Slouching Toward HungaryRead Now
It’s our nation’s Independence Day, and yet, like many, I feel no desire to celebrate.
After the week that was, I’m not sure I recognize our country. Rights and protections we thought were secure, if precedent held, have been obliterated. Pregnant women and medical staff in some states worry they may be prosecuted. Gun safety laws in place for 100 years vanished overnight. The clear line separating church and state evaporated.
And the EPA no longer has the authority to regulate businesses that willfully pollute our air and water for profit.
This same week we learned that the President of the United States belligerently demanded to be taken to the Capitol during a violent assault on our nation’s governing body so he could confront his mortal enemy, his hand-picked Vice President.
What country is this? It’s not one I want to celebrate.
Two friends commented recently that they see hope in our youngest adults. Perhaps I need to find some Gen Z friends. I realized this weekend that I have no confidence that the direction this country is headed can be altered in my lifetime. The shift away from democracy toward one-party minority rule seems inexorable.
I’ve never wanted to live a particularly long life. I don’t want to be the last of my friends and family left on this earth. But it may take the years required for me to reach 100 before this country can heal. Assuming there is still a planet able to support us.
If you were looking here today for a sunny holiday post, I apologize. This weekend I spent time outdoors actively searching for a brighter outlook. On Sunday I found a beautiful Kentucky summer day—moderate temperatures, mild humidity, a bright blue sky, and a fresh breeze—but I did not find hope.
7/4/2022 11:22:24 am
It's okay, Sallie. I'm hearing this from so many. And the most troublingly surreal aspect of it is that roughly half of the country will be celebrating this day without a care in the world and evidently with no comprehension of what has already been lost and how those losses are set to compound.
7/4/2022 11:43:59 am
I share your feelings.
7/4/2022 01:13:14 pm
I understand your feelings. But in the same way that I resist the flag being a right-wing symbol, I am determined that the 4th represents freedom, including the freedoms that are under attack. I went to watch the Lexington Parade. It is our holiday. Just as the original colonists fought the tyrant George 111, we must fight this reactionary Supreme Court and the tyrannous Kentucky Legislature. Wave our flag in support of our rights: celebrate the 4th as ours.
7/4/2022 01:39:46 pm
7/4/2022 03:17:02 pm
HANNAH J HELM
7/4/2022 04:39:22 pm
I, too, am finding it difficult to find hope. Growing up in the 60s and 70s I was lulled into thinking our elected representatives would act in the best interest of the country, that they were obligated to follow the rules and precedents, that we could rely on our news to be factual, propaganda was something other countries experienced, and that supreme court justices would be well qualified and impartial. What is happening today was unthinkable. I can't start my day without Heather Cox Richardson and have come to realize we as a counrty have experienced some pretty dark days in our history with some surprising similarities. Thankfully in the past, good won out and I'm hoping maybe there's a silent majority out there that understands what is happening and with their help the values of the country I grew up in will prevail.
7/4/2022 06:55:01 pm
Heather Cox Richardson's daily Letter from an American tethers me to reality and schools me in our nation's history. She is an invaluable treasure.
7/4/2022 06:16:53 pm
I share your despair, more like disgust, at current events.
7/5/2022 12:04:05 pm
It feels like anyone with a conscience is burdened by the daily chaos of our world right now. I feel it too. We humans have created one helluva mess. I channel my angst by volunteering a bit for a couple of organizations and I donate to some groups that have proven to use those dollars wisely to affect real change for greater access, more equity and increased freedoms for us all. I also put it out on the page like you Sallie, although lately the page can't seem to contain it all. Writing gives me a temporary reprieve, until the next time I hear or read a news report, which I consciously have chosen to pull back from a bit. I agree that Heather Cox Richardson is a daily must-read though. She brings clarity into the chaos.
7/5/2022 12:28:20 pm
Thank you for your wisdom, Cathy. We are relying on your generation--and your children's. Your message may have finally given me a small spark of hope.
HANNAH J HELM
7/5/2022 11:02:52 pm
Wow, you have certainly inspired some thoughtful and well written commentaries with this one. I, too, appreciate Cathy's remarks about the hope we might be able to place in the next generation and I might be seeing a glimmer myself.
7/9/2022 10:17:15 pm
Maybe Gen. Z will have the answers, but if they are reading the same newsletters as their Gen. Y cohort, progress may be slow. I’m referring to
7/9/2022 10:40:16 pm
That is really disheartening, Bob.
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