Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Springtime in America

(Negativity Alert! May Not Be Suitable For Children Or Right-Wing Snowflakes.)

There's a new baseball season; the green fields are full of a new crop of great young players. Anything can happen! This is always a time of optimism in American culture. We all have our teams, and this is their year! Each team is a mass of raw potential, like children. But isn't it necessary to wait until the children mature to see the difference between potential and the wishes of a sincere but over-matched parent? In the end, only one team will win. Can we at least count on that? There'll be playoffs at the appointed hour, won't there? There'll be a World Series; isn't there always a World Series? Can we be optimistic about that, at least?

I'm not counting on anything this year. It's snowing in April, for crying out loud.

This is a new kind of “anything can happen.” All of the rules have been thrown straight out the window. We have always been told that America is a country of laws, that we are ruled by the law, that our Constitution stands above everyone, and covers everyone with its protective shadow. And its penumbra! We have been told that our representatives and our public servants, from judges to spies, all observe the same set of rules, and are all controlled by the majestic logic and history of our great Constitution. Well, I'm afraid that it's time to awaken from this wonderful dream, America.

The Constitution turns out to have been a suicide pact all along, just waiting for the gun-hand to come along. A vast game of Jenga, waiting for the day when someone pulls out the wrong brick. Then comes a brief period of the blocks collapsing noisily onto the table top, and some laughing and crying out in surprise. We're still in the brief, giddy chaos of the tower's disintegration. What comes next? I guess there are three alternatives:

  1. Put the blocks back in the box;
  2. Leave them on the table and clear it all up some other time; or
  3. Rebuild the tower and play another game.
So, what's it going to be, America? Our entire American Experiment in democratic self-government is teetering on the edge of failure. Nobody is playing by the old rules anymore, most of them are, in fact, breaking the old rules openly. Great, wide swaths of our Constitutional rights have been relegated to purgatories that stand somewhere between the discarded and the disregarded. My own favorite, probable cause, now means, in the words of a talented defense attorney, “whatever the local District Attorney wants it to mean.”

No, I'm not going to make a list of our problems. Either you know what they are, or you will launch off into a glib explanation of why they are not problems at all. Because, after all is said and done, our only problems are Hillary and Obama, right? And the Jews, somehow they always make the list, and the poor niggers (a word that is unfortunately making a comeback among people who should know better), who have never done anything but grace us with their contributions to American culture, and the actors and academics of America, who are always accused of looking down on the real Americans, and the Liberals, without whom all of these Trump voters would be the sole support of their aging parents, and those uppity coastal states, without whom the rest of America would be reduced to subsistence farming, and those damn immigrants. Better be careful, geniuses. If we did manage to kick out all of the immigrants, we'd have to start sending raiding parties into Mexico to draft farm labor.

The map of our current Civil War that most people know best is Facebook, where there is a contingent that sees pirates and charlatans grabbing all of the levers of power, destroying our democratic institutions, and stealing all of the money for themselves and their patrons, and another contingent that sees strong American patriots finally defining our problems in terms that normal people can understand. Patriots identifying demonized groups whom they will be grinding into dust with their heels presently. And just try and stop them! When all of those groups have been eliminated, or maybe just humbled, America can finally become the great, white, Christian nation that God and the Founding Fathers intended! Everybody gets a big-screen TV and plenty of channels, some guns, and a hunk of government cheese, and, if the new bosses are clever, plenty of strong reefer so that the unemployed masses can get a good buzz and watch re-runs of The Walking Dead. For anyone who really wants a job, I'm sure there'll be a lot of openings in the military, or McDonalds, or Walmart. (I'd say Amazon, but they showed up on the Demon list recently.) There'll be jobs for police, perfect for veterans who wish to continue working. Maybe as corrections officers, guarding inmates doing slave labor up at the prison. Or ICE officers, manning checkpoints.

Springtime for America; winter for the American people. Is that the new dream? You tell me.

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