The country we thought we shared is changing faster than anyone expected. I wrote last week about the cognitive mismatch I felt at the relative normalcy outside my window as our government punished parents by taking their children away—in many cases, permanently. One week later, I cannot unsee how much even my window has changed and will change. The party ruling our country has demonstrated there is no principle it will respect, no norm it will endure. My rights as a woman are in danger. Civil rights are in danger. And the republic is in danger.
I am sad, above all, because the damage being done now no longer feels like it can be stemmed—let alone reversed—with a single election. This will last decades. The downturns my generation has already weathered—the 2008 crisis that hinged on obscure derivatives traded by a privileged few, robbing wealth from millions—were only the beginning. Education is now a luxury. Pensions barely exist. Health care is under threat. Retirement is, to those my age, a cruel joke. We’ve been waiting. For recovery, for relief, for some semblance of an American dream we can access.