The calamity of Trumpvirus has made me glad my parents aren’t alive today to witness our disgrace. Only father’s and mother’s astonishment might’ve surpassed their disappointment in us.
As I’ve written elsewhere, by the time father and mother reached 27 and 16, respectively, they endured the Jim Crow South, the Depression, and World War II. After those preliminaries, they formed the devoted black masses who broke the second-class barriers which suppressed the truest of all Americans.
I know plenty of ethnic Americans will have read the above sentence and wonder how their group doesn’t rate tops among “the truest.” After all, there’s a big statue oxidizing in New York Harbor attesting to huddled masses from God knows where.
Here’s why blacks are the truest Americans: despite all the blocks to full enfranchisement, successors to the 1790 Club took the nation’s establishing documents and the Founders’ intensions to heart. The promise of America belongs to every citizen, not just select groups.
Actually believing and demonstrating the law serves all, blacks in America have wrested rights, fairness, and justice from intransigents who’ve done their damnedest to deny them. And blacks have risen in textbook fashion. Drop by drop has broken the impeding boulders.
They performed this change peacefully, within the strictures of the same laws which denied recognizing their access to the franchise. Not magic. Just using the system to co-opt it. Don’t simply break unpopular or unfair laws. Change them. Americans have avenues towards doing that, but the road requires patience and dedication.
Two attributes politically active younger Americans should rediscover and must cultivate soon.
White ethnics wearing the same yokes as blacks would’ve manifested themselves into rioting mobs. Revolt might’ve destroyed our system. What replaced the old likely wouldn’t have been any improvement.
Historic events in the Old World from which the lionized immigrants sailed amply prove that. Just convene a séance and ask the czar or Kaiser or sultan or kings … or even the shah.
I correspond with allegedly progressive groups on social media. Nowhere near a flaming lefty, these exchanges help understand stances of those who counter our nation’s vast, fat, often, generally prosperous middle. No. I don’t perform the same with avowed right-wingers and reactionaries. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t.
Sclerotic as their attitudes are, such minds are further encased in concrete. At least the left leaves debate open. Okay. Some debate. The far right and its lunatic fringes only consider joining them in lockstep acceptable.
Nonetheless groups advertising themselves as “progressive” have bent towards pyrrhic since their herald Bernie Sanders failed overcoming basic math and his lack of appeal to Democratic voters. Bad as losing is, they’ve become sore losers, an even worse condition. So much so they’re willing to let our nation burn and hope some sort of redemptive phoenix arises from the ashes.
That works fine in mythology. In real life it rewards authoritarians (left and right) and worsens the states of those not hewing to the extremes imposed. That being most people.
Anyway, the roundabout preamble introduces observations of our current plight. In one sense, present-day Americans are suffering straits less dire than the Depression. Unfortunately, the vile pig currently soiling the Oval Office makes Herbert Hoover’s responses to his era’s economic catastrophe appear empathetic and decisive.
Fortunately for 1930s Americans FDR succeeded the hapless Hoover. Bold experimentation bolstered by organizing and mobilizing the might of the federal government checked our nation’s anxieties and eased much of its fears.
That’s not happening today. It’s not even on our farthest horizon.
Donald Trump cannot soothe or reassure Americans. Further imperiling us all, a sizable portion of dopes are riding his crazy train.
This Trumpvirus period would be an excellent time for calm reassurance from the top. Appearances command our behavior and outlooks. If the chief radiates competence, those he or she leads will follow confidently. They will accept measures promoted for their benefit, safety, prosperity.
Who sees leadership from Der Trump?
He can’t even attempt being avuncular. What bridge too far wouldn’t that be? The real estate fraud lacks warmth and ability to fake any aspect of it.
If Americans had a chief who could at least appear encouraging, I’d hope he or she would’ve emphasized common sense, prudence and basic precautions to augment the advanced science and medicines being developed to stymie Trumpvirus. The masks, the gloves, the perversion of language called “social distancing,” using “lockdown” for “seclusion” or “isolation” all point to our era’s fondness for finding refuge in inconveniences then coating these in arbitrarily brutal terms.
Nothing like losing our heads while losing nuance.
Behavior towards our circumstance calls to mind that Benjamin Franklin quote regarding our remote threat of terrorism and the knee-jerk intrusiveness of the federal government’s subsequent “safety theater” measures: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
Fine sentiment one of the preeminent Founders originally expressed for a tax dispute instead of an existential matter of nationhood. Americans must commend the opportunist who made it contradict our burgeoning surveillance society.
A leader we trusted would’ve told us to “get a grip.” He or she ought’ve counselled vigilance, not hysteria.
Personally approving of what Nevada thus far recommended, utter lack of federal clarity has allowed small groups of readily susceptible to contrariness Silver Staters to carom.
On one hand, we have Nevadans who maintain health guidelines until they squeal; on the other, the majority of us who are calmly living through the current circumstance watch bemusedly as two different extremes flout or maximize suggestions intending on curtailing viral transmission and thereby save lives. Perhaps even their own worthless ones.
Who isn’t wishing the day quickly comes when “Open now! – Right now!” screamers contract Trumpvirus after forgoing masks and pooh-poohing prohibitions on sizable gatherings? Skip karma. Let’s call that just desserts.
On the other hand, is it really necessary to needlessly frighten people with exacting standards during public interactions? What day is complete here without seeing – or first hearing then seeing – street theater outbursts between absolutists and those who’ve momentarily let their guards slip? If they’re erupting in Las Vegas, a region whose low density has kept Trumpvirus’ effects mild, what must be spouting in real metropolises?
There where crowded masses mix, where innovation incubates, which lure the adventurous, who generate then perpetuate excitement? Have they become chafing caldrons? Or, knowing most residents of such places are on average more level-headed and have plenty of distractions even confined, do they keep seething on the lowest of simmering?
In the Big Mayberry, though, it has amused observing so many professed libertarians insist we all now stick upon rules their fears have ramped into arduous.
It’s laughable because these fanatics on the other side of “freedom” are the most insistent on precisely maintained distances for separation. Each would if he or she could vacuum-fit masks to wearers’ faces. They touch nothing without some kind of material between hands and objects grasped. On top of all that, he or she ritually sanitizes those fingers and palms which have been sheathed inside gloves.
What skews this ultra-attention altogether? Those craving coffin nails. Cigarettes. Vapes. Smokers must remove at least one glove then drop their masks in order to feed nic fits.
Frequently seeing these oh-so-common instances, I ask myself, “Why are they even bothering?”