Editorial: Desperately Seeking Precedented Times

Print More

By McKenzie Kemper- Freelance Writer-in-Training

What a year these past two weeks have been, what a decade these past two years have been, and what a ride this Presidency has been. At the end of Donald Trump’s Presidency (I resisted the urge to put that in quotes) we, as a country, will have doubled the amount of impeachments, witnessed a coup on our soil, actively lived through a global Pandemic, another Recession to end all Recessions, and been forced to take a really hard look at the building blocks of the country we are. 

It is exhausting to be human right now, and that must be okay because no one seems to have the answers about what comes next, or how to handle this, or what it looks like to live through unprecedented times every day, week, month, and year at such a rapid pace. It makes me wonder how the people that lived during the Civil War faced down everything that was happening around them as their country was literally fractured with two separate Presidents and ideological belief systems. How trying it must have been to have had battle lines drawn so directly among families and between friends when one did not have access to a global network for support, distraction, and reassurance. I balance my life between two distinct worlds- I was born a Southerner, but I was shaped as a Yankee and it has given me a unique perspective through all the division, horror, and insurrection Donald Trump has created. 

I have one group of people in my life who are fervently pro- Trump, and while they may not agree with the violence he has encouraged, they tend to believe the election was stolen and Trump was going to further drain the swamp (which seems to have gotten only more murky) had he been successfully reelected. The other group of people see Trump as a coward, a racist, a sexist, and all around vile human being who has allowed the worst parts of who we are as a country to come to the forefront. One of my friends commented to me recently that she never wants to hear another American question how Hitler came to power, as we are witnessing the seeds of the same ‘leadership” style be sown. 

I sincerely hope that we, as a country, can heal from this and come back better than before. I hope that we become the nation our ideals have long told us we can be. In some ways, as I referenced on the night of the insurrection, it feels like this is a reckoning of our country and who we want to be moving forward. It is my fervent hope that we change age old systems inherent in their racist beliefs and practices to create a more equitable world for all people who call the United States home. 

This reckoning will, in some ways, lead to more chaos and division as we take away some of the privilege that white people have exploited for as long as I can remember. We will probably witness more history, and we are allowed to be simultaneously thankful for the progress and overwhelmed at the work. It truly has only just begun, and we have a long way to go so in the meantime you can find me desperately seeking precedented times.

Comments are closed.