A New Day, a New President

A guitarist pen pal in Germany wrote to offer congratulations to me and America

And he asked how I was doing. My reply finally put into words how I felt.

For four years, I and those like me have been sickened to our soul that the America we always wanted to believe existed could have elected that odious villainous criminal. And it looked as if it were to happen AGAIN.

But in the end, American citizens came out in record numbers to reject Trumpism as a political movement in the USA.

Now, not everyone who voted for Trump is an awful human being. Many would vote Republican no matter who was on the ticket. Even here in my progressive area there were many who voted for Trump, because they are wealthy and care for little more than their tax bill.

That is not the same thing as Trumpism.

Then again, maybe it is. Donald Trump doesn’t “love America” and he isn’t a born again Christian. Like all great con men, he tells people what they want to hear.

Actually, Donald Trump only loves Donald Trump, and cares only about himself.

His charisma and message is all about selfishness. And he legitimized the selfishness of not just the rich who vote for anyone who will cut their taxes, but the selfishness of the smallest, meanest bigots and anyone longing to have their selfishness validated by no one less than the President of the frickin’ United States.

But we were shown there were far more people who wanted Trump’s America than we ever allowed ourselves to believe. And that heartbreak was reinforced when 60 million voted for him this time too.

And yet, as a result of Trump’s ascendancy, so many of the worst of us have been exposed for what they are, so that white supremacists are being ejected from the military and the police, etc. for the first time ever. There are silver linings in this.

Genuine fascism was smoldering at his rallies and was reflected in the cold eyes of his primary advisors. His reckless disregard for the reality of the Virus and his disregard for common decency and the strong man rhetoric inciting his followers to armed violence were endangering the very fabric of our society.

And America – enough of America – came forth to say Trump did not deserve and would not be tolerated in a second term in office. It is our turn to be emboldened, and we are now aware of the serious threats to our democracy residing withing our democracy.

Many who typically vote Republican joined us to vote for Biden. That says a great deal.

As for today, I was not prepared for the outpouring of emotion. From me or from anyone else. There were more people filling the large park near me than had ever been in my 32 years in Brooklyn – not even half that number had gathered there.

And I was told Central Park was “like Woodstock.” And then told it is happening across America. And then I realized it was happening the world over. Church bells were being rung across Europe and elsewhere at the news.

Faith has been restored in me about the better angels of America’s nature. Time will tell if it will be enough.

Trumpism is defeated in an official sense. Its horrid realities are still roaming at large. I remain grateful that I live on an island off the coast of America.

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