The day after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election –
I finally fell asleep around 3:00 a.m, with my cat beside me and tears falling. My nineteen year old daughter texted me from Boston at 4:00 a.m. She had been up, with her college roommates, all night. Neither of us could sleep.
We agreed on two things in our brief messages to each other.
#1) That the DNC vastly underestimated the power and momentum of the Bernie Sanders movement. They worked against him and against us. The country was looking for a D.C. “outsider”, and instead, the ultimate “insider” was set up for her coronation. Many of us were enraged by the media blackout of Bernie. This was organized by none other than the Hillary camp in the DNC.
Every poll at the time said that Bernie would beat Trump and Clinton would lose to Trump. So, in other words, we don’t just get to blame the Republicans and people who are white and racist and disenfranchised. Our own party is complicit in this stunning loss. And no, it was not all because she was a woman.
Don’t defend that point to me please. I got in line for Hillary, at first, very reluctantly. But. I spoke out for her and got in line with my fellow Democrats thinking that we could hold her feet to the fire as progressives and of course, 3-4 Supreme Court nominees…so what else do you do?
Apparently, many others, without a similar thought process, did several other things. The third party voters were total spoilers in this election. Jill Stein and Gary Johnson voters assisted putting Trump in office. No doubt.
This is not about blame. But we must learn. History repeats. This is Al Gore and Ralph Nader again…and worse.
Last night was a perfect storm, that only a few truly saw coming. Mike Daisey was one of those few. His solo show “The Trump Card” was chillingly prophetic. He gave voice to those, who we white liberals, are not paying attention to…the disenfranchised, angry, uneducated white, rural Americans. They turned out in droves yesterday.
#2) Chloe and I also agreed that LOVE is and was bigger than any election. That’s what we have to work with. Love and art and communication and healing and organizing are our only weapons. They are all that can crack the code of hate, that has been just elected to the highest office in our land.
The only thing bigger than fascism or tyranny is The Human Spirit of Love. History has shown, life has shown, that love always triumphs.
But there is so much work to be done. Not only “out there” in the world, but in our own hearts. How have we separated ourselves from others without our beliefs, our education, our dreams for America? How have I? How did we push them to the wall? How invisible did they feel, in our America, to turn out for the ultimate con man, the ultimate, dangerous huckster, the ultimate fake, the ultimate racist and liar; a rabid pathological sociopath, Donald Trump.
The heart and soul of America is broken right now, but it must not stay that way. We must grieve and cry. Rage and process. Hold our loved ones close, and maybe, hold the ones we don’t love so much, even closer.
On a personal level, as an artist, an activist and a human being committed to love, I devote myself to work harder. I am ready to create edgier, more authentic work. I want to bring polarized people together for theater and writing projects to listen to each other. From my broken heart, I vow to love the perceived “other,” more. I will not go into rage. I want, only to love and expand.
The America we want to believe in is no more and has been no more for a long time. This collective event must be used to shock us out of our denial.
Let us use this break from our denial to create. But first, we have to find new ways to work through the collective shadow and collective divide. We live in a rich country of unfathomable beauty. We also walk the land where the genocides of the Native people and Native lands have never been acknowledged. We also walk in a country, where the lingering affects of slavery and the divide of the Civil War have never been made right. A space for reparations and deep humility has never been made. We live in a country where women are de-humanized and sexualized as objects every single day.
There are so many other things, named and unnamed, that have brought this collective shadow to rise to the top and manifest as the new President of the United (Divided) States.
Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Time to start unpacking this emotional baggage as Americans…. No going to Canada. No moving to an island. We are all being called and our gifts are all necessary right here.
Let Love… Let Freedom reign.
Artists, writers, healers, social activists, educators, storytellers: We are on the front lines of our culture. Let’s go deep. Let’s explore. Let’s mine this for gold with every fibre of our being.
Time to respond, not react. Time to initiate.
Don’t get lost in cynicism. As a story professional, I can tell you that we can change the individual and collective narrative at any time.
This is the story we have laid at our own feet. I am a global citizen at heart, but I am also an American. I am of this land and of this place and I will own that and I will give it all I have.
Please do not forget this morning: we are made of stardust. You are a magician, a priestess, a shaman, an artist, a lover, a soul. The world is calling on us now, as alchemists.
To create anew in the face of everything and anything, is what we’re here for. We have changed the story before. We will change it, and change it and change it yet again.