Texas Theresienstadt

June 17th, 2018

One begins to run out of adjectives to describe the depths to which this administration is dragging our nation. Trump’s concentration camps for children are an abomination. They are evil. They are, or should be, intolerable. They are completely unjustifiable. They are an exercise in the crudest sadistic depravity, of helpless and innocent people being punished for no reason other than that they are helpless and innocent and vulnerable to the whims of those in power. This must be stopped, and stopped now.

Having said which, I am tempted to throw up my hands.  How to influence the policy of a psychopath so that it takes humane directions?  I am reminded of that scene in the movie Schindler’s List when Schindler prevails upon the concentration camp commandant to spare the lives of his inmates for a day, as an exercise in the allegedly transcendent power of mercy.  The commandant tries it for a while, enjoys some mild satisfaction, and then picks up his rifle.  Trump is cut from this cloth.

Some of us look to Mueller for succor, forgetting that he has power only to indict and prosecute, not to remove from office.  That latter power is confided to a Congress controlled by a party so abysmally corrupted by fear of its own authoritarian wing, like a giant cowering at the sight of its own shadow, and so riddled with ideologues, fools, and self-serving conscienceless hacks, that nothing good can be expected from it.  Some of us look to the 2018 elections for relief.  Some of us wake up every morning hoping to discover that a beneficent god, in whom we do not really believe, has sent St. Infarction to intervene, or caused the Malefactor In Chief to choke on a peanut.  (I confess I am one of these latter.)

The problem with all of these fantasies is that they give no room for me to act, and the crux of the matter is that to retain my self respect I must act.  Oh, I will vote for anybody or anything other than a Republican in the elections this year; and then the matter is out of my hands and depends on the political calculations of some 400+ ego-driven careerists, who in any event will take months or years to do anything and may well in the end do nothing at all.  (Viz. Andrew Johnson’s impeachment and trial.  Speaking of which, those who think Trump is unprecedented in our history should look a little more closely at Mr. Johnson.)  Meanwhile, I must do something, I can’t depend on them.

My particular gift, if such it is, for action in the world is through words; so I write these things and fling them up on the screen, hoping to inspire someone else to do whatever it is they are given to do.  We, individually and collectively, survive such times with decency only by refusing to surrender our integrity.  Please take the time today to use whatever gift you have been given to inject some good into the world.  Paint a poster.  Sing a song.  Speak to a friend.  Write letters to your representatives.  Howl with rage and sorrow.

 

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 17th, 2018 at 1:17 pm and is filed under Current events, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Texas Theresienstadt”

  1. Carol Maltby Says:

    I met today with a dozen other locals, with one of the 7 Democratic Congressional candidates for our district. I wanted to get a feeling for him face to face, so many details that couldn’t be picked out to distinguish him from the other candidates in their 90 second sound bites in the group candidate forums. It felt really empowering. I’ll drive 3 hours round-trip tomorrow for a similar meet and greet with the other candidate I’ve narrowed my choice down to.

    I’m making that investment of time and attention in the hopes that it will pay off in the election of the best candidate. I’ll do some phone banking this summer for whoever is nominated. I think I may pull another 6-10 votes with me in the primary next week, from people who haven’t met with the candidates, haven’t been able to tell them apart, and who trust my judgement. It’s a big step beyond just my simply voting, because I am purposively going for the multiplier effect, to bank on my credibility and my judgement of character and ability. Trusting myself to take that power, that leadership, here in this county amongst friends. Working directly in the political process. Not because I have an inherent interest in politics (I don’t), but out of self-defense.

    Just because you don’t take an interest in politics does not mean that politics won’t take an interest in you. — Pericles

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