When Money and Politics Become Life
The split in America is less about politics than—it is—politics becoming our lives. It is more about party alliances and tribal wars. It has reached such a crescendo that in January of 2021, it morphed into an armed insurrection at the nation’s citadel. Many seem incapable of allowing common sense to rule their thinking. Mix the people’s tribalism with fear, and you get a toxic brew of hate boiling over the cauldron’s rim. When I first heard of the National Rifle Association in the late 1960s, it legitimately taught gun safety and backed laws to limit access. Now it is a vehicle to advertise, promote and sell guns. Even the majority of its members want stricter gun registration laws. In a 2018 survey, sixty-nine percent of NRA members supported more stringent background checks. In response, the NRA spent 1.6 million dollars fighting against stricter background checks.
Politics has superseded life despite the overwhelming numbers of gun death murders in the United States compared to other industrialized countries. Democrats have abandoned some of their staunch anti-gun principles of the 70s, couching every discussion with the disclaimer, I support the Second Amendment. Before their unhinged move toward fascism, the Republican party—in lockstep, would have railed against the idea of citizens attacking police to overthrow a duly elected President. The pictures and video of squealing police officers battered and bloodied would never have been condoned by your father’s GOP. Unfortunately, Trumplicans desperately want to make heroes of the rioters, calling them political prisoners and patriots.
Trump’s political rallies are now punctuated with Nazi-like salutes and zany speeches designed to appease his QAnon supporters. Ten-year-old little girls have to fear being forced to carry a baby as the result of rape by a stranger or relative because health and life are less important than political considerations. I am haunted by the words of a 36-year-old pregnant mother, Janice Davis. The fetus she carried was missing the top of its skull due to a condition called acrania. Her baby would die within days, hours, if not minutes after birth, risking her life—in the process. Doctors caught up in the political fight over abortion refused to treat her with a necessary abortion, leading Davis to utter an ominous statement, “Basically, they said I had to carry my baby to bury my baby,” she remarked.
Wednesday, September 28, the next and possibly final 1/6 insurrection hearing will be held. A black Democratic Mississippian [Bennie Thompson] heads the committee. A conservative white Republican co-chairs. The critical work of the committee in its efforts to save, while at the same time exposing our democracy, brings with it hope. Two of them, Elizabeth Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), have effectively been excommunicated from the GOP along with any immediate hopes of ever holding office again. I am diametrically opposed to the politics of both Cheney and Kinzinger, but maybe this is a moment to remember our way of life is more important than politics.
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