SAINTS PRESERVE US
Nothing Compares 2 U
Without you, I’m dead meat/I’m a raggedy dog dying in the streets/Of a God-forsaken shanty town/Where gangs of children are hunted down – Rolling Stones, ‘I Go Wild’
The executive and legislative branches of the government of the
are wrestling with a public relations
disaster even as they attempt to grapple with a global norm. Human beings all
over the planet are constantly on the move, seeking respite from the miserable
life sentences that constitute their existence on Earth. Who would not flee a
war zone, systematic sectarian persecution, accusations of thoughtcrime, the
devastation of climate change, or the poverty and disease inflicted on its
citizens by a corrupt, failing state? United
There’s been nothing new under the sun since Pangaea fractured into Gondwana and Laurasia, since the Israelites fled
Egypt, since European utopian dreamers sailed to
the New World in search of a better way of
life. It’s a universal trope, make your way to a new place, contribute, do a
little better in order to provide for your family. The globe has always been
criss-crossed with such paths and routes since someone started keeping track. In
modern times some of those treks are slightly less arduous. Our species has
Studies suggest that the number of refugees and asylum seekers migrating to safer havens has not spiked in recent years. What has changed, perhaps through calculated manipulation, is the popular perception of the weak, the tired, the hungry and the poor. They are now criminals and terrorists to be feared and shunned as unwelcome interlopers, national security threats. Contempt trumps compassion.
I don’t really care, do u?
No, because u jury-rig and gerry-build, make do. Spring the patriots who had been secretly arrested by the United Nations and the Democrats from that seemingly abandoned Wal-Mart near the Mexican border. Get the private military contractors with proven
Iraq and credentials to build
temporary camps. Round up the illegal aliens. Have someone wearing a uniform
and wraparound shades greet the freshmen internees and select who’s directed to
the left or right as they disembark the guarded transport. Split up families. Afghanistan
But the eyes of the world are watching now. Got to spin this buffoon’s inhumanity to humankind. Send the photogenic First Lady to smile down upon the No Tolerance orphans. Make sure she sports that cheap, olive drab jacket from that Spanish fast-fashion retailer even though
retail sector has been gutted by bankruptcies and lay-offs. Get the message out
to the White House administration’s
core constituency, dog whistle-style. America
Tweeterdumbest defended his trophy wife’s choice of outerwear twitterpating that the graffito painted on her back wasn’t a calculated sneer at the plight of migrant families riven by border authorities so much as a protest against the fake news media. In the odious autocracy of orange skin and alabaster bandit eyes, every outlet barring Fox News and Info Wars is fake news media. Blame is easier to lay than a porn actress.
America’s system of governance is one of history’s newer models, a sturdy chassis riveted with checks and balances. For more than two centuries it had purred along, as reliably as a well-maintained V-8. In a liberal democracy, an untethered press and the opposing voices of other political ideologies are essential to keep that motor running, hold those with power to account. Cheerleading unconscionable federal policy is not part of their mandates. There is nothing subtle about this distinction even though it seems to be beyond the grasp of an infantile strongman and his cohort of blind partisans.
Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards once explained his penchant for honesty thusly: “How could I now possibly remember the lie I told somebody a month ago?” Biographer James Boswell quoted his friend the lexicographer Samuel Johnson in Life of Johnson: “Accustom your children constantly to this; if a thing happened at one window, and they, when relating it, say that it happened at another, do not let it pass, but instantly check them; you do not know where deviation from truth will end.”
The current occupants of the White House are beyond vulgar in their disregard for truth, let alone common decency. Here’s hoping Truth emerges from the fetid swamp that is the District of Columbia. It might be a little dizzy from being spun constantly but maybe it will be angrier at having been denied, and intent on hitting back; bring the hurt and force a reckoning.