Those Were the Days

It's not that I ever tuned out of politics during the Obama administration. To the contrary, as long-time readers will recall, I had a number of criticisms of some of Obama's policies, and I was not shy about making them.

It's just, as I wrote here, "what I value most in a political leader is being able to trust that, even if we come to different conclusions, I know they arrived at their position with thoughtfulness and integrity. His consistent good faith efforts have engendered the same from me."

I never worried that President Obama was destructive.

And if it weren't abundantly evident before now, it should be painfully plain now that there is a vast chasm of difference between a president who is imperfect but not destructive and a president who seeks to shred the fabric of our democracy.

Sometimes I was very unhappy with President Obama, but I never felt panicked. Certainly not the way I feel now, vibrating with anxiety every waking moment of every day about what Donald Trump will do next to subvert our rights, freedoms, laws, and norms.

Throughout the course of the election, I knew down to my bones that this sustained terror would be the outcome if Trump were allowed to win, which is why I flattened myself trying to prevent it. There were a number of reasons I passionately supported Hillary Clinton, but chief among them was the certainty that she could be trusted not to destroy what we value.

I grieve for so many things these days. One of the things for which I grieve is the loss of security we are now experiencing; the loss of psychological freedom that accompanies relentless fear which demands our constant vigilance.

To one extent or another, that is something every marginalized person has lived with our whole lives. Oppression is oppressive.

But there was a reason that the entire nation seemed to exhale with relief when President Obama was elected. A man we could trust to do his best. At least, at least, there was room to breathe, the safety in looking away for a few moments here and there, because we knew he was holding himself accountable.

That is gone. And now the entire point of this onslaught emanating from the Oval Office is to exhaust us. To drown us. To give us nary a moment for self-care or recovery.

Well. Trump likes to brag about his tremendous stamina. But I can promise him this: I've dealt with bullies who thought they could outlast and overwhelm me my entire life, and I'm still here. And I'm not alone.

We've been tired and still fighting for a long time.

Thank you for the respite, President Obama. Those were much-needed days.

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