As I write this, there were 142, 588 new cases of Covid-19 recorded and 1,440 new deaths. And those are considered a brief respite from what has been happening lately. In the last month we’ve seen death rates as high as 4,000 people a day. Pretty sobering. Even more so, considering we are quickly heading toward 400,000 Covid-19 related deaths in the United States, and are on pace to lose 500,000 Americans by the end of February. It is a shame that we’ve been failed both by our leadership and our own false sense of American exceptionalism, entitlement, and rugged individualism. Imagine how many people would be alive right now if we simply followed the basic guidelines of wearing a mask, keeping socially distant, and washing our hands. America is going to America, I guess. But I digress.
I’d been thinking for weeks how to end this blog, this small protest of art. I didn’t want a grand statement, as the ensuing weeks of violence and terror, and Lord knows what is happening this very day in our country, didn’t lend credence to any grand statement. I’m shocked by what I’ve seen although I found none of it shocking. This end is exactly what Donald J. Trump foretold when he slithered down the escalator of his gaudy building back in June of 2015 and declared that he was running for president of the United States. We got exactly what was promised in a Trump presidency. Division. Racism. Misogyny. Hate. Violence. Suffering. Greed. A dark break with the norms of this flawed democracy. Kowtowing to oligarchs. America becoming a bigger failed state than it already had been before Trump. I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.
I want to say thank you to the writers and readers of WineDrunk SideWalk. Thank you to the artists who took time out of their lives to contribute to what we were trying to do here. I wish that I could’ve promoted you more, and that more people could’ve seen the work that you’d done. You should be proud of yourself for speaking out. For letting people know that what we’d been experiencing these past four years was not normal Republican vs. Democratic politics, but instead leadership under a vile, international criminal using mafia-style tactics to damage the nation while enriching himself and his crime family. All the while answering to the Kremlin.
Personally, I don’t know where we go from here. How we recover as a nation. Maybe we don’t. Some signs seem pointed that way. We have one party that no longer believes in representative government through free and fair elections (unless they win), and another that seems unwilling to accept that about their colleagues across the aisle. The damage the Trump administration has done to this nation is quantifiable in some respects, but is going to take years upon years for us really to understand in total.
But there are positive signs. Look at protest over these past four years. Look at activism. Look at people who have taken leadership rolls in the democratic party. Look at Stacey Abrams. Look what happened this November in Georgia!
We have our first woman Vice-President.
So I’m going to leave you with a little bit of hope. I’m going to go back to where this all started on January 20, 2017, to a note my father-in-law wrote to his daughters in the days after Donald J. Trump became president of the United States.
Take it Big Ron
Though a few days have passed since the election and the anger has subsided somewhat, I still have this hole in my soul that will be there for at least four years.
I'd like to tell you something - I grew up in the 50s and 60s and l saw firsthand what America was then. I used to say when the next generation comes along things will get better.
And it did. We elected the first black president and i thought we were finally going in the right direction.
Here we had a chance to elect a woman for president and break that glass ceiling. That didn't happen.
I came to this great nation as an immigrant and I may not have accomplished personally everything I wanted but what I'm most proud of are the strong daughters that I have and that I know you'll fight to break that glass ceiling.
I may still see a Madam President.
I love you all more
I’ll see you all further on up the road....and don't get too comfy while back under that "safe" blanket of neoliberalism.