The 1920s were the Roaring 20s. The 30s were the We’re all in this together years. The 40s were the Uncle Sam Needs You Years. The 50s were the I Like Ike Years. The 60s, after JFK’s murder, were the Ask What Your Country Did to You Years. The 70s were the Me Decade. And now, jumping to the 2020s, it’s the “All About Me” Years, on steroids via social media and Donald Trumpoids. As the rollicking and over the top vodka commercial says, “Sometimes you just gotta give the people what they want!” And what about half the population wants is no masks, no vaccines, no shutdowns, no facts, no science, no reality, and well, apparently, no democracy, which includes very little government intervention even when faced with a worldwide pandemic. What’s next? No traffic lights, smoking allowed everywhere, cell phones and video games allowed when driving, relieving oneself anywhere and anytime, resisting police guarding our government buildings like our U.S Capitol, and, yelling fire in a movie theater even when there is no fire, and many other examples of a no holds barred freedom of speech that some 1/6 rioters are using as their absurd defense. No restrictions. Total freedom to do anything an individual wants and chooses to do. No mandates and…well, no laws because aren’t laws just more mandates? Guns? Sure, anytime, anywhere. Even kids can bring them into schools because well, to forbid it would be a mandate that would restrict a kid’s freedom. Kids could also curse out their teachers, bully other kids, and spout out lies and falsehoods when answering questions, just as they hear their country’s leader, Donald Trump, do on Truth, his social media platform, where anything but Truth will be presented. And rampant death threats on anyone and anytime? Sure. Why not. There are no consequences. Politicians rarely speak out against them. So good people resign from important job to save them themselves and their family against this tyranny. It’s all despicable and unconscionable.
Democracy? “We don’t need no stinkin’ democracy!” Trump and the All About Me-rs, scream. That’s just something the Democrats invented to steal elections and keep Trump out of power. Voting? Just more government bullshit! We don’t need no stinkin’ voting. And one party, the Republican one, will do just fine. In the All About Me years, people do what they damn well want to do, fuc*k the consequences because there are no consequences. White power? Sounds good, like in the old days, say the Trumpsters on the street, in the bars, in the stadiums, in the diners, and on the roads.
That’s the America we saw on January 6, 2021 at our nation’s Capitol building, with its writing continuing to be on the wall, as the saying goes. Trump, Carlson, Hannity, McConnell, Cruz, Taylor Greene, and the cult followers have continued to lay the groundwork of their own fascist infrastructure since the reign of Donald the Small. Battleground states have established new voting procedures where traditional Democrat voters–Blacks, urban poor, students, youth–will have a harder time casting their ballots; voting districts have been gerrymandered to rig elections in favor of Republican candidates; and those tallying and approving vote counts will be partisans loyal to Donald Trump and company. All signed, sealed, collected and delivered, to the governors of 19 states controlled by their Republican legislatures. Merrick Garland says there’s really nothing much he can do about it until the Congress enacts the two voting rights bills. But Congress is stymied because no Republican senators will have the courage and wisdom to vote for the bills, including Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski, and two Democratic senators, Manchin from West Virginia and Sinema from Arizona refuse to back a carving out of the filibuster to get those bills to the floor (as McConnell did to push through three ultra-conservative Trump nominees to the Supreme Court).
So there you have it, America. The GOP, after years of searching, has finally found its Viking leader who will figuratively rape and pillage the U.S. Constitution to drop this pesky Democracy and opt for a Trumpian strongman government where White Christian super rich men rule, where lies are labeled truths, profit is holy, and the climate crisis is a hoax fading into the fog of memory. The American experiment with “all men are created equal” will be over, along with one person, one vote, due process, and “give me your tired, your poor.”
If you want a model for how it will all pan out, that’s easy: Just look at Xi Jinping and China today; and Putin’s Russia; and Belarus, Hungry, Syria, Turkey, and other authoritarian one-party regimes. Is this what we want for our country?
So you choose, America. In 1861, a war was fought to save our Union. Lincoln and many Americans stood up to Southern slaveholding secessionists and the duped country boys who fought for them. Democracy won that time, at great cost to human life and limb. What now? Will we stand up to Trump and his “All About Me” Viking hordes as we did in the 1860s and 1960s for civil rights and the principles of equality this country stood, and still stands, for?
I hope so. I truly hope so.
For a break with politics, pandemics, and pets on FB, check out my latest book, The Valley Spirit: Living a Tao-inspired Life, available at Amazon. It gives some vital guidance on finding balance in life during these troubled times. Thank you.