Trump And The Myth Of Sisyphus

With the triumph of Donald Trump, liberals are now having to go back to the starting gate and beginning the work of re-establishing their presence in U.S. political life all over again. The two-term presidency of Barack Obama, which seemed at the time to bind his progressive vision firmly into the American fabric, is no longer in play. Trump's presidency brings with it fresh attempts to repeal the New Deal, the Great Society and Obama's Affordable Care Act. Democrats are in the same situation as in the ancient myth of Sisyphus. Like Sisyphus, they must roll the boulder back up the hill, even while knowing that eventually it will roll back down again. But on each occasion, as a party, they roll it a bit further closer to the top - though that is not necessarily part of the myth. According to the French writer Albert Camus, they must approach the labor of pushing the rock back up again with joy. "I see that man going back down with a heavy yet measured step toward the torment of which he will never know the end... At each of the moments when he leaves the heights and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock." That is because our fate is a human matter which will be settled among men and women. As Camus concludes: "There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night." So returning to the boulder is a way of reasserting our faith as Democrats.