This is a column I did not want to write. I had a totally different one planned for today, one that I spent the better part of the past 48 hours researching, it was going to be a thoughtful, fair, and unbiased look at why we need to listen to each other, right now, in light of another police involved shooting of an unarmed black man. It will have to wait.
Instead, I am so overwhelmed with angst, and anxiety, about our great country, that I feel like I'm literally bursting through my skin and I need to release the pressure before it kills me. I have had many of these days in the past four years, and frankly I'm tired of the feeling. I don't know if any of this will make any sense, or if you even care, but I need to get it out.
If you've ever wondered what the country felt like, and what the people were going through, in the days, weeks, and years leading up to the American Civil War, this might just be it. Hopelessness, helplessness, and a dark foreboding of terrible things to come is an awful way to live, and that is what I feel is happening to our country today.
It doesn't matter what issue you want to pick, you will find people passionate about their side of it, and they believe with all their heart that they are on the correct side. For god's sake, wearing a mask to protect you, and your family, and those around you, in a worldwide raging pandemic, that has killed nearly 180,000 Americans, has even become a political football. When did we so lose our way as Americans that looking out for each other has become a red and blue state issue? What the hell is wrong with us?
How have we let a carnival barker, who has failed at every business he has started, become the leader of the free world, and our conscience and decider, on what is best for America? When did we become so wrapped up in our own world that we let this clown lead us down the path of another civil war? And if you think we aren't headed there then you are living in a fantasy world.
But this isn't about him, it's about us, and we need to start understanding that it is always about us, America, not one selfish man.
Like many of you I have lived through enough tragedy, mayhem, and strife in my life already. We barely made it out of the 1960's as a country, and I never wanted to see those days again, but here we are, on the cusp of an even worse internal struggle. I'm not going to sugar coat this, I am scared for us.
We have a country that used to be the leader of the world, and the voice for those that didn't have one, we were respected, we were envied, and we demanded that others treated people with respect. Today we are the laughing stock of the world. We have failed to protect each other while this virus has killed way too many, and we have no plan to stop it from killing way too many more. America always had a plan, what happened?
Congress cannot agree on anything. Everything is cloaked in partisan politics so nothing gets accomplished. Even the most basic of duties for Congress, checks and balance, and funding the government so things get done, can't happen without months of fighting and bullshit being spewed, by both sides of the aisle. And even then nothing gets done.
We have more people out of work than at any time in our history since the great depression, why, because we had no plan to stop the spread of this virus, putting thousands of businesses out of work, and people out of jobs. Suddenly, half the country says open everything up, and the other half says I'm not going to die for my job. What is the response from he who wants to be king, "it is what it is". Really?
The Senate majority leader doesn't want to fund anymore additional aid to those out of work because he fears that they are making too much money on unemployment. How dare the country wanting to feed their families, or buy medication for their kids. They should go get a different job, one that the government hasn't yet figured out how to kill off.
While they are keeping food off the table, they are busy preparing their case to the Supreme Court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, thereby taking away health care, and the protection of coverage for pre-existing conditions, for tens of millions of us. Why? Because the other guy passed that law and they hate him with all their might. It doesn't matter that it will kill more of us, they have to get even.
This is the most divisive time in our country's history since the horrible Civil War. We have stopped even trying to speak with each other to try and fix things. Instead we stand here and yell at each other, calling each other names, and point the blame at each other. What has happened to us?
I could go on and on with another hundred examples of our country divided, but it is too exhausting, and we all know what the issues are, I don't have to repeat them to you.
This is not the America that I want for the few remaining years I have on this earth. I know we are not always going to see eye to eye on every issue, and we shouldn't. Having a different view is what has always made this country so great. We were always able to find a way to compromise, for the greater good of America, and get things done. If our leaders aren't going to practice that, then we need new leaders, and we need to raise our voices, together, telling them enough is enough.