What did we lose yesterday?
We lost the environment, and by extension, all hope of dampening the accelerating impact of global warming. To my mind, that dwarfs all the other suffering that’s headed our way.
We lost the Supreme Court for a generation, and with it, all hope of restoring fairness to our electoral process and justice to our society.
We lost the Affordable Care Act. Janet and I will soon be without insurance, and may never have it again.
We lost the minimum wage — forget the increase, I mean we may have lost the idea of a federal minimum wage.
We lost a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion. Also sensible access to contraception.
Our children lost any hope of a quality, affordable college education.
We lost inclusiveness and tolerance: For racial minorities, for gender minorities, for religious minorities. There will be no end to mass incarceration, to the drug war, to racial profiling. Latinos will be pursued and harassed. The rights of homosexuals will once again be on the docket.
We lost decency and civility. We lost respect for law and traditions. We lost our connection to fact and reason. Women have been degraded. Truth has been shredded, reconstructed, tarted up and pimped out..
We lost peace, such as it was, abroad. We lost our standing in the world, and our domestic tranquility as well.
We lost the economy, which will founder in global recession and fester through extreme inequality.
We lost the thread that traced back to 1787, the sense of common purpose. We lost faith in our fellows: Not just the 25 percent who voted for Trump, but the 50 percent of eligible voters who didn’t vote at all. Winning the popular vote is cold comfort against that backdrop.
We lost compassion. We lost faith.
We lost our way.
We lost America as an idea.
Others are asking “How can we recover from this? What plan of action will work?” I ask: From which of these things is it even possible to recover in this lifetime?
How many species will disappear? How many lives will we lose to treatable illness? How many aquifers to fracking? How many killed on the streets? On battlefields?
What else will we lose because of last night, because of our ignorance and apathy, our sad human frailties, our desperate need to bulwark the anxieties of complexity?
Others look for hope today. I say, stare into the abyss. Face truth. Tell me what you see, but don’t bring me any pat, easy answers.
Who knows what will happen and when? Not me.
But I know this isn’t normal. I know an old continuity just ended.
I don’t see a way forward yet.