Undefeated

By Trudy Wischemann

Warning: If you think Donald Trump has been vindicated by the outcome of the impeachment hearings, the next few column inches are not for you. They’re for those of us who hung on Adam Schiff’s words and the other House managers who put themselves on the front line of stopping the spread of another form of Red. Sometimes it’s important to sing to the choir.

Many of the pundits warned the Democrats that if they moved to impeach Trump and failed to remove him from office, that would enable and embolden him in the very acts they (we) find impeachable. That may be true, but there is no way to scientifically verify that he wouldn’t have been enabled and emboldened if they (we) didn’t move to impeach and remove. He’s made it clear that he thinks he can do what he wants, regardless. So frankly, it’s a moot point.

Was it worth it anyway? I don’t know about you, but after listening to the cogent arguments and constitutional analyses, the history lessons about democracy in this republic, I am now massively emboldened to defend my country in a way that I was slack before. What the House managers did for me was to defeat my cynicism about our future, despite the outcome. What we’ve just witnessed in my mind is a battle between Might and Right. For the moment it appears that Might has won. But it cannot keep that ground.

I am in sympathy, or empathetic with, many of those who felt they needed Might to win. I’m talking about the factory workers who just got pink slips, the coal miners who die of black lung too early, the union carpenters out of work because they’re not needed for building big concrete boxes, the retail unions who will have fewer and fewer potential members as we mechanize the simplest act of buying groceries or hamburgers. That Big-Talkin’ Man sounds like he’s on their side, and we, my Democratic friends, don’t. We need to care, not just sound like it. We need to find some way to share the country’s bounty before that Big-Talkin’ Man’s friends export most of it to offshore accounts.

Those same people in the paragraph above need Right to win. Otherwise we have no rights, effectively, because we have no way to fight for them. Petitions (like we raised in Lindsay two years ago against the second dysfunctional roundabout) will be useless; protests will be brutally rebuffed (like during the civil rights and anti-war movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s); heads will roll (like Julius’ and Ethyl Rosenberg’s did in 1953 under McCarthy’s reign of terror.) Right must, and will win, if we fight for it. The battle’s on, not over.

John Steinbeck, that great “Commie” novelist who shamed California in The Grapes of Wrath for terrorizing the Okie immigrants displaced by America’s “hard times” (which, by the way, produced land consolidation over vast portions the country) – John Steinbeck has a beautiful, spiritual passage about winning and losing in a simpler novel, Sweet Thursday. This passage has kept me afloat when it appeared that defeat was inevitable, even pre-ordained. I offer it to anyone feeling bluer than normal. 

Doc, the main character, is analyzing himself, trying to figure out why he’s about to go make an appeal to Suzy, the female lead, when he discovers the reason. “Why didn’t I know it before? I, who admire it so, didn’t even recognize it when I saw it. Old (J.S.) Bach had his talent and his family and friends. Everyone has something. And what has Suzy got? Absolutely nothing in this world but guts. She’s taken on an atomic world with a slingshot, and, by God, she’s going to win! If she doesn’t win, there’s no point in living any more.”

“What do I mean, win?” Doc asked himself. “I know. If you are not defeated, you win.”

So let us be undefeated, fellow choir members. Let us keep singing, long and forte.

Trudy Wischemann is a low alto in Yahweh’s Band. You can send her your favorite battle hymns c/o  P.O. Box 1374, Lindsay CA 93247 or visit www.trudysnotesfromhome.blogspot.com and leave a comment there.

This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.

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