When enough is enough

More than a year has passed since I’ve even remotely felt like writing.  That’s too bad, really, because so much has happened worth writing about.  Many psychologist, psychiatrist, therapists and others have often mentioned the cathartic power of writing, how helpful to the soul under the best of circumstances.  This past year would have to climb out of the pits of hell to reach the lowest rungs of the worst of circumstances … the best of circumstances are, as of the moment, barely a blip on the horizon.

For the past four years, I’ve held my breath, politically speaking.  Four years of being on guard, emotionally and mentally, waiting for the next repulsive thought to come pouring out of the idiot trump’s mouth.  Four years cringing in the embarrassment and shame of that man-child representing us to the world.  Four years of praying our democracy would be able to withstand the relentless onslaught of lies, invitations to meddle by foreign powers, of stacking the system with good old white boys.  Four years of watching the slow and seemingly unstoppable erosion of women’s rights, attacks on the LGBTQ community, on minorities … as though watching the Colorado River forming the Grand Canyon in fast forward.  

The echo of what I remembered as hope flickered into life when Democrats won back the House.  But I dared not relax for fear that hope would be crushed under the weight of alternative facts.

Then, finally, election time … the big one, for all the marbles … a return to sanity and adults in charge.  I dared not think of the worst case scenario.  When, some days later, the election was called for Biden/Harris … I actually ran out into the street, yelling and jumping for joy. Literally, crying and screaming Hallelujah.  Many of my neighbors joined me.  We hugged, high-fived, waved our “Biden/Harris” banners and … felt the beginnings of that long lost sensation … peace.  Calm.  Sweet relief.  Maybe it was finally over, we prayed. Four years of watching our democracy being shredded was over.

But …

No.  There would be repercussions.  I knew this for four years … like a bully towards the subjugated … any attempt for freedom would be swiftly and surely punished.  The white boy establishment having gone unchecked for four years, would not let their power go without a fight.  And fight they did.  On January 6th, they attempted a coup. Watching the invasion of the capitol, I felt sick inside.  Horrified.  Numb.  Raw.

It would only get worse. 

Sure, arrests were made.  Thanks in large part to the stunning stupidity of those involved and the lure of bragging on social media.  If the reason wasn’t so shocking, the “coming to Jesus” moment of several republicans would have been laughable.  But, the half-life of republican remorse is apparently shorter than the 5 second rule of a dropped cookie.  Not even this made a difference, not a physical attack on our nation’s capital, not a mob that beat and ultimately killed, not when there was so very little between them and violence … none of that, ultimately, mattered.  

There aren’t sufficient words to describe the depth and completeness of my disgust – that mob, the people that egged them on, the people finding excuses or justifications, and especially for the loathsome and contemptible, the pathetic and despicable shadow of a man feeding and fueling the fire burning in his repulsive honor.  

No more.  I will no longer make an attempt to understand, to meet halfway, or to catch more flies with honey.   The republican party seems hell bent to rewrite history according to the twisted mind of their equally twisted leader. They have sunk to depths unimaginable, and it’s time for everyone to choose. Regardless of your political affiliation or leanings, above all you either stand for democracy or not. You either abide by the lawful will of the people or you don’t. To stamp one’s foot and call the other side liars and cheats, to refuse anyone else as the winner is behavior usually associated with children, and not tolerated even then.  

This is not an honest mistake by the republicans, or now the party of trump.  They are attempting to overturn democracy at best and instigate a dictatorship at worst.  To be indifferent is to court acceptance and to accept is to throw away everything for which this country stands.

I have a right to …

Fill in the blank.  I have a right to go to the beach, to get a haircut, to attend church … Well, I have a right to be sick of hearing about what you have a right to!  Yes, we all have rights and suddenly everyone seems to be an expert on yelling about their first amendment rights.  It’s true, and in a nutshell the first amendment does indeed guarantee freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the government.  Like Matthew 5:45 who wrote “The rain falls on the just and the unjust” … the first amendment falls on the intelligent and the ignorant.  Yes, you have a right to free speech but you do NOT have the right to yell fire in a theater.  You have the right to free speech, but you do not have the right to incite hatred and violence (racism, discrimination, etc).  They are called “hate crimes” not “free speech” crimes.  Freedom of speech does not mean you can say any old thing that comes into your head, and once upon a time, people knew the difference.

This nation has been permeated with this toxic “me first” mentality.  If the fish rots from the head down, then this nation has gone petulant from the president down.  He espouses true rights with false logic, and on the subject of religion, obviously knows not of what he speaks.  Another Matthew quote (18:20) “When two are three are gathered together in My name, I am there…”.  Church may technically be building, but spiritually, church is anywhere and everywhere.  I have felt closer to God, alone, kayaking, with only the sounds of the water and the birds.  Church can allow us to worship as a physical, tangible group … but restriction from being inside the physical structure does not prevent us from being with God and with modern technology, we can worship virtually.

Opening churches has become political.  Wearing a mask has become political.  Why?  It seems that in the advent of the “make me great again” mentality, it’s all about MY rights.  Keeping me from working, from going to the beach, from hitting the bar is somehow infringing on those rights.  Being unable to work is truly causing suffering for a great many people, and there doesn’t seem to be any way around it. It’s not fair and we, as a nation, as a government need to do all we can to help those affected.  Slowly some business are working out plans to use the social distancing guidelines to be able to reopen.  But, let me emphasis this … if you are sick or dead … whether or not you have a job is going to be a moot point.  You may be willing to risk your own life, but do you stop to consider the lives of those around you?  All those people that holler “Give me liberty or give me death” might just have to amend that placard to say “Give me liberty and give me death” and I really hope they don’t get their wish.  For all those people who claim this whole pandemic is some kind of liberal media hoax … visit 96,000 graves.  Talk to 96,000 families.  Tell the doctors and nurses it’s a hoax.  Go on, I dare you.  But know this, as much as you yell and scream about the health care system being part of some conspiracy theory … those same doctors and nurses will take care of you if you were to become ill.  Think about that for a minute.

It’s this simple.  Wearing a mask is protecting other people.  Social distancing is protecting other people.  Since when did looking out for other people become political?  Since when did denying yourself in protect others become political?  I don’t know, but I have a strong feeling it started on a Tuesday back in November, 2016.

When might makes wrong…

A disturbing wave of “protests” have reared their ugly and misguided heads as of late, and I find the “reasoning” behind these protests somewhat confusing.  I use the term “reasoning” with quite a bit of generosity in the direction of the people for whom it aimed.  These “liberate (insert name of state here)” cries from (often) MAGA hat wearing, flag waving, truly misguided people is worse that confusing, it is dangerous.

While their anger at the situation is understandable, to blame the government for “imprisoning” them at home is wrong.  Of course they feel helpless, desperate, confused and scared … those are very common emotions these days.  Everyone is likely one or more of the above.  Even if you are able to work from home, it’s still a stressful time.  You might have to juggle kids trying to do distance learning while you are trying to work. And if you are one of the essential workers, from garbage collectors to cashiers to a nurse or doctor (and bless you if you are), you’d likely rather stay home than go to work knowing the dangers and stress you will face.

And the president isn’t helping.  He will never admit to it, but statements like “they are very good people” is most certainly a spur to encourage their protests.  It is validation from the most powerful and important person, for many in the crowd at least.

To turn on the t.v. and see people, in crowds no less, demanding and chanting “open our state” must make your blood boil.  It sure sets me off.  Don’t these people understand this lock down is for their own good?  God, I feel like I am talking about a group of unruly kids “this is for your own good” instead of grown up, supposedly mature men and women.  What good is everyone going back to work when the virus is still out there, undetected in many people?  You are willing to risk your life for the freedom you imagine has been taken away from you?  You are willing to risk your life for a paycheck?

Well, risk your own life as much as you like, just don’t you dare risk mine.