Let Us Talk of Unhappy Things: A Postmortem on The Late America of Progress

How can we account for the grace of Barack Hussein Obama? Obama, who, after 8 years of leading the United States beautifully, will peacefully concede the highest office in the nation to a man that has decimated the honor of our national character through a campaign of sexism, racism, homophobia, and a laundry list of other ills.

And the strength of Hillary Clinton (who I will continue to know as Madame President, mind you). What an incredible woman. (I’m so sorry the nation was not ready for you.)

As many other Americans– about half, I’m sure– I woke up this morning feeling nauseous as I watched two hateful men, Trump and Pence, receive the democratic right to lead, congress in firm control of the republicans, and the prospect of a Supreme Court tilted egregiously right…

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View from the Christian Science Center Reflecting Pool
It is easy here, of course, because Massachusetts is perhaps the most liberal of all the states, and a tolerance for other religions, races, sexual orientations, and a belief in the equality of the sexes is well maintained in state culture and law. But I woke up feeling something I can say I have honestly never felt before in my life.  It was so close (so close) to the feeling that falls over one the morning after someone dear has died.

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A joyful display of pumpkins in Concord Square of Boston’s South End neighborhood

These men, Trump and Pence, have vowed to repeal the freedoms given to us in this recent progressive era. Freedoms that were long coming and hard won.  They have elected to—as has been the path of the conservative establishment— deny the humanity of those who are not like them. They will take away our right to marry, they will rescind the benefits allotted to our poor and our sick, and they will even implement barbarian practices like conversion therapy if they are able.  All this, after eight tumultuous years of progress.

It is easy, in such a time as this, to be overwhelmed by fear. The world, after all, has watched America like it watches over no other country, and it has seen us go down a very dark path. It is a mistake, however, to think that in the long struggle between good and evil (yes, that is the struggle we are in) we have reached a finale. All the disenfranchised of the nation took a blow to the heart last night, but if we are careful and smart, as I know we are, we will rise united against the forces that seek to control and oppress us.

I will always be proud and feel honored to have lived through the presidency of Barack Obama. And I know I will be proud to have fought through the rule of Trump.

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Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood under cover of darkness
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4 thoughts on “Let Us Talk of Unhappy Things: A Postmortem on The Late America of Progress

  1. I agree with you. I will miss Barack and Michelle Obama. They are a class act. I keep telling myself what Michelle said at the DNC, “When they go low, we go high”. However, I may need the help of Massachusetts’ new marijuana law to remain high over the next four years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Email me if you start writing regularly again. I really like your blog and would like to include it on my blogroll but I like to only have links if blogs are being updated regularly. I think you are a great writer and would love to see more from you. If you don’t have the time, email me directly and let’s chat about you possibly penning a post on my blog as a guest writer. bosguymail@gmail.com

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