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The Night of the Locusts

It is with a sense of grim foreboding that I admit to a certain appreciation for the Republican Conservatives ability to play a nearly one hundred year old long game that has now allowed them to stand on the brink of rolling back all of the gains that have accrued for working people across that time. We have seen the near complete destruction of the ability of American workers to organize for collective bargaining, federal push backs on the expansion of rights for women, Citizens United, a court decision that has made money more important than fair legislation, federal push backs on the expansion of voting rights and, with the passage of the recent Tax Reform Bill, they have put themselves in position now to further chip away and perhaps destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Individual Mandate in the Affordable Care Act, vestiges of the New Deal, the Great Society and the Obama Administration, all of them anathema to Conservative orthodoxy.

The Conservatives have managed to convince the American people that their employers were better stewards of their fortunes than unions, that their own elected Government was their natural enemy; that the Enlightenment is godless and anti-religious and that fear of the new is good and healthy. This environment has made their ascendency possible and in this Age of Trump, we have now reached an era of corruption and darkness many, quite frankly, feel will engulf the United States for decades to come. How else, they say, to explain the election of Donald Trump and the quiet in the face of the destruction of the American news media, the theft of the Internet, the undermining of Dodd-Frank and now a Congressional majority poised to do away with the very social safety nets they promised the American people they'd protect.

What we are seeing is a wholesale eating away at the core of the fabric of the nation itself; a muscular attack based on notions of class, religious orthodoxy and martial fealty to a narrow form of patriotism. Further, we live in an age of nativist reaction to a new egalitarianism borne out of changing demographics, and further social and political freedoms for women and minorities. This reaction is also characterized by misogyny, racism, threats of violence, a disregard for authority, threats and rage at the Government. Many see parallels to the rise of Fascism in industrialized Europe nearly a century ago.

Right now, like so many others in the country, I am deeply, deeply saddened by the passage of the Republican Tax Reform Bill. This singular act of theft is so massive, so unprecedented that it takes one's breath away and the mouth hangs open in disbelief and shock. But, there it is. I plan to be active in spreading the word about this horrible piece of legislation. If there are marches I plan to join them. I'm going to keep writing and speaking out, and next year, I am going to VOTE.

The rise of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan has made it abundantly clear that remaining silent is not an option. These men, and those who share their political philosophy, do not represent the majority opinions and political positions in this country. I plan to be a part of the social coalition that reminds them of that fact. So, should we all.

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