Long ago, Jefferson trembled for his country;
His country is my country. And my father’s.
My grandparents fled oppression and anti-Semitism,
And, it seems, tomorrow, America will fall.
Not collapse, perhaps, but figuratively fall—
Like those mixed martial arts fighters do.
Seeing those gladiatorial competitions is rough;
When a competitor is “against the ropes”
He is pummeled into submission. Slowly, he falters.
The signs could have perhaps been perceived—
The inadequate cardiovascular training…
The insufficient training in his or her violent art…
The ever-so-slighter superiority of the opponent…
Dumb luck. Laziness. Panic. Dehydration. Pain.
The goddamned clock won’t move faster. Sweat pours from our pores.
The punches to the nose—the repeated punching….
It leaves the unfortunate person dizzy with pain,
Hungering for air—that precious, precious air…
It’s over. We can’t take any more. We have to tap our or pass out.
This is an apt metaphor for America.
Or so I predict—the day before the midterm election 2022…
Bill Maher is damned sure of it. His predictions alarm me deeply.
There is plenty of evidence that America has failed miserably to fulfill its potential.
America is on its back, and it is being hit in the nose repeatedly.
The punches are our greed.
They are our distaste for solid values like truth, love, peace, integrity.
The guys from K Street are elbowing America in the head.
Gun lobbyists and manufacturers are kneeing America in the gut.
White supremacy and Christian nationalism are pressing down on America’s chest.
An intolerance for truth and reconciliation for grievous wrongs are kicks.
Militarism and for-profit corporations and corruption are taking their toll.
A broken immigration system, cheating, and selfishness harry us.
Apathy, hate, and ignorance are driving the will to persist out of this country.
Trump and Trumpism and persistent lying have us pinned.
Machiavellianism, smugness, coarseness and entertainment are winning.
Culture wars, intolerance, 400 million guns, and the diminishment of institutions whispered “You’re done, bitch.”
We are looking down the barrel of A Handmaid’s Tale.
January 6th could quite easily recur.
George Orwell, John McCain, and R. B. Ginsburg are turning in their graves.
I miss brighter times—the hills and streams that caused Wordsworth’s heart to leap up.
Titanic metaphors, Nazism comparisons, Civil War references are not unsound.
Where are our heroes when we need them?
Can we not find “the minds to lead us closer to the heart?”
We let the sheep fall to the wolves while we slept.
Jefferson trembled for his country when he contemplated the possibility that God is just.
That tells you what evil, dark, unscrupulous and stupid things we did prior to 1840.
A hell of a lot of shit has transpired in the 180 years since.
I am scared as hell for the future. For my future. For my wife’s future.
If I were a praying man, now would be the time…..