I apologize in advance for the pessimistic headline. I cannot come to any other conclusion.
It’s been a minute. I’ve been off this platform for a while –the most extended time since Greg and I started this blog four years ago. And to all of you who take the time to read what I write over here, I want to thank you. I can’t tell you how much it means to me.
That said, the last nearly six weeks have brought about some interesting developments in my life, including starting a part-time job and finally succumbing to Covid-19. Yes, after almost 2.5 years and being fully vaccinated and boosted, I tested positive late last month for the virus.
It wasn’t fun. But I still consider what I had to be a mild version. It took me about a week to start feeling better, but I eventually bounced back. Luckily my better half is still part of the dwindling number of people who have not gotten Covid, which makes me very happy.
Unfortunately, while those personal issues have contributed a bit to my long absence, I’d be lying if those were the only reasons. And that brings me to the pessimistic headline I apologized for at the opening of this post. I’m a lifelong progressive and member of the Democratic Party. I do not say that with regret. Those of you who read my posts know where I stand.
But I’ve grown to concede that my side is losing the battle grudgingly. And it has struck me at my core. Since my last post, I’ve lost the fire in my belly to confront the radical right on this platform. I’ve said a lot in the past four years. And I do not regret any of it. I’ve come at this from the very beginning with a sense of urgency. I knew that what I was seeing in this country looked and felt like we were in the process of losing everything.
By everything, I mean democracy itself. The election of 2016 was only the beginning. I knew deep in my soul that if the disgraced former president lost in 2020, he would not accept defeat. I wrote about that here. Sadly, my prediction was correct. I wish I’d been wrong.
We’re teetering closer than ever to the abyss. We still have not charged the dangerous ex-president, and I remain less than optimistic that we will. Again, I hope I’m wrong on this as well. But he remains an elusive target, and I’m not sure we have the people in charge with the kind of intestinal fortitude it will take to charge an ex-president.
I don’t know what it was that eventually wore me down mentally. I believe it’s been a confluence of many things, some going back more than a decade. It appalls me to no end when I think about how Democrats were asleep at the wheel while Republicans began gerrymandering on steroids in 2010.
Look at what’s happened by not taking it as seriously as the GOP did. They’ve rigged the game now to the extent where it is in the state legislatures that they’re making their most radical push to mold this country into their twisted and fascistic vision for America.
They want to take us back to the days of coat-hanger abortions, as many states are now banning the practice altogether, thanks to the radical, bought, and paid for Supreme Court of the United States. They’re going after the gay and transgender community with uncompromising zeal. They do not care who they offend. It’s the ideology, stupid. And it seems as if we’re powerless to do anything about it.
Climate change is nothing but a hoax to these people – and unlimited gun ownership seems to be the goal. With five religious nutcase radicals on the Supreme Court, three of whom were nominated and confirmed under the twice-impeached former president, we’re simply out of ammunition to confront the other side. It seems that no matter what progress we want to make, the Court is poised to strike it down, regardless of whether over 70% of the public is for it. Can you say tyranny of the minority?
With every new radical decision, the idea of a more perfect union continues to deteriorate rapidly. And now, with word that the Court will hear a case that might give legislatures the final say in our electoral process, we may be closer to democracy’s extinction than ever before.
And in this dire moment that needs met, and met vigorously, I fear that Democrats, nationally and state-wide, are not up to the task. The other side is loud and obnoxious. Democrats are meek and play by the rules. Yes, I’m being very general here because there are some Democrats out there with the appropriate hair-on-fire approach. But not enough, unfortunately.
I will admit that the January 6 Committee has given me at least some hope that people will be held to account. They’re doing an excellent job, and I’ve been paying close attention to these hearings.
But I’m left feeling somewhat hopeless that the hearings are getting this country’s people to pay attention. Most are concerned about the troubling inflation and subsequent high gas prices more than whether the former president tried to keep himself in power and overturn a legal and legitimate election.
These people couldn’t care less in my neck of the woods in rural Southwest Oregon. After the powerful last hearing, where former Trump staffer Cassidy Hutchinson revealed harrowing details of what the former president was doing on January 6 and the days leading up to it, I began to feel a little better about things.
But then I went to the grocery store and saw a couple of pickup trucks with American and Trump flags. Side by side. Traitors. That’s the word that came to mind. I won’t write the other words because some of you might be offended.
And then came the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, preceded by Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York. Hell, did I forget about one? I can’t keep up anymore. And indeed, another one is about to occur any day now. Again, majorities of people in this country want stricter gun control. But what we get is a stripped-down version of gun safety legislation. So much more needs to be done. Are you optimistic it ever will, though?
We’ve dropped the ball in America. We’ve let the other side determine what kind of country they want while we sit back and wonder whether we should eliminate the filibuster or expand the Supreme Court. We know if the shoe were on the other foot, the GOP would do what they needed to put forward their radical agenda.
If they take back the Senate, you can rest assured they’ll pass an outright abortion ban. Instead of Democrats codifying Roe v Wade, they’ll codify no more abortion in America, and their radical pals on the Court will affirm it wholeheartedly.
Once again, I apologize for the downward spiral of this post. My friends, we’re losing, and we’re losing badly right now. We’re not dead. At least not yet.
I’m not ready to concede defeat. But I need some positive thoughts from all of you. Perhaps you can talk me off the ledge. Am I missing something? Is my pessimism premature?
I need help.