I haven’t blogged for ages because I try to reserve those spare hours for writing on my Miller book, but after a rather frantic vacation (How to see five countries in under three weeks… madness), I feel empty, frustrated and frightened about returning to Trumpistan. For all the noise on Twitter and other social media, one thing is chillingly clear: We have a president who is a Russian asset and even after several indictments and mounting evidence that the Trump campaign did conspire with a foreign enemy, Trump is meeting with Putin and trying to convince his base that Putin ain’t so bad and that our bad relationship with Russia is just the result of US not wanting to get along.
The GOP is silent.
And thereby our checks and balances are eroded day by day. Democracies don’t die over night. It’s a gradual process and people get numb, are busy living their own lives and busy surviving. Back in Boston alone, we met two people talking about their two jobs, because one job in this country doesn’t pay the bills.
Back in Europe someone said that there is a rising cult of so-called “strong men”. People are not happy, and those who want to stay aloof from the facts would rather follow a “strong” leader because he spouts the kind of propaganda they want to hear and that includes stepping on other people (the free press, people of color, immigrants) to be swept along in a tide of white supremacy nostalgia that had its heyday under Hitler and Mussolini. America, a country of immigrants, always claimed it couldn’t happen here. Well, it is happening here, and at an alarming rate.
I will continue to do my share: speak out, take to the streets, call congressmen, knock on doors in the 2018 elections, follow the news and donate to organizations who help those who are in need right now, but I despair and do so frequently. This ain’t Watergate anymore… we have a brainwashed base, a complicit GOP and a Russian asset for a president. I can’t afford to drop everything because I have a living to make and a book I want to finish within a year, but I will do my share. Fleeing this country is not an option. We have to fight for all the great people in it.
On Saturday, we visited JFK’s birthplace in Brookline, Mass, a suburb of Boston. As an intro to touring the house, we watched a video and listened to one of JFK’s electric speeches in which he inspired and lifted up people with that Kennedy brand of idealism, integrity and honor. No blaming of other people. No throwing of cheap red meat. No lies. No narcissism. No ugly red hats and that mendacious mantra of making America great.
My eyes filled with tears. Tears over what this country once projected to the world and itself: A shiny city on a hill.
The lights are going out folks, and we better stay WOKE to make sure our children and grandchildren can live in a place that JFK had in mind. A place where working together with love and faith and honor, a country where we stand up for each other, a haven where migrant children don’t languish in camps without their parents, a warm locus amoenus where everyone can live up to his God-given potential, a melting pot and a spot where kindness and tolerance are not booted out by division, fear and white supremacy. We can do this, but the light is swallowed up by a darkness and we’d better get ready and follow a plan of resistance and persevere, because it may get worse, much worse, before it gets better.