Sunday, March 27, 2016
Que sera sera
As my years grow and my family shrinks, I find this is becoming more and more my attitude. I no longer have any hostages to fate. I can do my small bit but I probably can't effect any major, or probably even minor, changes. So, I become more and more of a voyeur in life rather than a participant. Mostly, I watch and shrug in some despair.
This coming election, for instance. I think Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are twin monsters. They would be equally disastrous for the country but if either of them is who the voters decide to elect, well, that's the way it is. I'm sure America would survive them as it has survived so many things.
I have never felt the Bern, in fact, Bernie leaves me cold. his voice and mannerisms grate on me. Even more, I'm beginning to truly detest some of his true believer followers. I have said all along that I would vote for him if he becomes the nominee as the lesser of the evils. I'm sure I still will but that is becoming harder and harder to say with any enthusiasm. If it's what I have to do, I'll be holding my nose as I punch the Bernie button.
I believe in climate change. I believe with all my heart that we are fucking up our planet with carbons and de-forestization and fracking and drilling and mining and over-grazing and over-fishing and over-population..... I believe the ice is melting and the seas are rising and earthquakes follow fracking and pollution promotes extreme weather events. I believe we are despoiling our most critical needs for life - our air and potable water. But what the heck, I'll probably be dead by the time it all comes to a head. If you don't care about the future you're going to leave your children and grand-children, why should I, who has none?
I remember other times in my life when there was hate, mostly particularly during the Vietnam war. Protesters hated veterans and veterans hated those who fled to Canada and some veterans came home and became protesters themselves. And some of us were stuck in the middle, loving all of them, who were our brothers. We said "never again" when that war ended but then, of course, 911 happened and we were exhorted into war again although Iraq was every bit as unnecessary as Vietnam.
As a consequence, many of us now hate Muslims. We don't distinguish between peaceful Muslims (which is most of them) and terrorist Muslims, those who are our enemies and those who are our allies. It is easier to just hate them all. And the more we say we hate them, the more ammunition we place on ISIL's fire.
I never thought racism was dead in America but I did think it was dying. That turned out not to be the case at all. Do I think Barack Obama's election stirred those old, ugly feelings with a vengeance? Yes, I absolutely do. It seems to have reached a boiling point with the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Some of us thought what George Zimmerman did to Trayvon and the subsequent decision by authorities to bring no charges was a travesty of justice. But on the other side were those who simply labelled him a thug and thought he got what he deserved. Those people swear they aren't racist and actually, they didn't verbalize their feelings as long as African-Americans stayed quiet. But let them begin protesting the killing of their unarmed children by "thugs" on the other side, and the bigotry comes spilling out.
I still see us moving oh-so-slowly to raised consciousnesses. Certainly, the legalization of gay marriage by the feds proves that but then, we have the opposite reaction with backward Republican states like North Carolina and Georgia and my own Indiana passing legislation that legalizes discrimination.
And its the same with women's health issues, where red states want to defund Planned Parenthood and let women get their cancer screenings from their dentists, where they have shut down access to abortion clinics, reminding us that Big Daddy is still in charge of our lives.
And where they try, by hook or by crook, to limit the number of people who get to vote with a whole host of voter suppression tactics. Arizona just went from 200 polling places to only 60 for an election they most likely knew was going to set a record. And the closures were mostly in Latino neighborhoods. The result was exactly as could have been predicted - hours-long lines to vote and many people didn't get in at all.
One step forward and two steps back seems to be the way of it but whatever......