Jaime O’Neill: Through it all, Obama insisted we were better, that we were too decent and too intelligent to fall for the ugliness that flowed from the mouths of some of our ugliest people.
Jaime O’Neill: My column ran for a few months without my picture appearing next to it, and I was glad my image wasn’t next to those opinions when the first reactions began coming in.
Jaime O’Neill: That grim conversation took place at UC Davis Med Center on January 29th of this year. Things immediately began to speed up. A date for surgery was hastily arranged, a surgical team assembled.
Jaime O’Neill: Those of us anywhere along the spectrum the reactionaries saw as left of them were portrayed, and continue to be portrayed, as people who cared more about owls and snail darters than about jobs, who were remote from the concerns of working people.
Jaime O’Neill: Much more effective, when it comes to losing, is our timidity about hawking our agenda, about standing tall and speaking loud about the things we believe in most fervently.
Jaime O’Neill: Though my generation would suffer at least its portion of disappointment and disillusionment, the spirit JFK instilled in so many of us never entirely went away.
Jaime O’Neill: Here we are, a half century later. The Voting Rights Act is under siege, police brutality seems to be on the rise, and our worst nightmare in in the White House.
Jaime O’Neill: Over the course of some 40 years, I read tens of thousands of student papers, millions of words committed to paper largely by young people who would rather have been doing almost anything else.
Jaime O’Neill: Since Trump began the arrogant acting out of our most childish fears and fantasies, he’s got literally billions of our fellow residents of this fragile planet either pissed or very nervous, or both.
Let’s not forget that this deeply racist country elected Barack Obama. Twice. So the racism, though real enough, seems like an excuse more than a reason.
Jaime O’Neill: Who could read Trump’s tweets and not find them dim or demented ? I even hear people saying he’s “hard working” and “humble,” forcing my brain to go on tilt.
Jaime O’Neill: It’s hard to escape the sense that we’ve taken a nosedive into deepest darkness, betraying all that could be considered good in us while elevating the very worst people and ideas to power.
Jaime O’Neill: Trump & Co. make daily war on damn near everyone who isn’t rich. It’s hard to remain civil when people are doing harm so aggressively and lying about it so egregiously.