Point of View Columns

The Daze Before Christmas

The Daze Before Christmas

It was the daze before Christmas

And all through the nation

There was dismay and concern and great consternation

COVID was flying through the air with ease

And the unvaccinated would not get vaccinated

Even when Biden said “please”

The wishes, prayers and dreams of better times were all through the air

In hopes that the Divine would take time to care….

It should be clear to all who care to care that 2021 has turned out to be an infernal continuation of 2020, hands down the worst year in recent memory. When Amanda Gorman delivered her epic poem at the inauguration of Joe Biden as President and successor to the infernal reign of Donald J. Trump there was reasonable hope that this year would be different and that it would be better – if only because it wasn’t 2020.

With a little more than a week left in 2021, unless a series of miracles are unleashed over these next eight days, the hopes for a Happy New Year are already dim. And for very good reason.

We can begin by noting that the Democratic Party in Congress continues to revert to a circular firing squad whenever the opportunity to collaborate arises. As a result, even when something historic, epic actually, like the Infrastructure Bill passes after decades of every Congress and President kicking the can down the road, the Democrats, halfway through a victory, get into a battle over the Build Back Better Bill – also a righteous and historic initiative. But it would have been helpful to let the American people savor the good stuff before diving right back into the battle.

We can continue by resigning ourselves to the fact that unless Satan appears to reclaim his lost son, Donald Trump is with us and seemingly here to stay. The destruction of societal norms and the infrastructure of democracy are clearly his bastard children. And even though it is clear that his destructive mode is more a matter of tantrum than strategy, the damage that he is wreaking may have an existential impact on this country.

With his malign inspiration, Republicans all over the country have determined that the best way to preserve the limited guard rails preserving white male supremacy is to simply throw out the entire constitutional playbook and not even try to win elections (although that has worked out pretty well for them over the past few decades, especially when you consider the demographic deficit which they have been confronted).

Instead Republicans have determined that stealing elections by hyper aggressive and shameless gerrymandering and the grotesque altering of voting laws that tip the playing field in their favor. And Trump appointed judges all over the country and in the Supreme Court are prepared to throw legalistic holy water over this smoking, stinking pile of institutional sabotage.

We have seen the gradual acceptance of school shootings as part of Life in America. No matter how many girls and boys and teachers and coaches are shot dead in schools, the sclerotic approach to anything resembling gun law safety has gone the way of the Dodo bird. So now death in the schools, in the streets and anywhere and everywhere continues unabated as America remains the most well-armed nation in the world and the highest civilian murder by gun rate in the world.

And that madness does not seem that it will ever stop until there is nobody left to shoot.

And no reflection on 2021 (aka 2022) would be complete without the simple observation that, by packing the Supreme Court with right wing of the right wing conservatives, we are now look at decades of victories by the national right wing of the right wing in cities, towns and states throughout this nation. It should be clear to all who care to see, that Roe V. Wade is on Death Row, and it is only a matter of whether the execution will take place by lethal injection or slow and cruel strangulation.

But that, of course, is only the beginning…before this conservative majority ages out in about twenty to thirty years, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Brown v. Board of Education case will all be on the judicial trash heap. It should be pointed out that this is not a matter of mere surmise, Barrett, Gorsuch, Thomas, Alito and Kavanagh are clear proponents of this judicial lynching.

It has been said that hope springs eternal but the year of 2020-2021 is putting that saying to the test.

However, that as long as there are women and men of goodwill who are willing to stand up, to speak up, to be heard and to not give up hope. For, as we know, evil only triumphs when good people do nothing.

It is clearly time to do something.

Happy Holidays to all

To all who believe in righteousness

Let 2022 be a year of the triumph of justice!

*Special thanks to Negrodamus, my special muse, for the “Daze” concept.

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Point of View Columns

The End of an Error

End of an Error

With the end of the Trump presidency it would seem that the entire nation, indeed the entire world, breathed a sigh of relief with the hope that the Trump Pandemic would be gone. There is now no doubt that Trump was the worst president in the history of the United States vanquishing Richard Nixon, Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore and Andrew Johnson in a race to the bottom. But there is also no doubt that it is at least possible that Trump has made it possible that there will be a president worse than him sooner than later.

By shattering all presidential norms, treating governmental institutions like his personal property and treating the American people as his subjects he has certainly cleared the way for another, even more malign version of himself. After all, over 74 million presumably conscious and functionally intelligent Americans voted for Trump – warts and all.

The end of the Trump presidency actually began with the inauguration of Joe Biden. President Biden delivered what was arguably one of the best inaugural speeches in presidential history. Lifting the stain of Trump from the fabric of American politics will take a long time, but President Biden spoke to this issue with the very clear statement – “Don’t tell me things can’t change”. It does remain to be seen how long it will take for things to change.

It is noteworthy that President Biden became the first president in history to declare war on white supremacy and the nihilist domestic terrorists who espouse this vile philosophy. Of course, it is also noteworthy that it was not until the year 2021 that an American president declared war on white supremacy.

And as much of the nation struggled to wrench the memories of the January 6th Insurrection from our collective memory, a true ray of hope and possible dreams made itself known. For following President Biden’s inaugural speech, and Lady Gaga had sung the national anthem and Jennifer Lopez had sung America the Beautiful, a glorious National Poet Laureate appeared. Amanda Gorman is a 22-year-old Black woman who embodies genius and spectacular vision.

She delivered a poem which was written for the moment, just as Amanda Gorman was born for this day. There would be no way to recount all of the content of that poem, but let it suffice to say that she brought tears of joy and hope and remembered pain to the face of America. It is almost a travesty to quote her poem because the entire masterpiece deserves to be quoted and remembered and memorized. The pearls that she offered to the world included:

  • Too often Just Is is not Justice
  • There’s always light if only we are brave enough to see it

And so very much more. Her words belong to all who made that day possible – indeed her word belongs to the ages already.

The celebrations of the rest of the day were amazing and uplifting and inspiring. But it remains to be seen what happens when the real work of repairing the spirit of a nation and its people begins.

And, as we witness The End of the Error, it is so important to make sure that America does not make the mistake of not taking fascist and authoritarian rhetoric and those who utter such words seriously. It is true that no one could imagine that Trump could be as bad as he turned out to be. Clearly we suffered from a failure of imagination.

America dodged a nuclear powered laser beam of tyranny and destruction……this time.

As a nation we cannot afford to ever fail this way again.

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