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Growing Up

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Post-Election Slump

Post-election day in America. Wake to red-rimmed eyes and nausea, flurries of confused and despairing text messages from friends and family. Trump slump.

Fumble for the right words to reassure the children, explain America’s choice of a bully, a tyrant, a braggart, a bigot.  Canada’s immigration website crashes, stock futures are lower. Read Paul Krugman in the New York Times , watch Van Jones on CNN, rationalize pending depression.

Fake my way through breakfast and school prep, visit the drugstore, the pot dispensary, the coffee shop. Youngsters at the dispensary bop to reggae, encourage optimism, intone cheerfully that we have until next year, anyway.

Barista at the coffee shop sees my face and sighs, “Yeah, I know.  At least I’m a straight white male…. But I’m gonna be there for my friends who aren’t.  We’re gonna stand up and fight together.”
And I stop. We’re in like Flynn, even with the megalomaniac, so we have no time for depression, no luxury of lassitude. There are immigrants, Muslims, people of color, women and children who have reason to fear. They need us. The earth’s climate in flux, balanced on the knife edge, it needs us. The country, democratic values at stake, it needs us.

Take a day for despair if you need one. Find the chemicals to dull the shock. Turn off the internet for twenty-four hours . .  . and then come back. We need you.

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