Eight years ago, after Obama's first victory, many Americans were giddy with delight. Tony and I were getting ready to go to Timisoara Romania for his Fulbright. We decided to delay leaving for Europe until after the inauguration because even if we couldn't actually be in Washington, we wanted to participate in this great moment and have clear memories of the day.
Eight years hence, we are now in a very different--and for many of us very precarious--position. It is difficult not to feel anything but fear, antipathy, and discouragement about the advent of a Trump (I can hardly write this down) Presidency.
Many of my friends, American and European, in person and on Facebook, have expressed dismay, anger, fear, even terror for the future. I have read lots of responses--from people who have basically said they plan to retreat into a bubble and try to just live their own lives--to people who are looking for ways to try to make things better (e.g., allocating more of their charitable givings to groups like Planned Parenthood or ACLU or trying to find ways to make meaningful civic or political action)--to kids, like my nephew, who is protesting in the streets of Miami.
In all this, this only person who has made me feel better is Rachel Maddow who said we need to remember what makes us a country. It's not just politicians. Rather, it's our shared heritage, including rights like a free press, freedom of speech and assembly. It's the fact that we don't have a military that is independent of the government. We have (hopefully) freedom of religion. We don't have a national language or religion. There were a lot more but that's about what I could remember. I'm not saying it very well; she said it better. Her point, though, is that we need to keep faith with our values and do what we can to protect them.
I said in an earlier post that I thought Nixon would be the worst president of my lifetime. I hope (though I have very little faith) that will turn out to be true.
Re my other stories. I went to the orthopedist last week. He said the tear was not in a good place for surgery, which was fine with me as I didn't want to do surgery anyway. I'm going to have a cortisone shot (guided by the MRI) into the torn sport, then re-start physical therapy. Maybe more targeted this time, I hope. (The word "piriformis never came up.) He also said that there was no reason not to plan a trip to Europe, so yesterday I booked tickets. A month (February) in Budapest at Apartment Andrei, then a week in Prague. Something to look forward to.
Meanwhile, I am keeping track of the new political world we live in, but trying not to be overwhelmed by it.