I don’t have many memories of my elementary school years, but one has come back to me many times over the last several days. During the Cuban Missle crisis in 1962 we had to practice “nuclear drills” at school. Notes were shuttled back and forth between school and parents with plans about getting the children home from school should there be an attack. I was six years old in first grade and terrified.
I had nightmares that I would be lost and couldn’t find my mom. Bombs dropped in my dreams, and large mushroom clouds filled my imagination. I was would shake in panic every time we drove by the large open sandy areas in Playa del Rey, envisioning the trek I would have to make to find my home after the bombs dropped.
I believe we are hanging onto a precipice of peace by our fingernails (and are likely already falling and haven’t noticed yet). January 20th will bring with it a greater crumbling of our safety. We are no longer safe as a nation. We have now elected a leader who does not have our best interest in mind and couldn’t give a flying fuck about the safety of the nation, much less the individual.
We’ve read about how President Obama visited the families who lost children at Sandy Hook, taking the time to visit with each family and ask about every child who was lost. He played with the younger, confused siblings of the murdered, and kept himself composed in front of the families so they wouldn’t be upset by his grief.
How would our next President handle something like Sandy Hook, and God knows, he will have to at some point. Would he say that the children and teachers who were murdered were “losers” who were stupid enough to get in the way? Would he be able to show any compassion without making it all about him? Would he enough the arming of teaching and students to prevent further violence?
I don’t know what our next President will do. But I can trust him. I can trust him to be who he is, and who he has shown himself to be up to this point is terrifying.
It is no accident that my distant childhood memory of fear of war and death comes back to me so clearly now. This is a crisis, a clear and active threat to our nation, our people, and to the individual. And I, for one, have no idea what to do except wait and hope.