Like a lot of folks, I am in a rush to finish up the calendar year 2016. There have definitely been some smiles along the way, but the thing that will stick with me about this one will be the way it felt so unfair.
I know this puts me squarely in that demographic of liberal whiners, and I understand that if I want real change I have to go out there and make it. I get just how easy it's been for the past eight years to be a snowflake. Some of us forgot how to argue for the existence of climate change. Some of us believed that there was a path toward understanding between races and cultures. It was a bumpy path, but there was no need to build a wall.
Now, all of a sudden it feels as though the wall sprang up overnight. If I am totally honest, I recognize that each brick had to be carried there and each scoop of mortar was being applied while I slept. I slept in that dreamy state of hope and change that seemed to be sweeping across our nation. All I really needed to do was check out the comment section at the bottom of just about any news story. They have been out there all this time, with an anger and fear quotient that tipped over this past year and spilled into the fabric of our lives.
The shock that we felt as we watched the electoral votes pile up for the former game show host and what he represents. I can cry and moan about the popular vote and how rigged the contest seems now, but when it all went down, I was still asleep.
Fast asleep. Dreaming of how wonderful it would be to live in a country where anyone could grow up and be president, even if they weren't a rich, white male. As it turns out, I should have been more careful about what I was wishing for, since the notion that "anyone" can become president turns out to be true. Qualifications and temperament don't seem to have a lot to do with it. A bit of a Monkey's Paw, there. I assumed everyone else felt the way I do.
Never make an assumption, my wife will remind me, since that makes an ass out of you and umption. Having those uncomfortable conversations becomes more vital than ever. Questioning policy and procedure is our job in a democracy. Waiting for our freedoms to be restored may take more patience than I have, and it may make it impossible to bring about the change that we had hoped for back in 2008. As it tuns out, that wasn't the end of a journey. It was only a beginning. 2016 was a fork in the road, and we turned right. A course correction for some, for others it felt like heading straight for the wall.
That wall somebody else is going to pay for? Don't you believe it. If they build it, help me tear it down. 2016 is over. Time to get back to work.