Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Little Big Man

"Tearful nights, angry dawns."

Patriotic Ribbon #2Over the course of these past months I have been called racist, misogynist and my friends. I have been urged to vote not out of passion, or principle but for revenge. I've been encouraged to believe that the triumph of one candidate over the other is a mandate to band together and take things belonging to others not out of necessity, but out of envy. Polling places, and the people serving them, were adorned with the likenesses and campaign regalia of one of the contestants. A man who cobbled together a coalition of the self-interested accepts victory by urging us forward as "one people" without ever having announced a destination. The winner was dragged over the finish line by cheerleaders fawningly giving him credit for the bravery of others and at the same time refusing to hold him accountable for his own cowardice. Commentators celebrate a storm that killed over a hundred people, hinting that it made a positive difference in the election. The President's one recent shining moment recorded him watching accounts of citizens fighting for, and losing, their lives as he wore a $5000 suit they bought him, sipping $40 a pound coffee from a gold-rimmed cup.

I can't sleep.

Yet, I see the standard bearers of my own faith once again leading us into a bitter wilderness. We preach liberty and practice intolerance. We reap the harvest - literally and figuratively - of hard-working families encouraged to cross our borders only to feign shock that they have remained among us "illegally." We brand one form of love as spiritual and all others as cursed. Far from embracing fellow citizens for the content of their character, we apply values tests as though ours is the one and true faith. We have eliminated from our midst those who would work shoulder to shoulder with us, to build a future not only for ourselves, but for the generations who will accept a staggering burden of debt as our parting gift.

It is nearly dawn, and for the first time in my adult life I'm frightened.

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