Today my post is a departure from the usual trail running or hiking thoughts. But politics is every bit a part of how we deal with our remaining wilderness these days, and I was as stunned as anyone else last night when the unimaginable happened: Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States, a guy who is sexist, homophobic, racist, and who thinks climate change is an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. Not to mention he is a viscous liar. Yes, unimaginable that these things were completely overlooked by the more thoughtful republican voters and agreed with by the more ignorant.
My first reaction was: there are no words. My second reaction was: One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple, which is a quote from one of my favorite Kerouac novels, The Dharma Bums.
I’m sure I haven’t found the right words yet, but there are some fumbling afterthoughts.
I really was a Bernie Sanders fan from the get-go, so was upset that it seemed the Democrats worked hard to stage it for Hillary Clinton to get the nomination. Should have listened to the people, not the system. And also I understand a few of the antiestablishmentarianism type of feelings, and even as I think there are no true words to describe the unimaginable that just happened, I remember when my dad taught me how to spell that particular word, and I laughed and said, “when would I ever use that word?”
But I understand where some anger stems from, especially regarding the 2008 market crash and the slap on the wrists of the bankers who committed crimes. Or the corporate domination and lack of good regulations. Another is the need to really look at globalization in so far as issues like the Pacific Trade Agreement. Trump questions it for all the wrong reasons, as the USA could not exist in a bubble, but I don’t like the globalization that particularly involves slave labor and lax environmental regulations that are ruining our planet. Another is that career politicians are often rhetorical and theoretical, even if they have the right wisdom–they sometimes, as with Hillary, do not come across as being truly in touch with ordinary people. (Then again, in my mind, neither did the corporate billionaire running a divisive campaign.) Obama had that in-touch, charismatic personality, but HRC, not so much. Regardless, I was with her.
I feel as though the US, and perhaps the world, will be plunged into a collapse of new proportions, ushering in a new dark age. I hope I’m wrong.
I am quite shocked that Americans overlooked climate change and issues of civil liberties in this election. There seems to be a growing populist movement based upon white nationalism, and it’s built out of fear and hatred for “the other”. An old story. One we had begun to move past, but had a far way to go. As they say, history repeats itself.
The words come, but little they may mean because of the billions of other words spoken and written today among our very strange species.
The featured image is of ruins in Ireland, over which runs an electrical wire.