Discover more from Peter’s Newsletter
but then again...
I’ve been waiting and hoping that events would inspire me to post something really hopeful as we approach the end of 2020 and the onset of Christmas and the Holiday Season. There is so much that I want to believe is possible, especially with so much to be done. This season reminds us all of the power that giving and receiving love can bring...a force that quite literally changes the world for the better. And yet, day by day I see more news that really continues to leave me speechless with sadness and rage.
Life here in Spain is somewhat “normal” in the Covid sense of that term. We are dealing with some restrictions that to this point seem to have been effective in reducing both the rates of infection and the consequent mortalities. The yellow lights still flash as Christmas will be a challenge given the family and cultural importance of the holiday celebrations but by and large we are coping well. While there is partisanship and high levels of government mistrust, people in Madrid ALL wear masks. You would not dare not to…not because of the police, but because of the reaction of your fellow citizens. There is a strong level of community responsibility that overrides politics on this issue and in no small part it has helped us get through this wave.
Meanwhile “back home” with more than the total dead from 9/11 a daily occurrence and with little end in sight, the lack of unity and national resolve about mitigation…simple things like masks and social distancing and the current administration’s total lack of focus or direction to help the country get through this ordeal is beyond reason. Instead, a daily assault on truth and the basic pillars that support democratic ideals spews forth non-stop, doing nothing to alleviate the suffering of so many and poisoning hopes of reconciliation and compromise.
58 lawsuits, all dismissed, with only 1 minor technical exception.. with no proof of fraud that would affect the outcome either presented or proven… a judicial losing streak that for you baseball fans, would make the ‘61 Mets look like the ‘27 Yankees. And then the topper…a PR stunt masquerading as a lawsuit from the criminally implicated Attorney General from Texas asking that millions of votes in other states be invalidated to quite simply overturn the will of the people. Political self interest and fear of the “Wrath of the Cult” prompted 2/3rds of House Republicans to join 17 other Republican State AG’s in supporting this outrage. The Supreme Court’s unwillingness to even consider the matter and its out of hand dismissal provide at least a glimmer of hope that this madness will never prevail in our Court of last resort.
Do millions of my fellow citizens (and yes, some family members) really now hold the author of over 20,000 Presidential lies, 7 bankruptcies, 23 sexual harassment claims as the single source of truth? I suppose when coupled with the stories of people dying on respirators still holding on to the belief that the virus is a hoax, this electoral search for Bigfoot seems consistent and of a piece. But really, what is this really all about?
I fear, of course, that the next wave of this strain of our political sickness will be to use all of this noise to delegitimize the President Elect and his administration. By using a narrow Senate majority to block all desperately needed legislation, extend our collective misery; enough so that the electorate will again be desperate for change in ‘22 and ‘24 . Sadly there seems to be no vaccine on the horizon for that strain…except maybe the long shot bet that Georgians will turn out their two current Senate “Insider Traitors.” They both, in addition to joining in the effort to subvert the votes of the people they represent, joined in the denial of the severity of the virus (nothing more than the flu) but did a little stock trading betting on its lethality after hearing medical testimony to that effect in closed door briefings. You just can’t make this stuff up!
So what to do? For me it’s that wonderfully complex equation of trying to stay centered, being in each moment and treating everyone in each one with respect, compassion and what a good and dear friend taught me was the Christian expression of love…a verb that takes action in those directions in spite of powerful contrary emotions. But with that I will not lose my sense of outrage on what is going on around us. I will keep trying to counter the betrayals of precious principles that in my experience, now more decades old than I care to count, that have no equal…and I’ll send some money to support Warnock and Ossoff in Georgia.