PRENOTE: I began this post on Mothers Day, 2018.
Mother’s Day was a beautiful day in the Twin Cities. We had been to Mass at Basilica of St. Mary, and I was waiting for Cathy near the southwest ground level door.
I heard a rustling in the grass and dry leaves and caught a flash of something or other to my right. It was enough to startle me, and I looked quickly, and there, at sidewalk level a couple of feet from me, lay a healthy looking mouse, only this mouse was clearly in the final stages of dying, lying on its back, its legs reflexively writhing, it’s eyes open, but it’s body clearly out of its control.
Its run as a mouse was about over.
What does one do at such a moment? You don’t call 9-11, or animal rescue for a dying mouse. I did nothing. Cathy came. I didn’t tell her about the mouse. We left.
Somehow I see our country much like that mouse and its surroundings (including myself) on Sunday.
Spring is beautiful up here; people look satisfied enough at the coffee shop. The externals at this 15th of May, 2018, look and feel pretty normal.
“Don’t worry, be happy”, as the saying goes, “not my problem”.
But somehow I see our nation dying, as that mouse was on Sunday. Something has got hold of too many of us, and it is not healthy for our body as a nation.
The Current Occupant of the White House is completing his process of killing the legacy of his predecessor, President Obama, with relish and the apparent agreement of Congress: Obamacare, COPS 23 climate compact, Iran Nuclear deal, on and on. Anything at all that represents Obama successes, killed or on the chopping block. A President (and by extension his “base”) seem unconcerned that there are tens of millions of people like myself who deeply respect the Obama’s and what they endeavored to do for the nation and world, and who deeply respected Hillary Clinton, and Bill as well, as dedicated and extraordinarily competent public servants.
Yesterday was only the most recent example: moving the embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was more than a symbolic slap in the face of an entire world culture. Here is a good summary of yesterday in Jerusalem and Israel. It speaks for itself. What happened in Jerusalem yesterday is a slap in the face of all the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Islam and the vast majority of people who call themselves “Christian”, not to mention the community of nations that make up our diverse country and world. “Christian” does not stop at the boundary of “evangelical”….
It has now been announced that “Make America Great Again” has been replaced by “Keep America Great”: today’s version of “Mission Accomplished”.
The message to people like myself and the rest of the world is that we can all go to hell. We’re losers. It’s Trumps world now.
Tax “cuts” enacted with great fanfare will bring temporary false prosperity, quieting the masses, but give these cuts a few years, and the very same people who are now happy, will be hurting, and wondering why. There is no ‘free lunch’…less taxes is less service; less of a safety net; less security for those who are not wealthy, which is the vast majority of us. It is the super-wealthy and large corporations that got the real permanent tax cuts. The rest got a few scraps, soon spent and forgotten.
There is such a surrounding of willful destruction going on (others would say renewal) that it is hard to see through the rubble and keep moving forward. But I give a damn.
Personally, I’m not a quitter. Quitting for me is no option.
At the same time, I know I can’t accomplish anything by myself, or presume that it has to be “my way or the highway”. I had far too many years of dealing with differences to know that someone who feels dominant can, indeed, impose his or her will on others…but only temporarily.
I have more words, about many things relating to the national train wreck we are witnessing in real time, may not feel the effects of for perhaps a number of years. The reckoning will come for us, as it was coming for that poor little mouse on Sunday morning.
Pay attention. This is happening on your watch – on all of ours….