The Amish withdraw from the wicked world, but the wicked world goes on without them.
Just as well, since the Amish don't reject cell phones and SUVs because they want to undercut modern life, but for their own benefit.
That question — am I withdrawing to help myself or hurt someone else? — is worth bearing in mind as Donald J. Trump is inaugurated president two weeks from today, and we judge who participates and decide how much we will own the country shaping up before our startled eyes.
A tough call. It was almost shocking when Barack Obama welcomed Trump into the Oval Office immediately after he squeaked out a victory with the help of neo-Nazis, the FBI and Vladimir Putin. But a victory nonetheless, and as pained as Obama's expression was, treating Trump with dignity seemed smart. It preserved a tendril of influence, and Trump could at least glimpse what class looks like.
On the other hand, you had to feel good when stars turned down offers to entertain at the inauguration. Nobody who loves Bruce Springsteen would want to see him crooning "Born in the U.S.A." for Donald Trump. Yet Hillary Clinton will be there. Bad for her, good for the country.
There will be big protests. I'm glad Trump might see the majority who voted for someone else. Though I also sense that many protestors are the same folks who backed Gary Johnson because they believe all politicians are the same. Had they cared less about their own moral purity and more about the country's fate, maybe we wouldn't be in this mess.
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