Going back to a different America than the one I left 11 days ago…

The words of the prophets
are written on the subway walls
and tenement halls
and whispered in the sounds of silence.

subway-post-its-new-york-trumpAbove: people fastened Post-it notes to the walls of the subway in New York City yesterday, prayers laical and religious, uttered in disbelief (photos by via Ben Shapiro).

“You’re going back to a different America than the one you left,” said one of my best friends in Italy yesterday as we continued to parse the meaning of the Trump presidency, the uncertainties it brings, and the dark future it conjures.

“Our only hope is in the Republicans,” he added, noting that the party of the American Right is the only political force that can reel in our newly elected, often unpredictable, and famously temperamental president.

From the 20-something students at the University of Gastronomic Sciences to my middle-aged Italian wine trade counterparts, not one person I spoke to expressed optimism this week in the wake of the election. I’ll just leave it at that.

Driving to Milan from Piedmont yesterday evening, I realized that actually I’m not going back to a different America. In fact, I’m going back to the America that always was and has been: the America I had conveniently (however wrongly and unwisely) chosen to ignore and the America who elected Donald Trump and delivered him and all the baggage that comes with him to the White House.

His overt misogyny, his latent and manifest bigotry, and his revolting macho swagger were no match for the hopes, desires, and dreams of the socially, culturally, and economically disenfranchised among us. In the end, their aspirations for our country trumped Trump. And so be it. So it is and so it will be. It’s their fair-and-square turn to lead us into the future. Echoing the vanquished, I believe that we owe it to them to let them lead and we owe it to them to support them in their endeavor to succeed.

Congratulations, Mr. Trump, and congratulations to all those who supported him. Let me be the first to say that I am with you even though I wasn’t among you. You are my sisters and brothers and I am your countryman. Lead on and I will follow and support you, not begrudgingly but earnestly and hopefully however mindfully.

And the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls…


2 thoughts on “Going back to a different America than the one I left 11 days ago…

  1. Thanks for the post Jeremy. What people seem to forget is that America was organized long ago by very incitedul people to be bigger and better than any one man or woman. We will survive President Trump just like we have survived all the others that people disagreed with or disliked. Have a safe trip home to those girls we both love so much!

  2. Although difficult to see now, this is a good thing. To play on your title, America was due in for a change and they got it. I don’t like being on the losing end of the stick, but the country is going through a multitude of changes and the government, political and otherwise, was not keeping up. This has been happening throughout our history and will continue to do so. In the end we will all benefit, but not without a good deal of pain.

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