It’s transition time in the birth of the New America and the contractions are excruciating. On the one hand, there is much pain; on the other, shell-shocked joy. Is the new normal one unknown leading to the next unknown? It looks that way from here. All signs are pointing to a long slog in the delivery room.
Who better to endure this cycle with courage and faith, but women? It is their essential nature to recognize that time fulfills itself through us. When dealing with powerful currents of energy beyond our control, we don’t win or lose. We surrender and, in time, we win the greater victory.
The destiny of this planet and this country is not to squabble ourselves to death with self-righteous arguments and power grabs. Our present political institutions are so entangled in the octopus of global economic power-mongering that they hardly have room to move. At some point, that system will self-destruct in a total collapse.
In anticipation of this, many, many people all over the world have been mixing the ingredients of a new just, egalitarian, compassionate and harmonious social system. They have been working on free energy and healing of environmental degradation with superior technologies that align with the natural order. This is the thrust of human destiny.
President-elect Trump and his gaggle of opportunists are the rats joining the sinking ship. The ultimate irony is that for all his chants of “lock her up,” it is Trump who has ended up in a not-even-gilded cage of mind-bending responsibilities. He can’t quit, he can’t live in his swank penthouse and he can’t deliver the goodies he passed out to his adoring crowds. There will be no wall, no federal prosecutor putting Hillary Clinton in jail. And whatever “repeal and replace Obamacare” means turns out to be a heck of a lot harder to do than to say.
And look who is free. When Michelle Obama was asked what she looked forward to most when their White House days were over, she answered, “freedom.” The photograph of the young woman hiker with her girl baby on her back with Hillary (taken by Bill) told the story of Hillary’s freedom to walk in the woods with her dogs two days after the election. Contrast that with Trump’s cowed demeanor after getting a reality check from President Obama on what being president means. He’s in over his head and he knows it. He went from being a big shot C.E.O. to a public servant. Meanwhile, Barack Obama will be allowed to drive a car and body surf in Hawaii again!
The genuine public servants, such as the Obamas and the Clintons, will find their way into the next form of service that suits them. We still have them and their coterie with us. The dedication of all the individuals who committed themselves to the election campaign and its ideals, people who now realize the depths of the discontent that seethe under the surface of the electorate, is more activated than ever. This election is a beginning, not an ending, of a potent positive movement.
The events of the post-election days are showing an uprising spreading in all directions with many components. There is no precedent in my memory for such an empowered losing majority. This is going to be the fun crowd: sophisticated, inspired, energetic and ready to fight on every front that appears to defy the will of the people. We are also willing to cooperate on any genuine enterprises that address the economic inequities that inspired the passion of this election. All of this is the challenge of being alive and awake in this time.
Women have sent out to the call for the Women’s March on Washington on the day after the inauguration, on Jan. 21. Women marched to gain suffrage, inventing the pageant of peaceful political activism through beauty and dignity. It seems that a new time has arrived to bring that into being again. Stay tuned.
The bottom line is: We are still here, even stronger together.
Elizabeth Whitney is a lifelong journalist, columnist, editor and researcher living in West Marin.