A Conversation with Pessimism and Delusion
I had a couple of conversations over the holidays, the first with Superlib and next Conserva-wing. Superlib was introspective, offered me half his plant-based burger, and suggested I wash it down with a Kale smoothie.
Me: What do you think of the Biden presidency so far?
Superlib: Well, except for the lowest unemployment in 50 years, the lowest child poverty rates in my lifetime, a rise in wages, getting out of a 21-year war, and life-saving vaccines for all who want it, he is failing.
Me: Has Mr. Biden done anything you approve?
Superlib: I can’t think of a thing.
I moved on to Conserva-wing; I caught him duct-taping the tattered ends of his Confederate battle flag that flew from the back of his pick-up. I asked if he would lower the volume of the Alex Jones podcast blaring on the radio.
Me: What exactly did Mr. Trump accomplish?
Conserva-wing: Let’s go, Brandon!
The above seems to be the prevailing thoughts from both sides of the extreme. Democratic liberals see pessimism everywhere, and Republican conservatives see a fight anywhere. The GOP’s obvious efforts to control and not earn votes should concern all Americans. Currently and of great concern to me, as a Black American, is the voting rights debate in the Senate. There are three major and what should be bipartisan voting rights measures up for approval. First is making election day a national holiday; second, providing mail-in ballots for those who need and request them (the elderly, disabled, and people in rural areas); and lastly, expanding the accepted forms of ID, i.e., school identification. The chief objections by Republicans is that these measures will make it more difficult for jurisdictions to purge deceased people from the voter rolls and states’ rights.
Let me clarify, I am disappointed that the lack of a united front by the Democrats would solve the problem, but that does not let Republicans off the hook who, in unison, have decided that pre-1964 was a better time to be alive. The folly of this objection is laughable. A national holiday to vote would increase participation and does not affect the dead. Dead people, despite the paranoid dreams of the QAnon folks and Trumpers, do not vote. Accepting a gun license and not a college ID, as is in the state of Texas, is so transparent on its face as to who Republicans hope will show up at the polls. Dumping solely on Democratic Senators Sinema and Manchin, without mentioning the 50 Republicans refusing to protect voting rights for all, is equally nonsensical.
The anticipation for President Biden’s press conference is palpable. The media is sharpening their claws, waiting to dine on any miscue, mistake, or misstatement. The mainstream media pundits ask that Mr. Biden dwells on failure instead of success. I predict that Mr. Biden’s press conference will be noted for his mea culpa or lack of the same. Coupled with the predictability of the conservative media characterizing his stutter as mental incompetence, look for the aftermath describing Mr. Biden as not begging enough or being too braggadocious. I guess it depends on your level of pessimism or delusion.
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