It's our turn / by alix clyburn

My neighbor just brought home her brand new baby boy tonight. He was born on Wednesday Nov. 9. See: The world didn’t end Wednesday; for some people it just began.

Inside my lefty progressive bubble of a town, the mood on Wednesday morning was pretty apocalyptic. I completely thought we had this sewn up. Like a finely tailored pantsuit…

Aaaaagh. So wrong. So so wrong.  So what now? What do we do now?

Well, I’m wearing a safety pin. I gave money to the ACLU. I helped my friends organize a town hall type event on Friday night. We got Planned Parenthood,, the Council on Reproductive Rights, Moms Demand Gun Action and more to come speak and rally support.

I’m going to be ready to speak out against ugly hatred and racism whenever I need to. I’ll take part in demonstrations. I’ll march on Washington January 21. I’m going to put my congressman and senators on speed dial.

Best-case scenario is we get the same old GOP meanness we’ve seen before. Worst case scenario is Steve Bannon tries to turn the entire country into the worst parts of Idaho.

African Americans know that domestic terrorism didn’t start on 9/11. They’ve endured it for hundreds of years. Now I fear all of us are going to get a taste. (“See something, say something,” version 2.0.)

Maybe I’m being histrionic and melodramatic to draw parallels to Hitler’s win in 1933. Wouldn’t it be horrible if I am not?

I have no insights, I have no fresh thoughts on this. I guess on some level, America got the president it deserves. Our collective American brain has rotted on reality TV, and lulled itself into complacency with Facebook echo chambers. We’ve entered an era when the media is so powerful, its thumb is maybe the only body part not on the scale.

Worse than all this, we’ve self-segregated. How do you find a solution to being “figuratively miles apart” when we are literally miles apart?

I don’t know how to solve what’s wrong, but I’m thankful for the perspective and humor of some great writers:

David Wong on

Garrison Keillor in the Washington Post

Ethan Coen in the NY Times

Plus, I highly recommend turning off the news and turning on Mavis Staples.  

We play Hamilton in the car all the time. Tonight, the song that played was “One Last Time,” the beautiful ballad about George Washington’s brilliant decision to step down to initiate the peaceful transfer of power. With that previously unheard-of act of forethought and selflessness, he essentially established what set the United States apart from the rest of the world. (Before you actual historians point out that the peaceful transfer of power is not what sets us apart, please note that I’m not a historian and I don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s a good song, just listen to it.)

As much as I can’t bear the thought of President Cheeto Baby Man, I’m going to do my best to honor what Washington intended. I’ll also keep showing up for meetings and donating money to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.

We’ve had a nice eight years of living in a country with a president who was working to achieve what we wanted. That’s not the case anymore but there’s still plenty of work to do. Who’s going to do it? I am. Will you?