Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The State of the Union

My fellow Americans –

Tonight it is time to reflect on the state of the American union, and that state is not good.

We have a criminal regime in government, headed by a corrupt, authoritarian, and mentally deteriorating president, supported by a spineless Senate eager to trade morals, laws, the Constitution, and the republic itself for absolute power.  Confronted with hard evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors, of corruption at the highest levels, and of an imminent threat to American security and world standing, that Senate refused to hear any evidence or allow any witnesses to testify to the truth of those charges.  Instead they conducted an openly partisan whitewash and will congratulate themselves tomorrow on their empty success when they formally end this president’s examination – it cannot be called a trial – with a unanimous and depraved vote.

We have a regime that has made child abuse a federal policy and erected concentration camps on the borders of what was at one time referred to as the land of the free.  We have a regime that throws around threats of war with the shallow disregard that cowards have for such things when they know other people will do the fighting and dying and suffering.  We have a regime that turns national parks into industrial wastelands and clean air and water into smoke and sewers.  We have a regime that refuses to admit that the world they know is burning and there is precious little time to save it.  We have a regime that understands full well its own cruelty and revels in it.

We have a population where roughly forty percent of the people think this is just fine as long as it is applied to other people.  To brown-skinned people.  To Spanish-speaking people.  To poor people.  To women.  To people who are not straight.  To people who are not evangelical Protestants.  To people who are not precisely like Them.

We have an economy explicitly set up as a shell game, one designed to take wealth out of the hands of the middle class, out of the hands of the workers, and deposit into the grasping claws of the already wealthy.  We have unsustainable levels of inequality and an entire regime dedicated to making that worse.  We have allowed corporate interests to hollow out our communities and our society in exchange for false promises of prosperity.

We once aspired.  Now we fear.

We once inspired.  Now we are pitied.

We once led the world, for better or worse.  Now the world has discovered they can get along just fine without us and indeed they have no other choice for we have abandoned our responsibilities to things greater than ourselves at every level, from the world at large down to our own communities. 

The times are grim.

But we are Americans.  We are not afraid.  These colors do not run.  We built this nation once before and we will rebuild it now.

We rebelled against a mad king and will not suffer another to take his place two and a half centuries later.

We are a nation of volunteers, of builders, of communities that come together in hard times, of dissenters, troublemakers, immigrants, and families, and we will not be destroyed by grifters, tyrants, and madmen.

The work is mighty and it may well not be completed in my lifetime.

But it begins now.

Thank you, and may this country find its soul once again.


LucyInDisguise said...

Two minor quibbles:

“…people who are not [white] evangelical…”

And, I don’t think you should have dignified them by capitalizing the word.

Times are indeed grim. AND, yes! We are Americans.

I so wish I could whole-heartedly share the optimistic view you so eloquently stated after that line, but unfortunately, while 40% of us are fine with fRumpy, and 40% of us want to throw him and his minions back to the Russians, I fear that we have yet another unquantified set of the population who are either afflicted with fear, or worse still, apathy.

More than 20% of eligible citizens are not even registered to vote. Of those of us who are registered, only about 60% actually cast a ballot in the last Presidential Election. Poll numbers only tell part of the story - those who remain silent must find their voice and the will to participate in our government, or things are not going to change much.

Until we energize and engage those spectators who sit idly on the sidelines and bitch, until we figure out a way to fix those numbers, I shall continue to fear for our Republic.

And call. And write. And sign petitions. And protest. And fight. And SCREAM.

And, yes, even weep for our Republic.

But I will never, ever, just give up and surrender.


David said...

Well, I figured I'd covered the white part earlier in the paragraph. Not that you're wrong - non-white evangelicals don't count either - but that was my thinking.

I'm not sure if I'm being optimistic (an unfamiliar quality for this native Philadelphian) or if it's just a form of fatalism that comes from studying history and knowing that the pendulum swings back and forth across the years. It's going to take screaming and protesting and action and any number of other things - the arc of history may well bend toward justice but any historian will tell you that it usually has to swerve around a pile of bodies to get there and it often takes its own sweet time in doing so - and it will likely not be fun or easy.

But we've been in similar places before and dug out, and I am hoping that serves as a precedent.

Never give in. Never surrender. Fuck those guys.

LucyInDisguise said...

Yeah. Okay. Agreed.

But please, for the safety of humankind, use a condom.