Every Good Morning

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Perhaps it is the certainty that out there in the quiet, plush corners of the Republic deals are being made that have nothing to do with any kind of greater good but only serve avarice. Everywhere, in those now in power, there exists a willed denial of the harm being done to life, human and flora and fauna.

Perhaps it is the weariness, only 100 days in, that this President enforces upon one’s ability to restrain nausea.

Perhaps it is all those channels filled with all that useless talk of tactics and the minutia of the day. Meanwhile vast natural and historical forces are at work all around us. What media figure or institution tries to catch the pressure of those dynamics and

“He tells it like it is.”

explain them?

Perhaps it is the impatience with the comic takes on Trump and his loathsome adult children. Jon Stewart was right to get out when he did. He understood, I think, that there is nothing funny about the grinding, hour by hour, humorless moral corruption of these people.

Perhaps it is the reality that one party essentially believes only in the hoarding of money and the creation of enclaves for the corporate state and its masters. The other party lacks a coherent set of articulated beliefs other than a kind of generalized empathy. Where is the “vision of a better life”?* Where is the honest leader who will actually speak of the hard choices necessary to make that reality of a ‘better life’ for all Americans an achievable possibility? Neither party tells the truth about costs and sacrifices. Then, this week comes the news that former President Obama may be taking $400,000 to speak to investment bankers. What is he thinking?

But also, perhaps, as David Remnick has pointed out, “Trump forces us to recognize the fragility of precious things:”** the rule of law, of the right to vote, the fundamental importance of a free press, the necessity of clean air and water, of wilderness and animals, of the preservation of the earth.

*Kattrina Forrester

**Remnick, David. (May 1, 2017). One Hundred Days. The New Yorker, 21.

© Mike Wall

One Response

  1. John says:

    “The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.”

    With those words Jimmy Carter tried, 38 years ago, to be that rarest of all political creatures, the public servant willing to put party and personal reputation aside to speak honestly about the difficult choices facing the American people. For his courage he was pilloried, and his, and his party’s political ruination provided the crack through which this malignant form of conservatism could steal into our national consciousness.

    The fact is that people don’t want to hear the truth from their leaders. At least not in any functional sense. Because the policies those truths would require are stomach-turning, worldview shattering stuff for many people, regardless of their political leaning. Generalized half-truths and outright lies are much more satisfying. They are palliatives that offer the illusion of progress or change or comfort with none of the side effects that we would find so disagreeable to our paychecks, our demographic preferences, and our ever-aggrieved sense of moral superiority. Illusions are what our hearts desire above all else, and so we throw our lot in with the magician proffering the most compelling tricks. It’s been that way since Bethlehem, and I see no reason to believe that anything will change now.

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