The calm AFTER the storm
In just a few days my wife receives her second dose of the vaccine. In approximately 95 days, our current sitting president pledges for 50 million more Americans to join her. Mask mandates are beginning at a national level. The "flu" that as of this writing is projected to kill over 500,000 Americans before spring finally has the full might of the US government focused on eradicating the domestic threat.
I realized just a few hours after inauguration just how relieved I felt.
Not that I feel safe. Our society faced a test of our character, and we all failed. Our social contract is deeply damaged, and will only continue to degrade under thick veils of partisanship and conflicting ideologies on how a government is supposed to function for its people.
Nor do I feel satisfied. Many people need to be held accountable for their actions. My mom recently asked in an exasperated tone "at what point do our attempts at justice turn into oppression?" And I totally get it... At this point my moderating tone on insurrectionists is "well, we don't have to execute them for treason..." But that's about it. And I'm not against the idea per se, just more against the historically terrible application of state-sponsored executions.
Relief isn't really even the best term. Re-assured, maybe. Exhausted, definitely. Emotionally broken, yeah sure a bit. Aren't we all?
Excited. That could be it.
Excited to hear boring policy competently discussed.
Excited that people now understand the stakes of living in a society.
Excited that malicious racists have been emboldened in our society to the point they can be more readily identified and confronted (racists traded in hoods for literal red flags, thank goodness).
Excited that our bureaucratic government survived (albeit just barely) an authoritarian onslaught.
Excited that, with just the right political will, I might just survive this pandemic/unemployment 1-2 punch without losing my house.
We are not out of the woods as far as the horrendous attacks allowed on our nation. Foreign adversaries breached our highest levels of government both literally and virtually. A sickening rift has been generated between neighbors, family members, and close friends. This rift is based on lies fabricated to generate fear, and they worked astonishingly well.
The work will continue. The work of speaking truth to power. The work of trying to make sense how we actually can achieve unity and not just cynically bandy the term about every time there's a power shift. The work of building a bigger table, not a taller fence. Looking forward to seeing America work up its confidence to consider itself beautiful again. Who's with me?
Best regards, Wattson
Native Stranger Studios