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Chatterbox: America’s new saga


Fade in: The thunder is rumbling. It’s good. It matches the storm inside my head. The issue is, as it so often is these days, the nation.

No one can deny that the goal since the campaign of 2016 was to keep everyone’s head spinning so fast, no one could focus too long on any one ring of the circus. This new campaign cycle invokes and promulgates fear and subliminally justifies inequality.

My preference is always to talk about the storm outside or sounds of a summer swimming hole, but that would require too many blindfolds these days. We must deal with harder issues.

Most Americans had little or nothing personal against our current president or most of his supporting officials until their behavior either simply alienated supporters or further inflamed their critics. It seems that much of the behavior we are seeing is so incongruous with what we’d expect from the leadership of a touted, even a tainted, democracy, that it creates its own room for doubt and disdain. All Americans, however, must prefer a president and leaders everyone could support.

America’s issues are numerous and several are critical, but one looms first and foremost simply because all else hinges upon it: the virus. We look to our leadership to make all the right moves, but America, flawed from the jump, has grown accustomed to coming out on top, sadly, regardless of the cost, and we usually use the same modus operandi: force.

Though brute force is intimidating, the virus, one of America’s worst and most formidable enemies ever, is unimpressed. We can’t beat this into submission. We can’t threaten or outwit it, negotiate with it, or impose sanctions against it. Bullying, blaming and a smart mouth will not intimidate it. We are facing an enemy that can’t be challenged with our usual grit.

It’s invisible, only seen by the havoc it wreaks after it has taken hold of its prey. It can’t be bought off. It doesn’t choose its victims. It knows no flags, armaments, economics, social class, ingratiated insiders, and cannot judge the peoples’ hearts. It takes no pity but, rather, it will take anyone it can sink its teeth into including those small infants so many of our leaders are so proud to declare they protect.

Still, we’re not in the dark. We know what we need to beat it. The research is in. We should use it, but we need courageous leadership. At the moment, our leadership is advocating practices that play into the very hands of this virus. Worse, they encourage others to do the same; it’s a death march. To ensure victory sooner and with a greater survival rate, we need masks, supplies, healthcare, quarantine, and temporary salaries for our people. Our greatest investment should be in our people’s survival and setting America back up on her feet, permanently.

One bucket out of the ocean that is our annual federal budget could float all American households for one year, keeping the economy solid even in closure and ending this plague, but our leadership honors private contracts for billions, with billionaires, instead.

At West Point, our president boasted of new military acquisitions, while simultaneously lauding standing armaments. The juxtaposed remarks clearly indicated more wasn’t necessary, especially while our people die battling an enemy unaffected by such weapons. So, we certainly can’t beat this with a leadership that ignores it, skirts the issue, skews the numbers of infected, dying, available equipment, avoids questions about it, flies in the face of common knowledge, then sends people back to the streets. Economic resurgence won’t happen that way and, even if it did, it could never justify the cost.

Our people have always been the very best part of this nation, and deserve far greater care than they usually get. We’re battling this invisible, silent enemy – a fast-growing number of us without health care, struggling to provide for our family, warding off homelessness, or negotiating unemployment. Meanwhile, our leaders defy, deny and belie the virus as corporations lick their chops in anticipation of any profit to be made from it.

The wealth of this nation is her people and, financially, is supplied by her people, all doing what they can. Many do much more than they are compensated for; others skim off the top – our greatest drain always being America’s top tier.

If we do the right things, we absolutely can afford to effectively fight this virus. Moreover, we absolutely can’t afford not to.

Fade to black.