I began to feel pretty powerless after the presidential election. So with the magical thinking and emotional intelligence of a four-year-old (remind you of anyone?), I got to fantasizing about what if I had a superpower (or ten) to make me feel more in control of my world.
Here’s what I came up with:
Telekinesis—I could hide the nuclear codes should our new POTUS have a retaliatory hissy fit over some perceived slight by another country, or hide his phone to prevent him from tweeting in the wee hours. Oh, and make my reading glasses or keys come to me when I can’t find them.
Teleportation—I could send certain members of the new administration to another galaxy with no way of getting back to Earth. Or I could beam myself to wherever I want to travel, avoiding traffic, crowds and the expense, hassle and germ-laden recirculated air of commercial airlines.
X-ray vision—I could observe how POTUS, his family and advisors interact when the cameras aren’t on. I’d combine this with super-acute hearing so I could eavesdrop on their conversations, and the ability to preempt regular TV programming and simulcast those conversations live to the world. Plus, I could see through walls to check out how people have decorated their homes.
Time travel—I could travel back in time and somehow prevent Trump from being born (or at least from running for President). While I’m in the past, I could also do or say a few things differently (like not living for 4+ years with a freeloading loser). And I could go into the future to figure out what stocks I should buy or sell to boost my retirement portfolio.
Speed—A la Superman, I would be “faster than a speeding bullet” so I could slap Kellyanne Conway, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter every time they open their mouths, but it would happen so quickly they wouldn’t know what hit ‘em. I could also clean the house, get ready to go out or do grocery shopping in seconds. Or pee so fast in middle of night that I wouldn’t really wake up.
Gender reassignment—With a wiggle of my nose, I could transform a misogynist into a woman so he’d experience first-hand what it feels like to be on the receiving end of sexual harassment, discrimination or assault. And for trans folks, I could enable them to be the gender they’re meant to be, without surgery.
Mind control—I could zap someone’s brain and impart intelligence, empathy, compassion and kindness, and destroy prejudice and hate. And stop Trump from tweeting anything but messages of unity and reason. And make Mike Pence get over his homophobia and act like the Christian he purports to be.
Mandatory truth-telling—With a click of my fingers, all politicians would be constitutionally unable to tell a lie (a la Jim Carrey’s character in the movie “Liar, Liar”). They would be compelled to truthfully answer every question they’re asked during interviews, debates and one-on-one conversations (except in regard to legitimate matters of national security). And the media would be compelled to report everything completely and accurately.
Political dysphagia—If getting politicians to always tell the truth proves too insurmountable a task, then I could wave a magic wand and all Americans would be rendered unable to swallow B.S. from politicians or fake news sites.
Accelerated healing—A la Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine character in the X-Men franchise, we could, as a country, heal quickly from the wounds that this election has inflicted, and emerge even stronger and more united. I’d also be able to immediately regrow a fingernail when one breaks and, if I ever have a facelift, experience no swelling or bruising, and look extremely refreshed right away.
Seriously, though, there are things within our power that we can do, actions we can take, to fight back against the racism, bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia and hate that are just too prevalent today:
- Give whatever you’re able—money and/or time—to organizations that advocate for the progressive, humanistic values you believe in.
- Call or write legislators and make your position known on issues that are important to you, such as Republican threats to gut Medicare and Social Security, do away with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), ignore climate change, restrict women’s reproductive rights, or the appointment of deplorable cabinet members.
- Offer support to people around you when their safety is being threatened by this alt-right-fueled surge of hateful behavior.
- Boycott businesses that espouse hatred in any form.
We baby boomers came of age in a tumultuous time when we protested the Vietnam War, the draft and a dishonest president. We know how to do this.
So let’s go. Flex your activist muscles. Push back, call out, speak up, vote, run for office, volunteer, march in peaceful protests. Just don’t remain silent or complacent in the face of the hate-mongering that threatens to destroy our democracy.
We boomers do have
a superpower, and it’s
our collective voice.
What do you have to say? What pretend superpowers would you like to have—and how would you use them? And what are you doing to combat the forces of hatred, prejudice and bigotry in real-life (hint: hateful, troll-like comments don’t fit the bill)? Please share…