The video above is a song that encapsulates what Democrats—and clearheaded Americans of any strip—feel in the wake of the USA’s election disaster. There’s anger, sure, and disbelief, too, but also deep pain—and abiding hope.
The video was made by This American Life, the award-winning public broadcasting series, for their episode 599. The video’s YouTube description explains:
This American Life asked Sara Bareilles (Broadway’s “Waitress”) to imagine what President Obama might be thinking about the current election and Donald Trump, but can’t say publicly. Leslie Odom, Jr., performs the song.The video was posted back in October, about a week and a half before the US elections, though I don’t know when the song was actually written. I don’t know what the polls were doing at that time the song was written, so maybe it just seems to presage what actually happened that Tuesday in November.
Of course, we all should have seen the disaster looming: Years of effort on the part of the Republican Party to smear Hillary Clinton, the Russian dictator determined to steer the election to his personal candidate, and a compliant, uncritical American newsmedia going along with all that and helping them. But all that is beside the point.
The Orange Menace should NEVER have been allowed to be a candidate for president, let alone to succeed. And yet, he was, and he did. As we reflect on what we’ve become as a people that we allowed him to succeed, it’s important to focus on our values—not the fact that we utterly oppose Don and the Republicans, but rather WHY we oppose them (it’s not about them!) and the values we hold. Then, we must recommit to stopping Don and the Gang whenever possible, and to advancing those values of freedom and liberty once this storm front passes.
Let’s start with hope.