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The Fourth Estate


Jack Stein

Since the beginning of time, humanity has awaited its judgment day. We speak of it in hushed tones, in rumors sheltered under the rippling shadows cast by the labyrinthine alleyways of the deepest recesses of human fear and disbelief. The Bible, needless to say, fables of a day of judgment in which Jesus, the son of God, will “judge the living and the dead.”

Cultures and systems of belief the world over fear an end of the world, from the Mayan apocalypse in the year 2012 to the Jewish “end of days.” This belief, the study and prediction of all that is or will be, is known as eschatology.

Eschatological events are usually seen as an Armageddon that rocks the foundations of the world as we know it, a raging mass destruction lled with the res of hell and the screaming of the damned.

We forget that cataclysm can come in disguise. The eschaton that has fallen before us lies behind a mask, hidden underneath a grinning facade of buffoonery and half truths of an angry charlatan.

A man who stood before the nation to spread indisputable lies, used the tactic of fear-mongering, hate-mongering, to achieve his goals. We laughed for a while. A long while, actually.

The inability of the American people to take a threat seriously until it is knocking on their door, really until it has knocked down the door and burst into their home has led us down dark paths before, but we have always righted ourselves.

This time, we can’t be so sure.

We looked upon the Republican nominee as a laughable blip on the radar of the public conscious. We watched in awe as he seemingly tanked not only his reputation, but his entire party and the ideals that it stood for. We laughed him all the way up the steps to the White House, and didn’t realize until he was comfortably watching us from the Oval Office.

He didn’t knock our door down— we held it open for him.

We have to accept the actions of our country. “Well, I voted for Hillary” is just an excuse, a imsy wall that we put up to try and shift some of the blame away from ourselves.

This kind of shifting of blame is exactly the reason that the presidential election ended up where it was.

Citizens continually passed the responsibility down the social ladder until the fate of the election rested in the hands of the middle class. It wasn’t until too late that we remembered that the American middle class is a broken dream that fell to the ground years ago.

The buck stops with us. We cannot blame those who didn’t vote, we cannot blame those who chose to protest vote, we cannot blame those who voted for who we see as the “wrong” candidate.

The Republican Party did not win the election. The upper class did not win the election. Even the President Elect did not win the election.

The winning candidate isn’t the object or the cause of the great American fall that we experienced in September. We are. The social rift that was exacerbated by the shrieking chaos and uttering lies that we watched with blissful ignorance is to blame.

We are face to face with the greatest crisis of identity in a century and a half. We spend our time with the people we agree with as we slowly ostracize those we don’t. The problem isn’t what political side you stand on; it’s the fact that sides exist at all. is election cycle, every word and action of hate and intolerance that has been uttered or undertaken in the past decade, has torn the United States apart at the seams.

We should not be ghting against Donald Trump. Recounts and electoral loopholes are not only improbable, but they will also pull the country apart even further.

Protests will become more and more violent, and the people protesting the hate and violence in the White House will soon become exactly those whom they fight and protest against.

If you take anything from these words, let it be that we cannot allow President Donald Trump to break us apart.

He may try, his administration may try, and his supporters may try, but remember that in the end, we all want the same thing: we want to be safe.

Protest and speak out against the small things, the injustices that live around us, but do not let them overcome us.

In the big picture, we need to support our president on the big things, because he, whether you think he deserves it or not, has been given an immense responsibility. We need to make sure that regardless of how we disagree with every one of his policies and beliefs, we help him hold that responsibility.

Please, in the name of the survival of our country and the people in it, hold on to the few things that can still unite us all, and uphold those values with all your strength. In these days when we face our ultimate test, our eschaton, they may be all we have left.

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