Those values are about to be severely challenged as the far-right government of Donald Trump threatens the world with environmental, economic and military cataclysm and gives tacit permission to racists, sexists and homophobes to assault, threaten and intimidate people of color, LGBTQ people, religious minorities and women. The last is happening already with disturbing frequency.
Those of us with a naturalistic worldview already understood that our world is under deep threat. We knew that creating a better future wasn’t going to be easy.
It just didn’t seem we were going to have to fight along so many axes at once.
But here it is. The angry public of the United States has made a stupid, petulant choice, and we are saddled with it. And our role now is clear: we must resist.
When we see bigotry expressed, we must come to the support of those who are its victims. We must provide aid and comfort and solidarity with those who are its targets, even if we are also its targets. We must come together as a movement and as people of good and true hearts.
We must not be silent. We must not be invisible. Although at times it may be dangerous not to be.
Donald Trump and his voters are not what this country is about. They are not about the future of humanity, either. They are atavistic throwbacks to values and motivations that are on their way out. They are a knee-jerk backlash, nothing more.
And most of his voters will be victims of his policies just as much, or nearly so, as the rest of us.
We are entering a period when working within the legislative system, while necessary, is not going to help much at the federal level. It’s going to take a lot of litigation and some straight-up grassroots oppositional organizing to slow or stop some of what is coming.
And much of it, we will not be able to stop.
Before election day, we did not really know whether it was possible to stop some of the tremendous challenges facing our world.
We still do not know that, but we know the next few years are going to be very hard. They are going to appall us and oppress us and demoralize us on a regular basis.
But here’s the thing: we’re right.
We’re on the side of the angels. And while there is no guarantee that history will continue an overall arc towards justice and sustainability, it has moved in those directions in recent years. The next four will be an anomaly, not the new normal.
Take heart, friends. Take one another’s hands. Understand that what is coming is going to demand that each of us works our tail off in service to what we love.
Breathe and prepare. They’re coming.