Just past the seven-week mark of this, the longest-seeming presidency of mine or many other’s experience, and the atmosphere is one of exhaustion and the taint of hopelessness. I try to not let the gravity of this whole thing weigh down on me. I live in a sanctuary city, in a state whose AG is fighting or vowing to fight the various and multitudinous injustices of a demagogic federal executive, on a coast which is unilaterally against the Orange Menace. And, I am objectively smarter now than I was when Bush slimed his way into the presidency (and subsequently injected the various neo-conservative filth from his father’s posse in the rooms adjacent the Oval Office), and certainly more sober. All the same, the shadow of it follows wherever I go.
This is not liberal over-reaction or the hurt feelings of some special little snowflake. We should not treat this as normal. Bush was not terribly normal himself, but compared with the present he would be a breath of fresh air.
Speaking of fresh air, try not to get attached. For all the crowing about the rights of businesses to make money without hindrance, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of sympathy for the rights of the humans within (and without) those businesses to continue breathing freely, or for that matter drinking freely. To be presented with clear evidence of destructive pollution and follow that by allowing for more is unthinkable. Businesses that do not respect people do not deserve to make money, let alone exist. Their rights end where they obstruct our rights to basic human needs.
Flint, Michigan has not had clean water for three years. THREE YEARS. They are still being told to drink bottled water. The effect of this issue will haunt them for many years, an unalterable wrinkle that will decide the fates of so many people.
Coal will make a comeback, no matter the consequence. We can expect an increase in the usual air pollution but add to that increased pollution of creeks, streams, and rivers. With a lobby-driven flourish of his pen, 45 has stricken regulations on the mining of coal near streams (a regulation to protect water sources from surface mining debris). A government that protects business interests over human interests is a terroristic government. Without direct violence, they become responsible for the deaths of many.
A citizenry that openly applauds these efforts has been blinded by party politics and a false idea of American individualism. That citizenry heralds their own dismal future. We are not animals that can exist on our own. We are pack animals. We created government as a means of directing and protecting all of our kind, not just those who were able to climb over their brothers and sisters to stand on the tip of the pyramid. We are nothing if not a giant family. Our differences are what makes us dynamic and competitive and interesting. To deny that is utterly disheartening. We cannot become a country of villains, a country undeserving of any title of honor on the global stage. Not even a participation trophy.
This turned out to be a bit of a rant, for which I am not sorry. If nothing else, this counts as therapy.
If you are still here, I would recommend a podcast I just found. There may or may not be a bias in the annals of the Washington Post or New York Times (despite being still very good journalism), but one outlet I’ve found to be unceasing in criticism no matter the party is The Intercept. They also have a podcast, which you should listen to, called Intercepted. Hosted by Jeremy Scahill (who most notably covered the evils of the mercenary group Blackwater) with great production and wonderful music.
And that is where I will leave you. Have a great week! Let’s hope for the tweet to end all tweets. And, not to overstate it, but Lucas would’ve hated this.