When I see the scenes in Afghanistan and the floods on the east coast, I’m reminded that the distance between joy and misery is infinitesimal. It can feel that we are safe from massive tragedy. We don’t get 17 inches of rain in a day. Our government is a little less crazy than the Taliban. We have a warm, dry house with high def television and wideband. Feels safe. Other people suffer.
Brave words from someone who lives in the ring of fire. Volcanos surround us. Massive earthquakes were only a couple of decades ago. We’re safe. Right? Worse, nearly half of our population believes that a mentally deranged demagogue should return to the White House. They are blind to the damage he did to our country. Politicians who were laughed at because of their ultra-conservative ideas are being elected to our house and senate. They are the American Taliban.
Sometimes extreme views dominate our country. For example, the pendulum has swung so far to the right when it comes to sexual harassment that a man can lose everything if thirty years ago he hugged a woman without asking for permission first. If you don’t think that is extreme, consider that a woman can do the same to a man with no one blinking an eye. I’m not suggesting that men can maul a woman without consequences. We need a little balance. New York Governor Cuomo had to resign because he hugged, kissed on the cheek, and possibly touched a woman’s breast years ago. Is that acceptable behavior? No, of course not. Is it a valid reason to drive him from office? I don’t think so. The voters should be consulted in the next election.
I don’t usually write about politics. I know that some of our readers belong to the group that supports the extreme right. I’m not trying to convince you to change. I’m amazed at how short a memory people have. The Republican party was traditionally the party of the rich. Working people were democrats. Now working people are republicans, and more privileged people are democrats. Wow. Even stranger, the working-class Americans oppose spending on programs that benefit them. The two infrastructure bills will create millions of jobs and allow anyone to attend community college without paying a dime. Isn’t that good stuff?
All that isn’t why I am writing this post. My point is that in the span of a very short time, things can change drastically. People can be convinced to support horrible things. That’s how Hitler won over Germans. He played to their basest instincts. He validated the prejudices that good people suppress. He made hate a good thing. Our former president did the same thing. Instead of jews, he is vilifying Hispanic people. I’m not saying that the former president is intent on genocide. He uses the same tools to convince people that they are disenfranchised and need him and his party to have a voice again. I always imagined those good people would see through this. Many don’t. Here in the United States misery is just a few votes away.