How does love work when we are called to fight?

As you can probably imagine, I’m having a hard time getting back to novel-writing. The hours pass quickly as I read article after article, click share, post thoughts, reply to thoughts, and delete or edit some of those #Ishouldhaveknownbetter replies . So, in lieu of working on my novel, I’m turning to this blog to process. What I mean, specifically, is that at this historic moment of terrible transition, I’m reflecting on my own mind and spirit. Realistically, we will have to fight to beat back the forces of evil or to hold them at bay, and the next few years will likely be violent and chaotic. They will bring out our demons and all the skeletons in the closet of our national history.

Oddly, in the wake his victory, Trump’s words, demeanor, and actions have been pleasant and even classy. Yeah, I said it. Classy. So much so that it’s even creepy. (The proverbial eye of the storm?) I do hope that he reinvents himself, but because Trump has no moral or intellectual compass, we simply don’t know what will happen next. What we do know is that Trump is capable of inciting the absolute worst in people, their rage and their paranoia, and his policies, of course, are notorious and nauseating.

In Donald Trump’s America, undocumented immigrants will be deported en masse, Arab Americans will be racially profiled and the United States will “bomb the s— out of ISIS.In Trump’s America, foreign Muslims will be banned from the US, Syrian refugees sent back to their war-torn country and free trade agreements torn to shreds. And, of course, the US will build a “great wall” on the US-Mexico border, which Mexico will have to pay for. In Trump’s America, the US attorney general will push to indict the president’s general election rival. That’s if everything goes as the Republican nominee has promised during his insurgent presidential campaign. – Jeremy Diamond, CNN

The left will not sit by and watch mass deportations occur or watch America turn into a worse oligarchy than it already is — nor should they. On Wednesday, there were violence and protests in the streets of America’s major cities, and I think it is safe to say that the violent anarchists of any and all political stripes are eager to take advantage of Trump’s reckless and bombastic actions and use Trump as an catalyst to disrupt the system, to create as much chaos as possible. Everything that we know about Trump indicates that he’ll give people plenty of reasons to riot.

Not all Trump voters will get what they expected from Trump, but they will get the one thing that they all seemed to have in common, because regardless of who they were — whether a member of the KKK or a god-fearin’ granny in East Jesus, Texas — they all voted for Trump so that he would shake things up. And shake things up he will.




Alongside the protests that include burning a Trump effigy, people are posting about love. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels the tension there.

You may be like me. I’m prepared to push back, protest, and fight for what is good and just, for immigrants, religious tolerance, economic equality, racial progress, the dignity of women, sexual diversity, and many other issues that degrade and destroy people and planet.

These are all things that are noble and pure, worth giving our time and, if necessary, sacrificing our lives for. We do so, however, because of our love for people and our love for the world. Love itself is calling us to act, and we are all now coming to grips with the fact that at this point in history, we will have to fight. Such are our times. How do we fight for the world without losing our souls?

Many who are ready to fight are also talking about love, reaffirming this as a central value. I see this on many people’s Facebook posts. In fact, many of the protestors who took to the streets on Wednesday were holding signs that read “Love Trumps Hate.”

Love does trump hate, I agree, but how does that work, on a practical level? I want to talk more about this, write more about this, explore and understand it.

How does that effect who we are? How does that effect the way we think and process these times? How does that effect the way we approach the chaos to come?

How does one rage against the machine but retain the monastic compassion of Mahatma Gandhi? How does that work? Suggestions are welcome.

Published by

Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

2 thoughts on “How does love work when we are called to fight?”

  1. Excellent post. I am struggling with the same questions. Maybe it’s enough that many of us are reflecting, rather than rioting. Perhaps when the time comes, our reflections will make us better able to be warriors for freedom, equality, generosity, and compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

Consider this post an invitation, an invitation to comment and collaborate ~ In Solidarity, JE

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