I try not to buy into the “things are worse now than they’ve ever been” thing that’s been going on since the beginning of recorded history. Every generation has said and thought this. In most ways, the world has been and is getting better.
But, progress does not come without long periods of equilibrium where nothing much seems to advance and even big steps backward. The old saying “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” is incomplete. You have to add “Those who do know history are doomed to sit by helplessly while others repeat it.”
Yesterday, the electoral college officially put Donald J. Trump into the office of President of the United States. He will be sworn in on January 20, 2017. He is not the first nationalist, populist elected leader in a wave that seems to be sweeping the world. Yesterday, a Turkish police officer shot and killed the Russian ambassador to Turkey while screaming “Allahu akhbar”. He also made a statement about Syria and Aleppo where Russia and Syria are tag teaming to kill tens of thousands of civilians including women and children. Yesterday, in an apparent terrorist attack, at least 9 people were killed and more than 50 injured as what appears to be people seeking asylum plowed a truck through a crowd in Berlin. These acts of terror are done supposedly to bring attention to injustices being done in places like Syria and Palestine. What these morons don’t realize is they feed into the narrative that all Muslims are dangerous, all refugees are potential terrorists and all these attacks accomplish is to ensure the cycle continues. Tens of thousand more will die as countries close off their borders in an effort to protect themselves.
As people working to make the world a better place, to bring light and love to as many as possible and to put an end to the fear and division that drives us, this is an exhausting time. It’s tempting to just say “Screw it. This is what you want. This is what you get. Islamist terrorists, keep killing innocents and see what that gets you. Xenophobes, keep putting people like Trump in charge and see where that leads.”
In just 30 days, Trump will be in charge. HIs crazy cabinet will be confirmed soon after that. Republicans will control both houses of Congress. And, the next three or more Supreme Court justices will be named by Donald Trump.
I’m trying to find something upbeat to end this with and I’m struggling. The only thing I can come up with is sometimes people have to get what they think they want before they find out it’s not what they really want. In the meantime, there is going to be a lot of suffering. I can’t sugarcoat that. The world is on fire. We have to wait and see how high the flames go.