Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Feels Like ... Tisha b'Av

Comfort Ye, Comfort Ye: Do you remember when elections were fun?

Abq Jew does. Back in 1960, Abq Jew remembers waiting (with his parents, z"l) to watch JFK pass by in a motorcade somewhere on Long Island. After a few hours and no motorcade, we gave up and went home. And it was still fun.

But, as Chris Matthews pointed out early on Election Day - The Dazzle Has Fizzled. Also recalling the 1960 election, he tells us
I have encouraging news for young people experiencing their first presidential election. 
This is not as good as it gets.
As Abq Jew pointed out three years ago in For the 19th of Kislev 5774 - back in the '60s, we had Vaughn Meader and his album The First Family to cheer us through the bad times. At least, until Black Friday, that day of evil.

Election Day was not Anschluss, and Inauguration Day will not be January 30, 1933.

Still ...

Thomas Friedman, Roger CohenMaureen Dowd and many others have reported their shock, their sadness, and their fear on The New York Times' Opinion Page.

... it feels like Tisha b'Av.

Folks Abq Jew knows are walking around hurt, angry, and afraid. His son Dov Yellin Editor / Photographer posted this on Facebook:
I woke up this morning to my 4 year-old daughter curled up next to me in bed. She came with me yesterday to vote for the first female President, but the day ended in heartbreak, with my not knowing how to explain this loss to my girls. I woke up hoping we narrowly skirted this dystopian nightmare with an overnight miracle, but upon checking my phone, I saw we were not so lucky. 
I have only felt true pity for a politician once before - in 2000. To think what a sickening rebuke this must be for Hillary is deeply sad and shameful. There will never be a perfect candidate, but to think that someone who has worked so hard for so long to serve the greater good - bumps in the road aside - had to lose to such a disgusting excuse for a human being is gut-wrenchingly disturbing. 
What will I tell my kids? 
I will tell them that mommy and daddy voted for the candidate who was just like them - the candidate who wants to help everyone, who is respectful to all types of people, who is strong, who has class. 
I will tell them that we will always keep them safe, no matter what.
I will tell them bullies are cowards, and to never back down. 
I will tell them that they should respect the office of the President, but they do not have to respect the person holding that office if they don't believe what he does is right. 
I will tell them that this new President is not be emulated, in any way; that just because he is our leader does not mean what he does is acceptable or normal or right. 
I will tell them to fight for their rights - every day - and to do what is right, moral, and ethical. 
I will tell them to respect everyone; that everyone has a right to their own opinion; but if you disagree with someone, find out why, and then change their mind. 
I will tell them that they can be anything they want to be, even President; that there are no limits; that the real America is not sexist, racist, homophobic, or xenophobic. 
Watching this train wreck last night, the TV media seemed to be baffled as to how all the polls could have been wrong, and how Drumpf turned out white nationalists in record numbers, without much of a ground game, without many surrogates, and without spending much money. 
What they fail to see is that it was their fault. 
They turned out the white vote. The media, by broadcasting every Drumpf speech live, by perpetuating false equivalencies, by refusing to fact check, by refusing to call a lie a lie, by being present in every household in America - giving over a billion dollars of free advertising to a human trash fire - caused this. 
What the TV media does is the equivalent of ambulance chasing and rubbernecking. They have forgotten that some stories are important and some are not; that some are true, and some are not; that being fair and balanced does not mean letting people lie on national TV and not calling them out on it because they don't want to appear biased. 
The TV media has forgotten how to edit, possibly a more important part of their job description than simply gathering "news" and regurgitating it. Do your jobs properly, or get out of the way. 
The Right has complained about the biased media for a long time. I agree that the media as an institution is broken, but not because they're liberal or progressive or elitist, but because they lack the fundamental understanding of what their responsibilities are as journalists. 
The profit motive has given us a Drumpf presidency. 
I am afraid of what a Republican-controlled government will do to this country, and to the world, over the next 4 years. My hope is that the lawsuits about to be litigated against Drumpf actually convict him, imprison him, giving us a President Pence. 
And in two years we flip the legislative branch blue, or at least purple. And in four years we dig ourselves out of this grave (I'm looking at you Elizabeth Warren), and Drumpf is not the last President.

Abq Jew predicts that one of the first laws to be proposed by the Trump Administration, passed by the Republican Congress, and signed into law by our new President will be

The Alec Baldwin SNL Full Employment Act

Abq Jew wishes Alec Baldwin a short but meaningful career continuing his role as DJT on Saturday Night Live. The Vaughn Meader of our day!

And yes, Abq Jew is trying ... struggling ... to find some good in this.

With just a little more planning, Abq Jew keeps saying to anyone who will listen, things could have turned out so much differently. And so much better.

Rabbi Min Kantrowitz writes
Sadly recognizing the need for loving vigilance. In efforts to understand I recently read (and recommend) two books: Hillbilly Elegy and Deer Hunting with Jesus.
If you are feeling in a dark place right now, consider the Psalm 23 'walk in the shadow' image, remembering that a shadow is NOT the same as darkness - it is light that creates the shadow. 
Let's focus on the light and increase it, shining from all directions, so that the shadow disappears. Hard important work that we can only do together.

And JFNM Executive Director Zach Benjamin reminded us before Election Day
It's not my M.O. to dictate or demand how your conscience should compel you to vote. That is a private decision. 
However, I do have one thought/wish: be kind to each other. 
Go easy on each other. Please don't end relationships, dissolve friendships, or cut family ties because of differing perspectives. 
When the dust settles, you will regret it. Those differences will seem trivial in hindsight. 
It is important to bear this in mind today, but it will be most critical tomorrow and into an immediate future in which we must all continue to advance our society, and more importantly, our relationships with others. 
There will be a tomorrow, just as there has been at every other uneasy juncture in our history. Let's face it with dignity.

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