Last night, the band gathered around the TV after rehearsal to watch the results of the 2016 presidential election. Each of us had cast our votes and waited with hope and some trepidation for the states to be called. As the evening wore on, our excitement turned to dismay; our candidate was tanking. Local bourbon turned to Canadian rye (an inside joke during election season) and we scrounged for comfort food. By morning, the shock wave had hit. The United States had endorsed a campaign of vitriol and legitimized a jingoist, racist, bigoted, homophobic, anti-intellectual, anti-rational and anti-"american" narrative sold by the Trump campaign. As a nation, we said "yup, this voice speaks for us!" Now that narrative is the basis for a new administration... and all in the Violet Mary camp are both shocked and frustrated.
That was yesterday.
Today, I heard some other voices. Two stand out and both are peers of mine. One voice said, "Today we'll be talking about how the Dems are looking for the nearest bridge" with a laugh. He's an active Trump supporter and, while a genuine person and a patriot, someone I rarely agree with. In that same room, I heard another voice. This voice said, "[we can] create an environment where kids learn to think, question, and understand with compassion. They don't understand the importance of this election, but they will remember the importance of unpacking the world and repacking it with understanding."
I have to ask myself, "which voices do I let in, and which do I reject?" Trump supporters suggest that Democrats need to listen to their perspectives. I agree. Both of the voices I heard today were Republican voters. But, there's a stark contrast between the two. I believe that it is incumbent on those who are now in power to build bridges with those are not. It is likewise incumbent on those of us for whom this election was disastrous to allow them to. We must bar from the discussion those voices that promote vitriol and ignorance and insist on a working relationship befitting of our founding documents. That comes from both sides.
So, today, I choose to ignore the gloating and chest-beating. I choose to comfort the broken hearted. And I choose to look beyond both towards the tasks at hand. I can't be idle. I can't be fearful. I can't be divisive. Those are my thoughts for today. I hope to see you this Friday for the Victory Celebration of our alternate universe candidate, Drummer Joe Myers (?-NY) and his campaign staff at Sticky Lips in Henrietta NY.
Peace to you all,