"Thanks to Trump the tinhorn dictator and those who elected him, this country is no longer a beacon of freedom, but a laughingstock......There is no longer even the pretense of concealment as there was in the good old days of Republicanism. Sure sounds like a banana republic to me. "
I take the liberty of sharing this article by Neal Gabler because, well, I think he's right.
I know this has nothing to do with art, with consciousness, with synchronicity or myth..........but it has everything to do with the dismantling of the country I have lived in, and for all my activism and criticism, loved.
In one short year I've watched the EPA removed and all environmental controls left to the wisdom of big oil and other polluters who seem determined to destroy everything in sight at the expense of future generations. I've watched the NEA and NEH dismissed, as if the great Arts and Humanities of America are nothing. I've watched us become the only nation not part of the Paris Accord, a president ridiculing the greatest threat to life humanity has ever faced. I've watched a president laud Nazis, even as a World War was fought to defeat them, and relatives of mine died in it. I've watched national monuments destroyed. I've watched the war on education, medicine, health care, intellectuals, and science. I've watched NASA become under the control of an evangelical, climate denying man who has no background in science. I've watched our "ambassador to the Vatican" be replaced with the wife of Newt Gingrich just to "get even" with the Pope. I've watched a sexual predator, proudly proclaiming his right to "grab women's pussy" become president, along with his former sex worker wife as "first lady". I've watched my tax dollars now increase, even as school lunches, tuition waivers, food stamps, aid to disadvantaged children, heating help to seniors freezing to death in cold climates are scheduled to be removed removed from the budget. Yet we pay to benefit Trump's vacations, and an ever increasing military budget. Corporate lobbyists are no longer even trying to disguise their contempt for people like me, the American public.
In a land of refugees, I've watched the most desperate of refugees refused compassion. I've seen the Constitutional separation of church and state dismissed offhand, to benefit vicious, oppressive religious fanatics who, in my opinion, profane the name of "Christianity". I've watched efforts to deny the rights of Muslims, Jews, Gay People, Women............
America. What are you anymore? For all our faults, you were also a place of hope, inspiration, innovation. I'd pray that somehow "America" can recover from this, but I no longer trust what some people call "prayer". I wonder: is "America" over now? Has it been replaced with an evolving tyranny of cruel mediocrity, the slow creeping banality of evil?
Below is a picture of immigrants at Ellis Island, turn of the Century. Any of them could look very much like I imagine my round-faced Swedish great grandmother looked, just off the boat, so bravely seeking a new life in the new world at just 17 years of age. Or my French Huguenot great grandfather, fleeing religious discrimination in his Catholic homeland. Or my grandson's Jewish great-great grandparents, fleeing the violent pogroms of Russia. Or my friend Susan's parents, arriving in New York and not knowing that they were each the last of their families as they fled Nazi occupation of Poland. Or my friend Mark's Irish great grandparents, their faces so desperate for work and maybe just a good meal as they left behind the potato famine of Black '47. Or.........you name it. For all the problems, and yes, slavery, yes, the genocide of the native people, yes, the omission of women in the plan.......... this was still a place of hope. And in my small lifetime, I've seen that go forward, believe it or not, I've seen so many things change for the good.
Yes, I'll go back to art. And beauty. And Gaia. And the Goddess. Because that is what we all have to do, the best of what we each have to offer. I'll share what I love, and what little I know, and I'll adapt.
Because many, most people on this planet, it seems to me, have to live with tyranny, with inequity, with endless corruption, and somehow, in the impoverishment of it, they still have to strive to find meaningful lives. I've been fortunate. Very fortunate. Maybe people like me have been naive, or overly idealistic in a world too damn full of Trumps and Putins and the rest, and somehow we've managed to dream other dreams. Maybe now is our time to come to terms with the "real world", if only briefly - because a truly vast global tragedy of environmental destruction awaits all of those who will follow us. But for this moment, it helps to acknowledge, as Neal Gabler has, the reality.
Tomorrow, some of us, acknowledging that, will figure out where to go from here. Those dreams are still good dreams.
America the Banana Republic
BY NEAL GABLER | NOVEMBER 29, 2017