~ Raphael Warnock (newly elected US Senator from Georgia) in his victory speech on 2021-01-05
Tho I am not quite old enough to have been following the news on 1942-11-10, I remember what Winston Churchill said then to mark the victory at El Alamein:
“Now this is not the end.
It is not even the beginning of the end.
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
That first victory in 1942 ended the beginning of the long hard slog to rid the world of fascism. The riddance was temporary. Perhaps 2020 can begin the long hard slog to repair the damage done to the USA by about four decades of coddling plutocrats and four years of coddling bigots. Perhaps 2020 can begin to free the USA and other nations from creeping fascism disguised as conservatism.
For the moment anyway, here is the answer to the question about 2020 that I posed soon after the disastrous 2016 election:
Our flag is still there.
As soon as I could see clearly again, I started this post. Tho I am a compulsive polisher and normally let things marinate for many hours before I revisit and revise, I pressed the [Publish] button after less than an hour. I had to get back to the battle, to doing what little I can to help organizations like VoteVets fight for constitutional democracy against the corrupt fascist in the White House and his enablers.
in an exuberant pseudorandom dance
that won’t repeat for centuries.»
I pulled red line duty and
people stepped on me as they crossed.»
of flat surfaces in the real world
until U feel better.»
I have good news and bad news.
The good news is that I have improved the format of some silliness posted on 2018-05-01, in response to a challenge with the word [line]. The improvements appear above, in response to a new challenge:
The bad news is that the serious undercurrent in my silliness is even more topical than before. In so many high places in so many nations, fascists and their enablers have been stampeding across red lines. One of many recent examples in the USA is Donald Trump’s order that hospitals bypass the CDC and send COVID-19 data only to a database run by Trump loyalists. With predictable consequences.
After a rueful chuckle about how it feels to be a red line nowadays, we can get back to disinfecting surfaces and other little chores. Like saving constitutional democracy.
Remember in November.
the British Royal Navy bombards the fort guarding Baltimore’s harbor with state-of-the-art artillery. The attack inspires a mediocre poem that is just barely singable (if U pretend that “yeh-et” is a word) to the tune of a British drinking song. The Brits eventually get a consolation prize for the failure of the seige of Baltimore, when their song becomes our national anthem (but with lyrics from the poem, not the pubs).
On the morning of Election Day in 2016,
I find that the Pink Rebel (a Xmas cactus that blooms when it damn well pleases, and never at Xmas) has a nice blossom. I take that to be a good omen. Good omens have been in short supply recently, as the pseudoconservative coalition of bigots and plutocrats bombards a wobbly electoral process with state-of-the-art ratcrap, propelled by dark money and deep resentments. The pseudoconservatives hope for veto-proof majorities in Congress as a consolation prize, if they cannot install a protofascist buffoon as President.
My local polling place is crowded. The people who run it have finally found an efficient way to arrange all the stuff that must be crammed into a tiny room in the firehouse: a sign-in table, little booths for marking the ballots, and a machine to scan the ballots and keep them secure in case a recount is needed. I have finally remembered to remove my ballot from the privacy sleeve before feeding it to the scanner. (It is only in theory that the scanner can grab the ballot by an edge protruding from the sleeve.) The scanner accepts the naked ballot w/o fuss. Walking back to my car after an unexpectedly smooth and quick process, I tear up a little.
I have just now experienced an America that is calm and polite and competent. For how long?
On the morning after Election Day in 2016,
I rise with the dawn’s early light and go online to see the results for races that were not foregone conclusions. Mostly vomit-worthy, with a few consolations in the Senate. The Dems will keep the NV seat that Reid is leaving. The new Dem for IL is a combat veteran who knows the difference between patriotism and posturing; a seat for NH also flipped. Maybe filibusters can keep the pseudoconservatives from passing the very worst things on their wishlist.
For at least the next 4 years, I expect that American politics will not be calm and polite and competent. I hope I am wrong in this prediction, and not wrong merely because of surrender by those who oppose the pseudoconservative agenda.
Remember Mitch McConnell’s declaration (soon after the 2008 election) that preventing a 2nd term for Obama would have his top priority? I was angered by that commitment to reflexive opposition (regardless of the cost to the nation) to whatever Obama might propose. So I will try to keep an open mind. It is conceivable that Trump will surprise everybody (even himself) by growing quickly and well into his awesome new responsibilities. But not at all likely.
What is likely? Zombie economics and accelerating climate change will lead to global suffering comparable to the Great Depression of the 1930-s. Less likely (but still far from being alarmist hype) is the possibility of descent into thinly veiled fascism.
Yes, our traditions of liberal democracy are stronger than those of the Weimar Republic in 1932 and 1933. The question is not whether our traditions are stronger than Weimar’s but whether they are still strong enough to withstand escalating bombardment from pseudoconservatives who have honed expertise at selective vote suppression. The land of the free has its share of people with authoritarian personalities and deep resentments, often legitimate but exaggerated or misdirected. As did Germany in the 1930-s.
The Royal Navy bombardment in 1814 was 202 years ago. After the imminent 4 years of intensified pseudoconservative bombardment, will our flag be still there?