I can’t seem to focus on my regular, historical content these days and I apologize for the sporadic nature of the last couple of months. My state of mind can be summed up in a brilliantly tragic tweet by a certain Tim Grierson who says: “Being angry all the time is exhausting and corrosive. Not being angry all the time feels morally irresponsible.” He’s right – this is life in America (and other places too I’m sure) these days. But before I attempt to return to my regularly scheduled Irish history program, I have to publicly lose my mind for a minute so that my little corner of international readers understands one very important thing. Americans are not OK.
We really aren’t. We are watching our country implode and there’s literally nothing we can do about it. One of my dear friends questioned “Why aren’t we rioting in the street?” and the response was grim. Multiple states in the US have created new laws that make even peaceful protests illegal and at least a half dozen of them have now made it legal for drivers to run over protestors if they’re in the way. Our police forces are fully militarized and will attack with CS gas, batons, rubber bullets and more even when they are facing a peaceful gathering. Somehow we ended up in a world where the police are more concerned with Antifa, Black Lives Matter activists, and peaceful protestors than they are with nazis, Klan rallies, and hate-filled killers.
Our representatives don’t represent us and we can’t make them start. There have been some inroads into throwing life-long politicians out like the greedy trash they are, but we can’t do it soon enough or on a large enough scale to make a real gap in the system. And then there’s the great orange buffoon, the would-be dictator, who seems to be TRYING to get fired but who doesn’t get push back from his own party – even when he resorts to PUTTING CHILDREN IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS.
Even writing those words brings tears to my eyes. What’s worse is that since they’re only kidnapping migrant children a more than significant amount of the population here doesn’t seem to mind, and that’s the REAL reason that Americans are really not OK. We are all immigrants, migrants, and refugees but there are millions of people who will never accept that…and they are coming back into power.
I don’t know how else to put it. We have an idiot “leader” who makes friends out of dictators and enemies out of allies, who withdraws from human rights commissions and environmental agreements while fostering trade wars. Our president is a brutal man who kidnaps children and holds them hostage for money to build a wall that he said countless times that someone else would pay for. He’s a racist monster who has taken the little progress that this country made in the last couple hundred years and tossed it out the window… and THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO LOVE WHAT HE’S DOING.
That’s why we’re not OK. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that this egotistical nightmare still has supporters. The disappointment and the horror of that situation comes in waves and sometimes it brings anger but most of the time there’s a hopeless despair that permeates my brain. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll donate, protest, and learn all I can despite the ineffectiveness of it all but most of the time I can’t shake the fatalistic feelings long enough to believe in a quick change. I’m not convinced that the US can ever be fixed again. Everything is happening so quickly that no one can possibly keep up – by the time we start writing about one thing, a fresh new horror comes along. It’s exhausting but more than that, it’s terrifying. If you think putting babies in jail is the bottom, then you’re an optimist. I can’t imagine what comes next and I don’t want to.
So I must apologize again dear readers. I have no solutions. This is a rather helpless scream into the void that really doesn’t do anything except to let you know that we Americans aren’t all monsters. There are many of us that are as shocked, angry, and heartbroken as the rest of the world – if not more so. We may be fatigued and heartbroken but we’re trying and struggling against the hopeless and helpless clouds that try to suffocate us. Please remember us when our short-sighted, obnoxious leaders do something atrocious. Remember us when we flee to other shores for respite, even temporarily. And remember us when you take to the embassies to protest the heinous things our government is doing. It does not act in our name or speak in our voice.