Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Day In The Anti-Life - Retrograde!

I will never forget the amazing sense of pride I felt nearly a decade ago now when my country rose above its centuries of shame to elevate a black man to the highest office in the land. It was hoped in that grand moment that finally, at last the United States, a country built on ideals had in some small way made good on promises long ago imagined and codified but almost always ignored in the grim reality of a grudging history. A nation conceived in liberty but for too long beholding to rank slavery  was a nation which suffered the gravest of cognitive dissonances when it came to offering freedom to men and women. The progress of liberalism, the notion that freedoms and opportunities should be spread to an ever wider array of different kinds of peoples has been the hallmark of a country which often ignores these ideals for the convenience of a moment. What was once imagined and fashioned to be a nation for the benefit of white men has slowly become a nation built for the benefit of women and peoples of all races and ethnic backgrounds.

Or at least that was what we thought.

So long ago now it seems on that chilly day when Barrack Hussein Obama took the oath of office to become President. It was like watching a dream I never imagined I'd see in my lifetime, and I was filled with pride that my fellow Americans had finally done such a thing.

Now we know different.

The election of our current "so-called" President can only ever be seen as a backlash directed at the grand achievements of that time now seemingly so distant though less still than ten years gone. While the goal of seeing a black man lead our nation was inspiring it clearly filled many folks with dread. and even unspoken they fabricated all sorts of fanciful fables of fear to justify their irrational animus. They will tell you now that they were just motivated by his "radical" ideas, ideas such as attempting to modify the healthcare system in the United States using a Republican template as the model, continuing to press the wars begun under Republican leadership against terrorism in dozens of nations across the globe, and of course deporting the invidious aliens who have penetrated the sacred veneer of American society and thrive in our midst, more than any Republican in modern times. Yeah, those kinds of ideas. Obama was a centrist President in a country that no longer seems to understand what that word means; Obama promoted policies which once would have seemed commonplace in any moderate Republican administration. For the most part he governed like Nixon.

And now we have another one inspired by Nixon.

The current "so-called" President looks to Richard Nixon not for policy guidance but for a model on which to fashion a secretive cult of personality inside the oval office which attempts to skirt the normal practices of lawmaking and invest the executive with supreme power. That attempt at such overwhelming power has been to no small degree rebuffed by the courts, and so the nation will survive I suspect and dearly hope. But will it thrive? Our current "so-called" President is lost in a nest of personality ticks and his avaricious desire to keep access to his personal wealth even as he "serves" the country,  could well be eventually undone by the nature of his campaign which appears to have been infested with foreign interference. Some speak blithely of what could be the greatest scandal in American history. I've heard reporters who I know are calm and careful, state with what appears to general understanding that our current "so-called" President is compromised in the most fundamental ways. That remains to be uncovered.

But in the meantime we lose sight of the hope inspired by that election nearly a decade gone which filled me with pride. We now have a leader who seems eager to gather up as many brown people as he can locate and usher them out of the country so that those of us of the proper complexion who are left can cower behind a fence which in the end will keep us in more than it keeps anyone out. In a country which is producing not enough children to replenish the population  we depend upon the great wash of immigration to refuel our mission to make life better for everyone. Now the country seems intent on just the opposite. Under obscure phrases like "economic nationalism" the nativist impulse has found yet one more shadow box to hide within as cowards, afraid of the wide world seek to make of America one enormous gated community.

Progress is not an easy thing and it's the nature of things that as they move forward they will move back a bit. But the cause of freedom in the United States, for all its limitations has moved forward over the years and will continue. Going back might occur for a moment in time as those afraid of what's to come take hold of the fear change brings, but we must always believe that despite the retrograde nature of change that change will come regardless.

Rip Off


  1. That none of these appalling ideas are new indicates to me that we are seeing the snarls of a dying beast. It's going to be rough going on some days, but I contend that we have also had an unprecedented eruption of decency. When the Jewish cemetery was recently desecrated, it was a Muslim group that decided to set up a funding site for them, and they met their goal in a few hours, so quickly that they continued to establish a fund against future hate crimes. This was somewhat in balance to earlier this year when a mosque was burned in a small Texas town and the synagogue opened its doors to Muslims for worship. I was riding my bike through a fairly nice neighborhood a week or so ago and I saw what looked like a for sale sign in somebody's lawn. What it said was "No matter where you are from, we are happy you are our neighbor".

    Leonard Cohen departed the world recently, but he left a song behind called "Anthem". Here's a bit of it:

    Can't run no more
    with that lawless crowd
    while the killers in high places
    say their prayers out loud.
    But they've summoned up
    a thundercloud
    They're going to hear from me.

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering.
    There is a crack in everything.
    That's how the light gets in.

    1. I agree with you that the worst has evoked some of the best from folks. Fear does crazy things to people and some folks who supported our current noxious leader did so out of desperation, and perhaps shared with me the pride from selecting the previous leader. I've seen them interviewed. Good can overcome evil, but that evil must first be called by its name. And that's where I worry that's where the dithering will commence.

      Rip Off

  2. Excellent analysis as always, Rip.

    We must always ask ourselves: What Would Jack Kirby Do?

    1. WWJKD? I like it. It is increasingly my mantra sir. I find that not only do I appreciate the art of Kirby more and more, but I find I admire the man more as I grow older. His clarity of vision has proven helpful to give me insight into what is going on around me.

      Rip Off


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