We have descended into lunacy, my friends. Can we claw our way back out? I’m beginning to have doubts – serious doubts. My fear is that there is a master plan … that by November, we will all be declared incompetent to vote in the mid-term elections, for we will be sitting on the sidewalk in our underwear babbling incoherently while dribble runs off our chins. Welcome to 2018 – the not-so-brave-new-world of the D.S.A. – the Divided States of America.
To prove my point, I offer a number of exhibits:
Exhibit A: The chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives is asked to tender his resignation because his prayer included something about equality and justice for all. (Really subversive stuff, eh Padre?) He tenders the resignation, then re-thinks it and rescinds the resignation. And then, a week or so later, a shouting match erupts on the floor of the House over the chaplain. According to Politico, “The exchange was so heated that some lawmakers and aides watching worried they’d come to blows.” Over the chaplain.
Exhibit B: The president of the nation has been involved in some 5,000 lawsuits and has no less than 19 women accusing him of sexual abuse. He has been married three times and cheated on every single one of those wives. He is also under scrutiny for an affair that he had with, of all things, a porn star, and the payoff of ‘hush money’ to keep her quiet until after the 2016 election. And to ice the cake, said president is under very serious investigation for the role that he and his family played in colluding with the Russian government to buy his electoral win in the 2016 election.
Exhibit C: The D.S.A. has become the only nation of the 195 countries on the globe that refuses to believe in science, and has committed to a course of action that will lead the entire globe to a cataclysmic end if not quickly reversed. But to take it a step further, said D.S.A. has also committed to destructive environmental practices, removing safeguards for both the environment and for human life.
Exhibit D: In the past six months we have seen a neo-Nazi, a handful of white supremacists, a pedophile and a convicted felon run for election to the U.S. Congress. And people actually voted for these jerks.
Exhibit E: The lawmaking body, in fear or awe of the president, have passed legislation that is designed to ensure the demise of the poorest 15% of the nation’s population. These include making affordable health care unavailable, taking away subsidized housing, refusing to raise the minimum wage, which has not been raised since 2009, and despite the fact that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen some 37% since that time.
Exhibit F: The word ‘freedom’ has been officially re-defined as the right to discriminate against anyone who does not, a) agree with you, b) look like you, and c) think like you. Not only, might I add, discriminate, but if you feel your ‘freedom’ is compromised by, say, somebody whose skin is darker than yours or whose sexual orientation is different, you have been given the right to cause bodily injury to that person, and then have them thrown in jail for … the crime of … being different.
Exhibit G: The leadership of the nation is now directed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), and any of our ‘elected representatives’ who do not support giving every white male the right to shoot and kill another with a big, bad gun that can mow down hundreds within a minute or two, is threatened with political extinction. Worse, the majority of the people in this nation believe that they have a “God-given” right to own as many weapons as they like and to use them however they see fit. In some cases, these people even put the love of their guns ahead of the love of their own children.
Exhibit H: The so-called leadership of this nation has decided that education is not important and there is a concerted push among our government to promote illiteracy. How? By making student debt so daunting that most would prefer to leave high school and go work in a factory than to attend college. By eschewing a sound public education for all, in favour of ‘charter schools’ that benefit few and teach little. And by ensuring that students are not encouraged to think for themselves, but rather to ‘follow the yellow brick road’.
Exhibit I: The nation’s already-wealthiest people and corporations have been given a huge gift in the form of reduced taxation, thus setting the nation on a collision course with financial disaster. Despite a significantly reduced revenue in the national coffers, more money is being spent on the military – a military that already operates on the largest budget on the globe.
Exhibit J: There is a madman at the helm who seems intent on giving himself the opportunity to “push the nuclear button”, a button that he has thought of as a toy to be played with and brandished about ever since his election. For those, and there are some, who agree with the madman, I would suggest a glance back to August 6, 1945 (the bombing of Hiroshima) and August 9, 1945 (the bombing of Nagasaki) – look at the pictures, see the people, and ask yourself, “Is this what I want to see in this, the 21st century?”
I could go on, but my muse tells me that I have made my point and that it is time to stop, for the sake of my own mental and physical well-being. Yes, we have descended into lunacy, a free-fall that must surely have a bottom, but that we have yet to find. None of what we are seeing in this nation today is ‘normal’, none of it is wise, and none of it is leading us to a good place. Where does it end? Are there any limits in this nation today? Is there a point at which even the blind who are playing follow-the-leader realize that they are following him into a dark place from which there may be no return? I cannot answer these questions, but it is imperative that we keep asking them. It is imperative that we make our voices heard, for it is our only hope to return to a world of sanity.