Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Silver Lining Where I Least Expected It

I've wrapped all of my yardwork for the year and I have my mowers washed and put away. I even took some time to sharpen their blades so I'm good to go in the spring. It's nice to have it all done.

Normally about this time each year, I'd spend nearly an entire day stringing Christmas lights, but not anymore. I started the tradition 17 years ago in my first Christmas together with Tammy and Rachel. I got a lot of enjoyment from it but Tammy has the final say and she would prefer I no longer put myself at risk up on a ladder for such a frivolous thing. It's been a good run but she's right. I suppose I could string some lights where using a ladder isn't necessary but I'm an all or nothing sort of guy when it comes to this.

We're still enjoying some beautifully mild weather and I'm making the most of it—so much so that I haven't bothered to schedule any time for us to blow glass at Foci. It's just too nice out. The days are getting so short and I'm torn about what activities to do each day to make the most out of every hour of daylight. Yesterday had me walking a little more than 13 miles on one of my favorite routes around Orchard Lake.

Tammy drove into St Paul Tuesday morning to join a thousand other protesters protesting the Dakota Access pipeline that is putting the main water source of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in jeopardy as the company building the pipeline plans to run it under the Oahe Reservoir. Ever since I've known Tammy she's had a curiosity and a place in her heart for the plight of Native Americans so this struggle of theirs gives her a chance to stand with them.

It was encouraging to hear that President-elect Trump is reconsidering his countless promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act but I take nothing of what he says seriously—instead, I look at his actions and so far, he appears bent on surrounding himself with extremists to fill key roles in his administration. I had hoped that he was actually a pragmatist disguised as a republican but I should probably stop dreaming.

With all of the levers of power at his disposal and little that Democrats can do to stop him, it will be tempting for Trump to abuse the trust that's been placed in him as he's encouraged by extreme voices—voices advocating for a Muslim registration or voices insistent on making this a Christian nation or voices ignorant to the obvious signs of climate change or voices advocating for military solutions where none exist or voices insisting on tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of social programs for the less fortunate or voices intent on rolling back the progress made toward same-sex couples or voices giddy at the thought of eliminating regulation designed to prevent another economic collapse or environmental disasters, or his own self-serving voice. There's lots to be concerned about.

Ten years ago I found myself in a situation where the checks and balances between labor and management within my workplace, the FAA, were removed by a republican administration intent on breaking our union. It was a divisive time where management could tee off on unsuspecting workers with little regard to consequences. And they did. They acted with impunity. Those were the most difficult days of my more than 33 year career and it was all so unnecessary. People that I'd trusted, when given unbridled power morphed into people I no longer recognized.

It was that experience that ultimately forced me to reconsider these people, this party (I was a devout republican then) I'd been supporting along with the voices on the right I'd blindly placed my trust in. Out of that low period for me emerged an unexpected silver lining that would slap me across the face and force me to be ignorant no more. It was a turning point in my life.

Perhaps there will also be a similar silver lining for many on the right in support of Trump who are blindly following along. For the moment. I see little else to be hopeful about at this point with respect to the election of Trump.

But enough of all of that. I've got some pups and a bike that are all beckoning me and so I must go.

Video from last Saturday's ride with 43 other fat-bikers along the river bottoms. Enjoy. I did!


Steve Saeedi said...

I'm so incredibly numb by the results of the presidency. I'm sort of in a daze still wondering how this could have happened and afraid I've become so detached that I really don't care what Trump does to the economy. Deep down I'm hoping the white non-college graduates are so deeply affected by the results of his presidency they suffer the most. I hope the Mexicans and immigrants who voted for him are harassed and deported if they are here illegally. I hope what healthcare they had under ACA is overturned to the point they end up with no insurance or little coverage for themselves. I hope they suffer the greatest by their decision.
Yeah, In a daze and angry. I was hoping deep down he could bring change. But seems like the same old cronyism, except the religious supremists seem to have taken over.

I'm still holding out hope for the year to come, but if he fails. I want those in the red states who voted Trump end up with the short end of the stick.

Kevin Gilmore said...

I feel your pain, Steve. I have never been more embarrassed for our country. This will take years to overcome and for some there's going to be a scar that will never go away. There will be many who voted for Trump who will be cast aside and left to feel the full brunt of being used by this man who couldn't care less what becomes of their lives as long as his Trump brand makes money along the way. Nothing that comes out of the man's mouth can be believed. It's going to be difficult to watch us go from the leadership Obama gave us to the schoolyard bully, immature style that is Trump. I have absolutely zero respect for the man and will never look to him as my president.