To: The Disgraced Leader of US
Well, of course the jury will be out for quite some time on whether the bones of this place, this pseudo democracy (messed up as it is by mega-money and abuses of power) are good and strong enough to bother rehabilitating around. The answer to that overwhelming question almost certainly depends on where one is casting one’s gaze and the extent to which one is squinting one’s eyes, AND critically, the position or place from which one is gazing or squinting. In other words, our answers depend on our privilege, what we consider important, and how soft-focus our take is.
Thus, there are probably at least several million different ways of responding to the question of whether we should try to patch things up, tear it down to the foundation and build something new on the same footprint, or raze the foundation and really start over from scratch. Or do nothing. Or do everything we can to slavishly refashion some idealized edifice mimicking the past to resurrect a framework of narrowly dispersed privileges and power – this, of course, being the MAGA-merica fever dream.
And yes, I know the likelihood of either of the “build something new” choices coming to pass is nil, but if we don’t entertain them as reasonable possibilities, the solutions we come up with will be too mean. And yes, I know some think that pushing for too much radical change only scares those with strong allegiances to either the status quo or to MAGA-merica and they’ll dig in harder. But shit, it’s not as though you and yours have demonstrated any real inclination to do anything but dig in harder no matter what. So go for it, auger yourselves in around indefensible positions, pour as much Kool-Aid as you can into the MAGA mouths, and let’s see what happens.
Because hold on as desperately as you will, the General E. Lee statues will still come down; even the one representing Virginia that used to be in Statuary Hall. I’m sure you know by now that it was removed in the middle of the night last night – no ceremony, no fuss, just gone. Out of there. Finally.
And in its place there’ll be a statue of Barbara Johns, the Black teenage who led a walkout protesting the poor conditions at her all-Black high school, which helped win the Brown v. Board of Education case that desegregated schools. I’m sure you and your Confederacy loving base will pitch all kinds of fits over this, but it’s a sign that things are changing and that a footprint that once held hate and prejudice can be rehabilitated as a place representing dignity and courage. So that’s a bit of a weight on the side of hope.
And what’s with Barr? Did someone sprinkle magic “wake-the-f***-up dust” on his head and he’s now free to tell way more of the truth? I know he’s leaving in MAGA-merica disgrace on Wednesday, but it’s pretty shocking how he’s become your worst frenemy, what with all that “oh, you aren’t going to use the DoJ for your dirty deeds, Donald” that he’s tossing around. I wonder who offered him a more lucrative deal than you had lined up for him. In other words, no one should trust him any further than they can throw him, but it’s nice to see him calling you out.
Last bit. It dumped a few inches of snow tonight here in Seattle (on top of the nearly ¾ of an inch of rain that fell earlier in the day). On the troop up and down the block with little dog, I saw that someone marked a huge smiley face in the snow covering one of the big signs redirecting traffic on our street. Pretty sweet, and a nice bit of a gift.
May we be safe as what needs to change, changes.
May we be willing to think big rather than tinker around the edges.
May we be strong and stout for this wild ride.
May we accept that MAGA-merica is dying but not done and we have to hang on.