What It's Like
September 1, 2019
The following is not intended for children, the meek, or those who are generally cheerful, even optimistic. Occasionally I delve down into my – usually hidden – gloomy self to see what's there. It's not pretty, but it's a place we all have to visit now and then. How's yours looking?
What It's Like Living In America Today
An Inventory Of Essential Items In The Warehouse
Sometimes you have to say what's wrong. Just get it out. Then you can go back to your goat yoga or line dancing:
We have a narcissistic president who has surrounded himself with sycophantic incompetents, a president who governs by tweets with no clue as to how silly that will look in the history books. He creates chaotic moments that he then solves, concluding with pious pronouncements as to how great he is. That's the barest of beginnings.
Our economy is all over the place. The rich keep getting richer. Unemployment is down but wages are stagnating. The middle class remains in the middle still living paycheck to paycheck without realizing the looming threats to those paychecks because of the tariff wars.
Our highways and bridges and various public structures are crumbling and there is no plan in place, nor is there planning, to address the problem.
Our scientists are issuing grave warnings about the climate, which warnings are being ignored by the government and by a cadre of people who believe that scientific facts are matters of mere opinion. We have become a nation of the uninformed led by the ignorant on a path to the unknown.
Our top-rated movies are based on superhero comic books, and our top-rated television shows are faux-reality chicken nuggets aimed at the mindless and semi-literate.
We have lost the trust of many, if not most, of the world's leaders since a) we have no foreign policy and b) our president continues to align himself with some of the world's most vicious dictators.
It is no longer foolhardy to at least suspect that our president is a Russian agent. His personal and business ties to Russian players, including President Putin, are extensive enough and well-documented enough to warrant that suspicion.
We are no longer a beacon of hope to the world's poor and refugees. At the urging of our president we have become fearful of those who approach our shores seeking either a safe haven or a better life. Our Statue of Liberty now wields a cattle prod and a sign at her base reads, "Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here."
Our health-care system is the envy of no one. We have a system designed to profit from human sickness and those profits are huge, while those who create those profits – the sick – struggle to find care they can afford. Whether insured or not, millions are at risk of financial failure in the instance of a serious illness.
We have regular, occasionally massive, firearm carnage we do nothing about. For one individual to possess hideously powerful tools to kill another person(s) is not justifiable under any semblance of rational thinking. We are armed to the teeth and we foolishly call it freedom.
Our newspapers are going out of business at an alarming rate turning our collective intellect into a patchwork of sound bites and rumors and lies.
We have the most powerful military in the world that we send off to fight in cultures we don't understand for purposes that are never clear. Then we thank them for their service without having any idea what that service was.
When our president assumes the role of Consoler-in-Chief following some grave crisis or tragedy he comes across as emotionless, empty, dead.
We have yet to decide if we are a singular nation or a collection of autonomous states. This is the federalist conundrum and it has been with us since the revolution.
We have such a strong aversion to differences that we demonize those who do not conform racially, ethnically, sexually, culturally, or politically. The result is a feeling, whether warranted or not, and whether it has always been thus or not, of harsh division within and among Americans.
There. I feel better now.
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The above is an excerpt from my book, The Russia Papers: A News Diary From The Era Of A Demagogue.
G.K.Wuori © 2019
Photoillustration by the author