Remember, back in October, when we were all confident that Hillary Clinton would continue and add to Barack Obama's legacy once 11pm EST hit on the East Coast? How innocent we were. How foolish.
A confluence of forces, internal and external, led to what actually happened: an unstable, narcissistic fascist claiming the mantle of President-elect.
The useful idiots on the Left—partisans of Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein—were sure that Donald Trump would be far to the left of "warmonger, neoliberal" Clinton. Of course, the evidence of the past twelve days hasn't prompted soul-searching among them. They're getting erections or wet at the thought of blowing it all up and ushering in their Glorious Revolution.
For the rest of us, those of us who are sane and bewildered and frightened, we have woken up to the fact that we are in a generational struggle.
The struggle is against the rabid Right, which sees its hold on the country slipping day by day, and will do anything to keep it.
The struggle is against the rabid left, those dilettantes, those limousine revolutionaries who spout theory and rhetoric and have no idea how to enact any political agenda aside from drumming in a circle.
The struggle is against those who are apathetic, who don't see any difference between the parties, who are unconcerned with political things, who will go any way the wind blows as long as they have their toys.
This long, twilight struggle has been fought in this country since before its founding; it's been fought between those who believe in an ideal of liberty, equality, and humanity, and those who cleave to tribe and blood. We fooled ourselves into thinking that Barack Obama's election and re-election had settled the contest in our favor. The contest will likely never be over. The best we can hope for is to win more battles than we lose, and to make the periods of peace longer and more secure.
But. Look at what this latest round of the struggle has engendered.
Millions took to the streets after the illegitimate president's inaugural, to make it clear to the nation and the world that his diktat would not be submitted to.
After Trump signed the Muslim travel ban, causing untold pain and distress—and even death—thousands marched to say this is not who we are.
Read the text which prefaces this column. And read it again. That is what the world is looking for. It's not looking to what Trump will do; it already knows that. It's looking to what we will do, this commonwealth of disparate people, united by one idea: America. United by the notion that out of many we are one. United by the notion that we are only as strong as our weakest member. United by the notion that no one of goodwill is an alien to our shores. They are looking for us to shine as a million candles in the darkness which is Trump.
As one of our greatest Americans said: It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Millions of candles are being lit. Torches are being lit. Bonfires of defiance are being lit. This generation has been called and will be tested; and so far it has met the call, it has undergone the test.
This is not a sprint. This is a marathon of the soul. For our opponents, power and privilege are at stake. For us, our very lives. I would not care to wager on them winning.