Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Returning to the Trump country

We are packing our bags and flying to a country that is living through some of the extraordinary times. I read the news with some disbelief, just like many others. I’ve got a comment on Facebook from a good friend – “Do you actually know who won the elections?” And d yet in a way, I feel fortunate. This feels like a historic moment for the US and for the world, and there is nothing like bearing witness to history. The long-simmering divide, the deepest American conflict finally came to the forefront. Of course, we have lived in the States for over 20 years. But it has never been so unpredictable, so open to history as it is now.

I know the breed of conservative populism, I know many of the people who voted for Trump and continue to vote for Putin. I know the beast. It has a human face, not unlike mine and yours. I feel its pain and its anxiety, and deeply comprehend its error. I empathize with its temptation to imagine the non-existent golden past, to claw back into isolation and warmth of the nationalistic pride. Making America great again? Russia rising from its knees? And whatever else they say in Hungary, Greece, Great Britain, everywhere. Those deeply mistaken, unfortunate, powerful, dangerous collective minds. How do we talk to them? What does it take to convince them that there is place for them in the future?

These are the extraordinary times. America is the place to be right now.

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