I was 11 years old when I read the New York Daily News account of William Alexander Morgan’s execution. Morgan was an American adventurer who had gone to Cuba in 1958 to join the fight against Fulgencio Batista. A brave and resourceful soldier, he became a comandante in Castro’s army—the only foreigner to attain that rank apart from Che Guevara. Yet, just three years after he arrived, Castro denounced him as a traitor and ordered him shot.
In the judiciary branch, Trump’s election is less a disaster, more a setback. It’s certainly disappointing for those who hoped to establish a new coalition on the Supreme Court that could safeguard and advance liberal perspectives on constitutional and legal readings, but certain rights and laws upheld by this court are unlikely to be overturned.
There are many in this country who are shell-shocked, angry, aghast, and, yes, afraid of what the future holds in this moment. This nation stands on the precipice of great, unknown challenges, and the specter of the impending Trump presidency looms over all of us.
But as I watch in disappointment and pain and anger as a man I find to be impossibly unqualified for president sweeps the electoral map, I have steeled myself to this commitment:
I shall not be afraid of this man. I shall endure.
No wonder Trump is preemptively depicting himself not as a loser, but as the victim of a rigged election. You know he won’t go away quietly. Nor will his base, whose fire he has recklessly stoked. I can’t believe he’d give a gracious concession speech, a call to come together and support the one president our nation has. He’s more likely to summon a retributive movement – a fifth column of Trumpistas.
Now Hillary Clinton is a public figure, and in an era of wall-to-wall PR it’s hard to argue that she’s not playing the game. But perhaps she simply backed into it. Perhaps she’s that Sixties activist at heart who preferred behind-the-scenes advocacy and the humility of action — but got drawn into politics as a result of her husband’s career. Perhaps she is a reluctant politician, not a Machiavellian schemer.