Signs of Hope (Perhaps)
These are painful times. It seems as though every institution, political process and value we share is under attack. The level of destruction to people and environment is unimaginable. The level of disregard for the rule of law is something I never thought I would see in this country. At times I despair for our future and feel sorrow that I am not leaving my children and especially grandchildren a better world.
And yet there are signs of hope, glimmers of possibility that we are beginning to turn a corner. Perhaps we can find our way out of this mess back to the beautiful country which has been built over these last two hundred and forty-six years. Perhaps our better more loving hearts are ready to reemerge.
I see ten signs of hope which I wish to share.
- The midterm elections were a powerful victory for the Democrats and while their party is far from perfect it has meant that the President’s power has been limited.
- As this is happening the Democrats have rediscovered their long missing back bone. For two years they mostly cowered in a corner not knowing how to handle the Bully-in-Chief but have regained a sense of value and purpose.
- Even Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, an exceptionally bland, moderate, cautious politician has risen up to align with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in support of the ‘New Green Deal.’ At last some of our leaders are advocating for dealing with climate change. And with the exception of Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio every Democrat running for President has endorsed this plan.
- The role of women in all of this has been astonishing. More women have been elected to the House and Senate than ever before in our history. Women are even a majority in the Nevada legislature. And Nancy Pelosi has surged forward facing down the bully over budget and wall.
- Opinion polls have shown Trump’s favorability ratings have declined in every state and those who say they definitely will not vote for him in 2020 has risen by double digits.
- The Republican Party is mostly a crowd of asteroid denying dinosaurs in all of this, but they have resisted the President on free trade, Iran and other aspects of Middle-East policy. This is likely related to #5 above. As the President’s popularity declines, they seek some distance. Nevertheless, traditional conservatives are finally showing some signs of life.
- El Paso Texas Commissioners welcomed the President to the boarder town with the following resolution. “Now, therefore, be it resolved by the El Paso County Judge and Commissioners Court that the County of El Paso is disillusioned by President Trump’s lies regarding the boarder and our community and though it is difficult to welcome him to El Paso while he continues to proliferate such untruths, we do welcome him to meet with local officials to become properly informed about our great and safe region.” Resistance is arising in local communities where it is most important. And the Republican Congressman from the El Paso area opposes the wall.
- Despite vigorous attacks by the President the press has not submitted, surrendered or capitulated. In many ways our private, free press is a hero in all of this. Gayle King and Nora O’Donnell of CBS, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Anderson Cooper of CNN have become particular favorites of mine. They and many others are heroes in service to our country.
- Numerous generals and members of the NSA have stood up to the President’s policies and plans especially when they are ill informed and counter-productive.
- There is even hope arising from television commercials. If one watches closely many non-traditional families are seen. This is important because if diversity ‘sells’ politicians will jump on the band wagon and push for a much more open climate.
There is still a great deal of turmoil and chaos and this may get worse before it gets better but perhaps we have had our fill of hate and division. Perhaps we are beginning to hear the call to find our way home. In these times, engagement in the political processes is a way to embody our spiritual values in the world.