We have a new leader in the White House. He won with the dissenting vote from unhappy white men. His rival lost due to a dissenting vote from white women, the very people many thought would put her over the top. The electorate is fed up. The situation has created an outpouring of emotions that rivals few others in presidential politics. A true upset, surprise, and disbelief. A populace of fear and loathing.
Had a dream it was war
And they couldn’t tell me what it was for
But it was something they could lie about
Something they could die about, you know
When you look that man in the face
Well it is not a face you want to see
Sleeping with the enemy, you know.
Trump ran on a platform of exclusion. It feels to me like hatred is at a greater level now than in the heart of the race. Not a good reaction. I am not of color, gay, poor, or in need of a green card. I guess I have privilege. I make no excuses for this. I have worked my ass off to get where I am. It is what I am. I am disappointed in the election’s outcome, and I would have said that regardless of the winner. I am a WASP and a believer. I considered the worst of the choice our country has made. My pain is real, my tears are salty, but I remain upbeat. We will get through this. I believe we have been through worse.
“We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.”
These were Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, and they feel appropriate right now. Hope, the limitless feeling that something expected will happen. We all have it regardless of age, income, race, creed, or color. A familiar feeling that is powerful and available to us all. Mr. King spoke of infinite hope, which means it is limitless. That is what we have to hang on to, infinite hope.
The world didn’t change overnight with an election. And the world won’t change going forward because of the beliefs, no matter how stupid or disgusting, from one man. even if he sits in the country’s highest office. There are the collective checks and balances of 300 million people. We also have two houses of government that will keep things in order.
It’s a good time to think about the promising work that is going on out there. How about healthcare? We are curing cancer. Reflect on that — Cancer! A word that at one time frightened us when we saw or heard it. We continue to make art, music, and words available to anyone who wants to consume them. In my home, we recently saw Neil Young play “Harvest Moon” under a harvest moon. That was a magical moment my wife and I will never forget. It was an experience we shared together. No one can take our experiences. The tumult in the White House just might drive us toward one another. And if we do find a way to be inclusive, the power of infinite hope increases exponentially. Think of the power of infinite hope; MLK did two weeks before he died 38 years ago. It is a super powerful message that we can draw on now, in 2017, with a new leader in the White House.
While many have a common hymnal, I still don’t hear the pain in contemporary music like we did back in the 1960s. In fact, we are quite the opposite of the ’60s. Yes, there were assassinations and church burnings, which led up to Kent State. We are seeing some of that now. The difference is there was pain that turned into love back then. The music that attracted many of us then is not evident now. I hear that Rap may be addressing some of this, but the genre isn’t big enough to move the electorate yet. The music made in the ’50s and ’60s helped mobilize the country to remove a president from office in the ’70s. It is important to note that rock & roll was born in black and white communities. There may have been more hope back then than we have now.
The sun came up on November 9 and has every day since. There have been incidents that are painful to witness, but we’re all still here. Protestors are exercising their rights, and people are speaking out. In time, we should redirect our efforts beyond what is likely to be a one-term president. Electing someone in his mid 70s to a second term will be difficult. Instead, we should be preparing our next move.
Just think about the experiences we can create for our children.
My best, Chris