A gnashing of teeth is penetrating social media – this angst deepens as 20 January draws nearer and with it, the reality of a Trump presidency.
“We’re on our own now.”
“No one’s coming to save us.”
These refrains are repeated with a mixture of futility, panic and a heavy pall of fear.
But here’s the thing – we have always been on our own. Each citizen of this republic has a duty to take part in the running of this democracy. For too long, we have cast a vote and then transferred that duty to our elected representatives. We have complacently presumed they would do the job of upholding democratic principles. And when they failed, we assumed an institution or an agency would save the day. When that did not happen, we looked to the media. We exhorted these organizations to reveal, uncover, accuse and disrupt the violations in governance.
Again, we were disappointed.
Now we are recognizing that the power of this democracy is wielded by its citizens.
It is uncomfortable – comprehending this responsibility. Many have never really accepted the gravity of its meaning. We have passed on individual civic action; we hoped for the best, lived our lives and assumed everything would be OK. Or we waited for a candidate to save us, to right all the wrongs, to realign the teetering republic. Or we scoffed at the possible dissolution of the thing called democracy. We complacently thought that our system was impenetrable. We tweeted our fingers numb in outrage. Lived in stunned denial.
What is happening now is an awakening, a rebirth. Every day, more of us emerge from the cocoon. We take on the mantle of citizen, we practice the act of citizenship, we build that more perfect union.
Two thoughts to finish this post.
I will repeat daily The Pledge of Allegiance.
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America,and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
I will recall constantly, these words by Hillary Rodham Clinton, The People’s President, as she bade farewell to her 65 million constituents. They were crafted for us with foreknowledge of the future.
This loss hurts. But please, please
never stop believing that fighting
for what’s right is worth it.
It’s always worth it.
And we need you to keep up these fights
and for the rest of your lives.