Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Land in Disarray

I am often taken to task for not writing more frequently in my blog. But increasingly, I no longer know what to say.  As I age, I am increasingly aware of the limited time I have left. And I find our world increasingly difficult to comprehend.  All over the world, we see vaguely crazed people imposing their will, to the detriment of ordinary folks—see Vladimir Putin.

The Middle East seems to have come totally unhinged, with the crazy ISIS/ISIL people defining what we think of as Muslims. That they most closely resemble the Thugs of the old Thugee bands of 1300-1800's India, seems not to matter to most observers. They kill with impunity, but more to the point, they act in crazed and excruciatingly cruel ways towards seemingly ordinary folks. The cruelty being expressed throughout the Middle East, under varying names, makes me wonder why the formal religious leaders in the region—the Mullahs and Ayatollahs do not express formally their judgment that these acts are not part of Islam and the people who carry them out are explicitly not Muslims, but rather evil forces masquerading as Muslims.  For ordinary Muslims, living around the world, their very existence as people is now threatened, since the non-Muslim world has begun viewing all Muslims through the lens of ISIS killers.

And then we have stable, boring old Europe, currently looking like a jigsaw puzzle coming apart. The economy of the region seems vaguely in the crapper, but then we also observe movements to disassemble the region and return to the Europe of old—squabbling tribes periodically hating the other tribes to the point of shooting at one another.  That Great Britain escaped its own demise with the Scottish vote seems only an accident of timing. Who knows what might happen should there be another vote in a year or two. And what will the Brits do now to placate the Scots? And whatever they do, I imagine Wales and Ireland will be paying close attention.

And then, if we head to the West, across that large body of water known as the Atlantic, we come across another Crazyland—the good old United States of America. We have begun drifting into some NeverNever land, ever since we elected a black man as President.  Apparently that national act was simply too much for the party in opposition.  Having subjected the country to Ronald Reagan and then Junior Bush, the republicans decided that they could not tolerate such an act of outright defiance. The Chutzpah of us voters—electing an intelligent, articulate black man as President. Heaven forfend as George Will might say.  So, the republicans all crept off into a permanent whiny corner of the world, vowing to have nothing to do with this man, regardless of what he might like to do, and regardless of the consequences to the nation.  What that meant was that they committed themselves to opposing whatever our President wanted to do. They wanted him out—a one-term president was their spoken goal.

Then they let loose their barrage of money through the ultra-moneyed set—the Koch’s of the world, allowing the Koch’s and others of their ilk to essentially buy their party, lock, stock, and barrel. That they have become destructive goes without saying. But what has begun to baffle me is that our voting public seems ok with all that. Obama has something like a 48% approval rating by the public, whereas Congress has about a 15% approval rating. Despite those ratings, the public seems poised to hand over majority control of Congress—both houses—to the republicans, that party now owned by oligarchs of the Koch-ilk—the destroyers of our country.  What are we to make of such a bizarre outcome? It is as though the Middle East had voted to elect to power the ISIS thugs.  I can find no rational explanation for why the American public would choose to vote Republican in this coming/ongoing election.

Except that we are now living in Bizzaroland. The America of old—that nation that secured the freedom of the world from the 1940s terrorist regimes in Germany and Japan; that nation that sent the first men to the moon in the 1960s; that can-do nation, seems no more than a shadow of its former self.

And that is why I have been having trouble writing in my blog.