When former President Barack Obama concluded his farewell address on Jan. 11, 2017, Bruce Springsteen’s anthem, “Land of Hope and Dreams,” played for the 18,000 supporters who had crowded into McCormick Place in Chicago. Obama’s soaring speech, followed by Springsteen’s song, offered a momentary respite from the grief, dread and shock many Americans experienced after the election of Donald Trump. As the night came to a close and Michelle and Barack Obama walked off the stage hand in hand, one era was ending and another was coming into sharper view. Obama’s and Springsteen’s messages blended together to reassure listeners that everything would be all right: “Leave behind your sorrows/Let this day be the last/Tomorrow there’ll be sunshine/And all this darkness past.” One year after Trump’s inauguration, a majority of Americans know that everything is not all right. The darkness that Springsteen sang about has not passed. Instead, it has surrounded and battered us on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. Just when we think things can’t get any worse, news breaks of another ill-informed, inappropriate and unpresidential tweet. Trump’s lead role in escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea created mass hysteria in Hawaii when an emergency message was… Read full this story
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