Listen, people —
I know I know, that’s a really original lead, right? I feel really creative about that start, it’s big, it’s bold, and even my tiny Trumpian hands can type it easily. It’s very original. Nobody has ever written a better blog post starter, and I promise you, I promise you, people are going to love this blog, we don’t even know what this blog will say, but I promise it will be better than anything you’ve seen before.
I thought about beating the horse dead, but I think I’ll just get right to the point instead: there is nothing new under the sun.
I mean yes, there is, sort of, but really it’s the same sad/happy/horrifying/boring story over and over again, and with today’s inauguration we hit version 4,275,948,104. Point two.
A lot of people are feeling pretty doomsday right now, like Trump is going to destroy everything. And I’m not so sure. Yes, he’s a jerk. Yes, I believe he and the RNC single-party dance of the next two to four years is likely to be pretty disastrous. But, unless something goes truly and horribly wrong, we can keep things from falling off the cliff’s edge. I think.
But it’ll take some work.
* * * * *
There have always been mean, rude people who take credit for anything good that happens and blame others for anything perceived as bad; who brag vainly about themselves and put others down; who lead by terrorizing instead of inspiring; who think winning is the one thing that matters above all else, before honor and justice and liberty. Trump, despite his delusions of grandeur, is just another expression of this sad and bitter archetype, just another ugly blip in the grand scheme of things.
That’s all he is. A data point, and a little one at that.
There have also always been people who work hard to be kind and well mannered; who understand that we share in a collective bounty of success and failure; who lift others up and celebrate others’ victories; who understand that winning for the wrong reasons is just another face of failure.
We’re still here, each of us another data point, each of us as big and as small as Trump. We have as much power as we’re willing to exert. No orange-faced data point can take that power away.
* * * * *
There have always been hoarding, greedy people who were either born rich or got rich, sometimes with hard work and always with good luck; who don’t have an altruistic bone in their bodies; who spend their lives complaining about every single penny they have to pay in taxes and whining about how life is soooo unfair to them (while the undocumented resident cleans their toilets). So Trump and most of his cabinet fit in as little blips on that story line. Whatever.
There have also always been selfless, inclusive, generous souls, some rich and some poor, who are driven to do right by all human beings without cold triage, and without reference to their own interests and needs; who understand that humanity will ultimately stand and fall together like a house of cards; who feel in their bones that even one lost, unfulfilled life is one too many.
We’re still here, and there are more of us than the Trumps. We know this because we voted for someone else. We know this because, in the big arc of history, despite setback after setback, life is getting better for most human beings. Not in a two-car-garage-and-great-manufacturing-jobs-in-America way, but in a more baseline way — less hunger, less poverty, less disease and death, less discrimination, less abandonment, the world over.
There are more of us than there are xenophobes. Not even a cabinet worth more than 14 billion dollars can change our blippy little minds.
* * * * *
There have always been people who are mean and vicious, murderous and violent, bigoted and bitter. Trump happens to speak for them in this moment — but he’s just one face and one voice. He’s not the power behind the ugliness. People are, little people. All these little blips running around on planet earth, each of us as weak and as powerful as Trump.
As for our planet earth, let’s not panic too much on her account. Trump can’t destroy Mother Earth. Human beings may well destroy the environmental conditions we need to survive in, but that’s not going to take down sweet Gaia. She will keep on keeping on, long after our species has expired, and probably arrange for a whole new mega-species to take over in 70 or 80 million years.
Take heart in that, my friends.
Anyway, we’ve been busy destroying our environment with greenhouse gases and pollution for more than a century, long before Trump took office. If we want to slow global climate change and pollution, we can do that: the sixty-odd million humans who voted for someone other than Trump can stop driving and flying as much, stop buying and using as much, start buying more locally grown food, and so on and so on. We have the power to do that. 60 million of us have way, way more power to change the environment than one Donald Trump. Maybe it’s time to own that power instead of handing it over to corporations.
* * * * *
So I propose we go ahead and do that, stop giving away power, we people who are deeply upset by today’s inauguration. I propose we step out of the sad sack of depression and anger we’ve dropped ourselves into. Let’s get our grumpy on and get to work, not en masse at marches that make us feel good but are really hard to organize, but as little random blips haranguing our leaders and corporations from all corners. This is one thing that has changed in the history of humanity: we are seriously connected. Use it. Call your congressional reps and senators and local legislators and governors incessantly to tell them what you want and what you care about. It’ll be humiliating at first, but you’ll get over it. Sign petitions. Write letters — to elected officials, to corporations, to media outlets. Never stop.
Find out who needs help in your community, and then help them. Give stuff to people who are broke, if you’re not broke yourself. Lend money if you can, to friends who need it. Donate your time if you have it, to charitable organizations and public schools. Just do something, anything, to help someone out.
Be a pain in the ass blip, for goodness sake. I don’t know — sky’s the limit, right? Why let the Orange Man stop us from being the decent people we believe we are?
Happy inauguration day, Mr. Trump.