In 1968, after the successes of Medicare, Medicaid, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts, just to name a few of Johnson’s accomplishments, a paranoid and delusional Richard Nixon and the Republican Party successfully frightened large portions of white America into rejecting the course of human evolution.
Richard Nixon once said: “Always remember others may hate you but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.” This sentiment allows one to think that even Nixon possessed some degree of self awareness. Regrettably, no such restraints apply today, and so, we now have Donald Trump.
Donald Trump is but another paranoid and delusional individual that has managed to frighten another large portion of white America into attempting to stop the course of evolution all over again. Sadly, this time he also managed to convince a number of minorities to vote for him or not vote at all.
I will never understand how my Cuban people, after enduring Castro and communism, can vote for a man that has publicly adored Vladimir Putin, a man that could plunge us into World War Three. Perhaps he shares much more with Putin, Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler than anyone of us ever presumed. Humanity has a vast capacity for idolatry. But I still have hope.
Hope in understanding that what Trump has achieved is but a feeble and futile attempt, for I know that evolution and human enlightening cannot be stopped. Idolatry for such leaders has always been a short lived aberration. Regardless of the short term difficulties that are just around the corner, there is room for hope.
I find hope in the knowledge that very soon, when the Trump University trial moves forward and he is found to be guilty as charged; when the truth about Trump’s finances and to which foreign powers he is indebted to becomes known; when the women he has harmed move forward with their own legal actions, Donald Trump will be fully embroiled in scandal and may never make it to his inauguration or ever finish his first term.
This brings me hope for the long term, but I do fear the evil that will remain, more than I fear anything that Trump may attempt to do. You see, the difficult truth is that Mike Pence is significantly more dangerous. Trump may just be an uninformed idiot with the oratory gifts of yet another false prophet, but Pence knows exactly what he wants to do, and his target audience was carefully selected so very long ago. We must have hope.
The past eight years have been easy for the republicans, for all they had to do was to obstruct and delay. However, they are now in control, and they will have to govern and deliver. This will be a virtual impossibility as scandal and Trump’s fragile ego rule the day, and as Pence’s draconian convictions begin to destroy us all, but only if we let it happen. So, let us find strength in our hope.
Let us have hope in remembering that the last time Republicans has such control was under Herbert Hoover in 1928, and in knowing that the Republicans will make the same mistakes all over gains. Hope in our understanding that the American people will quickly see than then have been lied to.
Ted Kennedy reminded us of this in his The Dream Shall Never Die 1980 speech, as he reflected on FDR’s own words:
“The Grand Old Party thinks it has found a great new trick, but 40 years ago an earlier generation of Republicans attempted the same trick. And Franklin Roosevelt himself replied, ‘Most Republican leaders have bitterly fought and blocked the forward surge of average men and women in their pursuit of happiness. Let us not be deluded that overnight those leaders have suddenly become the friends of average men and women.’" There is hope.
Having hope, nonetheless, does not preclude one from accepting the facts, since there is no denying that the harm that the Republicans will inflict in the short term to those of us that represent the “other” will be substantial and potentially irreversible. Let us not deny that a very large portion of the population will endure unthinkable suffering. Let us have hope.
Having hope, then, requires that we fully acknowledge the difficult times ahead, but it also requires us to find the energy to make certain that justice prevails in the end. My faith in a just and generous God gives me hope.
My hope energizes me in the belief that, this time, just as it was the case under Herbert Hoover, the Republican Party will not endure. That hate and bigotry will not endure; that racism, sexism and homophobia will not endure.
My hope tells me that the future of humanity is not only for the misguided people of the word, but for all the people of the world. For our multi-ethnic and multi-cultural diversity is what will create a more perfect union.
We stand at the verge of an extraordinary leap in human evolution, and what we see today is nothing more that the last breaths of a decaying and dying imperfect world, soon to be replaced by a more just beginning. This too shall pass, so let us all have hope.
In the end, I am renewed by my dreams for the future, perhaps best articulated by Teddy in the same speech when he left us with the following inspiring words: “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”
I live in hope.