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Are we there yet?
“There are in history what you could call ‘plastic hours,’” the philosopher Gershom Scholem once said. “Namely, crucial moments when it is possible to act. If you move then, something happens.” In such moments, an ossified social order suddenly turns pliable, prolonged stasis gives way to motion, and people dare to hope. Plastic hours are rare. They require the right alignment of public opinion, political power, and events—usually a crisis. They depend on social mobilization and leadership. They can come and go unnoticed or wasted. Nothing happens unless you move.”
So can we agree? Are we here? So many things have happened to put us here. In the more immediate past, the financial crisis of ‘08-’09, the election of the first Black President, Congressional gridlock meant to stymie any and all attempts to implement promised and in the minds of many voters, needed social and economic change, dramatically increased income inequality, a sense of hopelessness of the “underclass” and then the election of a fraudulent huckster turned game show host disguised as a successful billionaire as President promising the answers to all of the problems that he alone could fix. And now, a pandemic which “we alone” seem to be incapable of sufficiently controlling with an economic fallout that rivals the Great Depression.
For the moment let’s put aside all of the daily mind boggling horrors of governance that at any other point in time would have prompted bi-partisan outrage - firing and or ignoring inspectors general in the midst of sounding alarms over issues of national security, “privatizing” the justice department to defend sexual assault allegations, violation of federal statues meant to avoid gross conflicts of interest, etc. etc. act…Let’s now spend a moment focusing on the fact that in the midst of what his own advisors warned was the greatest national security threat not only of his presidency but of our lifetimes, he chose to “play it down”.
Every country that has successfully dealt with this crisis has started from the basic foundation that the people need to know the complete and unvarnished truth…with the belief and faith that once they do, they will pull together to do what’s needed to overcome this crisis. That’s what Angela Merkel did, as did Jacinda Ardem of New Zealand. They gave their people the straight truth and their people responded with a strong and largely unified effort to control the virus. The confusion, and disinformation that has absurdly made mask wearing a political statement is just the beginning of the disastrous consequence of the lying and deception that formed our collective response…all in the name of “playing it down”.
FDR didn’t want panic and his message was that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. What he did not do was lie about the underlying realities that needed to be faced to overcome our collective fears. We as a nation are more than capable of stepping up to almost any challenge once we are summoned to respond. We have shown repeatedly that there is no challenge greater than our collective will to overcome. Sadly this President had little or no faith in that collective will and instead fed us with a steady stream of lies, denial and evasion…all of which have cost more American lives than all of the wars of the last 60 years.
Have you had enough? Despite your misgivings about “the other side”, despite your primal instinct to “own the libs” has all of this finally reached a point where you can no longer be a part of it? It’s a question that only you can answer. I’d recommend that you check out this piece from The Bulwark, a publication from Conservatives that have collectively agreed on their own answer https://thebulwark.com/why-this-pro-life-conservative-is-voting-for-biden/.
We have an opportunity to do more than rid ourselves of the worst political manifestation of ourselves; thanks to the convergence of crises we have a chance to re-shape the future of our Nation to more properly resemble the aspirations of our founding fathers and the hopes of our children. I’m there, and I hope you are too.