I am beginning to get really depressed. Not about this unending pandemic. No, we got our two Pfizer shots and then our third booster, and yes we wear masks when we go into a store—any store. And yes, the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers annoy me a lot. But I write that off to stupidity, and then get on with my day.
No, it is this beginning surge of articles by people I respect about the Biden presidency, and how it seems to be losing ground because he seems unable to deliver the really big changes he promised. They are talking about how Biden is losing his favorability ratings. He apparently has descended from his high marks and is now continuing to lose ratings. But, knowing how fickle is the American public vis-à-vis presidential approval ratings, I don’t pay much heed. No, these authors then go on to discuss these lower ratings in the context of the 2022 and 2024 elections. Now, mind you, Biden has only been President since January 2021, some 9-10 months. And already we are discussing how Donald Trump could defeat Biden in an election? Talk about depressing?
First, we should acknowledge that Biden’s first few months has been a mixed bag. He has succeeded in moving us in the right direction on the pandemic. But we also need to understand that the extreme right wing has been encouraging an anti-everything regarding pandemic solutions. No masks, no vaccinations, including from leaders who have in fact been vaccinated – see Gov. Abbott. So, rather than the nation pulling together to defeat this pandemic, the nation has been tearing itself apart so as to defeat pandemic solutions. And why? Well, from what I can see, this anti-solution group is all about defeating Biden AT ANY COST to the nation. If Biden succeeds in defeating the COVID nightmare, then the public will credit him. The ANTI forces cannot tolerate any win, regardless of the effects on the Nation of his defeat in that arena. If more people die, so be it. That will be on Biden’s head.
And then there are the legislative actions needed to literally prevent our nation from falling into insolvency. Mitch McConnell seemingly caved temporarily to suspend for a few months the uncertainty regarding the Nation’s debt ceiling. But this leader of the Far Right in America (there is no longer any republican responsible Middle-Right faction) continues to oppose. That group, to the extent it exists at all, no longer speaks in Congress or to the American people. They have ceded all conversations between republicans and the public to the Far Right—that faction whose sole purpose is defeating Biden on any initiative, again regardless of the cost to America. We no longer have two responsible political parties. We have the Democrats, and a Far Right faction that seeks to overthrow democracy in America. Their primary goal is defeating Biden’s initiatives—all of them. But they also are working actively at all levels of government to eliminate free and fair elections. They are working locally and at the state level to Gerrymander voting districts to eliminate or minimize the number of people who might vote for democrats. They are also at least examining the possibility of using the states to decertify election results, using the electoral college system to eliminate actual voter choices by refusing to certify the election results—you know that process Trump tried to use overthrow the election of 2020 (the results of which he/they still dispute).
And all of the legislative initiatives Democrats are seeking—to provide economic assistance to lower income people affected by the Pandemic, to at least begin to combat Climate Change, to rebuild the Nation’s infrastructure, and to change the tax code so that the ultra-rich would pay their fair share of taxes. These and so many other initiatives that seek to improve the lives of Americans are being denied by the Far Right, beginning, but not ending with McConnell.
And so my depression is setting in. I am feeling like it is 1942 all over again, only instead of Americans all pulling together as a unified Nation, we are actively debating the virtues of Nazism in the East and the threat posed by the Japanese Empire in the West. And maybe even how we should probably not be sending troops anywhere—not our problem don’t you know.
And meanwhile, the public continues to roar their approval of Donald Trump as he runs around the country rallying his troops ahead of his 2024 candidacy, and, more especially the 2022 Congressional elections. Really people???? You continue to support Donald Trump, who seems even crazier and less competent, if that is possible, than he was when he was actually in office??? Really??? I should note here that I continue to receive 10-12 text messages every day from a Trump campaign entity seeking money—EVERY DAY! And I am perhaps the least likely human on the planet to donate to Donald Trump. But what does that say about their campaign? That they have so many donors they continue to expand their list so as to overwhelm the Nation?
I seriously believe our Nation is on the edge of either another Civil War (with actual guns and shooting), or maybe simply coming apart as a democratic system of government. Maybe we are collapsing into a heap of dysfunctional state entities, or maybe just collectives of like-minded activists, and we no longer believe in America—that shining Vista on the Hill. And that is depressing at the least. I keep hoping that Americans, even those who disagree with Joe Biden, will begin to understand that Biden wants to help America continue to exist as a democracy, and wishes its people to survive and prosper. Maybe that is no longer possible, but I keep hoping . . .
“Not like the
brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"