The Virus That Is Us

Image by Brian Merrill from Pixabay

Writer Elisa Gabbert in her article “The Great Mortality,” wrote about the plagues that are coming for us even when we pretend we don’t want them. Ironically, the article was published less than two years before COVID. Gabbert wrote that one aspect of how we deal with pandemics was what she called “performative death wish,” a social media phenomenon. This is where humans now respond to threatening news as welcomed news.

Whenever a story on the threat of an “extinction-level event,” like an asteroid or comet headed for Earth, is making the rounds, people quote-tweet it to add, “Finally, some good news!”

The Great Mortality

That doomsday emotional response seems to have crept into a few other human interactions these days. I’m talking about the coming “civil war” in the United States. Yes, the second civil war will be brother and sister against brother and sister or, to be more exact old(er) Americans against young(er) Americans. Mostly rural Americans against those liberal leftist progressive communist so-called Americans who have sold out to communist China (an actual accusation in a political ad). There is some serious shit passing around as prognostication about the future of this country. Forget COVID, we may not be around for the next pandemic. Well, that’s one way to fight a virus.

Image by 0fjd125gk87 from Pixabay

I’m more worried about the virus that is us, Americans who carry some weird shit inside of them like racism, nationalism, ethnocentrism, and antisemitism, hell, it’s a long list, and the “performative death wish” we have like we deserve this and, worse, welcome it with open arms. The right-wing (there he goes, another liberal leftist progressive communist so-called American who sold out to communist China) in this country is working hard to make it all happen. They’re good at infecting the young and old(er) Americans with lunatic idiocy, fear factors that crawl into our souls and make us say and do cringy shit. And it doesn’t matter what race or ethnicity or religion you are. All you have to do is listen to Ye (Kanye West, in case you’re not keeping up) spouting his shit these days.

If we hadn’t elected that damn black guy (thanks, Obama), we’d have had another white guy in the White House reassuring Americans that everything was all right; we know who the real Americans are. If we just had voted for…Donald Trump.

You can now add a long list of anti-government militias to America’s boiling pot these days. It’s hot out here, yet every time I seek verification for this feeling of the state of the virus and its infection rate, I’m told that there’s nothing to worry about because, well, I should blame the mainstream media and social media for the hysteria. Calm down, I’m told. How many crazies do I know who are willing to rise and overthrow the government? Okay, you got me, not any, personally.

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

It may be a shooting war…at least in the beginning. No, that’s too hard and dangerous. Hell, no one wants to get shot. No, it’s a different kind of civil war that is happening. The GOP and the right-wing in this country have been planning this takeover since the 2010 census. It was a project called REDMAP for Redistricting Majority Project (Read more HERE).

The right wing seems to believe that all they need to do is control the levers of power on the local, state, and, yes, the halls of Congress and the Supreme Court, and they will have all they need to control those other people. If you look at their potential control of a majority of state houses and the Supreme Court and the predictions of what’s to come in the November election, then maybe we should be scared?

The bottom line: take over state houses and gerrymander to death the state so you not only control the legislatures and Governor’s offices but also stack the deck so you can control the Senate and House seats. That strategy, voter suppression tactics, and their willingness to burn the house down in their quest for power, along with the namby-pamby approach of the Democratic party (what a bunch of wussies), and you suddenly realize how easily they will be able to walk right in and take over. Why do you think they wanted and still want Donald Trump as President? Look up how many federal judges he nominated and confirmed. You can start HERE.

Okay, I may be overreacting. The November elections haven’t happened yet, and maybe all those election deniers running for elected offices, including those controlling how elections are supervised in 2024, will lose. Or not. All I can tell you is that there has been a rise in the virus I mentioned earlier (not since the mid-sixties have I seen this much BS), and there are enough people, even if they are a small minority, who believe they are so aggrieved that all it will take is a spark, an incident like January 6, to set these people off.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

The worst-case scenario is that they all win in 2022 and blow Democrats out of the water until 2024, and we sane people will be doing much bootlicking on January 20, 2025. The best case is that we, the rational people, refuse to accept that scenario. We not only out-vote them but use all the peaceful tools at our disposal to keep them on the defensive until the coming generations outlive them and they are relegated to the dustbins of history. Hey, I can dream.

Of course, I’m sure none of this will be necessary because scientists will develop a vaccine for the virus that is us, and we’ll all do our civic and social duty and line up to get that vaccine as we all did for COVID. Because when it comes to being patriotic, Americans are willing to sacrifice for our fellow Americans; no duty is too steep or heavy. No problemo.

ReThinking Public Safety At the Ballot Box

June 7 Primary
Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

With the June 7th primary ahead of us in California, I’ve become particularly troubled by the hysteria over the issue of crime and the same tired proposed solutions. In Long Beach, California, a rather ugly smear campaign is being conducted by a group against one of the candidates, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson.  Apparently, according to the print and video ads, Mr. Richardson favors “Defunding the Police.” As evidence, the critics offer a less than two-second video of the candidate saying as much.

I’m not here to argue whether that excerpt is a true reflection of candidate Rex Richardson’s opinion (It’s not. Read his plan HERE) nor what I believe to be the racist undertones of that campaign (Just because there are some Black people on the committee doesn’t mean it isn’t a racist strategy). No, as usual in political campaigns, instead of offering voters honest policy discussions and solutions, it always comes down to smears and jeers from both sides.

June 7 Primary
Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

I’m not the only one who believes that simply putting more police on the streets will not solve whatever problem we believe exists. Life and politics are more complicated, and we deserve to rethink what we want from law enforcement and our entire legal system. I’ll have more thoughts on the issue over time. Still, I thought the issue was immediately relevant in light of the upcoming primary. The following following program from NPR’s Code Switch program offers interesting insight into the issue of law enforcement. You should take the time to listen.

June 7 Primary
National Public Radio

The following is the June 1, 2022, episode of the program.

“In the wake of violence and tragedies, people are often left in search of ways to feel safe again. That almost inevitably to conversations about the role of police. On today’s episode, we’re talking to the author and sociologist Alex Vitale, who argues that many spaces in U.S. society over-rely on the police to prevent problems that are better addressed through other means. Doing so, he says, can prevent us from properly investing in resources and programs that could make the country safer in the long run.”

CODE SWITCH Rethinking ‘safety’ in the wake of Uvalde

For more information on the June 7, 2022 primary, please visit the following sites for information:

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