The Day After

I didn’t sleep well last night, troubled by chaotic dreams. Today, coincidentally, I’m scheduled for a stress test, because of some chest pain that’s persisted for a few months. I’d reschedule, but I don’t think the stress will abate anytime soon.

The first actual voice I heard this morning was Susan’s: “Oh, no.” The generational difference in our house was instructive – two middle-aged, comfortable, northeast liberals, shell-shocked and numb; one spitting mad 16 year-old, tears in her eyes. She’s right to be furious, and I think fury might be the better choice, if it can be put to good use. Complacency is no longer an option.

My problem is that I’m a Star Trek softie. I grew up with the idea that society would soon move past the -isms and become safe and just for everyone. I still think it will, eventually. Susan said this morning, “We forget how quickly things have changed, within our lifetimes.” Certainly, from a historical view we’ve come a long way in a short amount of time. Backlash was inevitable.

A few random thoughts. I think the markets will recover, because too many people need them. I think my daughter had better stay healthy, and I hope today’s stress test doesn’t reveal something that can later be called a pre-existing condition. I think abortion will become illegal for a time, and that the abortion rate will not decrease. I think (tongue-in-cheek here) our immigration issues might resolve themselves, for lack of anyone wanting to come here for a while. I think it might be a good time to open a bar.

Most election seasons end with a call for unity, but this isn’t the time for unity. This is when the Resistance begins. That term came to me in the shower, then appeared in my Inbox from two other friends. We need to reinvigorate and support a free press. We need to get religion out of politics, for good this time. We need to embrace diversity, and help those who need helping. We need to make sure there’s enough for everyone.

To my friends who are scared, depressed, wiped out this morning: I’m with you. My heart goes out to those whose lives may soon become more difficult. Turn off social media for a while. Stay away from cable news. Wear black if you must. Give someone a hug. Then get busy. Stop saying, “I’m not political,” stop giving your blathering father-in-law a pass, just to keep the peace. Stand with your kids, who will be here much longer than us.

I used to wonder how societies could succumb to the -isms. Why didn’t people do anything? Now we have the responsibility to make a difference. How will history judge us? Let the Resistance begin.