I sat with my back to the large window at the rectangular table in the room where my family took our meals. My father sat at the head, a direct view outside. “Oh, look, there's a squirrel, “ he would say, and I would twist around and look out and he would reach over a take a teaspoonful of my ice cream. And I'd turn back, no squirrel and less dessert, feeling fooled and shamed and consistently gullible. Now I do not trust easily, I do not hope, disappointment is too painful.
But when we, we, everyone, on January 21, spontaneously gathered in protest, marched and hugged and gathered and shared, I did think that perhaps we were ready to update this very sluggish and unresponsive governance system we endorse. I thought: we are here, we have critical mass, what an amazing result from this presidential election. I had expectations.
And I was wrong. And my sadness hurts, is becoming despair. A playbook of tools and techniques that have guided us to this point, this point of system failure, that playbook like a magnet has captured all the individual filings, the energy, and focused it on shifting the electeds balance scale. Mottos and initiatives about defeating the other - swing left, block, impeach, sue, 50% + 1 … reward action now, and in lock step, and reflection, well, maybe later, maybe not at all. Here in Santa Cruz, we have five indivisibles, regressing to the mean. I know, I know, introverts just feel alienated, and extroverts aren't pushed to reflect more deeply.
The Women's March, a careful balance of collective values and personal engagement has been turned into structured choices, channeling the energy into grooves exhaustively well-worn, for instance subsuming the huddle I was part of from reflection into already defined activity and here the local women's march leaders broke away from the national values, muted the international women's day history, the garment worker women burned alive in the Triangle Fire, … We lunched.
One nation indivisible, indivisible indeed, stuck together in a massive clump of insistent perpetuating dysfunction. Phoning and signing and posting and liking … rallying with rules about what to wear, what to say, how to say it. while leaders order ...