25 January 2017

Even Worse Than It Appears

In “A Touch of Gray” the Grateful Dead sing,I know the rent is in arrears/The dog has not been fed in years/It's even worse than it appears/but it's all right.” But with not a week into the reign of Donald Trump I am not so sure that anything will be all right again for a very long time. We are all very worried. I think we know who 'we' are. Sometimes I get the sense that the gang of Republicans led by Trump are the Soprano gang sitting at the rear of Satriale’s establishment eating and drinking and discussing who they are going to kill next. So far Trump’s appointments to the cabinet are an unholy assembly of mostly white male billionaires (I think one doesn’t become a billionaire without engaging in a rather high degree of ruthlessness and reckless greed) who have thus far set out to destroy whatever future the unwealthy (and now disempowered) of us have come to enjoy. That includes affordable health care, an increasingly healthy and viable environment, a government that will protect the rights guaranteed in the Constitution—the basic freedoms declared in the Bill of Rights and the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. These are all threatened by the heinous work of the Trump administration and the Republican Congress. I am sorry: I think they are bad people, very bad people, indeed.
            In Camus’ The Fall, the narrator, Jean-Baptiste Clamence, asks his companion at the bar, “Do you have possessions? Some? Good. Have you shared them with the poor? No? Then you are what I call a Sadducee.” The Sadducees were an early society of aristocrats. I do not think Clamence’s sobriquet is meant as a compliment. He admits that once he was a Sadducee but now possessed nothing.
            I am concerned. No, I am worried. I know enough about the Weimar Republic and the rise of fascism in Italy and National Socialism in Germany to recognize the actions of the Republican henchmen as antithetical to democracy and a clear threat to the freedoms we have come to enjoy and to expect. I read the news today, oh boy! There is nothing that does not increase my anxiety.


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