inessential by Brent Simmons

Responsibility and Hope

There’s no pretending that this is okay. More and bigger shocks are coming.

Our electorate just repudiated the American dream — the real dream, the idea that we can build a nation dedicated to liberty where all people are created equal.

Instead we decided that we’re a nation like any other. A nation with a ruling ethnic tribe. Nothing special anymore.

It feels like finally, in the end, we lost World War II.

And certainly the post-war order is over: the world shouldn’t trust a country that’s never more than four years away from electing a know-nothing sociopath. Even if Trump has only one term, that we could elect him at all won’t be forgotten.

The free world is unraveling.

* * *

I wanted to write about how I’m done: I’m going to do my best to take care of my family, and that’s it.

I’m 48 years old, and the last couple years have been difficult: we’ve lost family members we were extremely close to, both to slow and difficult illnesses.

I was already exhausted, before this.

But I can’t check out, and neither can you, because we have a responsibility to help other people, however we can. Now more than ever.

We’re going to have to figure out how to blunt the worst of this, and then rebuild the American dream afterward.

But right now it starts with kindness toward other people.