Post-Election, Part I: The Day After, by Mari Bailey

13 Feb


Lois Cantor. Post Election. Acrylic, collage and ribbon on canvas, 24 x 36 in.

This was NOT supposed to happen.  He stood at one of the podiums, an orange-faced clown, a buffoon, pretending to be a Republican.  We all thought he would be first to go, a laughing stock, crawling back to one of his golf course holes.  Instead, he now sits in the White House, NOT OUR PRESIDENT, and does evil on a daily basis with the stroke of a pen.  It seems to be the only part of the job he likes right now, signing stuff that undoes all the good that’s been done in past decades.  He especially likes undoing the good that Obama, a REAL president did in eight years.  How far back are we going, 1950’s, ‘60’s, 1984, as this scary clown and his minions act as Big Brother?

The morning after the sham that was the election we joined the rest of our neighborhood block out on the sidewalks in front of our houses.  Some of us hugged, and more of us cried.  We all worried.

Our newly-married neighbors, wife and wife, were in tears.  Would their marriage be invalidated?  Would they and all the other LGBTQ Americans lose their hard-fought-for rights?  They worried.

The Jewish family across the street, recently returned from a year-long stay in Israel, worried about their religious freedom.  And now a travel ban?  Can they come and go as they’d like to over the next four years?  They worried.

The African-American family down the block worried.  Will the way they are treated morph back to the 50’s and 60’s, or even worse, to the horrific days of slavery?  Would the matriarch lose her social security benefits?  She worked hard for those, 40 years as a minority in a Sears store, being paid the minimum wage.  Would her disabled daughter and granddaughter lose their medical insurance, hard-gained by the blessing that was Obamacare?  They worried.

On that horrible haunted morning that was the Day after the Election, there were no smiles, no positive thoughts, certainly not a shred of hope for the future.

On that horrible haunted morning that was the Day after the Election, there was fear.  And there was worry.  Today is the third week since the inauguration.  Americans everywhere are filled with more fear and worry that has oft been replaced by terror.  Understandable.  The person sitting in the White House pretending to be our president, the person undoing all our country’s good with every stroke of his pen, is mentally unstable to say the least.  He is a bully, a name-caller, a blamer, someone who makes up his own fake news as he goes along.  A liar and a cheat.  A pussy-grabber.  An evil man.

He is NOT MY PRESIDENT nor is he the president of anyone I know and care about.  We are all worried.

Mari Bailey is a writer and Berkeley resident.  Since her teenage years she has wanted to join in marches and protests (Vietnam War) but was stifled when these did not occur in sleepy Hilo, Hawaii where she grew up.  So she used the power of words instead, writing essays and poetry for high school and college publications.  Now, a California resident since the early eighties, she can attend rallies and participate in marches.  However, she still values the power of words and has worked as a journalist, as well as published short stories and book-length adult and young adult fiction.

Lois Cantor, a Berkeley resident, grew up on the East Coast and spent several years in Italy. She received degrees from Sarah Lawrence College and Hartt College of Music. A child prodigy, she was a professional pianist until tendonitis ended her career several years ago. At that time she turned to composing electronic music as well as exploring computer art and painting. She has shows in several local venues including the Albany Library and El Cerrito City Hall. The work included here is on view at Expressions Gallery, Berkeley, through May 12, 2017.

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