Is It The Sunset Of An Empire?

I read about a teenage girl’s successful surgery to remove her adenoids and it occurs to me that all of my sisters, nephews and niece have had the same surgery

Unless I am mistaken that is seven family members, but part of what is interesting to me is that it never impacted my children or I.

Genetics are a funny thing, let’s hope we manage to avoid some of the other nastier stuff that is floating around our gene pool.

And while we are at it let’s give thanks we were lucky enough to be born during the 20th/21st century in America and that our families were capable of providing us with access to good healthcare.

That is not a given and sadly far too many people in the US think they shouldn’t do a thing to help others maintain their health.

I am told by some this opinion is unnatural, irresponsible and leads people to have improper expectations of government.

Generally I am not a fan of talking about privilege but in this case I take exception, when you don’t have any sort of chronic illness you have the luxury of not wondering or worrying how to pay for healthcare.

Some Problems Aren’t New

It is Saturday night and I am listening to Elvis sing Kentucky Rain in an air conditioned house, new car in my garage thinking about whether I want to go out to eat for Father’s Day or bring something in.

Somewhere else here in Texas other parents aren’t blessed with the luxury I have and are wondering what the hell happened to their children because they have been taken from them.

Our president has decided to make a stand on the backs of these children and upon the pain of those of us who cannot understand how the United States can intentionally hurt those who come looking for asylum in the name of security.

It would be easy for me to ignore this and focus my time on enjoying the evening because I don’t have to read about the forced separation of families nor listen to stories.

I could do as others do and place the blame upon the parents who took their children here and say it doesn’t matter what circumstances caused them to leave.

I wouldn’t be the first any more than the people in the comments on various Facebook status updates and or news stories.

Just look at the cartoon above from our old friend Dr. Seuss or go read history books about how we handled Native Americans and Slavery.

There were people then who thought it was ok to terrible things as well.

But I am not that guy.

Not the guy who says that all Americans are automatically evil because of our history either. It may not be all rainbows and roses but there are more than a few unicorns and heroes intermixed with the fertilizer too.

****

I know from personal experience how fast things can turn around. I have been the high flyer brought low.

It wasn’t that long ago that I made an awful lot of money in a relatively short timed and not that long ago that it all dried up.

When things went to hell it wasn’t because of anything I did wrong. I was very good at what I did and I got paid well for my work.

But my hard work didn’t matter when the owners of the company blew things up. It didn’t matter when we got hurt again because of the great recession that came along with it.

That didn’t stop me from losing almost all I had.

Ten years later I have fought and clawed my way back to a place where I can imagine a very nice life again, but I went through hell to get here.

****

I want to say I would have been just as concerned about these children and our dipping our toes into fascism regardless of my own bad luck.

I want to say I would have been just as aware and focused but maybe that is not true. Maybe it is false or maybe I am trying to come up with excuses for why more good people aren’t outraged.

Meant To Be Or Meant Not

I briefly touched upon superstition and some music that echoes in my head here.

Got more than a few thoughts and ideas about all that and maybe one day you’ll hear about it or maybe you won’t.

What I know is the best part of having to give up so much is you learn very quickly what is important and what isn’t.

You learn some good friends aren’t so good and some average are better than.

It makes it easy for me to sever ties with some others. Got no desire, need or reason to keep people who feed us poison and darkness while claiming it to be gourmet.

Sometimes I wonder if it is better to keep some of them closer.

Sometimes I wonder if saying ‘fuck em’ ensures they stay inside an echo chamber in which they never hear anything other than things that feed their confirmation bias.

Maybe it doesn’t matter whether I keep them around or not because that aforementioned confirmation bias prevents them from ever reconsidering or reevaluating their positions.

Perhaps they say the same thing about me, perhaps they don’t.

****

Almost a year ago my cousin wrote about whether the president could pardon himself.

I shared his article with a neighbor who told me he didn’t trust it because he didn’t think the author was qualified.

I reiterated that the author is my cousin, that he is a law professor, Rhodes Scholar and clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

He accused me of name dropping liberals. I ignored that and asked him if he could find substantive issues with the piece and he sputtered at me about it being hateful.

“Is it factually incorrect or inaccurate in any way?”

He sputtered some more and said he was sure I wouldn’t accept his opinion because he was being compared to a law professor.

“I tend to give the experts more weight in some areas and am hesitant to take the opinion of someone with no formal training here. Unless you can tell me Con law is a hobby and you have spent years researching it or have something other than saying you don’t like ‘elites’ we’re done…aren’t we.”

“You just hate the president. You don’t like winning.”

I don’t see how we are winning and wish I had been able to share the tweet below.

Is It The Sunset Of An Empire?

I am not ready to say these issues are the sign of the sunset of the empire. The US has been through worse and I have to believe we’re going to get through these rough times too.

That is what I would tell my kids and yours too.

We have been through worse and made it out the other side.

But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be vigilant and active in trying to right the problems we see.

Twenty years from now we may look back upon this time very differently than we do now.

It may be something where we breathe a sigh of relief or something where we say we had no idea how much worse it could be.

Hard to say what will be in two years, let alone 20.

But on the eve of another Father’s day I have to be grateful for what I have and do my part to try to help others.

Have to look around and smile because there are no guarantees and I am lucky to still have a father standing above ground.

Quite a few of those I care most about can’t say that anymore.

So here is to the dawn of a new day and the hope that comes with it. Here is to the belief that somehow our government will pull its collective head out of its ass and stop this awful family separation practice.

And here is to the Dodgers not just getting back to the series, but winning it. Thirty years is a long time to wait to see my boys win again.

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1 Comment

  1. winersusan June 16, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Good thoughts, well expressed. Why AREN’T more good people outraged? It’s so dangerous for so many to turn their backs on what is happening. We must speak out because we are caring people. If not now, when? If not here, where? If not me, who? Sue Winer

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