Trump lost the election, which has bought us some time. But Trump has not stopped claiming that he won, GOP senators and reps and apparatchiks have not repudiated him, and neither have the millions who voted for him.
The lower-IQ Trumpists still speak of him as the best thing ever. The higher-IQ Trumpists still pretend (and perhaps fool even themselves) that they are not Trumpists. They’re much better than he is, realize and regret his flaws, etc., but voted for him for sound reasons which are definitely not antidemocratic, racist, xenophobic, pro-plutocracy, and generally fascist-leaning. Yeah, right.
Churches that promote God-and-Country rather than God, that lift high Cross-and-Flag rather than Cross, whose members profess the infallibility of scripture but practice the infallibility of the opinionators at FoxNews (lower-IQ) and WSJ (higher-IQ), whose gospel is capitalism not kenosis, have not repented in dust and ashes.
And the GOP has the pedal to the metal on its machinations to disenfranchise the people who gave Biden his substantial margin over Trump in the election.
So here we are.
We cannot relax. We cannot pretend it all didn’t happen, or that it is over. We can’t flee the ravings of the uncultured Trumpists or submit to the gaslighting of the cultured Trumpists who tell us we are overreacting to a distasteful but essentially harmless bit of uncouthness. We cannot stop condemning the central, damnable lie that dresses up the fascism as rejection of abortion and rejects the resistance to fascism as support for abortion.
What to do?
For my part, I have resumed life as normal. I have stopped trying to argue with friends who have amply demonstrated over the last several years that their eyes are blinkered and their ears stopped. Most of them are gone from my FB friend list—not because I no longer love them but because it grieves and vexes me to engage their irrationality and to see them exercised by what they perceive as mine.
I do my work. I read my psalms and say my prayers (including for you, and for my Trumpist friends, and for our country). I aim to be loving and gracious to everyone. I am to be rigorously truthful. I no longer cherish the illusion that by writing one more Facebook post or reply I might possibly change someone’s mind. I aim only to support and encourage friends who are like-minded, and to be encouraged by them. Call that a bubble if you want to. I call it sanity and civility. I call it community.
But also: every month my little donations and subscription payments go out to the ACLU, the NRDC, Doctors without Borders, Preemptive Love, Twelve12:Hope, two NPR stations, the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Grand Rapids Press. (I may add some as I diversify the portfolio further.)
And now also to the Democratic National Committee and the Michigan Democratic Party.
I was raised to tithe to the church. I will keep tithing and more-than-tithing. The majority of our giving still goes to the church. But I can no longer trust that the entirety of “the Lord’s work” is being done by my local church or by Christian organizations. I think all the organizations I just named are doing “the Lord’s work” in our world, even though most of them are deliberately not religious and not confessional. They are not pure, and they do some bad things along with the good; in these ways they are in the same boat as the church. It is my calling as a Christian to support the Lord’s work even when it is done anonymously, i.e., not explicitly in the name of Jesus, and even when it is not done purely.
And I am dropping the last vestiges of my former above-it-all, nonpartisan, both-parties-are-corrupt attitude. As long as the GOP continues operate as the KKK in suit and tie (yes, that is what it has become—with its thoroughgoing capitulation to Trump, which has not changed with his defeat, this became clear), I will be carrying a Democratic Party membership card and paying my dues. I encourage all my friends to do the same.
Don’t just lament. Don’t just cast your vote. Trump’s defeat in November bought us some time. We don’t know how much time. Use the time wisely. Do not slumber. Give.