That Will be Real Nice

img_5184We awoke to freezing rain, falling sideways on a sharp and persistent wind, and by the time I emerged from the house for chores, the land and everything it bore was rimed in ice. As it does every morning, my right shoulder brushed the outermost branches of the apple tree where I turn toward the pig’s winter quarters, and the sound of the ice breaking upon that soft impact was indistinguishable from the crackling of the clapboard cut-offs I’d used to kindle the fire.

It’s been something less than a real winter – we’ve had more snow than last year, but the thaws have arrived in clockwork fashion, and the latest has been a real doozy. It’s hardly been below freezing for the past week. If there’s an upside, it’s that Penny and I ski every chance we get, fearful that the next thaw will take us down to bare ground. So, in our own paranoid and semi-frantic fashion, we’ve actually skied a good bit, and there is no better tool for thriving in winter than a pair of cross-country skis. A chainsaw helps, too. And a splitting maul.

On Saturday, along with an estimated 14,996 others, we attended the Women’s March in Montpelier. I do not think I have ever been in a crowd so large; indeed, the traffic to and from the event was enough to close the interstate. Bernie showed and did his Bernie thing, and there was wonderful spoken word poetry from a quartet of Muslim girls, and singing, and chanting, and all the things one might expect of such a gathering. I was disappointed that Vermont’s newly-elected governor, a Republican who has gone to great pains to distance himself from Trump, did not make an appearance, but then again, if it’d come down to him or the poetry, I’d’ve taken the poetry every time. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say that poetry trumps politics every time, even when poetry is politics. If that makes any sense.

I do not like our new president. I find him boorish and crude, loutish, an embodiment of a particular Americanized concept of power and success, which to me seems rooted in some sort of primal fear I cannot understand. If it weren’t for his newly-anointed position, he’d be almost laughable. Or, as I like to say: It’d be funny. If it were funny. My own fear is primarily the fear I feel on behalf of those who do not enjoy the privilege of my white, American-born, male skin. Though it’s true I fear for myself, too, and my children, and even so many of those who voted for him. Despite his proclamations to the contrary, I do not believe he has our best interests at heart.

In my mind, I distinguish between Trump and those who support him. Which is to say, in most cases, I feel empathy for those who saw fit to cast their ballot his way; I understand the disillusionment, the sense of being forgotten, unheard, misunderstood. Sure, there are surely some who voted for reasons I cannot fathom or even forgive, but I truly believe that those who cast this election as being solely about hate or intolerance are egregiously oversimplifying the matter. There is much more at play, here. Much more.

On the way home from the rally, I commented to my family that if Hillary had been elected, there wouldn’t have even been a rally, and that perhaps Trump’s election will in hindsight prove to be a turning point, a moment of awakening. And that furthermore, perhaps a Hillary presidency would have been more dangerous, if only because it might have enabled us to keep snoozing. I could be wrong about this.

To be sure, the rally was only a moment in time, an almost instinctual reaction to the circumstances. Perhaps its energy cannot be sustained, and we will all retreat to our respective corners to lick our wounds and figure out how best to carry on in this baffling world. But I’d like to think there’s something more behind it than that. Not that we won’t still have wounds to tend; not that the world won’t continue to baffle and bewilder, as it would have no matter who’d been elected. This much is assured.

Still, I’d like to think that the rally we attended – along with the hundreds of other rallies that millions more attended – isn’t merely a silk purse hewn from a sow’s ear, but rather the foundational supports of an entirely new container, a vessel that will carry us much longer and farther than the next four years, one that has room for many more than were present at these rallies, including, even, those who see salvation in our current president.

Now I see that the freezing rain has changed over to snow, and I think that maybe later, if it keeps up, there’ll be a fresh layer upon which to ski. We’ll climb the field across the road and glide into the sugar woods, and I’ll forget about everything else but the feel of my hammering blood and breath and the liquid sound of my skis in the new snow. Yes. That will be real nice.






68 thoughts on “That Will be Real Nice”

  1. I share your perspective on the challenges of these times, particularly on the new administration. There are profound gifts here. And yes, we need to rally and march and hold the space for Love. Best to you.

  2. This is lovely Ben. I’d love to see you submit it to Orion for publication. The New Yorker. I’m not sure where, but I’d love it to be more widely read.

  3. I wonder if you had pussyhats to wear. I was lucky to make one for a friend who was going to Washington. That part of the march ignited so much positive energy in my opinion. Coming together to work toward a goal all over the world. I do hope it will continue surging forward. I have been thinking about what I can do besides calling my very conservative Texas representatives.

  4. I’ve shared this entry to Facebook also. I was thinking this morning how put-uponI felt to spend 2 hours on an online training with Indivisible.org & how put-upon my visit to Senator Patty Murray’s office feels this morning. Thank you for shaking me out of my whiny state & back to my post-Women’s March fire.

  5. As an “outsider,” Trump had an advantage over Hillary among the electorate. With all his outlandish campaign statements and the stain of pussy-grabbing and Trump University, his refusal to release tax documents, one wonders how he’d have fared against another “outsider,” i.e., Bernie Sanders. But the DNC (Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) cheated Sanders, arguably depriving him of the nomination. There’s something Shakespearean in this morality tale.

  6. Before this discussion gets too earnest, and in the interest of fact-checking your statement that you do not believe you have ever been in such a large crowd, I must remind you of the 1988 Monsters of Rock Tour. I mean, Van Halen AND Metallica? There must have been more than 15,000 at that shindig.

  7. Maybe many will retreat. I believe whatever happens we will still be here paying attention and not going to sleep. We will be staying awake and preparing to step up again when the time comes.

    I don’t understand the primal fear. Really. But I do. I think you do, too, because you have a good imagination. For those of us who have moved past the fear we have to relocate it and see how we can have compassion for those who haven’t. The worst thing we can do is condescend to the people who haven’t moved past. Or patronize.

    It’s like a 1200 pound horse that is freaking out at the end of your lead rope because it thinks that something is after it. The worst thing you can do is to get mad or freak out yourself. You have to stay calm and lead it in the direction where it feels calm, too.

    I know no one here is freaking out or getting mad. Maybe it’s because you anchor the essay back to skiing.

  8. Hi Ben, I really appreciate your writing and get excited every time I see your new entry in my email. While no one is an expert at everything and cannot please everybody, I’m simply letting you know that the collectivist language you used made me cringe. One of the best parts about you IMO is your originality (I’ve even come to appreciate your taste in music). Orwell’s 1984 referred to collectivist language as ‘newspeak.’ I guess I’m making a statement to speak for yourself, like you mostly do. Self ownership is a crucial principle that the majority of human beings have never heard of. When the words ‘our’ president are used, I feel a small sense of violation. As H.D. Thoreau said, ‘the government that governs least, governs best.’ Or in the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, ‘the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.’

      1. Thanks for responding and that is what I figured. And I definitely continue to ponder the concept of self ownership quite often. The conditioning (indoctrination?) that I & most others who attended government schooling for 12+ years have been exposed to is quite effective.

    1. I thought this was an interesting comment,too. It made me look into what “collectivist language” might mean. I found that there are a couple ways of looking at it but I won’t go into it here. We can all research in our own ways (individualism). I will say that I believe there is a fine line that we walk when we talk about individualism. We are tribal. We need each other. So it would be interesting to ponder how individualism works when we’re speaking in a way “our people” understand and agree upon.

    2. Hello ak.

      Please help me understand. Could you take a second and rewrite the following sentence as you would have written it:

      I do not like our new president.


      1. Hi Plough Monday. Something like this:

        I do not like the new president.


        I do not like the new president of the geographical region referred to as the united states.

        I don’t vote and don’t consent to any other rulership. So it’s not ‘my’ president or ‘our’ president. Voting is immoral & unethical. It is an attempt on my life by force. Ultimately, government is force, violence, and aggression. Simply try to keep the fruits of your own labor and eventually, if one refuses to allow themselves to be stolen from, the destination is a cage. Resist, like many have done, and the destination is six feet under ground.

        There was a ‘tribe’ known as MOVE in Pittsburg in the 1970s with counter cultural ideas. Eventually, Philadelphia police bombed an entire city block, killed 11 and destroyed 65 homes. Shocking that this is never mentioned in government schools.

        The use of ‘our’ ‘us’ & ‘we’ is what I generally refer to as collectivist language. Tribes are great, so long as they’re voluntary. Anything other than voluntary interaction between consenting adults is slavery. The modern world is comprised of giant tax farms, and exists because most ‘slaves’ don’t notice. It’s obviously more preferable for the rulers compared to past forms of slavery.

        The majority of income earning individuals have little left after taxes, inflation and interest. But it is akin to a thousand paper cuts, a lot less noticeable than the hatchet.

        This is the issue with the ‘social contract’ theory taught in government school. How can one be contracted without consent? I didn’t sign shit! Also, this is the issue with democracy as a whole. The individual is the smallest minority. There is a reason the US is attempting to spread democracy world wide, and ‘freedom’ has nothing to do with it. Gang rape is highly democratic. So is 2 wolves and 1 sheep ‘voting’ on what’s for dinner.

      2. I enjoyed your post Ak, especially the “Tribes are great, so long as they’re voluntary.” I’ve been trying to convince my folks of that, but you know, they are not buying it. 🙂 What is your view then on responsibility?

      3. Akbush, that is quite a rant! You appear to be channeling your inner Gabby Johnson.

        I’m not a fan of POTUS #45 either, but there are checks and balances for most things other than Presidential executive orders and the power he/she has via Article II of the U.S. Constitution.

        I thought that POTUS #44 took a final cheap shot at Israel by giving the Palastinians $221M and subverted the legal system by commuting so many sentences and, having once been a soldier, the commutation of Bradley Manning’s sentence particularly annoyed me.

      4. Ugh! The same thought about how this should be phrased- this more intellectual masturbation than getting at anything, sorry to say. Yes, by all means, indulge yourself and forget to get anything real done.

        (hit reply waay up there, showe up like it was to Mr Bird, was not)

  9. Ben, this morning, before I saw your post, I looked at John’s photographs from Montpelier march: https://stilllearningtosee.com/2017/01/23/thank-you-women-of-the-world/ and although I really had not been very much aligned with these new women’s marches, I could not help but get all emotional looking at John’s photographs. He captured the emotion, the heart of the event so nicely. And of course, the beauty of Montpelier and magic of Vermont, who can resist that. 🙂 But I also react same way looking at the beautiful ranchers here in Arizona many of whom drive the same truck as you do, hay stacked high up in the bed, chickens clucking in their yard, and homeschooled kids, and most of them voted for Trump. And still, let’s not forget, quite a bit more folks in this country did not vote for anyone, than either one of the two main candidates. Of those who did vote, many voted reluctantly, feeling forced to chose lesser of the two evils. I really think the radical outliers are much smaller than media or social media would lead one to believe.

    I did not know you were in Montpelier crowd. Looks like an invigorating event.
    Will this energy carry us as a vessel beyond the next 4 years, I am skeptical, but hopeful at the same time. May poetry and music soften us all up a bit more to open doors for understanding.

  10. Well said, thanks for another thoughtful post. Wish we would get some snow down here in Mass. so I could do some cross-country too.

  11. Thank you for your voice. I was almost afraid to click on the Comments…but your readers are so intelligent & funny & kind!
    Happy trails to you.

  12. I remember standing in the voting booth staring at the ballot, still feeling conflicted. Ultimately, Mike Pence is what swayed my decision, hopeful that he would have a leveling affect. And, sad to say, if something were to happen. I believe Clinton would have been a weak president.
    You mentioned that the governor didn’t show up to the rally you attended this weekend. Those details matter. Trump took the time while on the campaign trail to pay a visit to our area after the devastating flooding we experienced this past summer, raising awareness and money for flood victims. Clinton did not visit. Our state flushed red.

  13. Great bit of writing. We were inspired by the rally we attended also.

    In response to the one comment about group think, etc: I don’t think that self-ownership and working with others for common respect, equality, and dignity are exclusive. We don’t live in a world without culture, community, and government. While we need to primarily take responsibility for our own actions we also need to figure out how to protect and defend our morals and ideals from those whom do not respect the responsibility that comes with self-ownership.

    If history had shown us the humans were all capable of all our individual decisions being for the good of all we would not need many of the institutions that we have; however, history has shown us that we do need them. I wish that we didn’t.

    It is my hope that someday we can rise above the need for as many institutions of group control; however, I have no delusions of my own moral purity and thus don’t expect the same from others.

    If you haven’t gotten a chance to read “Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging” by Sebastian Junger, it addresses some of these concepts and I highly recommend it.

  14. Some of us see things in a different light is all. We ARE truly blessed in this Nation. The only reason we are, is because of our constitutional rights. Some of us don’t see the world so black or white, democrat or republican.. but rather question the agenda of the NWO and one world government. No border nations, being their theme. If our current politicians can be bought now.. what is to say that when / if the day came for a one world government that it wouldn’t be the case also? Can you imagine one individual thinking they could effect policy on a global level? Can you imagine what that would look like? This completely transcends partisan politics.

    Because our country was / is racing in that direction. Just do some research on the different UN agendas.

    There is major eugenics going on here and abroad. 28k bombs dropped during the O administration. With Hillary at the hem. I feel sorry for Bernie and his followers.. they were truly screwed by the Clinton machine.

    But I’m sick of the media telling me what to be upset about. I’m upset about the rights of the innocent, 26k bombs dropped, governments worldwide are protecting pedophilia, injecting poisons into our babies, taking away freedoms in the name of safety, security, equality. The democrats funding Isis intentionally creating mass chaos in the mid east.. really I could go on.. and they cover this up and tell me I should be upset about women’s rights? Such extreme hypocrisy.

    Am I saying Trump will be better? God only knows. But “never Hillary” is w/o a doubt the reason he is in. If people don’t go to the root of the cause, you’re not going to find the solution.

    1. This election was nothing short of kids game: “Would you rather”, and doubtfully accidentally so. I am just glad more people voted for legalized Marijuana in some states than for either of the candidates, because we are going to need it. 🙂

    2. Agree with alot of this (and what akbrush said). People are glorifying Obama all over the place…they liked him and he had a cool wife, so it was okay for him to sign some piece of shit protection over the pipeline, that did absolutely nothing. Then people can blame Trump for cancelling it. Obama COULD have stopped it. He pretty much handed it over to Trump. He also liked to kill brown people with drones. He liked signing all kinds of Executive Orders, and we let him. We had no problem giving this power to someone we ‘liked as a person’, but we have a problem now, don’t we? As far as the woman’s march, were all those white women concerned when the same shit was happening before this new president? Did they care when police were brutally murdering blacks? Or do they only care when it involves themselves? I’m glad people marched, because people need to start being angry over something. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t only apply to this cause, because there are too many marginalized groups who need such energy. My fear is over what’s coming, and I think it will begin with DAPL. When they start killing those people, and we begin to realize what reality is, that the Empire has all the guns, all the power, and they begin to treat us the way they treat people in other countries…..then what? What do we do? They are already making laws to start killing people for blocking streets. They are already making laws to censor what can be reported. Women’s protest march what? Where’s the fuckin’ Empire protest? That pesky Empire that we live under and deny on a daily basis?

      1. Starting with “When they start killing those people…” I thought I was the only one who considered this – all bluster and toughness might be appealing while it’s directed at the “other” people but what happens when the table turns and those tough words are directed at (us)? Yes, my mind wondered the same during the campaigns as you do here near the end of your comment; the Pied Piper is now the Emperor. I’m taking one day at a time and trying to enjoy it because I truly do not feel optimistic about the future of the USA.

      2. I don’t either Karyn. Given the level of violence this government operates under, it’s eventually going to turn on it’s own people. Trump seems like the perfect person to be in charge of such a violent government. Having said that, I still think that there are loopholes and chances for unexpected events. I think that once faced with reality, some people will refuse to do the bidding of this ‘government’. Police who refused to harm DAPL fighters for instance. Who knows how it will all play out. I’m seeing most of these systems collapsing in front of our faces (education, medical, agricultural), including the environment. But if they start killing us openly, and people start posting it on Facebook….are we going to send our kids to school the next day and act like nothing happened? Probably not. (Well, lets get that straight…they’ve already killed openly, just not the white people….yet)

      3. Statistically speaking, the great majority of homicide victims are killed by someone of his/her own race. According to 2015 FBI statistics for solved homicides, about 89% of blacks were killed by other blacks and 9% were killed by whites. About 82% of white homicides were committed by other whites and 16% were committed by blacks.

        The point being that while there are police shooting that involve minority victims, American homicide victims are much more likely to be killed by someone of their own race and a majority of those homicides involve some form of lifestyle risk that brought the victims into contact with their killers.

  15. Yeah, an awakening. That’s my hope too. I really think it’s a great opportunity for each of us to “think locally and act globally.” We need to stop waiting for the hero to ride in on a white horse into Washington and fix things. Perhaps some of that Vermont localism can spread abroad some. Household economies meshing with a bonafide local economy, regionally, etc…. Ya, a pipe dream, but maybe… “It’s the corporations, stupid….”

  16. Once again, the comments on this blog are as good as the post which inspired them. Thank you all for your thoughtful, intelligent and (above all) kind responses. I only wish all conversations regarding politics could be so civil.
    I am the last person qualified to make a comment on politics as I intentionally do not follow the relentless news coverage at election time or any other. (But, I guess I will anyway! ) This was the main reason I gave up television about 15 years ago. I just couldn’t, for the life of me, decipher the truth from anything I was hearing. The radio isn’t much better. All reporting is biased one way or another and I tend to go by the idea that, if I didn’t experience something myself, I simply can’t know the whole truth. I am very uncomfortable with choosing an elected official based on information provided to me by someone else as it seems impossible to trust any information shared. Is there any way around this? Not that I can see so we do the best we can with what information we have (hopefully fact-checked as much as possible) and move on.
    I worry when I see such extreme emotions on both ends of the spectrum – those who were jubilant as well as those who appeared destroyed by the election results. Clearly, elected officials have tremendous power (too much) and can use it for good or evil. Or, they can argue back and forth among themselves until nothing of value is accomplished. But, I worry when I see what I perceive to be people placing their entire hopes on the backs of politicians. The amount of energy spent being angry or self-righteous or devastated or smug could be put to much better use. I understand the value of gathering with others and expressing shared feelings and creating energy but where does it go from there? I am curious, now that the marches and demonstrations have happened, what will people do with that energy? In a practical, day-to-day sense, what will people do when they wake up in the morning to make the world a better place given however they feel about the election? In such moments, I always come back to my belief in focusing on our personal sphere of influence as the only real thing we can do.
    In a way, I feel like maybe I am a good person to ask such questions due to my limited influence by the media. I feel like an alien in such conversations (the few times I have them.) How would someone explain to a being from another planet what has recently transpired here in the US? How can we make sense of it and move forward?
    OK, tired of hearing myself talk (or type!) But, thank you all for your words and to Ben for inspiring them as he does so well. Peace!

    1. I’m reading all the comments and I see the pendulum going, wheeeee! back and forth. NC, I’m with you (well, I’m with everyone but I’m really with you).

      There’s more we can do than we might think about being informed. If you can’t go down to the rally and meet the person (I shook hands with Mrs Clinton on the grounds of the Marshalltown, Iowa courthouse) then we can read the range of periodicals and writers. I get these from the local library.

      I don’t believe in retreating. I believe in stepping forward. Yep, right into the fray where people don’t agree all the time. How can we figure out what we need to do if we don’t talk to one another? We have this predilection for getting all riled up. What if we didn’t get all riled up and just did the work? What if we tended each tree until the whole forest was green? And I don’t mean green party.

      1. Which begs the question… Those who choose not to vote, a freedom that others marched for the right to have,.. do they not forfeit the right to get riled up?

      2. Why would we take away the most exciting human right to get all riled up? 🙂
        But if seriously, I respect people who are honest in admitting they do not have full information to make an intelligent decision. And most of us absolutely do not. With policies so removed thousands of miles away, all we ever have is complete hearsay, regurgitated over and over again, digested through beliefs, propaganda, opinions, frames of reference, and spit out through thousands of channels. Unfortunately, we focus too much on this top down approach and drown ourselves in it, that people lose interest to get involved in local politics. If we reframed our mentality expanding from Me – to my community – to the state, etc. it would perhaps be less discouraging.
        USA constitution was written when population was what, 4 million?
        There is a point, after which, people voting for Mickey Mouse year after year, just give up wasting gas for that nifty sticker at the polls.
        Voting comes in so many forms – your lifestyle, your purchases and your actions, just what NC mentions. But hey, let’s work together on getting someone reasonable on the ballot.

      3. My guess is that if a person decides not to be proactive and take the time to caste a ballot, then they’re most likely not going to be invested in lending a helping hand to mend a broken system.

      4. OMG Bee you gave me my LOL for the day. Yes, getting riled up is one of the greatest pleasure in life, don’t you think? Heck, let’s do it all the time. Yah! Dear Court Jester!

  17. I was also in awe in Montpelier with my girls, 3 and 11…I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else- and I’m so glad my girls experienced that sea of people marching to affect positive change. I also have opted to see the silver lining- this administration will force us out of complacency and beg for action on social and climate injustice. The march wasn’t one day…it was day one!

  18. Ben thanks–as usual, both an eloquent piece of writing and stimulus for thoughtful conversation. But no words will matter as much as the way we live our lives. What I like most about your work is its implicit understanding of that.

    There are no Big Solutions. Only the little steps right in front of us, the ones we face every day. Make them with as much with awareness and compassion as you can muster and you’re doing fine.


  19. Both Vermont and NY, where I live, are blue states, . There are opportunities for success at the state and local levels. I have promised myself to do something every day, Daily Acts of Resistance (DARs), a phone call, a letter to the editor, a $5 or $ donation., etc. It will be necessary to “observe, but not absorb” the spreading pain and difficulty, and picking the battles to protect what we can locally, public radio, Planned Parenthood, etc. or risk burnout or despair. I am ready for the long haul. At the same time, like you and skiing, getting outside, doing chores, have been enormously helpful in keeping a sense of balance and perspective. Thanks for a great post.

      1. Interesting. Until the last few weeks I had always thought that my government town, state, county and federal had done a pretty good job of leaving me alone. Since the election I am thinking about a number of issues personally, and also noticing the human cost of people having their lives turned upside down. 11,000 of the people in our poor county stand to lose their health insurance if ACA is repealed and not replaced with something comparable. The loss of Medicare money would cripple local hospitals, and punch a hole in the budget of a county already struggling financially. The potential loss of Public Radio would leave many Adirondack Mt communities in a media dessert because “market forces” and the private sector are not addressing the needs of these communities. I have heard of gay and lesbian couples slipping into a local parsonage to marry, concerned that right might disappear. with the appt. of a new Supreme Court judge. In states that have already shut down Planned Parenthood, increased health issues and STIs are being reported. Could that happen here? I liked it better when the federal govt. was doing a better job of leaving me alone.

  20. Had Hillary been elected there may have been a rally but the people attending obviously wouldn’t be the same. Don is too religious to suit me and I don’t think he’ll have a problem pushing that on the citizens.

    1. I believe his “religion” is formalism; aka, Sunday attendance at services without absorbing teachings/ethics/ethos. E.g., “Two”, not “Second” Corinthians and not “forsaking all others” when married to Ivana among other exemplars.

  21. Hey Ben, thanks for posting this! I really enjoy your writing, and to some extent live vicariously through you and your life in Vermont. Since the Inauguration, I’ve woken up (I do think the silver lining of Trumps presidency so far is that many people have become less complacent), and with that awakening a heightened level of anxiety about, well….survival. I don’t feel safe on a deep level, and I no longer understand what kind of world I’m preparing my children to participate in. I live a farly mainstream life in a house on the grid, in a medium sized city, drive a car, buy my food at the grocery store, send my kids to school…
    But I really aspire to a life more like yours (being more self sufficient), especially now. I want to ask you, do you feel safe? Do you feel that your lifestyle as homesteader gives you a buffer from feeling vulnerable? These may be pretty difficult questions to answer, since we are all such individuals. My instinct is to take my precious children and run for the hills of this precious earth, to stop participating in all this meaningless bullshit. I know I’m romanticizing the notion of “running for the hills”, big changes are likely to be complicated and challenging, plus I seem to have a brown thumb, but still…..maybe now is the time.

    1. Hi Jill, I highly recommend reading “Making Home” by Sharon Astyk. All her books are really good but I would start with that one. It all begins with baby steps. Hope that helps.

    1. This is my favorite new word “Christofascists”. Thank you for sharing the article.
      Fundamentalists of any religion are dangerous and Pence scares the hell out of me. We are in for a tough ride my friends.

      1. I agree. I also think that if a person were to subscribe to this welcoming that one would have to embrace the fact that bad people are going to come in with the good people. Just a few. Not many. And then bad things are going to happen. We’d have to be able to deal with that. Half of us don’t want to deal. They want it to all go away so they can live in Happy Land. (Who can blame them but, sheesh, at what cost?)

        I think of Gandhi who faced death and danger and still kept to his highest self. He eventually helped win freedom for India. As I read the Autostraddle article the word that kept popping up for me was “jihad”. It sounded like jihad in a different form. We can’t be our higher selves when we are lowering ourselves to the opposition’s level. I would love to be in a conversation with the promoters of that type of thought and hear how they spin scripture to support their position.

      2. I struggle with the immigration issue. As a Christian, I believe in “no one is a stranger.” I believe in “what you have done to the least of these, my Brethern, you have done to Me.” I believe that some of the “least of these” I see out in the word might be Jesus himself and I certainly hope I wouldn’t turn my back on Him. But, I also have a family member who was a victim of terrorism a number of years ago so I know what can happen, has happened, is still happening and, I hate to say, will happen again if something (What? Oh, how I wish I knew!) does not change. I’m not sure there is any answer that truly satisfies or neatly ties up all possibilities. And, so, here we are.
        Change takes generations to come to pass. I realize the way we are raising our children will cause them (I think) to be discontent with the way the world currently functions, in general. I had to defend this to someone just the other day. Unless we are uncomfortable, nothing will change. We tend to think we all want a life of no worries and no conflict but I’m not sure that’s humanly possible (though reading and rereading “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Knows is Possible” helps and I think I need to reread it regularly to keep motivated.) But, as I also said to someone the other day who was bemoaning the current state of the world, there IS good all around you. You just have to notice it and cultivate it and share it. Like my 4-year-old just came inside all excited because his Daddy made him his own sanding block to sand marks off some wood. You’ve never seen such a big smile. Now, there’s the good. 🙂

  22. Trump is a fascist authoritarian clown, a cruel bully; Pence is an inept, narrow minded bigot parading in his phony evangelical religion. Both fully back the total destruction of the EPA, transparency and free speech. Both are anti-American values, anti-Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. All this while their backers froth at the thought of attending one of Trump’s Hitleresque rallies. Help us if they get re-elected in 2020.

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