Prologue: The Pied Piper

What's past is prologue. ~ William Shakespeare

"When lo, as they reached the mountain-side, a wondrous portal opened wide, as if a cavern suddenly hollowed; the Piper advanced and the children followed..." ~ Robert Browning

Like most people, I use social media to express who I am, share what interests me, and stay in touch with people who matter to me. Lately, I have been scolded, manipulated, and mocked for my stance on politics, immediately followed by people insisting that I need to get with the program and support the incoming administration, because that is my duty as an American. Yesterday, a friend posted a request that people unite behind our leadership, regardless of how we voted, because we need to "come together" as a country and heal the divisions that have plagued us. I understand the request and what motivated it. Like most of us, she wants people to get along. She is tired of the fighting and is dismayed by what she sees around her. I get it, I do - but I cannot and will not comply with her request. Let me explain why.

There are many ways to articulate why I have chosen the political ideology that I follow. I believe in kindness, helping and loving my neighbor, and making sure that everyone gets an equal shot at a good life with great opportunities. I do not believe in trickle-down economics, or giving the best breaks to corporations and the extremely rich in hopes that somewhere down the line, their fingers and purse-strings will loosen enough to let a little of the wealth flow to those who are in greatest need.

I believe that neutrality in the face of oppression is not just neutrality - it is an active choice to support the oppressor. Offering support to a despot means that you effectively put your name on that despot's deeds. Adopting a wait-and-see attitude toward the incoming leader means forgetting everything that I know about him, what he has done, what his actions and words have meant, and the harm he has caused. It is colluding with evil, turning a blind eye toward his cruelty and wickedness. I will not be a part of it. I refuse to just stand by and watch as he and his cronies degrade and destroy this country.

I hear people make excuses for this man on a daily basis; they say "he's a good businessman" and "that was just locker-room talk" and "he just tells the truth and says it like it is". Well, if that is his truth, I want no part of it. A man who can casually brag about having committed sexual assault, who can laugh when another man refers to his daughter as a "nice piece of ass", and who can refer to women as possessions to be used and discarded does not deserve anyone's support or defense. What's past is prologue - past actions are an excellent predictor of future ones. Please, stop telling me to look for his good qualities. In the face of what I know - and I do know it, because he has spoken of these things himself - any latent good qualities just don't matter. Long ago, someone once asked me what you get when you mix a gallon of ice-cream with a gallon of shit. The answer is you get two gallons of shit. And at the risk of sounding crude, that's what we have in the current administration.

In making their case for supporting the new president, people point to the bible and exhort us not to pass judgment on others. Well, I know all the prohibitions against judging, and the statements about turning the other cheek and walking another mile with your enemy. No one needs to remind me of those things. I have struggled with them in regards to this man ever since he announced his candidacy. But as a woman who has experienced an emotionally and physically abusive relationship, I have learned to recognize abusers. Jesus Christ recognized abusers too. When he saw the money changers abusing and cheating the people, he cast them out, and he left no one in doubt of the righteousness of his anger.

What I can and will do is commit to praying for this man. I will pray that his heart may be changed. I will pray that he won't hurt people by taking away their health insurance or their rights. I will pray that he won't start a war with his vile and monstrous rhetoric. I will pray for my friends and family who were deceived by this liar, who signed on to support his evil ideals and actions, because they believed him when he said he was pro-life and would bring back manufacturing jobs that will never come back, because the world is irrevocably changed. And let me just add that no one is pro-life who also believes in torture, murdering the families of our enemies, and taking health-care away from millions of people who are sick and in need. This new Pied Piper has played the songs that people wanted to hear, convinced them that he is offering a wonderful world full of promise, and is leading them down into the darkness.

I am tired. I am angry. I am hurt. I live in dread of what damage this man and his administration will do to this country and its people. But I am also calm, and I am certain of the choices I made in this election. I will not countenance the actions of this man and his administration. My understanding of morality and ethics will not permit me to stand anywhere other than on the side of those who are most vulnerable. I have spent the past sixteen years working to help the last and least, and I won't stop just because people scold or try to shame me into following the Pied Piper into the dark.

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for your words that express my feelings! trump has already had enough time in the spotlight for me to see what his character is, and it is NOT for the good of my family, my community, our country, nor our world. He is only for himself. I believe in and work for harmony, but I believe that only comes through love and justice for the least among us.

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    1. Thank you for reading and responding. I think - and hope - that many others feel the same way. We must keep on talking, speaking truth to power.

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