More people seem to be praying this year.
Oh, I know that Americans pray year-round, and this odd habit intensifies around Christmas. That’s because you have the standard prayers for peace and love on Earth, plus prayers for a prosperous new year, and prayers to survive your uncle’s drunken ramblings at holiday gatherings, and so on.
But even more people than usual seem to be falling on their knees and clasping their hands and fervently mumbling their hopes and dreams and fears — or just flat-out wailing their distress.
And I’m pretty sure this is because we have elected a scatter-brained neo-fascist to the White House.
Yes, that’s a good reason to pray.
But the problem with all this praying and yearning is that it accomplishes nothing. And even worse, it just revitalizes that most pernicious of ills: false hope.
You see, the day after the election, many of my fellow progressives started wishing for some kind of divine intervention to save us from four years of insanity and xenophobia.
First, it was supposed to be the state voting recounts that rescued us. But aside from keeping Jill Stein in the spotlight for an extra week, that achieved nada.
Then the Electoral College voters were supposed to do their duty and keep the presidency away from a demagogue. I remain incredulous that any thinking American truly believed emailing the delegates and signing petitions would convince 38 of them to vote against Trump. In the end, exactly two of them swapped their votes, which means that 304 Republican delegates (99.3% of them) didn’t give a fuck about your pleas.
And the latest liberal hail-Mary pass is predicting that Trump will be impeached — possibly even on his first day in office.
Hey, that’s more likely than the other scenarios, considering the guy is awash in corruption and conflicts. However, I have yet to hear of a realistic scenario where Congress — made up of Republican majorities in both houses — suddenly declares, “We’ve never actually removed a president from office in history. But Trump is out.”
And even if Trump gets impeached or quits in a huff (which I think is actually more probable), we’re stuck with Mike Pence as president and the same band of sociopaths that we started with.
So what again are we praying for?
You know what? Here’s my holiday wish.
Let’s stop believing that Trump isn’t going to be the next president. Let’s stop denying reality, and quit the idea that some magical happenstance will spare the nation the pain of Republican leadership. Let’s just stop with all the childish hoping and praying.
We can’t fight bigotry if we spend all our time just wishing.