Tuesday night as the election and it appeared the tide was ebbing for Hillary and flowing towards Donald Trump, my youngest daughter, age 25, texted me, "Dad, tell me everything is going to be okay." I texted back, "Honey, I feel like I'm on the Titanic and there aren't even enough life boats for the women and children. I wouldn't mind my own demise if my wife and daughters could survive. The only thing I can take comfort in is that the Lord is in control. I'm so sorry. But I love you and the Lord."
The next day began the immediate onset and onslaught of racist and anti-Semetic actions: middle school students in Michigan chanting "Build the wall! Build the wall!" during lunch; the swastika spray painted in Pennsylvania; the African-American student at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, being shoved off the sidewalk by a student calling "N...s off the sidewalk"; Muslim women having their hajibs yanked off their heads.
I confess: I'm a comfortable, upper middle class Evangelical white guy. A moderate Republican who in confessing this to a staffer member of California U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein ruefully chuckled, "Yeah, you and 4 others." My own political migration began as a Boomer marching in the '69 antiwar march in San Francisco, voted for McGovern in '72, a blue dog Democrat, but voted consistently Republican since 1984 feeling that my party had left me, and, since my vote really didn't matter in a Democrat safe state, wrote in Evan McMullen as a protest vote against both Hillary and Trump.
As Trump increasingly became Charcoal Black amidst the 15 Dwarfs in the primaries, I saw him as an unprincipled pseudo billionaire, sequential adultererer, exploiter of women, racist, cheater of workers and small business people, a proud cheat on property taxes and federal taxes, a liar on his charitable contributions, authoritarian to the point of being fascist, Russophile, ultimately a Clear and Present Danger to the Republic. I understood the evangelical impetus to hold their noses ignoring all these fatal character flaws to vote for him because of abortion and the Supreme Court, a man without character whose said his favorite verse was "an eye for an eye and tooth for tooth", who unaplogetically confessed (or boasted) that he has never asked God for forgiveness.
People said the Republican establishment could control him, that the Constitution and separation of powers would constrain him, that the Supreme Court would reign him in, and now, that the Office makes the Man and would transform him, that the Republican Congressional leadership would reign him in. I regret to say, similar arguments that the Germans said in the early 30's about Hitler.
Trump had a brief moment on Wednesday or Thursday in which he could have demonstrated and evidenced presidential and statesmanlike gravitas, calling the racist actions as unacceptable and reprehensible. Instead he tweeted about the media and professional protesters, "so unfair."
I have mentally and spiritually been in a daze on this Day After. The toxic political radiation has rained down upon us for over a year. The public space is polluted. ...
For me, I feel I must stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of color. I called a wonderful African-American acquaintance and said I want to attend his church and begin to interact with African Americans, to learn from them. I will attend rallies, prayer vigils, and march and protest as necessary.
Turning to Matthew 18, Jesus said woe to those who cause the littlest of these to stumble, alluding to children of faith but, by extension, I think all of humanity. Black lives matter, brown lives matter, Muslim lives matter, all of God's childrens' lives matter.
My tag line is now: Resist. Persist. America will prevail.