This whole “living in interesting times” thing is exhausting
– John Scalzi on Twitter
I’ve seen several variations on this theme on social media lately. No question that “May you live in interesting times” is not something said by anyone who wishes you well.
On the one hand, I’m very glad to see that Congress is moving to impeach the con man who is destroying our country. With luck this will also help ensure we have something that resembles a fair election this time, especially with the help of organizations like Fair Fight Action (which Stacey Abrams started) and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. (Good places to put your donation dollars, if you have some.)
Greta Thunberg is waking up a lot of people. Folks have started to call her “strident,” which means she’s being heard and no longer being patted on the head like officialdom is wont to do with young people and women who speak truth.
Women everywhere are recognizing how much power they have. I’m thrilled to be associated with ESD Global, an organization working with everyone from those in refugee camps to teenagers to those who attend high-powered conferences to destroy the myth that women can’t take care of themselves.
And some of the Democrats running for president could put our country back on track – not just defeat the con man, but build the kind of country we need.
On the other hand, I’m already exhausted. And nothing’s going to be easy.
Impeachment is coming, but the con man occupying our White House will fight tooth and nail in his ugly way. We will have to put up with this while pushing the House (and, one hopes, even some Republicans in the Senate) to do their jobs.
Getting rid of the con man isn’t the only thing we need to do to rebuild the United States into the country it ought to be, but as Elie Mystal, who is a strong advocate for the kind of change we really need, pointed out on Twitter the other day,
Trump is a unique threat to the functioning of American democracy. He’s an international criminal who profiteers off the Presidency.
Addressing the climate crisis is the hardest challenge. It would be hard enough if everyone agreed that we faced a crisis and was at least trying to do the right thing about it. But fossil fuel companies and the other big enterprises that are the big carbon emitters aren’t going to change unless they’re forced to. Meanwhile, far too many people in positions of power continue to deny there’s a problem, so we have to fight them, too.
We need dramatic changes in our policies and systems to truly reduce the damage we’re doing. Getting all that to work is enough of a task by itself.
Violence rooted in misogyny and white supremacy isn’t going away without a struggle, either. People are living on the streets and all the new housing going up is aimed at the upper ten percent of the population. The undercutting of government that began in the 80s has damaged our education system.
I haven’t even mentioned ongoing wars and people drumming up new wars and nuclear weapons. Or autocrats running so many other countries besides ours and doing things so badly. And probably a thousand other challenges out there.
I see so many people working to build the kind of world we need, but at the same time the destructive forces keep throwing new curves into the mix.
I wonder what it would be like to live in boring times. I’d love to find out.