We now know who will be our next President. Last night, the states are dotting red, then blue, and it was white-knuckle time until it was time to release the knuckles, raise your hands to your head, and let out a long moan.
We have a sense of what the next four years will bring; John J. Thatamanil, associate professor of theology and world religions at Union Theological Seminary in New York, says:
How will we respond, those of us, who recognize Trump not only as incompetent but as depraved, not only as personally flawed but abusive – a candidate who brags about sexual violence? The easy and impulsive response is to resort to frustration, anger and outrage.
I suggest that we must move through to another more demanding and capacious response: we must permit ourselves to grieve.
It seems to me that Thatamanil wrote this assuming Trump would lose.
I wonder how his personal notion of imago dei is doing this morning. Because if he can see the image of God in “a misogynistic xenophobe who enjoys the enthusiastic support of white nationalists…depraved…abusive…a candidate who brags about sexual violence…a misogynistic and racist Islamophobe… a demagogue who thrills in inciting his audience to violence and delights in destabilizing democratic norms”??? I think that’s just fucked up. That goes way beyond Christian Kumbaya. Just plain fucked up.
And seriously. If it took a Donald Trump to expose “the fragility of the institutions that undergird American democratic life”? He should expand his reading list.
Sometimes outrage is necessary. Especially when the Kumbaya isn’t working.
Outrage is a good start, but if we are expending it on Facebook and Twitter and then tucking ourselves in at night thinking we’ve done our part, we are looking at a very bleak future. I’ve moved through my outrage (fairly quickly, she bragged) and now? I’m strategizing.
“The fascists find their human material mainly in the petty bourgeoisie. The latter has been entirely ruined by big capital. There is no way out for it in the present social order, but it knows of no other. Its dissatisfaction, indignation, and despair are diverted by the fascists away from big capital and against the workers. It may be said that fascism is the act of placing the petty bourgeoisie at the disposal of its most bitter enemies. In this way, big capital ruins the middle classes and then, with the help of hired fascist demagogues, incites the despairing petty bourgeoisie against the worker. The bourgeois regime can be preserved only by such murderous means as these. For how long? Until it is overthrown by proletarian revolution.”
Trotsky, Whither France?, 1934
Speaking of strategy. Just sayin’. Trotsky continues:
“But for that it is necessary to purge the united front of all equivocation, of all indecision, of all hollow phrases. It is necessary to understand the situation and to place oneself seriously on the revolutionary road.” The proto-fascist crusade that put Trump in the White House didn’t start with his candidacy. And it won’t end with the Democratic Party. Things have to change. Reform is no longer an option.
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