Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A Facebook Post During a Very Dark Time

I've all but stopped posting on Facebook. It really has little to do with the privacy and security issues, though those were serious enough. Nor does it have anything to do with those of you whom Facebook algorithms deem connectable with me. I haven't done much cooking lately, though I hope to restart that soon, so I've had few photos of cookies or cakes or pies to post. I don't have a dog or cat, so no cute photos or snappy little tidbits about pets.
It really has to do with my growing sense of the futility of posting politically charged items, which seem to me to get relatively little response and probably account for the disenfranchisement (also known as "unfriending") that Facebook politics is wont to produce.
I do like the venue for posting links to serious writing that I do, and am ever grateful for those of my Facebook friends who read and comment on them. I likewise appreciate others of you who share things of importance to you.
And all of the above is prelude for my once more abrogating my resolve to shut my mouth about stuff that I am unable to stop, also known as Trump.
And it really is not about Trump that I compose this comment. I direct it to that great and self-important slice of the universe known familiarly as "America," or more formally as the United States of America. Somewhat like a crazy family member that one loves out of a sense of duty and for the sake of old and good memories, but whom one hates to see coming yet again for a visit, the United States I find difficult to disentangle from. I've never known anything else. I remember in Mrs. Lemmon's third grade class at Conway Elementary School hearing my teacher read Edward Everette Hale's "The Man Without a Country." It stuck with me. I could barely conceive of renouncing one's country, certainly not without dire consequences. Especially could I not conceive of renouncing a nation that was as great, as splendid, as noble as my own.
I am just a hair's breadth away from feeling totally fed up with Uncle Sam. I simply don't understand a nation in which a large swath of people, if not a majority, make peace or at least refuse to raise hell with an ignorant Congress that year after year does nothing about gun violence. I don't understand how people can settle for a country where a school full of little children gets blasted to smithereens and then has to put up with people who have the audacity to claim that it was fake news and the product of a liberal conspiracy. I don't have the stomach for an administration that tears families apart and then justifies it because "the base" loves hating all who differ from them. Or has the temerity to chalk off its heinous, inhumane, immoral, and even criminal behavior to some bullshit about the Bible countenancing it if not demanding it. I do not understand what is gained by living in a democracy that has never really been democratic for the original inhabitants of this land nor for those descended from persons captured and enslaved here generations ago.
Tell me to vote. I do. Tell me to wait. I have. Tell me to cool it. I've tried. Tell me that I'm blind to all the good in the US. I've searched for it, found it, applauded it. Tell me that it is all about the Republican party or Donald Trump. And tell me "Just you wait" until the mid-terms. I've lived too long to put any stock in any of that. I've thought one too many times that we'd turned a corner only to find that both parties are owned by the same interests, largely controlled by white, monied, powerful men generally oblivious to the plight of those who differ from them in color, station, gender, or need. I have little hope that "midterms" are going to change anything, certainly not the culture that has produced the system we now have. I have not forgotten that any system, including the United States, is designed to produce exactly the results it is getting.
We are seeing the wrecking ball bashing into democratic institutions while huge numbers of people consistently applaud the devastation of the social system and yet believe that somehow America is becoming "great again," without ever having said when it was great before.
I listen not only to the sobs of children separated from their parents. I hear the desperation of parents who, even when reunited with their children, are destined by the same evil government to live in prisons or pens indefinitely. I remember once having feared that in a St. Patrick's Day mob in New York City for a block or two I'd perhaps lost one of my own. The metallic taste of fear rising to my tongue much like blood from my guts is not unlike what I imagine it would be to have braved the long trip to America only to have the family one is trying to save from annihilation or starvation summarily destroyed by the great hope of all the earth, the United States Government. I add my hoarse cry to those who have dared to say, "Shame. Shame. Shame on the United States! No better than the flag-waving Nazis that glorify the military but spurn what the military itself has fought and bled to protect. Shame on a nation that believes it is the apple of God's eye. Shame on me, on you, on us all who continue to pay for this insidious system that is becoming more demonstrably evil by the day.
I no longer blame Donald Trump nor his infernal toadies and minions and apologists. I blame a country that colludes with their lies and deceit. I blame myself for growing slack and lame at opposing cruelty and heartlessness made more diabolical because it has the audacity to excuse itself.
Always the optimist, the hopeful, the joyful, I sorrowfully embrace words that slipped out of public vocabulary long ago: "We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us."

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