“words matter,” my sweet momma would tell me, “things people say matter!” she was right, of course. even back then.
so i did an experiment. i deliberately straddled the ideological fence and listened. and this is what i heard and saw:
“masks. eh, they’re a symbol of fear!” he spouted.(*1) what?!
on reporting on his own viewing of a reporter at a protest on long island getting verbally attacked, he mouthed off, “it was pretty entertaining!” (*2) what?!
on the president haughtily announcing ‘we’re back! with or without vaccines!’ she cheered, “i was doing the fist pump there!” (*3) what?!
and then she needled, “democrats are favoring lockdowns over liberty!” (*4) what?!
“libtards,” she wrote. (*5) what?!
we were hiking and passed by a couple people on the other side of the trail. moving into single file and off the path in an effort to avoid their non-single-file-ness, we heard, “i want to keep people safe and this is a big deal, but….” she resisted. (*6) but what?!
the wisconsin supreme court overturned the safer-at-home order and five minutes later the bars were crowded. “i miss going out,” she whined to the news, maskless and inches away from the next person at the crowded not-a-mask-in-sight bar. (*7) what?!
on america, he ruminated, “we don’t do critical thinking in this country.” (*8)
now there’s an understatement.
spouted. mouthed off. haughtily announced. cheered. needled. ruminated. whined. resisted.
he’s right. we don’t do critical thinking in this country. otherwise we would expect better.
we would expect a leader who is respectful and thoughtful, steeped in truth, who has an ounce of empathy and who recognizes that the divides in this country – economic, political, moral, prejudicial – are perilously close to chasm-esque, never to return to center. a leader who sets an example. a leader who wears a mask, just like the rest of us. the centrifugal force is spinning out of control; the lack of careful, prudent and meticulous planning, the words from his mouth making us all teeter into the danger zones of no return, of never-be-the-same, of absolute division, of a dismal road ahead. especially in matters of health. in all matters of disease.
we would expect a country with a primary intention to attend to the most basic of needs for its populace (think maslow’s hierarchy): physiological needs. health.
we would expect the encouragement of the coming-together of people instead of the touting of ripping-apart division. extremism, headstrong nationalism – in the name of patriotism (def: devotion to and rigorous support of one’s country) doesn’t consider the equality of all people and their fundamental rights and needs. ie: health.
we would expect that people will – in their willingness to acknowledge that their every behavior will impact literally everyone around them, everyone they come into contact with – sacrifice and rally around that which protects all, that which will help eradicate the invader, this pandemic. efforts to protect the health and well-being of all.
we would expect to take advantage of the brilliant minds of scientists, doctors, researchers in order to responsibly get the country back on track. for our health.
we would expect consistency in message, consistency in plan, consistency in dedication and commitment to the well-being of the people of this country, the people of the world.
we would expect that the weight of a person’s life is far more important than the weight of that person’s (or any person’s) bank account. for as my poppo would say, “you can’t take it with you!” and any money or stock or holding or real estate or hedge fund pales in comparison with, say, your own actual life.
we would expect more.
because we deserve more.
* and if you are curious about the quotes: *1: rush limbaugh, *2: sean hannity, *3: laura ingraham, *4: laura ingraham, *5: someone i went to high school with, *6: a young woman on the des plaines river trail, an Illinois park with signs posted requesting single file trail-walking, *7: a woman interviewed at a wisconsin bar, *8: chris cuomo