observations and opinion
Premonitions from last weekend, of what came to pass November 8th.
On the weekend before the U.S. election, feeling the dread possibility of Trump’s victory, I reflected on how America had come to this point. And what to do next. There were two articles.
One, “Exiled from the Promised Land” reflects the grief of knowing that the America of our dreams and hopes, might really be gone. The recording – “The Waters of Babylon” – is a hymn about the plight of the Israelis, exiled from Zion. If you listen to it, the artist Don Maclean, reminds the audience that while profoundly sad, the hymn is really about hope.
The other piece “When the battle is over” discusses the profound degradation of American democracy and the urgent work to restore it. It is about re-building Zion, really.
That work of rebuilding American democracy will be considerably harder than hoped. But the United States Constitution is a magnificent thing – stronger than a strong man, certainly. And the institutions of U.S. democracy are all still alive, however wounded they may appear this morning.
Since it was adopted, the US Constitution has been tested and torn and yet, survived.
That’s not some kind of romantic notion to dwell upon for consolation: it is the truth and it is a weapon.
The Constitution is a complex instrument with one central theme: don’t trust anyone with power. The very decentralism that frustrates progressive politics will inevitably impede President Trump.
Mourn the loss, gird for the real struggle: not just resisting the regressive government, but restoring constitutional awareness in the land.