When I look at the polls and reports of a big Republican win next week, I really have to scratch my head. What’s going on with this country? When you look at Biden’s accomplishments over the past two years in the face of almost total Republican opposition in Congress; when you look at the voting records of almost all of those GOP legislators in the Congress and in state houses across the country; when you look the violent and deranged rhetoric of many GOP pols, representing now the Trumpian core of their party; when you look at the lies and distortions coming the right wing media; and when you look at the behavior and rhetoric coming out of Donald Trump, a narcissistic, bigoted, racist, traitor who initiated a coup against our government: I just can’t fathom how an American voter could even consider casting a vote for a Republican, in fact just about any Republican. Are they wanting Trump to return to office and set up an authoritarian oligarchy in place of our democracy? Are they wanting a one-party fascist-type government on our Jeffersonian soil? Are they wanting an economic system of tax cuts for the rich that the GOP has been claiming since 1980 will solve our problems but in practice never has? Are they wanting the elimination of government regulations that protect the environment and consumers? Are they wanting the diminution of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security which is what GOP leaders are now proposing? Are they wanting the joining of church and state, where Christianity is the official and only valid religion of the land, while all others are suspect and persecuted? Are they wanting white supremacist gangs roaming the streets at will, not unlike Nazi Brown Shirts in Hitler’s Germany, enforcing fascist-like rules laid down by an all-powerful leader and his or her rubber-stamping legislatures, much like China and Russia of today? Are they wanting Ukraine to fall to Putin, which will happen if Republicans take over the House, eliminating military aid as they have threatened to do?
Is this what American voters want in 2022 America? If it is then, yes, these GOP voters are all of the above: stupid, crazy, and just plain tired out from Covid, inflation, mass killings, polarization, misinformation, a society drunk on celebrity, and social media and Fox “news” gone berserk. At this point, I’m down to hope and a prayer for a Democrat landslide. The abortion/women’s right to choose issue, lowering gas prices, a strong stock market, a strong job market, low unemployment, a GDP that is strengthening, and a deficit that Biden has managed to actually decrease for the first time in many years. All of these give me hope. But when I pick up the morning news, I am filled with despair. I know I must steel myself to the possibilities: plan for the worst, hope for the best. But the worst could very well drive me from this country, and that would make me very sad and angry indeed.
I do love this country dearly. I do not wish to leave it. In my 77 years, I’ve seen it solve and survive many crises. I’ve seen it struggle with its past. I’ve seen, for the most part, politicians of both parties come to consensus, acknowledging their commitment to country over party, their commitment to the welfare of its people over lining their own pockets with graft and profit, their commitment to working with the rest of the world and the planet itself over “America First.”
This planet was once Pangea, just one giant continent. Many plants and animals on our now seven continents are common to one another. All of the world’s Homo sapiens have brains and bodies common to one another. We are all in this boat together. Will we sink? Or will we come to recognize our common heritage, our common desires, our common needs, our common connections, veering from polarization to cooperation, from dystopia to health, from violence to peace, from hatred to love.