Here we are on the precipice overlooking the apocalypse, mid-September 2020. Even by the time you read this, will it be any better or can we add more horsemen to the array? A pandemic. Gigantic catastrophic fires on the West Coast and inland. Hurricane after hurricane. Cops murdering black civilians; L.A. police being murdered by civilians. A President of the USA who does not know his ass from his elbow about much of anything as his Trumpster lemmings make their way over the cliff, he wishing them the greatest America they have fallen for. Millions unemployed. College student partying themselves to Covid death.
Yet, in the election coming up, both presidential candidates promise a better future and that they can do it for us. Joe can save our souls and the planet. Trump can save the stock market and bring jobs back to Cleveland. And yet, in surveys more than 50% of the electorate believes that both Biden and Trump are mentally challenged.
Yes, I think Biden will win. And, yes, Trump will do his best even if he has to cheat to stop that. And, yes, he might even do nasty stuff after the election, lose or win. And if Trump does win — Heaven's punishment for our sins — I think any resemblance to a healthy and wealthy democratic republic will dissolve in the mists of fires, tornadoes, domestic armed conflict, ever spreading plagues and famines. Some Christian Evangelicals think Trump was sent by God. No, I do not think so, unless it was that He ran out of locusts to plague us. Trump resembles, to me, an evil pharaoh and not a savior.
OK. So, we get rid of Donald The Tweeter and where are we then? I do think, Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, AOC, Elizabeth Warren and Governor Inslee have good if not perfect advice about how we might start getting somewhere. Yet, even then, with all that good advice and wide awake Joe's best efforts, I think we have a long road away from that precipice, far further than we want to admit.
For all its ambition and maybe even because of it, America has been, to say the least, a two edged sword. As a nation, we have done wonders and we have been grossly evil as well. Yet, here we are; and I believe, our karma is coming home to roost. Is Trump an aberration and once he goes and soulful Biden assumes the temporary kingship, and it will go back to our good and precious "normal?" It could happen and then again, it actually might not.
There is more here than immediately meets the eye; although about now, our eyes are pretty bloodshot, given all the smoke and Covid virus and moronic political rhetoric. The anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric of Donald Trump has a long history in America, from the Know Nothing Party of the 19th Century — yes, there really was Know Nothing Party and they were anti-immigrant — to the KKK of the late 19th and 20th Century and on and on. Nixon's Southern Strategy was to put the Republican Party firmly in the camp of southern segregationists and take votes away from a Democratic Party that became in the Sixties more truly democratic in their platforms and viewpoints.
Leaving racism in place throughout our history is a tinderbox ready to blow. Of course, it has been blowing up all along, but now, as Chris Rock has said, we have it on video. The source of climate change is industrialization going on for the last two hundred or so years, but the USA, given its industrial gigantesque demeanor is the origin of the greatest portion, yes, of prosperity, but also of the shadow side of that prosperity, that is, pollution and climate change. So that, if you believe in such things, it is the karma of us in the United States to suffer the karmic consequences of Capitalistic shadows.
As for Donald Trump and the latest iteration of Republicans and their madnesses, well, they have been working on rhetorical stupidity as long as I can remember, especially since Newt the Grinch was in Congress and they have upped the lying ante ever since, what with Foxy news and Rush Windbag leading their lemmings over the cliff and into the cultish cesspool of Trumpism.
Yet, something has changed here as well; and it really is in the heart and soul of America. It is not that racism is not rampant still, but it cannot do and maintain what it has done in the past. While there were always white people against anti-immigration policies and racism, in the hearts of more and more people across the whole of the country, there is coming a far more open mindedness and a push for more open borders. While in the past of USA history laws were passed after the Civil War against slavery and then to guarantee equal protection and to require equal voting rights even if in reaction, in the South, there was a hundred years of Jim Crow while in the North things were so arranged to keep the black population down at the bottom and pushed aside. Hearts and minds are different now, even if it is clearly not 100%. Maybe 50%, only; but still, that is better, much better than pervasive racism, as has been the rule. It started changing in the 60s. Maybe it is time to reinvigorate 60s attitude and values. Wouldn't that irk the uptight nouveau fascists!
So, America, we have a longer way to go than we ever thought — on racism, on immigration, on the environment and climate, on disease and health and on democracy itself. If there is going to be a new and good normal, that will have to be: change. Good change. A whole lot of change, still. Make America Great Again? Make America Great Once and For All. For All! And, oh yes, Make America The Beautiful, not the burnt to a crisp or drowning in sea water.
I think we can start by giving The Black Hills back to the Sioux, but that is another essay.