I don’t know who’s so evil they’d seek to replace democracy with single-party rule won by twisting local election-laws to ensure national victories while simultaneously disparaging a fairly-lost election as “unfair”.
I don’t know who cares so little about their own soul and the welfare of their children that they’d sacrifice an imperfect but still essentially citizenry-responsive (and thus yet capable of being made more citizenry-responsive) government for a shining blistering hot-potato moment of political power.
I don’t know and I don’t understand how Evil lumbers in upon a few thousand ends-justifying-the-means and isn’t-it-cool-to-be-in-the-club and isn’t-the-other-side-so-evil-as-to-justify-anything?
Soon darkness descends upon the land. The city upon that shining hill — never fully free of clouds and weathers — is now sunk beneath the gray-billowing, lightning-flashing, rains-barfing forever-storms. Similar to the eternal discontented downpour that astronomers once reasoned must hold forth within the stormily swirling atmosphere of Venus.
Kempt, Bartleby, Amble, Tun, Arch, Susan and Tim sit alone around a round wooden table, drumming their fingers while the storm that never stops ranges on outside the castle walls. Manhattan’s become a mountainous land, it’s people dwelling now in damp-walled mountain grottos as they’d once rested their whiles in brick and paste or glass and steel apartment buildings.
Everyone works in the mines and you can’t go anywhere without bribing party officials, who in turn secure their petty positions by bribing slightly-less petty officials.
The Republicans have won their great victory over US American Democracy, and all — regardless of what they used to call themselves — live in the dank air of a society where lying and cheating are rewarded with riches and prestige and honesty and decency with poverty and prison. Not even those completely given over to the exaltation of their own cynical pouting are able to force out inane chuckles about, “no different than before!”
Things had not been perfect before, but calling Fire when the world’s not actually on fire is an Evil and the handmaiden to many great political evils.
Now the world is on fire, or at least beneath this human-hating storm. And now saying “Fire!” will make you disappear, will plunge you down deep with a (who has anymore the time for metaphors anyway) literal dungeon.
That’s what you get. That’s what you get for refusing to be grateful and seek to expand and serve an imperfect but yet workable democracy.
And yet what is man that he should get what he deserves? For is it not truly said by long-dead great-grandfathers throughout our hallowed New England that “If we were all to get what we deserved, who would escape the hangman’s noose?” And is it not also at least in some sense truly declared by now-vanished grandmothers from our Oklahoma home that “Ours is not to reason why; ours is to do or die.”
Because how good were we any of us supposed to be? And how much could we reasonably be expected to understand, to figure, to foresee?
So what really went wrong? What took the wheels off our great momentum? What is the sickness that turns the churning worm within the belly of a nation?
But then again: How can you echo the lies of a would-be election-stealer (who also spent his first term working to erode counterbalancing powers and otherwise leaning in to despotism while simultaneously pursuing local election laws that will tilt the voice away from all the people and towards a slice of the people and officials elected by that minority — how can you behave in this way and expect everything to turn out well? Representative democracy is there to protect us all. Without it, no one keeps power except to the degree they oppress and hurt everyone else, and everyone lives in a darker, crueler, emptier, and more lonely place.
What is going on in the mind of that other portion of this shared endeavor? The portion I have given up on. Not a mean way. It’s just that meaningful conversation is no longer possible. And pretending it is is more lonely and boring than spending time alone. Something has gone wrong here. To my mind, you have lost yourselves in lies and misplaced foci. You say the same of me. When we had to watch the same news, it had to speak to both of us. When we had to go to the same churches, the preacher had to speak to both of us. When we had to live next to each other and share the PTA and the town parade, we found ways to agree the way people interfacing always do. But that all ended, and now I accuse you of intellectual irresponsibility to the point of political nihilism and ultimately of an evil that, if successful, will lock souls away and crunch bones the same as all other evils; and I have no idea what you accuse me of, since I no longer care what you say or think. This is the way down for all of us. But who will change the course we’re on?
It’s not quite that bad. I still make a little effort here and there. And so do you. But not enough. And the irony is that we agree on the essentials. We all prefer a government that values those values without which none of our individual worldviews are meaningful to any of us: honesty, clarity, accuracy, openness, competency, kindness, shared joy, meaningful win/win synergistic collaboration. But we don’t trust each other to pursue those goods, and that’s when things get ugly: people begin to try to blow past the other side and secure everyone’s safety that way; or, worse, people begin to stop caring about the other side’s safety.
But while we must all accept our role (vague though the details are to all of us) in this great calamity, it is up to you to reject those leaders of yours who are seeking to dismantle our shared democracy by denigrating a fairly-lost election and tilting election laws to the advantage of your side. Because you are inside of this machine. It cares what you say and do. It has already decided that me and my half don’t matter and will be run over if need be, and indeed the need bes. Oh it bes!, It bes!
A note on politics: Your authors gave up on it. But here’s where they were with it: Sometime Ago.
So lonely, so lonely, so boring, so tired, so sleepy. I don’t want to pretend I’m a political genius. Would you kindly stop pretending you’ve got it all figured out? The main job of the citizens of a democratic nation is to serve as a final check on madness and corruption in their shared government. We are failing in that role. Why? Because we cannot share a government if we cannot share meaning. How do we share meaning? By agreeing upon what we already always most fundamentally agree upon and refusing to cede that fundamental shared ground to any and all expediencies. I mean: We agree to agree to push gently for more and more honesty, clarity, accuracy, competency, win-win, kindness, and shared joy. But how? How to hold fast to those values without which none of our values are meaningful to any of us? So lonely.