The Gold-plated Lining
'Every cloud has a silver lining’ or so they say. For those of us who assumed we would start 2017 from a Clinton perspective, i.e. the status quo, we still had a long way to climb to the progressive tree house we want to live in, but now, it’s as though we have fallen all the way back down to the ground and have to start over from scratch.
President Trump. It sounds like a Dr. Seuss book about a malevolent little dictator who wants to cut down all the trees. In my little world of liberal mountain-town living we’ve all been looking around for someone/thing to blame: cutting art and music in schools, processed foods, Debbie what’s-her-name. It’s like we fell (were pushed?) off the tree and landed in a fresh cow pie, because instead of watching where we were climbing, we were staring at the clouds, day-dreaming about the first female US president.
But that’s ok, we got this; Americans are nothing if not resilient. The first thing to do is get back to the all-for-one and one-for-all mindset. No more of this us/them bullshit because as long as we stay in our respective red and blue camps we’ll never get rid of the oligarchic trip leader. It’s time to put aside our party affiliations and work together for the betterment of all. Why do we even still register with a party? How outdated is that? Shouldn’t there be an app by now to vote your conscience and order take-out at the same time?
Here in Carbondale, whenever we’re out enjoying food and drink, let’s please acknowledge that it’s supplied, prepared and brought to our table by immigrants. Go back one generation or six; unless you’re a Native American, we’re all immigrants. And I, for one, like to think of it as a belay system of support; once you’ve been here a while, and you’re secure, start looking around for a newbie, someone you can assist and defend. (Just one of many ways to counteract the president-elect’s plan to isolate and deport.*)
My real fear isn’t that Trump’s not qualified to be president; it’s that he’s a natural. What if he’s more of a politician than anyone suspected? Specifically, what if he lied and said what some Americans wanted to hear in order to make a shitton of money? Sacrificing the myriad cultures in this nation for the almighty dollar may very well be #1 on his agenda. I can already hear him tweeting for the death of all things elitist: books, museums, theater that isn’t on ice. What if he’s like an American Mao and in four short years kills all the birds? Maybe when the White House looks like a Vegas hotel we’ll be inspired to work together against the establishment.
Patterns in history tell us that the next few years could be tragic, for both republicans and democrats. We all need food, water, and shelter, no matter our party affiliation. When Trump talks about investing in America’s infrastructure I’d like to think he’s talking about bridges and plumbing in federal buildings, but I have the feeling he’s talking about pipelines. Putting aside the arguments that drilling into the ground causes earthquakes, and injecting chemicals into the water table causes cancer in people and the animals we eat, let’s just talk logistics. The more we drill, the more we saturate the market, driving down the price (and profit margin) therefore causing the industry to halt production, i.e., no new jobs. Trump’s promises could actually bring about the end of the coal and gas driven era, leading us right into our renewable energy future… Perhaps Trump’s presidency will end up being the death rattle of our two-party=1% system and dirty energy as we know it (howbeit unintentionally.) And maybe it will be a catalyst for the UNITED States of America to come together and embrace our multi-cultural nation. If not a silver lining, a gold-plated one anyway.
*Another way is to pledge to register as Muslim when and if Trump’s team of xenophobes starts collecting names- https://www.registerus.today/