We failed to meet the higher calling of a vision of America that seemed within reach during the Obama years, which will seem like time out of mind before long. Our constitutional democracy has a legacy of bloody violence, but with Trump in power, we will never again be able to imagine ourselves on a course of progress towards the city on the hill. We carried that vision through fascism and genocide across the globe, we fought a war to end chattel slavery and came out on the right side. Americans on both sides of the aisle and of all races came to recognize the heroism of the Civil Rights movement, and now, today, we have dropped the ball, in a display of commitment to our misogynistic and racist roots.
America’s democratic institutions are imperfect, but worth saving. In order to do so, we must unite behind what those institutions might still accomplish, which means coming together in the name of a progressive vision of a more just and equal society. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last project was the Poor People’s Campaign; Susan B. Anthony was also a labor activist and an abolitionist. They spoke about “identity,” and they spoke about class, and they united people in a movement. It’s only more important now to recreate a shared vision of a progressive nation, to rearticulate the importance of decency, hope, and kindness to the other. We must remember that preservation of dignity and care for others should be at the front of our vision, as they were not in this dismal election.
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