Those of us who are so inclined have had some time now to process November 8th, 2016. I must admit, however, that the pace and clear direction of the unraveling is continuing to be a challenge.
I have lived in North Carolina for over 20 years. If what happened on Election night was an earthquake, the result of a major shift in the tectonic plates of our politics, then a major fissure and fault line emerged in my home state. With self-justification, vilification and a “we’re doing it just because we can” attitude, the state legislature has shown us clearly the extent to which genuine democracy is now being circumvented and corrupted.
This is where we are. This is actually happening. This is our current reality.
So, let’s take a breath. Let’s remind one another of some of the things we already know about where we are:
-Very few (if any) situations are improved when we are acting or speaking from a place of fear or panic. So let’s encourage one another not to go there. We would do well, however, to be alert, aware and totally honest with one another. This is the initial act of courage that we all must choose to take. We’re going to have to trust one another again if we are to rise to the challenges we face.
-Words matter. Words have the power to hurt or to help heal, to guide as well as to deceive, to clarify or to confuse. In our personal relationships, when our actions are in line with our words, we call this being trustworthy and having integrity. In our personal relationships, when we say one thing but do another, we call this dysfunctional and abusive. In the public domain, saying one thing but doing another is now called politics. The president elect refers to it as the “art of the deal”. If we believe that he has any intention of telling us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then we have not been paying attention. Words matter.
–Greed has never been a virtue. Greed manifests itself in many arenas beyond the financial. (Fame, power, adulation, and approval are a few arenas that leap to mind.) Greed does not know the meaning of ‘enough’. Greed, by its very nature, is insatiable. To be greedy is to be miserable, often while surrounded by everything you need. That’s why it’s never been a virtue.
-Greedy people are always attracted to the unscrupulous. They term it “being opportunistic”. While the unscrupulous are bending, skirting and breaking the norms of decency (as well as whatever laws might apply), the greedy take advantage of the confusion and uncertainty created in their wake.
-The unscrupulous don’t mind the greedy feeding off them as long as the greedy don’t object to or interfere with the havoc being wreaked. The greedy actually become a buffer of sorts and an easy target of distraction from the damage being done by the unscrupulous. Any one particular greedy person is always and readily expendable. The unscrupulous know that there are plenty of others waiting to take their place.
-One of the primary reasons that our democracy was looked upon as a beacon of hope for the world, aka The Promise of America, was our continued striving for fairness, equality and decency in our institutions and policies. We were far from perfect in our implementation of these goals domestically and internationally, but we never seemed to waver in our commitment to them when push came to shove. Well, with the results of this election, we’ve wavered now.
More to follow soon….