Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Politics - So much more than a word




From the Oxford English Dictionary

politics

Pronunciation /ˈpɒlɪtɪks/ 

PLURAL NOUN

  • 1treated as singular or plural The activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power.

    1. The activities of governments concerning the political relations between states.
    2. A particular set of political beliefs or principles.
    3. often the politics of the principles relating to or inherent in a sphere or activity, especially when concerned with power and status.
      ‘the politics of gender’
  • 2Activities aimed at improving someone's status or increasing power within an organization.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


Makes it all sound so simple.  So cut and dried.  


We all know it is anything but.


And never, in my lifetime, has it been more evident.



There's a meme which states:   ‘I haven’t lost friends over politics, I’ve lost friends over morals’ 


When I first read this meme I did a mental fist pump, thinking, "Yes!  Exactly!"


Since we have our OED handy, let's see what it says about the word "morality."

1. a. Of or pertaining to character or disposition, considered as good or bad, virtuous or vicious; of or pertaining to the distinction between right and wrong, or good and evil, in relation to the actions, volitions, or character of responsible beings; ethical. 

So.

Let's talk.

Starting with basics.

The Republican party of 2020 is not the same as the Republican party of years past.  
Example:  In domestic affairs, Eisenhower supported a policy of "modern Republicanism" that occupied a middle ground between liberal Democrats and the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Eisenhower continued New Deal programs, expanded Social Security, and prioritized a balanced budget over tax cuts.
President: Dwight D. Eisenhower,  Election: 19521956

Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower - Wikipedia

IF you're interested, a further breakdown on changes (albeit "possibly" a bit biased) can be found in this article - https://theintercept.com/2016/07/18/the-long-sad-corrupted-devolution-of-the-gop-from-eisenhower-to-donald-trump/


The above is, to many, pretty dry stuff and is of interest, quite probably, to me more so than to you.

And I do find it interesting.

It also may mean you're not really voting for who or what you might think you're voting for if you're relying on the old saw "My family has ALWAYS voted Republican."

Believe me, I am not trying to change anyone's mind.  I know better, but I couldn't resist pointing out that interesting bit of Republican history.  

The fact is - The Republican Party has changed.


I've been a bit of a political junkie from a very early age.
And I remember the exact moment life events opened my eyes and I started my own personal political journey.

My hometown of Cambridge, Maryland was one of the first places the Freedom Riders visited.

Here's what I remember.

My dad and I stood at the beautiful big bay windows in our apartment in the Arcade.  We watched young, well dressed blacks get off a bus and attempt to walk into the drugstore in our apartment lobby.  I remember asking my dad what was going on, and he explained a little by saying the people we were watching get off the bus wanted things to change.  And that people were scared of change.  And that it would get ugly.

That is the only memory I have of that day, but I knew something was wrong.  It was 1962.  I was 14 years old.

The memories following this day are a jumble, but they're vivid.

For the next few years all I remember clearly is that we seemed to  fluctuate between things being normal and things being violent.

I don't have a clear time-line of it all in my mind.

I remember National Guardsmen lining our downtown streets.  They were armed with rifles and bayonets.  They slept in tents in our school yards.

Then they were gone.

Then they were back.

The drugstore in the lobby of our apartment building closed down.  This rather than serve blacks.

The public swimming pool closed down.  The chief of police said he would rather pour dirt into the pool and plant flowers than allow blacks to swim in it.

We were on TV.  People all over the country watched a white man who owned a local restaurant smash a raw egg over the head of a young black man who was part of a sit-in in front of the restaurant.

I knew this man.   I was friends with one of his daughters.  I was embarrassed for her that this happened.



And I'll never forget the sick feeling in my stomach.



We were written up in Life Magazine.

Robert Kennedy came to town.

H. Rap Brown came to town.  


Ironically, another memory is of my dad and I standing together at the window again.  But this time it was a window in our house on Bucktown Road, outside of town.  We had moved away from the Arcade Apartments by now.  We would no longer have a front row seat to the violence being played out on Race Street. 

  We saw flames in the distance and my dad said, "Oh, my God, they're burning down the town."  And as dumb as it might have been, because by this time the violence had gotten really bad, mother and dad and I got in the car and drove into town to see if it was, in fact, burning down. 

What was burning was the black section of town.  This act has since been attributed to words spoken by Mr. Brown while standing atop a car shouting "If this town don't come around, this town should be burned down."




Peter B. Levy wrote about all this in a book named CIVIL WAR ON RACE STREET.  (ISBN 0813026385).
I have to say this - he did not get all of it right.  But enough.  It is, at least, a record of a place in a time.  Lessons could be learned.








I remember.


And I remember a more recent incident.

We were at a class reunion.  Donald and I walked down to the water.  A classmate, someone I considered a close friend, walked down to join us and we chatted about how much we loved Cambridge.  And how much we loved the Class of '66.  He looked at me and smiled and said, "Know what I love best about it?"  What, I asked.  "That we were the last class to graduate without any niggers."



Something inside me shattered.



And, I will never, never forget the smile on his face.

I have seen this person since, but I have not spoken to him.

I can't.  I just can't.

I got, literally, sick when I saw him the next time at the next reunion and stayed far away.

And there you have it.

My backstory.

What has made me be the political person I am.  And what started me on my lifelong road to being a progressive liberal minded person.

And here we are.  Seeing these scenes of violence in our streets.  Again.

If you're okay with Donald J. Trump and all he stands for - we're never going to be close friends.  Even if we once were.

You may live your life which, on the surface, looks lovely and innocent but which, to me, covers a lot of evil.

If you share Donald J. Trump values, I can't respect you.

And I want friends I can respect.  Not just friends to laugh with - I want to respect you.

So there I am.

Laid bare.


women being denigrated by the "President" of this country - 


people of color being murdered by police, 

Statistic: Number of people shot to death by the police in the United States from 2017 to 2020, by race | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista


our government being used to line political pockets when school children are going hungry, small businesses going out of business and American citizens losing their jobs and their homes while they wait for stimulus money from a group of corrupt individuals who follow a leader who doesn't believe in science who are supposed to be representing our best interests, then no - I will never respect you.
  



And whatever you "say," you say with your vote. 

 So don't tell me you're not a racist, or that you believe in human rights but then cast your vote for Donald J. Trump.  

You give me the right to tell you you're a liar.

You can't say you care about people and issues and then vote for a man who will hurt or destroy them.

It ain't just "politics."

Not to me.

Not this year.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Consolation by Billy Collins (and more . . . )


Oh, how I love Billy Collins.  And this particular poem seems especially appropriate right now.  

AND he made me laugh a little.

My wanderlust is at high peak right now.

I'm happy and lucky to live in a place that is full of breathtaking natural beauty, but dadgummit - I am missing PARIS!

You may have heard "that guy" say if he loses the election he might have to leave the country.

Pfft.  Bye.  Go.  WHO cares?!

Donald and I have a couple of spare suitcases we're unable to use due to the atrocious NON-HANDLING of The Trump Pandemic Virus.  We're not welcome anywhere.  If, however, "that guy" finds a place that will welcome him, we will gladly donate suitcases to help him out.

-  -  -

Consolation

How agreeable it is not to be touring Italy this summer,

wandering her cities and ascending her torrid hilltowns.
How much better to cruise these local, familiar streets,
fully grasping the meaning of every roadsign and billboard
and all the sudden hand gestures of my compatriots.

There are no abbeys here, no crumbling frescoes or famous
domes and there is no need to memorize a succession
of kings or tour the dripping corners of a dungeon.
No need to stand around a sarcophagus, see Napoleon's
little bed on Elba, or view the bones of a saint under glass.

How much better to command the simple precinct of home
than be dwarfed by pillar, arch, and basilica.
Why hide my head in phrase books and wrinkled maps?
Why feed scenery into a hungry, one-eyes camera
eager to eat the world one monument at a time?

Instead of slouching in a café ignorant of the word for ice,
I will head down to the coffee shop and the waitress
known as Dot. I will slide into the flow of the morning
paper, all language barriers down,
rivers of idiom running freely, eggs over easy on the way.

And after breakfast, I will not have to find someone
willing to photograph me with my arm around the owner.
I will not puzzle over the bill or record in a journal
what I had to eat and how the sun came in the window.
It is enough to climb back into the car

as if it were the great car of English itself
and sounding my loud vernacular horn, speed off
down a road that will never lead to Rome, not even Bologna.






Friday, October 16, 2020

Women Deserve Better

 

Do you have a daughter?  A granddaughter?


A wife, sister or mother?



If you're a woman, 



don't you think you deserve better than this offensive man as your president?





OF COURSE WE DO!






Thursday, October 15, 2020

Chasing away the wrinkles - - - by VOTING (?)



I have a birthday coming up pretty soon. 


I'll be 72. 


While I have, for years, preached about age being just a number and not worrying about it too much, I feel like these past 4 years have been pretty tough. 


Oy. 


Where IS that dewy complexion anyhow?! 


So, in search of my very own Fountain of Youth, I've discovered that I can, by golly, erase a few pesky old wrinkles, freckles and the dreaded "age spots" via the magic of "photo enhancement." 


Since we so rarely leave the house, who's to know what I really look like anyway?! 


Wrinkles - Be Gone! 


Those horrid "brackets" aka "laugh lines" (HAhaHAhaHA) around your mouth - Gone!! 


Crows Feet (WHO came up with that?!) - Fly Away!


 Beware though. 


Warning - Warning - Warning - - - If you try this ancient, magical trick of "air brushing" be very careful - too much and not only do you lose all your wrinkles, etc., you lose "you." 


Instead of the wrinkled self you've grown into and earned, you can become a ghost! 


For real! 


Just saying. 


There was a photo I played with for so long, it disappeared. 


But I did come up with a "real me" pic and a "what I would look like if it weren't for trump" pic. 


Now that I've told you my secret, if you only see me here at Meanderings and Muses, or at Facebook, you will think I am forever young. 


And I probably would be if not for trump.




 

So.

Help an old gal out, will ya?

Vote!

Vote him out!

Maybe all my wrinkles (etc) will go away and all our lives can return to normal.





So mote it be.






Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Our road



 











“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”


                           ― L. M. Montgomery,

                                         Anne of Green Gables


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

One more reason to love October



Loving October.

When I can sit on our bed and read and catch this view straight ahead through our sunroom.


 


Monday, October 12, 2020

Why I Love October


All I have to do is look out any of our windows or step into the yard and I am reminded why I love October.

 















“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”


                     ― L. M. Montgomery,

                           Anne of Green Gables


October's Party
By: George Cooper

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.

Then, in the rustic hollow,
At hide-and-seek they played,
The party closed at sundown,
And everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly "hands around."


October

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.


Sunday, October 11, 2020

A rainy Sunday in the mountains


a good book (read about it here)



 


some good music






a perfect golden view from our window






and a very good dog





Life is Good