“IF YOU’RE GOING THROUGH HELL, KEEP GOING!”
By Mary Ann Sorrentino
Like many of you, I was up ‘til 2 a.m. watching this election unfold, stunned as we all were and are.
It reminds me of 1980 when Reagan first came to office -- an actor, not particularly articulate, nor bright, but stoking a similar national rage and desire to return to 1955 and all that era stood for. We thought the world had ended: it didn't.
So now all we can do is the mop up. Markets will tumble for a while, then they will recover and we shall all go forward as best we can.
Americans will have to learn to hold hands with each other. Ironically-- bad times make us understand that we are ALL in this together now. Once the dust settles, only the citizens can exert enough pressure on government and keep our Constitution alive and working.
Now we shall have to depend more on individual state governments – with significant power-- to challenge federal regulations that are unacceptable to them and their citizens. This is how past major problems (segregation, gender equity, minimum wages etc.) have been identified and, ultimately, moved closer to resolution.
The hopes of many have been dealt a major blow, but-- accepting that we shall face many difficult moments in the near future-- we must take a longer view.
Even in a Republican majority in Congress, there are enough reasonable, knowledgeable members to exercise the checks and balances they exist to impose. The Supreme Court is certainly a major issue: but we have seen people we feared-- appointed to that great body—who turned out, in the end, to be fine jurists and recognized their duty to interpret the law with no political emphasis. Sandra Day O'Connor-- the first woman on that court-- nominated by Reagan, is one good example.
Finally, watch for the honeymoon and how quickly it is likely to end in this case. Washington has a lot of faults, but it seldom suffers fools gladly or for long. It will take time, but by summer's end, my guess is that we shall all start to see who Trump's "loyal opposition" will be as they go into action.
As a feminist, I am wounded to the core. I must now accept that I may not live to see a woman elected president. I must accept that much of my life's work for reproductive rights may be disrupted briefly if not dismantled permanently. Like many of us, I am sad, anxious, and struggling to find my bearings.
But I am NOT done fighting for and working to support the causes we know are right and I shall remain convinced that the power of women and men yearning for justice, equality, and peace will ultimately survive and triumph
For now we must use our energies and resources to do our part to preserve justice whenever and wherever we can
Those of you who will take that torch when we pass it to you must prepare to grasp it and run like hell with it so America stays on the positive path that made it what it can be at its best. Most of all, this is the time to try to respect each other more than ever.
Take care as we go forward. The future we CAN control starts right now! As Churchill advised, “If you're going through hell, keep going!”
Mary Ann Sorrentino is a regular contributor to the Providence Journal and has written occasional commentary for the Keene Sentinel for more than 18 years