January is usually one of the favorite months of the year. It is a month of new beginnings, met with the anticipation of new possibilities it offers. But not this year. Not for myself and many of my friends.
No, this year is different from any in the past. My friends, like myself, have lived long enough to be used to change. We have seen a great many changes over the years.
We have seen the Berlin Wall go up...and come down. We have endured the marches in Selma, the riots in Compton, the massacres at Kent State and the protests at Alcatraz. We have sat holding our breaths during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the evacuation of Saigon. We have been witness to the depth of despair. I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard that John F. Kennedy had been killed and I cried to think of all that bright promise being lost. And we have experienced the joy of achieving an impossible dream. I also remember exactly where I was during the first Moon landing and I cried to think that we were finally leaving our childhood as a species.
We have experienced the hope of the Age of Aquarius in the 60's and the anguish of Watergate in the 70's. We have sent children off to fight wars in countries who names we could not pronounce and welcomed so many of them back maimed in body and spirit, those who came back at all. And we have lost others here, at home, to terrorist bombs and unreasoning hatred. Yet we have come through all these trials with the unswerving faith that the strength of our nation would triumph and we would emerge in the aftermath stronger than before. And we always have. Before.
But this time it is different. January has become a month of apprehension and fear, a harbinger of uncertainty, of doubt. What is going to happen now? We have never had a situation like this. We have a President Elect (not by the popular vote) who openly presents himself as hostile to the American way of life. He professes viewpoints that are the antithesis of every ideal our country holds dear, and he is proud of it! We are faced with a President who has the self-control of a six-year-old child and feels no shame at having a tantrum in public. What will we do? He has no respect or concern for the very people he is supposed to serve, in fact, he is of the opinion that they are here to serve him. His attitude toward women is reprehensible at best. His opinion of minorities is worse. His stated approach to world affairs is "I'd like to bomb them all". We find ourselves in the very real danger of having a President who is in a position to achieve what the terrorists couldn't from outside; he can destroy our way of life from the inside.
What do we do when the man who holds the highest office in the land declares war against the American people?