Point of View Columns

One Day in the Life of America

September 24, 2020

6,935,415–201,920 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans the beginning of the day

It has been written on these pages and sadly, it will continue to be written – Black Lives Matter, but White Lives Matter More.

In what seems like an endless American horror story, once more a Black person is shot and killed by white police officers. Once more there is an incredibly lengthy “investigation”. And once more the miscreants who fired their weapons 36 times in the dark in the apartment of Breonna Taylor killing her with six of those shots were charged with no crime connected with her death.

There is yet another replay of outrage and grief, of anger and bone crushing sadness, of something close to resignation that these nightmare scenarios will play out forever with only the identity of the victims changing.

Clearly, Black Lives Matter, but White Lives Matter more.

And because a constant stream of statistics tends to overwhelm, it is important to remember that the 201,920 Americans are now dead from the pandemic and that every one of those deaths has left a cavernous space in the lives of all who knew and loved them….and were touched by them. And this morning, when it was announced that yet another 871,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits it is important to remember that each person is facing the dislocation of their finances, their families, indeed their entire lives.

We already know that Trump does not possess an ounce of empathy in his entire being. What is even more troubling that it has taken six months for the Senate and the House of Representatives to come to some kind of agreement to assist the people, the cities, the states and the businesses through another stimulus package.

And while virtually everyone seems to agree that such a package is necessary there doesn’t seem to be the sense of urgency that is being experienced by the survivors of the dead and the families of the unemployed and the employees of the businesses and the workers for state and local governments.

Clearly, for too many members of Congress the concept of public service is limited to their ideological horizon and they just can’t seem to see the people and their suffering and desperation.

And because he is the Agent of Chaos and the Avatar of Carnage, Trump now has discovered another tool of dystopia in his bag of tricks – namely, not committing to a peaceful transition of power in the event that he loses the election. Echoing Juan Peron and Ferdinand Marcos and Vladimir Putin, Trump has now lit the match of civil unrest, if not civil war, in what appears to be the likely event that he loses the election.

Just like King Louis XV, he believes that “l’etat c’est moi” – I am the State. But there is another rather prescient quote from the Madame Pompadour just before the French Revolution, “après moi le deluge” – after me the flood. And it just may be that Trump is the harbinger of the kind of carnage that has not been seen in this country since the Civil War.

And if all of this sounds particularly gloomy and too much to bear, much less believe, it can only be that you aren’t paying attention.

Trump is truly an existential threat to the Republic.

Believe it or refuse to believe it at your peril.

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2 thoughts on “One Day in the Life of America

  1. Tim Welch says:

    The facts and inevitability as you have laid them out are difficult to acknowledge but more so to repudiate. Keep me on your distribution.

  2. Democracy is in jeopardy if citizens are disenfranchised and public servants put self interest before common good.

    We must resist such unkind acts against democracy by educating our young to be critical thinkers and reimagine our free market system so that it is inclusive and equitable.

    Certainly, we need to enact campaign finance reform laws and we need to promote restorative justice and community mediation so that people have a pathway to dignity and sense of belonging.

    America is a kaleidiscope of colors and images, we are each a part of that ever changing hue and form, let’s all do our part to make America beautiful again.

    America only works if we all work as allies and friends.

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