November 26, 2016
“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”
From Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
I read Their Eyes Were Watching God this year, which is an amazing book with many important messages that still resonate today even though it was first published in 1937. The above quote, however, caught my attention and made me reflect on the recent presidential election.
Whether you were pleased or disappointed with the outcome, there is no doubt that this year was one of questions, the answers to which we will only see in years to come.
Whether you supported him or not, there is also no doubt that Donald Trump’s meteoric rise within the political world was the catylst for this awakening.
For me, the most disturbing question to come to light this year was:
“Regardless of how disappointed one might be with Washington and traditional politics, how could we elect a man who espoused so much fear, hate, and bias?”
But then, perhaps this is not the most important question that must be asked. Because if you ask it, it presumes that until this election, we as a country, and myself as an individual, had a false sense of what this country was and what it stood for. The bubble of our idealism, and America’s role as a leading figure in an idealistic, progressive world, was burst by a heretofore hidden America that suddenly “came out of the closet”, however ironic the hypocracy is in the application of that phrase to the matter.
As we move into next year, the most important question we need to ask ourselves now is “What is America today, and what do we stand for … today?” I’m very much afraid that I will not be proud of the answer.