Regarding the trial of the decade: the revolution is being televised.
Looking for a smoking gun? A silver bullet? Here are two to consider: Lev Parnas’s tapes, or John Bolton’s new book (leaked by…..).
While more will be revealed during the media spill and overkill over the next weeks, what is the expected outcome?
By most measures, Donald J. Trump is likely to be ‘acquitted’ by the Senate- and re-elected- (if voter suppression tactics are successful, particularly across the South).
We have just a few months left before another Presidential election, and here is what will keep us excluded from the larger body politic if we don’t show up at the polls in November: Nostalgia.
We like to say “I remember when”, as if everything in the past is sweet.
Nostalgia is like another bad drug. It dulls. It keeps us intoxicated. We crave for more.
You know the sayings: “Remember when the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln……?”, or, “I remember when the Democrats created more opportunities ….” or, “I remember when black folk had it good under Obama,” etc.
Those with longer memories of times past; who have lived under the great swings in policy changes affecting black and brown folk, are the ones who seem to be mired down in references to another time. Was it a better time?
For those in support of the current administration, ask yourself this: have Trump’s policies been good for you, so far? Are you banking on them to beneﬁt you in the near future? When do the beneﬁts kick in? It’s been over 400 years since chattel slavery; 224 years since the US revolution; and a mere sixty years since the great, recent civil rights movements (but in fact, since the late 1700’s, initiatives have been ongoing to secure ‘rights’ for blacks).
Yet, too many blacks are still ‘underclass’; under-represented; poor, and depressed!
How do we replace some of the ‘old’ thinking, especially in the young?
Recently, I was in Atlanta, the black “mecca” where I engaged in a conversation with a thirty-something black man. He was the ‘engineer’ for a small, hotel and came to my room to help me work the coffee-maker. A degree of trust was established at the room door.
The television was tuned to CNN- one of my sources for ‘infotainment’/ news. Impeachment analysis was on. He turned to the screen.
“Why don’t they leave the President alone?”
I was curious. “Why do you support this President?”
While he admitted he had not (yet) beneﬁtted directly from the current administration’s policies, he felt that the attacks were unfair, but he also admitted he had not directly beneﬁtted from the previous administration’s policies either!
I suggested that perhaps he should, therefore, be neutral.
Not! He was passionate in his support of Trump, stating that his future looked bright under this president. Sounded like “hope” to me!
I thought, he is so young; never experienced the slings and arrows of the past: de facto and de jure discrimination; he had missed the marches, attacks by dogs and ﬁre hoses, jailing of leaders, lynching, etc., of the civil rights era. Surely, his schools hadn’t taught the real history of black folk in this country. And, he lives in Atlanta, where black folk have been large and in charge for a long time.
I thought, what happens when perspective is divorced from nostalgia?
Granted, no one can possibly ‘know’ all the factors swirling in the caldron of present-day politics. That’s not necessary. Yet, context does matter.
2020 has opened under simultaneous whip-lashing salvos: efforts to remove the USA President; brinkmanship of war in the middle east; implosions in the Congress along sharply divided political lines; erosion, destruction and reinvention of longstanding governing models; total breakdown along racial, economic, gender, and immigrant classiﬁcations (identity politics), to name a few.
To me, these are harbingers for the country’s turn right of center: appointing hundreds of conservative judges; the president marching with pro-lifers; undeclared wars on the other side of the world; return of more French fries (and less fruits and vegetables) to the school lunchroom! I’m whiplashed.
We do not turn out for elections in equal proportion to our registrations; or in response to our basic and fundamental rights, nor do we demand what we need to become full citizens!
We have forgotten how to execute a bloodless coup at the ballot box. Which brings me back to nostalgia.
There are no good old days. We only have today and tomorrow.
We have got to think, analyze, debate, and vote. Vote. VOTE!