Friday, November 04, 2016

The Broken World

My heart is convinced that Trump will win this election. My head says no, and points to our three point lead, and a variety of ingenious reasons for thinking that two-thirds of the imponderable and unpollable influences will break Clinton's way in the end-game: but my heart has its own reasons, and it says that liberalism and democracy are dead: our social capital is expended to the last penny: and we really are going to elect a sociopath to hold coke parties adorned with Playboy bunnies on the back lawn of the White House. I have always, of course, been a political gloomy Gus, and my originally low opinion of American political intelligence -- I came to political awareness, mind, during the Watergate hearings -- has gone steadily down for four decades. 



Joaquín Sarollo: Benito Pérez Galdós

Hitler's election in 1933 was, to my mind, understandable. Germany was undergoing political and economic convulsions that made desperate measures seem the only rational response. Inflation was running at a thousand percent: Communists and Brownshirts were rioting and brawling nightly in the streets. And Hitler was a war hero and a patriot, a man who loved his country deeply and was passionate about its restoration. If he had a bee in his bonnet about Jews, well, at least he was not in the pocket of the big banks.

In the United States, meanwhile, everything is fine. Basic crime rates are the lowest I've known in my life. The economy is in full recovery from the great recession. Our perennial wars are far away and fought by volunteer poor people, who like that sort of thing. We want to elect our fascist, apparently, just to see what happens to a polity if you break it.



Charles Dickens

The autumn is walking in the hills, and the beauty is almost unendurable. There is sudden fire in the wet forest, and the hands that reach out to me from the past are strong, warming after that first cold contact: the fire of old loves, of hearts that yearned for ordinary decent lives for ordinary decent people. In the hills it's harder to believe in the triumph of hatred and suspicion.


Émile Zola

I have nothing to say. I love you all. We don't know what the future holds, but we know that we are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and receive weary wanderers with an open heart. We will go on doing that, where we can. The world is, was, and always will be broken.

8 comments:

Lucy said...

Heartbreaking Dale. Thank you.

'The autumn is walking in the hills, and the beauty is almost unendurable. There is sudden fire in the wet forest, and the hands that reach out to me from the past are strong, warming after that first cold contact: the fire of old loves, of hearts that yearned for ordinary decent lives for ordinary decent people. In the hills it's harder to believe in the triumph of hatred and suspicion.'

I've been feeling that way too, at last, about the hands. I used to shove them away.

carolee bennett said...

i'm terrified of the results of this election. i put on a brave face but pause for warmth at every bit of firey hope i pass. xo

Greg Bell said...

Dale, I share your dichotomy of head & heart. My head says we'll squeak through this one and heave a sigh of relief. My heart, though, can hardly encompass what roughly 1/2 the electorate voting for a narcissistic stooge & would-be despot says about our collective mental / spiritual health.

All the more reason, I suppose, to cultivate the fire within.

rbarenblat said...

{{{you}}}

ntexas99 said...

I simply cannot allow myself to believe that such an outcome is possible. It is horrific enough that we have all been subjected to and forced to swallow the unquestionable truth that roughly half of all Americans proudly and vociferously align themselves with such a person. Not candidate, celebrity, real estate mogul, vulgar misogynistic tyrant, offensively dangerous racist, delusional elitist, or egotistically repugnant lecher, but person.

How is it possible that such a person is not only treated with adulation and support, but that they could realistically become President of the United States? In all my 58 years, I've never felt such a deeply heart-breaking revulsion for the future of America, if this miscreant is able to secure a seat in the oval office. I keep wanting to wake up from this nightmare.

Sorry ... I sincerely apologize for spattering your comments with such a vitriolic diatribe, but truthfully, just the thought of him as a person instantly causes my guts to roil and churn with disgust. I suppose you could say that I was perhaps hoping that purging such thoughts might alleviate the constant urge to spew hopelessness in every direction. Instead, I think I'll try to find something ... anything ... positive and uplifting to draw my focus, even while I keep praying and paddling my chubby little feet like a possessed mad woman under the surface of the water. This cannot happen. It simply cannot happen. I refuse to accept such an outcome. I summon forth every ounce of good intention and positive energy, and plead with the Universe to save us from such an outcome.

I never ever imagined that such fear could live in my heart regarding the outcome of a political election. I thought the Bush years were difficult. They were akin to picking daisies and sipping chamomile tea in the shade of a beautiful oak tree, compared to what we're experiencing in today's political climate. Please let me wake up on Wednesday and breathe a sigh of relief. I can only hold my breath for so long.

The saddest thing of all, (or perhaps the most rewarding?), is that regardless of the outcome, we can no longer deny how divided we are in this country. We must do better. Our children and their children deserve so much better. We simply MUST do better.

Hang in there, my friend, and find a quiet space where you can soothe your heart, even if only for a few moments of time, before the cacophony and insanity comes crashing towards you yet again. A lighted candle, a whispered poem, or a lilting melody - anything to bring comfort to your tattered spirit. Thank you for always being a safe place to exhale, even while we collectively hold our breath. Take comfort in knowing there is always a chance.

Zhoen said...

Strangely, this helped, although I still grieve.

Peter said...

Helped me, too.

K. Brobeck said...

Rereading this weeks later and finding it especially poignant in retrospect. Like you, I came to political consciousness during Watergate, living in the DC area and reading Woodward and Bernstein's reporting daily in the Post. I've had a distrust of government ever since that has often prooved justified. But I'm also old enough to have inherited the post-war optimism of our parents as well as their sense of civic obligation. The war between political despair and hope plays out in my heart every day. And...now...this. I think you're right...trust in nature, focus on the local, and perform the corporal works of mercy (whether as a believer or not). This much we can do.