My wife and I watched President Obama's farewell speech last night - both of us deeply feeling the loss of sanity, courtesy, and good will that he takes with him when he and his family depart the White House.
Many of his most progressive accomplishments will be nullified and set back by the GOP Congress and PE Trump. Nothing will serve Putin better than the collapse of progressivism in the USA, and this once formidable country retreating from the international scene. But expectations aroused by the Obama presidency and its accomplishments cannot be destroyed - only temporarily put aside as the GOP attempts to turn back the clock to 1930.
The time for rebuilding is right now - starting with protests and intelligent opposition. And courage. Take a trip through London today. All the bombed out churches and crescents that I saw in the years directly following WW2 have been rebuilt - no, the lives lost as a result of the blitz have not been resurrected (at least not here on earth) but the structure of the city is stronger than ever.
There is a wonderful photograph of a British milkman in his uniform delivering milk in the midst of the rubble of the blitz. It can be viewed as a symbol of the continuation of decency in the midst of the most barbaric disorder. That milkman put on his uniform and continued in his duty. He seems to know that his struggle to keep normalcy going is part of the effort to win. His is both an act of courage and a belief in the just outcome of a tragic moment. This will happen after Trump leaves office - his tragic Presidency, disguised as a comedy, will create a reaction that will bury the cynicism, racism, and exploitation that will parade before the world until the next election. The Democrats have much to learn from this election - lessons in being smarter, tougher, and yet much more idealistic than before. That last may seem to contradict the first two, but it doesn't. Idealism is the sand that makes the mortar and cement stronger. We cannot build without it.
Jeff Sessions has mastered the art of speaking softly as he tells his soothing stories of his conversion to the brotherhood of man. Nothing good can come of him but he has painted himself into a corner with his gentle little lies - and he will stop the clock without breaking it.
Now what is all this about Trump, Russian blackmail and Donny's douches dorées à Moscou? How is it possible for me not to believe a word of it and yet believe every bit of it? This is what the man does to otherwise sane people - he throws you into an alternative universe where lies are truth, good is evil, and Dorothy is killed by the Wicked Witch of the North or was that the West? And Trump himself is wearing the ruby slippers and the yellow brick road is a trudge through a sewer. If we are to believe these stories/rumors of his behavior in that Moscow hotel it gives new meaning to the Midas touch. The Justice Department under Massah Sessions is determined to pursue pornography - so where better to start than at the top? Just bring a disinfectant and a towel - the symbols of the coming Presidency.
Me? My deepest concern is for a future I probably will not live to see - one in which my grandchildren have to struggle with toxic air, rising ocean waters, polluted drinking water, and a dystopian society - brought on by the denial of science and the denial of other people's humanity by the GOP. I thought that President Obama made a striking point about the need to respect the sciences (and I'll add the arts) because they are our salvation as a world together with our children. Science is a cornerstone of reality - to reject it as so many in the GOP leadership do is to live in a self-destructive fantasy. Yes, I have no doubt that we will get through the challenging years ahead but there is only one way we can do so. Together. And if we keep delivering the milk.