With apologies to Dylan Thomas for stealing four of his words in the title of this rant - Ex-pats here in Mexico view the US from 30,000 feet, and I suppose it could potentially give a more neutral look at things. Sure doesn’t mean it will or does, but it could. A view from a distance has its superficial luxuries, so 30,000 feet actually suits me. To the best of my ability, as a photographer, and a person, I've dealt with what I felt were detailed superficial views my whole life, so it's about all I know, and most often, it's about all I care to know. I look at what's going on in the US right now, and there are so many days when I just have to look the other way in order to find any peace at all. Too often, it's simply embarrassing. Mexicans would call it Loco.
As Americans, it seems what we choose to do in the next few months will echo for a long time. So, beyond the first responder heroes, the doctors, nurses, and blue-collar saints who have risen up against sometimes insurmountable odds, here the remainder of us sit, and from this view, it seems so often now all we do is piss at one another. Really? Seriously? This is what we choose to do now as Americans and more importantly, members of the human race? Democrats and Republicans, from government officials to regular folks on the street wake up in the morning and actually choose to accuse and lie, demand and demean, lecture and preach, whine and piss on and blame one another, so often without compassion or context, fact or fairness. Impressive stuff. All that instead of reaching out to one another at no matter what the cost? I thought pulling together was what actually made the US great in the first place. I guess not. If you just can't get through the day without, right or wrong, blaming someone, there are plenty of legitimate people to blame here, and honestly, for my money, not one of them is worth the effort or the time. It's the behavior of young children to lay random blame, and as you grow older, selectively at least, you "put away childish things". When asked about this situation, a good friend of mine recently suggested it seems as though all the adults left the room at the same time. There certainly are voices of reason on both sides here and there, and those people need our support, but the voices of Loco from both liberals and conservatives are so loud. It feels like...... it's like listening nonstop to one of those huge construction site air hammers as it pounds shatters breaks up and destroys the concrete foundation of, We the People. And in the process, We become dust. "All we are is dust in the wind, dude." Theodore "Ted" Logan 1989
Liberal/Progressive Democrats. You're so Loco it defies understanding. You personally know how to save the world, and all everyone has to do is follow you and your “Must Reads” and your righteous indignation delivered to the world directly from your own personal burning bush. Every single time you print what they say and show photos or videos of them in order to display your outrage, you speak to no one except yourself and your friends who already know, while at the same time you validate the existence of what horrifies you and what you want to eliminate. That right there is the definition of Loco. It feels as though you really don’t even realize those people who defeated us four years ago, and have a good shot to do so again, did not vote for Donald Trump. They voted to destroy the Democratic party. Trump is simply the pimp. They don’t disagree with you - they hate you - they want you dead (and they have the guns). I worry you even believe they will actually sit quietly and accept a Biden election victory (even if he wins fair and square). Yea, that will happen. They will come around for sure on that issue. Unlike you, these folks have no rules. Life is a lot simpler when you don't have rules. How do you spell civil war? Seriously, what do you think the odds are in Vegas on civil war now? Let's ignore that horror story - for now. For the better part of forever, the best you could muster was to lecture them and then call them idiots and scum, while Trump plays your anger and your indignation joysticks masterfully, with comments created just to piss you off and horrify you in order to dilute and distract you from what's really happening in the background, and his technique has dismantled the democratic party like nothing in history. He's playing us. Someone could simply take him out today and nothing would change because the people behind him are the actual problem. But you're too busy being righteously outraged to even notice what's coming, any better than we all did four years ago at this exact time. You never even once looked in the mirror and said, “Did I actually do something wrong here as well?” No, you didn’t, most likely because you're never wrong, and you were in the middle of posting an absolute OMG, so you were too busy to actually notice the Trojan Horse in the living room. The horse, of course, is all of us who have taken the bait. You do need to consider that this has nothing to do with the fact that there's a chance what you say might possibly be correct. Nobody cares if you're correct. We're talking about the absolute survival of the United States. That would be a tad bigger and more important than your indignation. Years ago, the Clinton campaign forged a victory based on the slogan "It's the economy, stupid!". This year's slogan might better be "It's us, stupid!".
Conservative Right-Wing Republicans. You're so Loco it defies understanding. I know some of you feel Democrats stole the American Dream away from you years ago. That might actually be a fair point, but still, I’m gonna bet less than 2% of the time you actually talk about how much you admire Donald Trump, or how you believe America could be resurrected through a specific conservative approach. Instead, you most often talk about how much you hate Democrats. You’d vote for a can of cream of mushroom soup if it would destroy Democrats. Your hate without foundation has displaced your humanity, and you still manage to stand tall within the charred ruins of your former human decency and your faux patriotism that equates guns with liberty? You’ve now embraced daily lying and cheating and killing and pussy grabbing and stealing, and destruction, and corporate mega greed, and subversion, and hate for nonwhite liberty, and total disregard for science and medicine, and all the while you love it when Donald and Mitch bend you over and stick it in your backside? And you give praise and thank Jesus and you go to church? Right. That will work. It even appears to be a source of pride, and in a sad nod to the truly terrifying truth of it all, I believe too many of you are very proud indeed. The founding spirits of those who wrote the Constitution and raised the flag on Iwo Jima would not recognize you as Americans. I have an old conservative friend from the Midwest who recently described Trump by saying "He is the storm". I think a Robert Oppenheimer quote is better suited now. When the "father of the atomic bomb" watched a test firing of the bomb in 1945, he immediately quoted ancient Hindu scripture by saying "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds".
And if that's not enough to exhaust a halfway reasonable person, as a sidebar, jammed in the middle of all this other stuff, are some good folks who are suggesting, in one context or another, "We're all in this together", which could not be further from the truth. Some are dying, some haven't eaten, some haven't worked; some are risking their lives, some are ordering home delivery caviar and panicked about their hair coloring, some are planning to take over the world in order to create the perfect gulag, some are leading, some are proudly evil, and some of us, everything considered, are actually doing ok. But we're not together. Not even close. And that's actually ok as well. The sooner we realize we are in this alone, the sooner we can come to terms with ourselves and find peace and harmony in being alone. Only at the point of peaceful self-realization can we truly turn our heads (as we should) and help one another, so all of us can move forward together. It's exactly like that stewardess with the metallic robot voice on the airline telling you for the 200th time - " In the case of a loss of cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop. Put on your own oxygen mask first and then turn to help................... " You may not agree, but I'm thinking we lost cabin pressure here. The only way we move forward together is to first realize, embrace, and act on the fact that we are in this alone.
So, all these pounding air hammer voices are dangerously disheartening right now. Nothing reasonable seems to ever reach them. Regardless of claims to the contrary, fairness is not in their dictionary, and sadly, for many of them on both sides, it appears they may simply be lost. But even so, wedged between both these extremes, miraculously there is still hope - an opportunity - an alternative - has to be - it just makes perfect sense - opportunity always appears amidst chaos. I actually think moderate Democrats are to a point where they might even listen to a conservative who reached out within reason and still took a stand toward the right side of the road. And vice versa on the Republican side. Many are the people of substance on both sides now who are simply tired and disgusted with it all. They aren't speaking online much, but they are here among us. The time is good for compromise, even if it makes us damn near bleed out in the process. It's in the wind, and we got an opening here that could change the future for all of us. We should take it. Maybe if each one of us takes a step, maybe we can take a journey together. Maybe someone in a position to manifest change will consider compromise instead of giving a sermon or firing off a weapon or worse yet, their mouth. Maybe a reasonable person of real courage would be willing to listen. I don’t know if Biden has the balls, but he better grow them soon. I believe he’s got to be willing to show a little something between typical predictable liberal arrogance and typical predictable right-wing conservative suffocation. At face value, it’s really simple. In order to win solidly, which he must do in order to accomplish anything if elected to office, Biden needs to reach out to some moderate conservative Republicans who can in return reach out as well. If Biden doesn’t include some kind of reasonable consideration for a conservative viewpoint, those moderate Republicans who don't support Trump and who might help him win with a substantive majority will then force us all to lose in November, and that option is no option at all.
In spite of all the extremes, I still have great faith here Americans will move past all thisand find a way to communicate. Not as Republicans or Democrats. Forget that garbage. Those concepts are antiquated and useless now - possibly even deadly at this point. And worse yet, they’ve even gone so far as to become what Christopher Hitchens called the one clear “unforgivable sin of being boring." Now we need to evolve into actual human beings who will listen, maybe disagree, but finally talk to one another and then move forward. The kind of people you can count on. The kind we can be proud of. Americans. I believe as Winston Churchill concluded "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing. After they've tried everything else." I'm gonna guess we're at the end of that rope right now. Any other option is pure Loco.