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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My Dear Adeline

My big concern after realizing that Donald Trump won the election was how do I explain this to Adeline. My 15-year-old granddaughter is getting involved in community politics. She accompanied us to the Democracy Awakening rally and march in DC. She canvassed with me in Pennsylvania. She volunteered at polling places.

In a Pittsburgh suburb, she was disturbed by a couple of Trump supporters who were sullen and mean and by a black man who brusquely said he wouldn’t vote. I realized how brave it was for her to leave her multi-racial, liberal Montgomery MD neighborhood. She had spent time on her own visiting relatives in France and Montreal. But Trumpland was a totally foreign country for her.

How do I tell her, a citizen of the world, a young woman who believes that good people will prosper and prosperous people will do good for those who are not, by paying their taxes to support their country so others can be as fortunate as she? How do I tell her to keep on working, actively fighting for women’s and civil rights? That a man who disrespects women, who demeans immigrants, who mocks persons with disabilities, who dismisses persons of color, who refused to say whether he would accept the results of the election, who promised to jail his opponent if he won, who gloats that he does not pay taxes, who refused to disown the Klan and neo-Nazi's, who offers to increase the warming of the earth and deny health care for all is our representative to the world.

I am so sorry, Adeline. I realize that I may not see a woman as president in my lifetime. But I trust you will. You advocated for a woman guided by the vision of Eleanor Roosevelt for more open boundaries, world government, free peoples, and equity for all in poor Appalachia, in black urban ghettoes, and in the world—the Star Trek image of an interconnected earth.

But not yet.
Not while we value individual wealth over commonwealth.
Not while role models proclaim people of different cultures as aliens.
Not while we act out of fear of losing and blame others.
Not while there are people who consider themselves white.

But please, Adeline, consider the story of the universe and the very brief chapter in which we appear. No, we haven’t reached even near our potential. I have faith that we can transcend the artificial walls, the silly beliefs, and especially the destructive fears that hold us back. And I know you can and will.

Do not blame Trump, do not blame his misled fearful followers. Let’s agree that this is an occasion for taking responsibility, to go high, to show the great Soul that is in us, our communities, our nation, our world, and our universe. Let’s agree to keep reaching. And let’s be joyful and grateful that we can.

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