I read the morning news and wonder, “Wtf happened to the US I used to inhabit? Where did my country go?” I once lived in a place that, though there might be conflict and discord, was still civilized, somewhat predictable, and I felt safe. Now daily I read reports of science being under attack, mass-shootings, the unceasing rollback of LGBTQ rights, police targeting African Americans, and more. So much more thatmerely opening a newspaper feels risky. I have to steel myself for bad news.
We have a POTUS (#notmypresident) who is unstable, vicious, petty, and often incoherent. No-one, not his staff, his administration, nor even himself knows he will say or do next. Other nations are understandably nervous about this. He has insulted more countries and heads of state than I care to note. Rather than going about the business of governing, he spends his time reacting to whatever catches his attention and attacking anyone (esp. women) and anything that he feels threatened him.
Meanwhile, though the GOP controls both the House and the Senate and the Supreme Court, they have been unable to pass a healthcare bill. The infighting in the GOP and the continuing resistance from Democrats reflects the fractured state of the country and the chaotic trickle-down of instability from the WH. The polarization is so extreme that a citizen attempted a major attack on Congress members, driven largely by partisan frustration. Protests continue to roil the landscape and often turn into violent confrontations.
The situation is dire enough that states do not feel secure in the union. I read about movements in both California and Texas to SECEDE entirely, both being stark examples of the the left and the right. States and cities increasingly have to act on their own to protect vulnerable citizens-religious minorities (Muslims, Jews, basically anyone who is not Christian), LGBTQ individuals, immigrants, minorities, and women-in an effort to shield them from fallout from the capitol. Sometimes they do so, but often they fail and even join in the efforts to curtail their rights and safety.
I could go on. The utterly dystopian ad by the NRA comes to mind. But I will stop here. I wrote this largely out of grief. I’m in a state of mourning for a world that seems far removed from the country I inhabited only a year ago. I wish this were just a momentary lapse in continuity. But I fear now: for my nation, my fellow citizens, and myself.