Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Responding to setbacks and defeat, one should always take the long view. But that’s pretty hard on the eve of a 95th birthday. The last US President I may set eyes on is Donald Trump.

America took a very sharp turn on November 8th, 2016. No platitudes about coming together and healing the nation can soften the impact.  Aside from whatever Trump may do as President, the Republican right —which appeared to be in shambles only weeks ago— will dominate government at every level of institutional political power. Trump and his cohort are determined to erase the legacy of the first African-American family to occupy the White House. They made sure that a first woman president is not Obama's successor..

Yes, it’s important not to direct liberal and progressive anger at the millions of fellow Americans who see Trump as the possible “fixer” despite his appalling personal and political character. Fundamentally, blame rests with the growing ills of a corrupt economic system that creates extremes of unfairness and inequality, and turns its victims against each other.

The travesty is that the election outcome will be taken as a mandate to further empower the very system of oligarchy that produces the alienation tearing the nation apart. It’s not the first time that the deep dissatisfaction of masses of people has been exploited to promote a demagogue as “savior” and open the pathway to dictatorship. With Rudy Giuliani as prospective Attorney General and Newt Gingrich as anther likely cabinet member, the scent of racism and incipient fascism hovers over a Trump administration.

The battle to protect and restore our damaged democracy will dominate the coming years. We recall Martin Luther King’s admonition that "the arch of the moral universe is long". That "it bends toward justice" is proven, but there are times when it twists and turns the other way.  And perhaps there never is an end, a final outcome. As some philosophers have observed, ‘nothing is permanent but change’, and struggle is as inevitable as change.

Within every new generation, there is renewed devotion to freedom and humane values, to joining hands with the oppressed, to ending war and violence. It’s never over, but it makes many lives worthwhile.

If this sounds like a valedictory, perhaps it is.


  1. Despite the m. culpas by the media, the fact that Hillary actually got more votes than Trump (59,760,117 vs 59,547,218) is barely mentioned. The Electoral Collage margin was 228 vs 279, a huge difference. It is high time to remove the electoral collage. There was some reason for the compromise of 200 years ago, before we had radio, telephone,TV and high speed transportation, but it is now reduced to a tool for ruthless gerrymandering.


  2. I will be 86 next month and like Leon, he may be the last President I see..or it may be Pence....only difference is Pence is sane...This is not the US that both he and I worked our entire adult life to see and here we are. What is also true is that Leon and I will continue to speak out for peace and justice until our last breath. Today I am joining with the Onondaga Nation and "lovers. not haters" to walk in support of our brothers and sisters in Standing Rock. This is in Syracuse, joining with other communities across this land.