You know what I’m talking about. You scroll through your facebook news feed or turn on the news. Every day is a new adventure in shock and horror. I won’t even touch on the various scandals in DC. You, like me, are trying not too hard to think about it all at this point.
But we must.
In refusing to live in a bubble I’ve taken to listening to right wing radio. It’s like an alternate reality. There’s so much venom and so much feigned outrage. It makes me wonder what effect this has had on the United States over the last 20 years. I still work with the disaffected blue collar southerners so frequently spoken about and featured in books like Hillbilly Elegy. Unlike JD Vance, however, I never left my home and I’m still neck deep in the rural south. I’m seeing this grotesque evolution up close and personal in the heart of Trump Country where they are wholeheartedly embracing what I also see on Fox News. On right wing radio it is like bizarro world where up is down and left is right.
I know you too probably watch news clips or read articles and think “This cannot be normal!” or “How can I see this so clearly when apparently millions of Americans cannot?”. If you’re anything like me you start wondering if you’re missing something. It cannot be this easy to see through, right?
Oh but it is. These are not normal times or these are as far from “normal” as they can be at this point. I mean we are seemingly once again fighting battles we thought were won (nazis and other white supremacists gaining mainstream traction) or losing ground in other areas we thought we would never have to revisit.It’s become apparent, however, that the venom never went away to the level we thought it had. It was hiding just under the surface and an empowered portion of our country is wallowing in the muck that has now risen. It has also become apparent to me that we are in a particularly fragile era in the history of the United States not unlike the Civil Rights Era. And like that time there is a reckoning coming. The hateful and bigoted will not go gently into that good night. What is that reckoning? I don’t know. But these abnormal times cannot continue as they are. My fear is that the backlash to the progress as a nation we have made is only starting to rear its ugly head.
So what to do? It’s always darkest just before dawn and all that, right? We have to resist and we have to keep working for progress and we have to VOTE. Change is an ugly process at times and the coming decade is going to be one of great change. It’s how we approach it that will define who we want to be as a country.
I’m not sure why I wrote this other than to tell you that I’m right there with you. Things aren’t normal and things aren’t right. Know that when you say that to yourself there’s millions who agree. We just have to continue to work together to set things right.