Trumpeting Despair

Trump's success in life is founded on a dismal view of human nature, that the world is a dangerous place devoid of moral law and the way to get ahead is to claw and cheat at every opportunity. Witness his regular failure to observe contracts he has signed, and to cheat those who do business with him. He lives perceiving threat and responding with fear, and expects to lead accordingly, taking Americans over the cliffs of despair with him, because he will readily cheat his followers as well.

We will now witness whether fear or love will dominate the zeitgeist. But this will be no passive love fest. Rather, cultures are clashing, no longer over how to preserve life, but whether we should govern ourselves morally or by the survival of the fittest. This Darwinian view pits those who live with a spiritual reality guiding their sense of physical survival against those who believe power gives the right not only to rule but to suppress. Are we to judge and guide ourselves by kindness or fear, by relationship with the other or exploitation of the other? Each Trump appointment, each decree, demonstrates the dark world of his vision. Will the purveyors of light overwhelm the forces of darkness?

We, who see light as our guide, must act daily to secure a future in which we can trust one another to

do the right thing, and not have to rely on coercive power alone. Those who embrace darkness believe such faith to be naive. But the faithful are strong, and willing to struggle to guarantee a world in which light prevails, because we cannot live in a world of characterized by mistrust and cruelty.

We dare not despair, because Trump's Bible is despair; he sees despair everywhere he casts his dismal eye. Only a despairing world would crown him king.

No, like Martin Luther King, Jr. we must meet despair with hope, and Trump's darkness with light. We can turn America's night into dawn of a new regard for our neighbors, and the erasure of superficial differences in favor of community. Let us hold hands, and walk forward together, as King did in Selma, and Americans do when we touch the higher aspirations of our creed, E Pluribus Unum.

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© 2016 by Rabbi Mark H. Levin.