I know that, for myself, our sharing here is a point of light that helps illuminate these difficult days. It is a way to care for ourselves and each other at a time when we still have to keep our physical distance. I am grateful.
Points of light
by Sue Robin, Los Angeles, California
In 1989, President George H.W. Bush talked about a ‘thousand points of light.’ Meant to inspire volunteerism in our country, he talked about people reaching out to help their neighbors. Much to his credit, he went on to form a global service group with that name. Yes, I know that this program was to avoid having the Federal Government support social service programs, but still it was a humane and kind program. In 2018, President Trump asked about the thousand points of light, “What does it mean? Does anyone know what it means? Now make America great, that we understand.” Trump did not know then, and I daresay still does not know, that in order to make America, or the world, great, one needs to offer a hand to help, not to take.
What happened to the Republican Party that supported and nurtured a thousand points of light? It appears to have vanished behind a veil of lies. It has gone from aiding to abetting. Not an auspicious change. The majority of those Republicans currently in office continue to serve a man, no longer in office, who believes in wild conspiracy theories, has lied to the country thousands of times, and who has emboldened the haters. Anyone who does not share Trump’s world view and who does not do his bidding is taunted and undermined, and often comes under fire by his henchmen. Case in point: Liz Cheney.
Our country was under siege on the 6th of January, encouraged by Trump and his supporters, who included people who want to see our democracy destroyed, and they created enough chaos to shake it to its core. And still the Republicans do not feel a need to hold Trump accountable or censure him, and those few who recognize evil when they see it are the ones being censured.
Not only did Trump leave our democracy with a major wound, but he, also, has left the stage with the pandemic raging and his supposed Warp Speed Plan wholly inadequate to address it.
While the past four years are dark and unpalatable, I know that it will make an excellent contrast to the light that is easing into our world. In the past week, we have watched President Biden undo some of the travesties perpetrated by Trump. Tact and civility have returned. A substantive plan for vaccine distribution and supplies has been created. And while it is likely that Trump, though impeached for a second time, will not be found guilty by the Senate, hundreds of his henchmen and -women are now awaiting trial for their violence and sedition. Likely more to come as well. I have read several articles about people who were pulled into QAnon who are now realizing and talking about how deceived they were. There is even a Reddit Forum for former Q followers.
I know there are still millions out there who idolize Trump, but idols fade with time and perhaps a New York District Court indictment or two will speed the process. The vaccine administration has begun to ramp up. The numbers have begun to trend downward. Los Angeles even received a couple of inches of rain this week.
George H.W. Bush was right about the thousand points of light and our need to help one another because, in community, we as individuals can heal. These are the points of light that capture my heart and bring me back to center. Please stay safe.