01 January 2018

annus horribilis

The last year has been among the worst years of my life, and the heart attack on xmas eve only proves that point. Yes, I was able to travel a lot, if not to exotic locations (DC, Boston, Cincinnati and southern Ohio, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, with Mexico City coming up in a couple of days), but the tragedy of Trumpistan has been a near soul-crushing experience for those of us who care about what humans are doing to the environment, who care about protection of animal rights and endangered species, who care about helping immigrants and all of those many less fortunate than ourselves, who care about publicly supported scientific research, arts, education, and humanity in general. From eight years of thoughtful, intelligent, moral, and graceful leadership in the White House and a progressive administration that attempted to improve the lives of everyone, here and around the world, we have been jerked 180° in almost every aspect of our national life by a a deeply ignorant, amoral, racist bully who colluded with Russia to get elected, stoked white resentment in a changing world, and then proved the Republican party to be as craven, hypocritical, and mendacious as we've always suspected.

Virtually every Federal agency is being gutted, most notably the State Department and the EPA, public lands are being plundered, and rules and regulations protecting consumers, workers, and animals are tossed out by the hundreds, much of it in an apparently mindless effort to undo anything Obama's name on it. They have so far failed to repeal Obamacare, although not for lack of trying, but have succeeded in passing tax "reform" that, in the middle of a booming economy, is nothing but a massive transfer of wealth to the rich, mostly white, 1% at the top, mortgaging future generations in the process and setting the stage for Republican assaults on Social Security and Medicare sooner rather than later.

Worst of all, ignorant right-wing ideologues are getting life-time appointments to Federal courts, unless they are so bad they just totally embarrass themselves. The barriers between church and state are strained, and freedom of the press and the rest of the First Amendment are under assault. The "shining city on a hill" is being over-run by barbarians and religious fanatics while the plutocrats plunder public resources and America cedes any leadership role in the international community.

Meanwhile, polls and what not continue to show that most Trump voters would do it all over again, and indeed applaud the lies, racism, and "make america great again" bullshit. That translates to a little over a third of the American people. Caught in a the conspiracy-ridden bubble of Fox "news," Hannity, Limbaugh, and the rest, they are in an alternate universe of facts, complacent, willfully ignorant, and cluelessly enjoying their white privilege. I can't help them and have quit trying --- it's simply not worth the effort to go round and round with their ignorance and racism any longer. I can only try to minimize their direct presence in my life.

Let go or be dragged.


Rathayatra said...

Truly the most depressing year ever. thanks for writing this and just giving voice to how many of us feel. The large issues clouded and crushed by insane people. may we find some hope in 2018.

lilylise said...

I agree. Although there were some special and unforgettable moments this year, it just does not compare to the other years in regards to peace just gives me anxiety. May 2018 be a brighter year