Wednesday, November 9, 2016

No Joy in Mudville...

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville -
Well you know the rest.

Here in Chicago, my home town, about 84 percent of the people who cast a vote in yesterday's election voted for Hillary Clinton. I think it's fair to say that's a higher percentage than people in this city who rooted for the Cubs to win the World Series last week.

So you can imagine this morning there was a pall cast over the city. Heads were hanging low and there was not a little funkiness in the spirit of most of the people I encountered this morning.

"How could this happen?" is their mantra, and I must say mine as well.

Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine Donald Trump being nominated, let alone elected President of the United States. I've gone  on and on and on and and on and on about my observations of him so I'll spare you them now.

Suffice it to say, there is a disconnect in this country so profound that I can't imagine any healing, anytime soon. It's not as if we live in different countries, it's more like we live on different planets. I've tried my darnedest to understand why anyone would vote for a narcissistic misogynistic egomaniac with no experience in public service and a very checkered past, putting it mildly. One response I got was that his opponent was worse. And what made her worse I asked.

The response was a recitation of conspiracy theories presented by right wing talk show hosts that ranged from giving away government secrets to murder. No rational discourse could make these people see that most of the stuff they were saying was pure nonsense. The other answer I got is that we need a change. Well God help us, we sure got that.

It just occurred to me that the baseball analogy at the top is not entirely inappropriate. This election for some, was like rooting for one team over another, only the stakes were much, much higher. Arguing the merits of one candidate over another ended up making about as much sense as a drunken die hard fan of one team arguing the merits of his team with a drunken die hard fan of the other team. They're not called fan(antics) for nothing.

If Trump sticks to many of his campaign promises, it's going to be a serious test of our democratic republic and our constitutional democracy. However the time of talking is behind us and the time for governing is about to begin. This country has survived many serious tests and I have faith, God willing, that it will survive this one.

At least the sun did come up this morning, and there is serious work ahead for all of us.

Somewhere indeed all over this land, a band is playing and hearts are light.
But not here in Chicago.

It's amazing what difference a week can make.

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