What is this world coming to? Those were my grandmother’s words. Some years later, they were my mother’s. In spite of myself, I hear that query coming from my own mouth. What is this world coming to?
All my efforts at self-care during these dark times of increasing gun violence, inept leadership, corruption, misogyny, and domestic terrorism are being tested. (See Journal entry, “Persevering Through Hard Times“). I try to convince myself that this threat to our democracy is the unraveling of patriarchy. Surely the pendulum is steadily moving and will soon return to a time—although never perfect—when the America I’ve known reflects efforts toward a semblance of civility, of kindness, of equality.
All I can do is all I can do and all I can do is enough. Those, too, were my mother’s wise words. So, as I search for ways to care for myself and others through this onslaught of deceit, greed, divisiveness and inconceivable abuse of power, when it seems we’ve dropped into the proverbial rabbit hole, I try not to say, I never thought I’d live to see this day.
Rather, I remind myself to protect my spirit, my body, while doing all I can do, and hoping that is enough.
I write letters to my senators…Senator Todd Young does not respond; Senator Michael Braun replies in a letter assuring me the “President Trump is a new kind of president…with new policy ideas and a new perspective.” Braun continues “that many, including yourself, are uncomfortable with his style of leadership…His presidency has brought to light the struggling American worker….”
Really? Is that why this “new kind of president” takes children from their parents? Why he fabricates a reality that has nothing to do with the struggle of immigrant people seeking asylum from inconceivable brutality and poverty, who are desperate to find the promised “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….”
Is this “new kind of president” one who blames and shames others for his ineptness, whose rhetoric encourages violence, who incites racism, who dishonors women not only by sexually assaulting but by publicly humiliating any woman of power. Is this “new kind of president” one who disrespects anyone who is not white, male, and unqualified to serve our country? Is this “new kind of president” one who arrogantly supports white supremacists and the NRA?
In my attempt at self-care, I seldom tune in to national news, refuse information that reeks of bias and untruth. But with all the effort I put forth, I cannot not know of the domestic terrorism that has reached a tragic epidemic of gun violence—from Texas to Ohio, from Pennsylvania and Florida to California: more than 300 lives have been extinguished by gun-toting men who heed the words of their “new kind of president.”
Beto O’Rourke, former US Representative from Texas, grieving the second tragic shooting in his home state, has called for universal background checks, red flag policy, a national gun registry, a buy-back of assault weapons—weapons of war. His may be an uphill battle with the National Rifle Association and the politicos who mindlessly support the “new kind of president.” But I, for one, will do what I can (and hope it is enough) to support like-minded efforts toward humanity and those who persevere toward civility, equality, honor and values we hold dear.