On my walk today this song kept going through my head.
I’m pretty sure I get why, but I think that the impulse speaks to my own desire to idealize and simplify what’s going on in our political system. As I listen to the presidential transition, I keep getting drawn into these huge questions that I have no way of answering, and I find myself idealizing past labor movements. I think of the 1880s and Big Bill Haywood, I think of the movements of the 1930s, I remember the Harlan County Mine Strikes from the 1960s and 1970s, and I keep romanticizing the ease with which choosing sides happened. Hell, the coops and cityscapes of the 1980s and 1990s were this same sort of movement, a way to idealize and stay out of larger, impossibly tangled and hopelessly corrupt consumer-driven idiocy.
Were the sides ever that clear? To me this current mess seems unbelievably clear, but the people who voted this administration in are a large part of those who will be hurt by our new grifter-in-chief. Are we simply doomed to always be seduced by some ferret-faced shitgibbon who tells us that none of this is our own responsibility, that we can take revenge on whoever and thus earn our greatness back again?
And none of this is knew, right? De Tocqueville identified the rot at the bottom of the American soul a long time ago, and it hasn’t changed. But when I see Americans worshiping someone like a dictator, I have to admit I fear a bit for the republic.
Enough angst, folks…