As the results come my Facebook feed is a mix of jubilation and despair but all I hear now is If I leave here tomorrow will you still remember me?
Echoes of college flash through my head and I hear some of my political science professors talk about the death of an empire and I wonder how that applies to the current time.
Should my antennae be on high alert because we haven’t seen a threat to the republic in our lifetime like the one the current administration has placed upon our backs.
It is not the first time our country has been assaulted by those who sell fear. It is a simple and easy currency to push and something the weak willed and ignorant feast upon.
Or should I plant my flagpole firmly and maintain faith and hope that our system of checks and balances will continue to work as it is supposed to?
The black and white nature of the question bothers me because I don’t think we have reached a place where such simplicity is a tool we have access to.
Or maybe we have and I am reluctant because I don’t have enough data to use to make a decision.
This is what happens when you play a game where you are not familiar with all of the rules.
It Is Legendary
One of the boys called over the weekend and asked me if I realized what I have accomplished during the last ten years.
“Do you recognize how far you have come and how much you have done?”
“I didn’t do anything others wouldn’t do. I did what I had to.”
He disagrees and assures me not everyone would or could. I thank him for the support and the compliment and move on.
What I don’t tell him is that what I did is legendary.
It would be obnoxious to say so and it is obnoxious to write it down but I do so not for your accolades but for mine.
Because it has been among the hardest things I have ever had to do and at times it has beaten me to my knees.
But I am the kid who said “I take this potch and I throw it away” so I keep going. Maybe it is ego, maybe it is anger or maybe it is both.
Hell maybe it is fear.
Whatever it is it has made me push to get beyond and get the dignity and self respect back that I felt I lost.
Not in your eyes, but in mine.
At the end of the day it matters far less what you think of me than what I think of myself, at least when it comes to this.
So legendary works for me and if it is an exaggeration so be it.
I fell so far I couldn’t see daylight and now I think about flight.
Nothing Is Promised
I share much about dad here but I don’t share all.
There are boundaries I keep around my heart and this blog that I let very few pass, if any and why it is important to mention here I do not know.
But when the gut pushes me to say or share certain things I follow because experience has taught me that sometimes this is what leads to the moments.
Not just the ordinary, but the extraordinary.
If things go poorly some of you will come to me to vent and or ask for my opinion. I may offer you a hug or a fist bump.
Nothing is promised in life and it never has been. It wasn’t before Trump and even if he were to fall down and then up two flights of stairs and suddenly become enlightened that wouldn’t change.
We have to work for the prize and to make things go as we hope they should.
We have to remember that during the last century the Nazis had more support here than we might recall.
The KKK marched openly in places you would never expect them to be allowed to march.
The descendants of those who supported them walk among us. That doesn’t mean they are automatically bad people and that we should label them as such.
But it does serve as a reminder that maybe we didn’t make as much progress in some areas as we hoped.
Or maybe it means that fear serves as powerful motivation for pointing fingers at the other and provides a simple way to try and identify a problem.
So we have be aware and wary of that. We have to push back against it and help shine a light where we can.
Can’t and won’t convince everyone but we don’t need to do that.
We just need to move more people to the center and help them see the reasons we are told to be afraid don’t make sense.
You can accuse me of being naive and Pollyannaish if you want.
I am also the guy that believes there are times when you motivate better behavior by kicking someone’s ass so badly they don’t dare raise their hand against you.
That shouldn’t be the first card you play but it doesn’t mean you don’t play it either.
Go back a few generations and my great-grandfather Ben, the mild mannered tailor fought the police in the streets.
He and my other great-grandparents came here because they were tired of shtetl life and pogroms. I wouldn’t dishonor their memory by being the great-grandson who just gave up when life got challenging.
The Sun Will Rise
I don’t know what the political world will look like tomorrow or the next day. I can make some educated guesses but I am done with guessing in this post.
For now I’ll guarantee the sun will rise and that we’ll have time to catch our breaths and take a hard look at where things stand.
Even if I am fooled by what I have read and the best outcome comes through it doesn’t mean it will lead to quick change.
We didn’t get here overnight and we won’t get out overnight either.
It will take some work, but we may have more room to work with and more time to work at it than we realize.
One day at a time.