Over a decade ago, I first read about the rock-bottom level of W’s support at 28% as a rough estimate of current bugfuck crazy levels. I took that to heart and have repeated it as wisdom, so I’m not shocked that there are people cheering for caging children.
(Afraid? Yes. Still.)
What has been a pleasant surprise is seeing people building capacity to resist. That capacity wasn’t nearly enough during 43’s term to hold him back, and it wasn’t there to sustain the Occupy movement.*
Now we’re a third of the way through a Presidential term, and people successfully pushed hard enough to make a public policy change. It’s still a bad policy–I’ll still be at a pro-immigration rally after work today–but the spiritual boost people get from publicly backing an authoritarian down and the corresponding morale drop on the other side is pure power. If it’s used well, if politicians don’t drain all the effort into electoral politics only, this can be a turning point.
It’s not a position I’d’ve chosen to get into. The suffering at the border and elsewhere isn’t “worth it” for change. But it’s not a position we chose, is it? It’s where we’ve been forced to by cruel humanoids. That suffering is on their heads.
If we miss this moment, if we fail to learn electoral politics can’t be won without a robust non-electoral political movement to maintain us during the times we are out of power–and to remind politicians who claim they are on our side that they can’t pee on our leg when they are in power and expect us to thank them for the rain–then the suffering from that will be on our heads, and quite a few of us will fully deserve what we get from it (though most of us will not).
This is not the 2018 I’d hoped for, but it has great potential. Or you can call it high stakes. Pretty much the same.
*The Occupiers themselves weren’t the problem. They were plenty determined. It was a support failure.
If you’re a member of a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other spiritual gathering place, and the leaders there don’t specifically reference children being caged by our government and push back hard against it—you should ask them why they aren’t.
Ask them directly, and if you aren’t satisfied with their answer, seriously consider leaving then and there.This may be your greatest spiritual declaration, the most concrete affirmation of your beliefs that you’ll ever make.
If you are keeping company with polite cowards and smiling frauds whose faith is quiet, you may need to empty the pews and exit the buildings, and go loudly speak the words of truth and compassion and justice that need to be spoken right now.
I fondly remember the death of Richard M. Nixon, on Earth Day, 1994, like the planet finally taking out trash gone rancid decades ago. It’s rare that a death makes me happy, but this one did. He was an actively evil man who got away with it and died old and free with a clear record.
Gil Scott-Heron wrote those words and he did not die free and clear.
In the liner notes to Winter In America, Gil Scott-Heron made the earliest on-record call for the impeachment of Richard Nixon that I am personally aware of. There may be an earlier one, but I haven’t seen it, though I have seen later ones which claimed to be first. The same country that showed Nixon mercy because he had phlebitis showed Gil Scott-Heron–who said of phlebitis, “Rats bite us. No pardon in the ghetto”–to prison for crack addiction. Gil Scott-Heron died too young on parole with a felony record.
“I wanted clever and funny instead of angry and mean,” he said in an interview in Lakeville, Connecticut, at a reunion of his boarding school Hotchkiss.
So the rich boss is a Hotchkiss man. How appropriate! Was he angry when he fired cartoonist Rob Rogers? Or was he just mean? Because if he was just mean, and not angry, he’s not a hypocrite. He’s still mean, though, still rich and powerful, willing and able to hurt people.
I realize many of my friends have faith in wealthy people and their market ventures, to make wise decisions that lead to more for everyone. I have a similar faith. I believe wealthy people make wise decisions that lead to more for themselves.
The markets are rising for a reason: Wealthy people of all persuasions can see profit on the horizon. They will not save you.
Why is it, for all of our supposed intellectualism on a wide range of subjects, most Unitarian Universalists show absolutely no curiosity regarding religion itself?
This is true enough. I’d qualify it by adding there are Unitarian Universalists who effectively practice another religion and have some interest in their own. Very few of them have the sort of wide-ranging curiosity about religion she’s talking about.
What I had noticed is that most Unitarian Universalists I’ve met are particularly uninterested in Unitarian Universalism. They aren’t interested in Unitarianism or Universalism, either. I’m not sure this is internalized anti-intellectualism, but that’s my working theory.