Letter from the Vineyard 05 05 2022

Courtesy of Paul Doherty

Outside, grey descends, rain portending, after a sun filled, almost warm spring day.  The grey fits my mood; I am not cheerful these days.  Chopin plays often in the background of my life, soothing if melancholy, which seems right for these fraught times.  We need soothing and the times are melancholy, if not worse.

In an “egregious” leak, it appears the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, a decision with all kinds of potential repercussions.  Gay marriage could go, other things, too.  While shocked, I am not surprised.  One pundit on the right said something like:  the chaos that was Trump was worth it for this.  It was all about the judges for some.

The war in Ukraine rages, changing the global dynamic in ways unexpected on all fronts.  We are in uncharted territory.  There are echoes of Spain in the 1930’s though it is possible this time the Fascists won’t win but is it a prelude to WW III, or has it already started; we just slow in noticing

Zelensky, the comedian, has proven himself the most unexpected leader of the time, an inspiration, a terrible annoyance to Herr Putin, who did not expect Ukraine to have a backbone nor an army who could fight back or a population who felt fiercely enough about their nationality to resist.

Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, claims NATO is fighting a proxy way in Ukraine without acknowledging there would be no war if Russia had not invaded. He says nuclear war is possible though Russia does not want it. He wants us to know they can, they might, if they do not get what they want.

Poland, who has warmly welcomed Ukrainian refugees and supported Ukraine has had the Russian natural gas spigot turned off, as has Bulgaria, because they will not pay in rubles the given reason; their support for Ukraine the real one.  Russia is beginning to use its great tool, energy, against those who support their feisty object of desire.  I suspect it will not work out as well as Putin thinks.

And against the backdrop of the Ukrainian war with the specter of Roe v. Wade being overturned, I have allowed myself to acknowledge how effing mad I am at the Republican Party.  I want to be a Republican, in fact, I am registered as one though I’m not nor ever could be a Trump thumping Republican.  I am effing mad because the Republican party no longer bears a resemblance to what I once knew, respected. It will not be again, at least in my lifetime.  I’ve surrendered to its death.  The Republican Party began to desert people like me back in the Reagan days, when it began making deals with the Christian Right to wind its way to power.

I have, we all have, friends who were Republicans long before this current mess who have become supporters of Trump. I don’t understand it.  All these people, Trump, DeSantis, Marjorie Taylor Greene, etc. are not Republicans as I understand Republicans.

The Republican Party of my father and my Uncle Joe, who was a father figure to me, is gone.

The Republicans of today have no resemblance to the Republican party I knew and which, somehow, I hoped would arise again once Trump was defeated. 

This “Republican Party” is dangerous, fascist, seeking to kill dialogue, stop everything they don’t agree with, kill free dialogue, repress books, freedom of expression, hurt me, an old gay man who thought we were moving into a better time and am now afraid, again, not so much for myself, sequestered as I am, mostly, on a liberal speck of land in the ocean, old, not too far from the grave, but for those who are young, who will be battered by these folks who want the country to continue to be run by old, white “Christian” men, who do not want to face the wretchedness that slavery has caused over the last four hundred years, who see nothing wrong in squishing anyone who is ‘other.’

After writing the above, I found this article in the Washington Post, echoing me, read it here.

We have not had this much income inequality since the Gilded Age.  It is more than worrisome.  We march toward the point when revolutions begin or dictators take control, or a Teddy Roosevelt arises, galvanizes a country, makes changes.

While I am absorbing these things, revelations abound of members of Congress and government who worked to keep Trump in power.  The malevolence and mendacity of January 6th grows.

I am concerned the fundamentals of our democracy are more threatened than they have been in my lifetime, perhaps in several lifetimes.

Let’s do something about it in November.

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