Pandemic Diary Entry #78
February 22, 2021
A number of my conversations over the last few weeks have been about how to bring our country back together again. The proponents of these conversations are very good friends, and while I hear them, I tend to think their goals are lofty at best and nearly impossible.
Asked how they think this can be accomplished the overwhelming answer is we need to talk to each other, we need to find common ground. While these statements make sense to everyone, who hasn’t spent a Thanksgiving grinding their teeth or skipping a family event because it was just too much to listen to bigoted Uncle Joe? Easier said than done.
According to the Pew Research Center the increasingly stark disagreement between Democrats and Republicans on the economy, racial justice, climate change, law enforcement, international policies, and more, is widening.
The 2020 election helped to exacerbate the situation. Supporters of Biden and Trump felt the differences between them were not just about politics and policies. A month before the election, roughly eight-in-ten registered voters in both parties iterated that their differences with the other side were about core American values, and roughly nine-in-ten of those same voters felt that if the other party won the election it would cause “lasting harm” to the United States.
I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to reconcile this great divide with healing. I have found myself in a quagmire of reasons for the devisiveness all of them difficult to square up into a coming together.
The first boiling vat that I found myself reaching into was the Pew Research finding that we are separate in our core values.
A few years ago, after seeing a picture of me at the Woman’s March I was told that I was not raised that way. My assumptions was that the underlying question was what would make me take part in such a demonstration ostensibly against the MAGA crowd? We had just elected a president that had displayed egregious disrespect for a cross section of our population and an unacceptable crudeness in actions of misogyny, of course I was at the Woman’s March.
I was confused by that statement. I am proud of my upbringing and resulting evolution that has made me a person who is grievously offended by the inequity I see in our country. I relish living in a large city for the diversity that it exposes me to. I know how blessed I am and work to help people less fortunate than I find a leg up. I value people over money and believe that how we treat our fellow man is a measure of who we truly are. I value the right to stand up and voice my opinions even if they don’t align with yours. And importantly I recognize a liar, cheat and con-man when I see one and repel from such antithetical social behavior.
Another statement I have heard parroted is — let us agree to disagree.
I apologize for being strident, but no. If as Pew Research shows, we disagree on core American values, I am not going to reaffirm your position by sweeping it under the rug.
There is a large contingency in your party that is hateful. They have embraced the politics of a cruel and petty man, and I do not want to “agree to disagree”, I want you to know that I disagree and believe you are wrong.
The sect that is dominating your party has no regard for people born with a different color of skin, people who do not conform to a specific idea of gender or of religions that do not follow the Christian ideals America was “founded on.” This prejudice is not only stomach-churning but a great way to make sure that we will never come to an agreement.
This ugliness was highlighted for all the world to see on January 6th and throughout the entire impeachment trial. I am sure I am not the only American that sat in tears while watching in horror video after video of the desecration inflicted upon our symbol of democracy and as a capitol police officer was beaten with an American flag.
The insurrection exposed the duplicitousness of members of the right. The law and order party seems to not care about Blue lives, killing and maiming the police officers they had put up on pedestals over the last several years. The party that screams at the top of their lungs about the sanctity of life, hah! Our constitution was walked all over in the days after the insurrection with an attitude that laws are made for other people
I thought that your party, all of whom were victims of this atrocity, would condemn the action and the man that incited it. Post January 6th was a moment in history that could have helped to end this political tribalism, it did not and that speaks volumes as to where your party leaders’ moral compasses point.
These are not the American values I grew up with, but they are the values that are being espoused by the most vocal sect of the right, and by supporting the party you are inadvertently supporting this vile behavior. There is no sense of right and wrong amongst these leaders. They govern on the principle of what they can get away with. Time to hold them accountable.
Over the last four years our environment, our faith in science, our value of the truth, and rule of law have all been decimated. The true underlying reason for a great amount of this was greed. Cabinet people in office to expand their personal empires, family members making millions of dollars due to tax breaks they fought for. All of this to win a war that has no purpose other than to hold power. A power that is not relegated to you as a party member or a voter, power that is placed in the hands of sycophants and anyone willing to kiss the ring, ethics be damned.
I am willing to come to the table, if for no other reason than to ask you if that is how you were raised. If you support the direction your party has gone, then we are on two different moral plains. If you are appalled by what your party has become, it is incumbent upon you to help steer it back to a place that does represent your beliefs.
Before the last election, overwhelming majorities of both Trump (86%) and Biden (89%) felt that the candidate that was elected should focus on addressing the needs of all Americans. Maybe we should start there. I will bring the bagels if you bring the schmear.
San Francisco weather: 62 degrees and sunny
NYSE DOW compared to one year ago: +2979
COVID cases in the US: 28,769,230
Deaths from COVID in the US: 511,319
COVID Vaccinations in America: 63,090,634 Doses have been administered 13.1% Have received one dose - 5.7% Have been completely vaccinated
OED word of the day: sui-similar — Similar to itself; having no variety or diversity
Days since Shelter In Place was initiated: 343
Reading: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
My Black and White Picture of the Day
Something Silly From the Internet: