A sound cloud erupts,
A rumbling nimbus
Sound, with lightning striking,
Revealing sleight of hand
By a sly and tricky Sky King
Of mercurial meaning
In muddy puddles,
Only what was expected.
Last night one of the CNN anchors stated that with his speech last night, Trump became president, period. I respectfully disagree. A campaign speech does not a president make. A President is defined by actions, not words, and these two metrics remain far apart. For Trump to suddenly step over the very much lowered bar of expectations that he himself set is hardly cause for celebration.
Unity? Great. Unity, however, is not achieved by the daily propagation of blatant lies, nor is it served by rallying your supporters against your perceived enemies and critics.
Health care? Yes, changes are desperately needed. Tax credits and HSA accounts, while helpful for those with pretty good incomes and pretty good insurance, will do nothing for those who make difficult choices every month concerning which medications can be afforded and which ones can be neglected, and how severely this will impact the budget for other necessities. This is not a mythical scenario. And provisions in the ACA for expanded coverage–for pre-existing conditions and adult children–were NOT Republican ideas, contrary to statements made by some members of Congress now wishing to take credit for them.
Education? Increased opportunities for better education for all children should be a standard goal. But when you put someone in charge of that goal who is completely unqualified and lacks even a basic command of the issues–even touting this week segregated schools as a shining example of choice–it’s not hard to see how the disconnect between words and actions will play out.
Nowhere is the glaring discrepancy between words and actions more pronounced than in the campaign math being bandied about. $20 billion walls? “Very special” healthcare for everyone? Sweeping infrastructure spending? AND tax cuts? Come on.
I hope that whoever crafted this speech for Trump will have the strength to hold him to the best of what was stated. Should that happen, should the lofty words translate into reality, I will gladly shut up. We’ll see.
via Lady Helena on Twitter: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, She Persisted. #letlizspeak https://t.co/Wo4L85WwiHI
I sent Sen. Mitch McConnell an email congratulating him on coming up with the single most effective meme–“She Persisted”–I can think of to galvanize American women to work to alter the regressive course Mitch and his buddies have plotted for our country. In using this dismissive phrase to justify telling his colleague, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, to essentially shut up and sit down, he immediately evokes the memory of generations of women (and thank God for them) who refused to be silenced, who persisted, who insisted on the rights of all women to be heard and to fully participate in society. She Persisted? Damn right she persisted. We all need to persist, insist, resist.
“THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS”
by Wendell Berry
When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Prisoner of My Own Device
Fugitive thoughts captured
In black and white
–The colors of a convict’s stripes–
Words imprisoned in the lines of a page,
Blackbirds in a mirrored cage,
I exchange their freedom for mine.
Words, sentenced to life,
Serve out their terms while
The illusion of liberation fades.
A victim of biology,
I peer endlessly
Through the bars of my skeletal frame.