Elaine and I went to sleep, of a sort, at midnight. We couldn’t bear to stay up for the inevitable news. I woke up at two-something and remembered what Lee Hays said at the Weavers’ farewell concert, November 28, 1980 (shortly after the election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency):
“We’ve been around long enough to tell you: be of good cheer. This, too, will pass. I’ve had kidney stones, and I know.”And then I thought of Edvard Munch’s The Scream , and then I somehow fell asleep for another hour.
The New York Times this morning:
Donald John Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States on Tuesday in a stunning culmination of an explosive, populist and polarizing campaign that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of American democracy.Without institutions and ideals you don’t have much of a democracy, or much of a culture. Donald Trump’s Improv Tour has revealed his contempt for the rule of law and for the house we live in, which holds countless varieties of human identity, ability, and purpose. As head birther, he had already long revealed his contempt for fact. Without fact, you don’t have much of a reality other than that which those in power declare: 2 + 2 = 5. Trump is by all indications incapable of a day’s worth of sustained attention to the work of the presidency, much less four-years’ worth. And yet he was elected.
I have long thought of 1968 as the darkest year of my small chunk of American history. But now that year is 2016.
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