Is it a failing of my own, or has the world gone a tad mad? I cannot grasp the extent to which situations, circumstances, behaviors and relationships have dwindled to an appalling naught. Little, it seems matters as it once did. There is no desirable code of conduct among us anymore. I blame the times, our leadership, and the choices we seem to have made. Everything else is out of my grasp.
If there is any doubt about the truth, insist on evidence as proof. Demand, require, argue, protest, urge, exhort, and assert your unwillingness to be complicit in a lie. Insist on honesty. #Resist falsehood.
To paraphrase a complex thought, I need to break it down. “Break it down,” incidentally is a dance term as well. It involves taking the steps you’ve combined and presenting them in an effort to simplify the movements.
Some of us are better at this kind of activity, the process that makes things easier to understand. Those who are can simplify anything and make it accessible. I find it harder to break down the dystopia, for instance, of our post 2016 America into a simple sound bite. There is very little that will simplify it enough to make it easier to swallow.
We’ve got sort of shoot the messenger administration in power. Senator Durbin reports an appalling truth and he’s faulted for the fact that the Congress can’t pass DACA legislation. People who’ve contributed to America, and lived here for years are being deported, and surely we can’t blame Dick Durbin for regressive policies carried out by the administration and its cohorts. Clearly, it’s their racism that is responsible for failing to allow immigrants who dream of a better life and whose dreams have been fulfilled during nearly a lifetime in the United States to continue living the American dream.
Most Americans come from a long line of dreamers. We are descendents of men and women who came here to start over and to do better. Chances are that your grandpa was an immigrant, or that great grandma came through Ellis Island. An ancestor worked the railroads or participated in the gold rush of 1849. There may be a Revolutionary War veteran on your family tree; he came to America to escape persecution. Some came for economic opportunities. Others travelled across the seas to find a freer society.
Still others were forced here against their will, and lived here enslaved until the Emancipation Proclamation attempted to integrate them into American life. Racism, then as now, worked to keep these newly minted citizens from enjoying their liberties and rights. Americans who were brought here in shackles have traversed a tougher road in becoming part of the fabric of this democracy.
The main agenda for the dominant party today is a kind of war against people of color. The urban poor are the principal targets of this unprincipled party line. The tax bill, immigration policy, the fight over healthcare, attacks on Medicaid and the defunding of CHIP, the call to close the borders, all affect services. Education, transportation, housing, are all left to flounder and founder under the burdens of making the wealthy a lot richer. Tax cuts to businesses and their owners will not trickle down to citizens living in or on the boundaries of poverty.
The predominantly white, rural poor may still support the underlying principles of a racist political regime. They are also financially at risk, but they may feel gratified that inequality takes precedence in our national life, and white supremacy is not just condoned but a guiding political ideal. Is having token representation reward enough for their loyalty?
Money that has been scooped from one purpose to another is said to be in fact funnelled when its use is not legitimate. This kind of laundering takes place everywhere, from government to private industry; politicians often funnel funds designated for one social need into another aspect of the budget. This may fall under the category of creative accounting, or you may just call it malfeasance.
I will not lie and suggest it doesn’t shock
Change is so subtle that it goes almost
Unnoticed in the familiar, your body to
Which I am as accustomed as to my own
Moves around me, its faultlines evident and
Marked just as the wrinkles that drag on
Mine mock my mortality so that it can no longer
Be denied or ignored, your frailty comes as a
Sudden surprise, my darling, change so subtle
That it has gone almost unnoticed, time has
An astonishing effect, its outcomes, not always
Welcome, or received as happy news. We are
Old, my darling. It is a consequence of time
And its subtle, almost unnoticed changes
I will not lie or suggest it does not shock
Well, in truth, in some locales around the globe it has already peaked, but here in NYC we await the balldrop some 13 plus hours from now, and counting.
One two three … midnight and happy new year.