While it is difficult for me to admit, I am both thoroughly enamored of and shaken to my core by my latest obsession: the televised depiction of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” It goes without saying that the acting and screenwriting are phenomenal, and the series authentically deserving of its recent Golden Globe wins.

It is, at minimum, uncomfortable to watch, and at times it brings me to feeling totally nauseated. The depiction of brutal trauma, tyrannical governance and abdication of American values is heart-wrenching.

But what rattles me more is the terrifying number of parallels to our current administration and our possible trajectory into an unfamiliar and shameful America.

Until Wednesday, we were callously separating weeping children from their mothers and fathers, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions trying to justify this decision by reciting from the Bible. Right now, we are isolating and grossly offending our allies and neighbors, sabotaging international relationships that have been decades in the making and methodically dehumanizing immigrants and refugees. Right now, we live with a seemingly untouchable president who, despite his immorality and dishonest manipulation, sits righteously in the most powerful seat in the world. Right now, we sit with jaws agape, blindsided and seemingly silenced by the horrific consequences of having handed over our democracy.

I feverishly wait for each week’s episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” as I wholeheartedly believe it is inevitable that the women who are its protagonists will rise up, shed their cloaks and shift their trajectory. What is stopping us from doing the same? Let’s get courageous and shift our gaze, look our opposition directly in the eye and purposefully demand that our outstanding and honorable American values are preserved and protected. Right now.

Jesse Sokol

Portland