When I read the above Huffington blog post, I finally let myself cry about the nightmare of Donald Trump poised to take over our country. I haven't let myself go beneath my protective layer of sarcastic, bleak humor because I don't want to let Donald Trump get inside me. I don't want to give him the power to make me despair. But this article broke through my defenses. Just to make sure Eric Schmeltzer wasn't also manipulating my feelings, I looked up the original Reuter's report:
EXCLUSIVE-Trump could seek new law to purge government of Obama appointees
Clearly Schmeltzer is not exaggerating. He doesn't toss around comparisons to Hitler lightly, so I take very seriously his evaluation of Chris Christie's statements. And the nightmare has become too real for me to protect myself from it anymore.
But after letting go and crying, I searched my feelings for despair and didn't find it. What I did find is a profound sadness. Sadness for our nation, for all the people who believe in Trump's nightmare, and for all who will suffer because of it if he's elected, including so many of those who right now are yelling their virulent support for Trump on the floor of the Republican Convention.
I also feel outrage, but I don't know how to talk about that yet.
All week I have had these words on my mind, a poem that I wrote 30 years ago, in 1986 while in seminary, after witnessing somehow this encounter of angels on the hill behind the chapel. I've never completely understood it, but apparently it speaks to me again now, in some way, about the tragedy we are calling a presidential campaign.
They met on the hill,
and the first angel said,"You must be an angel."
The second one said,"You are an angel, too.You are the angel of mercy,and I—I am the angel of fear."
"Ah, we two go together, then,"said the first angel.
And so they did.
photo: Angel on interior dome of the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, edited