I booked our flight to Baltimore in mid-November. It was, and remains, an uncomfortable decision. I can’t even count how many times I’ve thought about cancelling this trip entirely. It’s not as if I’m here to celebrate, right? So, why am I here? And, why did I bring my teen son?
The answer boils down to three distinct reasons.
(1) The good stuff! Jordi and I are staying with my 97 year old Granddad, and that’s worth the trip alone. As an only child, raised in a widely-scattered white, American family, my holidays were filled with an endless yearning for the cacophany of a houseful of relatives, laughter, drama and memorable moments (good and bad). In other words, family matters and we are grateful for one more chance to soak up the history and ancestry which is embodied by my Granddad.
However, icing-on-the-cake aside, Jordi and I are here for two more serious reasons.
(2) The world can not endure “more of the same” from our species, and this means “fair weather” activism must end. Yes. We are here to participate in and witness the inauguration ceremony we had hoped against. Why? Because there are reasons why Donald Trump won the election. Because taking our lumps is part of the learning curve. Because being here, in person, will drive home the results of an unethically run DNC Primary that put the opinions of a privileged few above the voices of the many. Because our votes matter even less, if we have no control over who is on the ballot. Because you don’t get to skip your court date, when you drive drunk. And, our planet doesn’t get to skip the next four years of what is to come.
(3) I am here, as a Citizen Journalist, to witness and report on the inauguration (and surrounding events) first hand. Why? Because I know the corporate media will spin, manipulate, and use this event to further their own biases and agendas…which are not transparent or aligned with the true needs and goals of the American People.
The way I see it, the battle for a better future is being waged in our minds. Everything our species does to the planet, to other lifeforms, and to our fellow humans comes from our thoughts. We think and then we act. Whether you’re brushing your teeth, deciding what to eat for lunch, planning a terrorist attack or sitting down to read to your child…all acts are the result of thoughts. So, to change the world, we need not change how humans behave. We must change how they think.
For this reason, I have endured the financial strain of this trip. I will stand and watch an inauguration which fills me with intrepidation and concern. I will do my best to capture and share the ambiance of this week in words. And, I will remind myself that an unpalatable outcome, in the realm of governance, is the ultimate call to action!
As the physical weather systems of our planet shatter and quake under the pressure of atmospheric pollution, so do our governmental systems shudder and shift under the pressures of economic cannibalism and global resource wars. None of us can afford to turn a blind eye to these twin disasters. And so, I go to the inauguration, with hope in my heart.
Maybe this time we will hit bottom hard enough to bounce.