structure.
Resistance, rallies, marches and protests have been organized nonstop since election night. Truth be told…the outcome of the election has activated a people’s movement; a potent and powerful ground swell that has finally engaged the populous, albeit, AFTER the Fact. Although I know the opposing candidate received the majority of the popular vote by almost 3,000,000 votes, we live in a Republic and elect our president through an antiquated process called an Electoral College instead of the democratic process of one-person, one-vote. Given all of that, we must find a way to make sure our voices are heard. And, Truth be told…we must stay awake and engaged or, in time, the reflections that we see in this nation may not be the type of reflections that we want to look at.