Cartoon by Mike Luckovich

Ten years ago, I remember giving up on keeping up with American politics. At least in the conventional sense. I stopped watching CNN, 60 Minutes, and NPR to get basis of my political updates. I scarcely read the newspapers for anything other than sports reports and movie times. The only way I could bear the burdens of staying informed about the daily news in Washington was to watch Will Ferrell on SNL impersonating George W. Bush. Or Jon Stewart embracing the suck of the current stigma by proverbially sticking a ten inch satirical dick up its ass and hoping that through some kind of laughter revolution we might change or improve, or better yet, evolve. Unfortunately, satire wasn’t the savior. At best, it only created a new camp for the elites and their followers to put them into. The classic American way of dealing with a self-created dilemma, give them 40 acres and a mule and hope that they shut up. In other words, they all got a one way ticket back to where they came from with some new found pseudo-sense of community that others felt the same way they did. This wasn’t a win or a draw but once again an escape. The elite had wiggled out of a wormhole and found themselves on the other side. The only problem was that acknowledgement was never what the people were after.
It was always about change, and it still is. Change to the American landscape and the bullheaded patriotic idiocracy that blinds us for bettering ourselves because we can’t stand feeling any sort of shame towards our past. We have compartmentalized our successes and our failures, as opposed to realizing the culmination of the both of them is what truly makes us stronger, and is who we really are. We have even tried to re-write history with our own pens and if not for the digital age of mass information we would probably continue this behavior with some success. The slaughtering of natives upon colonization, the oppression and malicious treatment of Africans forced over from their homeland, the deeply rooted realities of tension towards any foreign face, the dismissive and callous treatment of women, the consistent exploitation of the poor and the working class, the avoidance and lack of compassion towards the homeless, the persistent challenges of small businesses and working class families, corporations buying politicians, the media being sold to the highest bidder, and so much more. We haven’t owned any of this yet. Yes, some have. But we haven’t. The same “We,” that starts the greatest document in our country’s history. The “We,” that stands as the pinnacle of modern democracy and freedom. The same “We,” when at it best and brightest units us all and lifts us to live amongst the heavens of our ideals. That “We”.

There is a healing that happens in the aftermath of expression, it is both simultaneously a feeling of letting go and a feeling of integration. Both are equally as important in healing whatever it is that is being revealed or expressed. America, collectively, has only ever given credence to the prior. And this is no one person’s fault. This the culture that we have be born into, the culture that we have learned to embrace. And either unknowingly or haphazardly we have continued to deny the power of change and our abilities to emerge. Shame and regret are not feelings that we should simply let go of after we have acknowledged them. They are feelings that should help to create a new sense of “center” in each of us, feelings that should guide us closer to being more fully-realized, more wholly ourselves with less veils of our own judgments and insecurities. There is nothing more powerful than a human being embracing their mistakes and living in the light of their truth. The recovered alcoholic that mentors the lost and lonely youth, or the once homeless man that now helps to service the shelters of the city. These stories serve as an example of redemption, but before redemption one must accept and appreciate the road behind them. If change was molded only by hands that held the wisdom of their entire experience, what would the world look like?

So, what is the greatest shortcoming of the American people? It’s our inability to love the parts of ourselves that we hate. Historically, there is no denying this truth. Whether we like it or not, Donald Trump is a part of ourselves and if we disagree–great, but that isn’t enough. I’m not esoterically trying to preach the message of love. If you aren’t aware of its power, then there isn’t much for us to talk about and I wish you luck. But if are someone that believes in change, you must first embrace who you are. Spend a moment sharing something vulnerable with a stranger, take that opportunity to tell that embarrassing thing you did so someone else can learn from it. We are all each other’s teachers, and Donald Trump is truly teaching us a lot about ourselves as Americans. He is teaching us about our stifled relationship with the shameful and the uncomfortable. If you truly disagree with him, wear your mistakes with pride, your shortcomings with satisfaction, and carry your heart with humble compassion.
Someday, if enough of us live this way, the “We” will change and it will be, in part, because of you. Music always starts and ends the same way, in silence. Change is no different. It has always begun and ended with you.


There’s a tiny little
hole in the head
of a crazy, crying baby,
breathing in all that is life
for the very first time.
One day
he will be the president
of the united states
of america.
But just for this moment,
as he hangs inverted,
and crying,
he isn’t rich,
or royalty,
or entitled,
or anything at all.
He is simply,
a new born baby
learning how to survive.
Learning how to breathe

And the tiny little
hole in his head.
Well, it’s no big deal.
He’s just crazy and crying.

You know the deal,
god bless america…


Restless with life,
but afraid to live.
Weary with wisdom,
only left now to worry.
We are always
alone with our spirit.
Love is unbound.
And the heart, unbroken.
The torch that guides you,
rests inside.
This is what they mean
when they speak of
Forgive them for making
it so complicated–
we all do this by nature.
But you
don’t have to.

The only way to heal hatred is to view it as pain.
Once you see that the souls of the world are only hurting,
you will remember back to a time in your life
when some too helped you heal your hurt
by offering only their love.
This is the cycle of life.
This is the sole responsibility that comes with awareness.
Nothing else matters.

Tried and true, and tired too,
I thought of you.
The Wind and the Winter
all wrapped up in one.
Shades of grey
with glimmers of gold.
Lonely wisdom
and stories untold.
The Tropics have always pulled you North
and me, the other way.
And as you walk through the snow in wonder,
I swim in the seas of today.
I hope, still,
you keep your heart warm.
The North can be so cold,
and your grey was always best with your gold.

This passing is a blessing
but it breaks my heart just the same.
Your leaving into loving
just as you once, long ago came.

I can still feel your heartbeat
as I hold onto your icy hand.
Your pulse fading with each moment
as I try to understand.

But no book, nor beauty, nor brilliance
can explain the mysteries of death.
I have to learn to accept these things
with each passing breath.

The smell of your soul still lingers
in the air of this lonely room.
Your body now an empty vessel,
a filler for a tomb.

The flooding of these feelings
is drowning me in sorrow.
I remember all at once the yesterdays,
and wish for one more tomorrow.

But everything around me feels
like a dreamers design.
Like some vacuum to oblivion,
I must be losing my mind.

My heart is so swollen
by the sadness that I feel.
I can’t even separate my feelings
from what is and isn’t real.

And where you’ve gone and where you’re going.
I couldn’t get there too soon.
I just wish I could see you laugh once more
and light up like the moon.

All the love that surrounds me feels like
something I don’t deserve.
Like something you gave me once
that I never really earned.

And these words will never match or meet
what you’ve meant to me.
The only, sole constellation
is I know now you are free.

A star in the distance,
lighting the night with its way.
Showing me the path I must take
to be with you again someday.

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