Letter 2 America for December 22, 2022

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Dear America,

This time last year I thought that the whole "stop the steal" canard would have wilted and died and that Donald Trump would be just a bad memory by now, but I was too optimistic about the sagacity of the American electorate...at least the segment of it that applauded when Trump said he was going to run again in 2024.  I should have known better.  The odious basic nature of that minority of our polity that subscribes to "Trumpism," that loosed horde of Philistines, will never go away I now believe.  They are a monstrous secret that we kept for centuries until Trump came and gave them a bizarre kind of legitimacy.  Among those who harbored those ineffable sentiments that Trump articulates, there is now a bare-faced, prideful claim of verity for ideas that no one would have admitted to harboring just five years ago unless he or she was wearing a sheet or was declaiming white power at a klavern meeting.  Simultaneously the more understated, ostensibly tame bias against minorities, immigrants and the poor and a dangerously sub rosa disdain for Jews get worn on conservative sleeves like camouflaged swastika armbands.  Much to the chagrin of the majority of us who believe in the nation that we have convinced ourselves our founding fathers envisioned for us, that democracy seems imperiled and perhaps even doomed.  We forget that Washington and Jefferson unabashedly and unapologetically owned other human beings, and that if you read The Federalist papers, even Hamilton openly displayed a belief in a plutocratic oligarchy more than in a pure democracy, and now those chickens have come home to roost. America has regressed two hundred fifty years, and we will now have to re-evolve if we are to regain our national civility.

Mind you, the 2022 mid-term elections were a ray of hope.  At a time when it could reasonably have been expected that the 2020 prevailing party would be repudiated at the polls, the Democratic Party actually gained a seat in The Senate (at least until a self-serving senator from Arizona took it back) while losing but a few seats in The House.  It was a moral victory that should hearten the civilized among us.  And I do feel a modicum of relief, but with the potential ascendancy of an embodiment of amorality and self-interest like Kevin McCarthy to the speakership of The House and the likely persistence of a nakedly hypocritical minority leader, Mitch McConnell, in The Senate, the prospect of anything good happening between now and 2024 is impeded if not interdicted.  The Republicans will prevaricate with elliptical references to the legislative attempts of the Democrats to actually do something for the majority of Americans, and the Democrats will flail about claiming that they are not being candid about Republican, conservative deviant tactics out of nobility, losing ground with every moral pat on their own backs.  So 2024 is still hanging over our collective heads like the sword of Damocles.  Will no one rid us of these troublesome apostates of modern democracy?

Don't get me wrong.  I am not calling on some cadre of misguided knights like Henry II did.  The only way to change our fate is with our ballots.  Albeit, Donald Trump would disagree as would the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, a couple of street gangs claiming to be militias and patriots, not understanding that waving a flag does not legitimate insurrection and threats of murder as they commit mayhem.  In order for what has been deemed to be good by consensus in America for more than a hundred years to be reclaimed, we must exercise the rights indigenous to that goodness...among them our rights to vote and speak up...with ardor and diligence.  We must organize not in militias but in political entities that get out the vote and facilitate it when disingenuous legislation permits, and even when it doesn't.  We have to use the process that no one can deny is legitimate, and use it effectively to thwart those who would send us back to the Jim Crow era.  We must "rage, rage against the dying of the light."

I know.  All that's very melodramatic, but someone has to motivate those of us who have retained faith in the possibility that a country like the one we almost had before Trump can  reemerge.  We have to concentrate and persevere.  If there's anything our history as a nation has demonstrated it is that we can do it.  We just have to set our minds to it.  Have a happy holiday and new year.  You can do it.  I'll talk to you next year.

Your friend,


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on December 22, 2022 4:23 PM.

Letter 2 America for December 3, 2022 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for January 9, 2023 is the next entry in this blog.

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