I beg your pardon
I never promised you a rose garden
Along with the sunshine there’s gotta be a little rain sometime
When you take you gotta give so live and let live or let go
I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden
(Lynn Anderson – 1970 – songwriter: Joe South)
Yeah, i was never promised a rose garden. Never expected one. I prefer tulips, actually…brighter colors, lots of different colors, primaries, pastels, practically neon. When I was a little kid, there were some books I had and coloring books that had pictures of Sweden, with Dutch people wearing clogs and walking down sidewalks with flower boxes full of tulips. i loved to color them, and the brighter the better. None of those light or pale Crayola colors for me.
I’m still a lot like that – give me the strong, bold colors. Bright and vivid. Tastes as well. If I’m going to drink coffee, it needs to be strong and not leave me wondering if it’s really coffee or some other coffee-flavored beverage. It needs to do its job, and come with the caffeine. Otherwise, I would be drinking something else.
Here’s the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, which states the purpose of the document:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
After looking at this insurrection, and the succeeding comments all over the interwebz, it occurs to me that people supporting the outgoing President are not totally in agreement with this. It all sounds pretty good until you get to the part about “common” and “general”. I have to keep in mind that when the document was created, non-white people didn’t really exist as citizens, as full human beings. The ones found in the New World were definitely savages, so there was no need to spend time on equity for them. The ones brought here, naked and in chains, no question about their status as non-human. The only humans, in the minds of many members of the still-dominant culture here is…them. The only superior beings are…them. Even if they can’t spell their own names. Even if they don’t know how much they themselves are subsidized by the government they are trying to overthrow.
I suppose this is not supposed to make sense. This is raw fear, primal fear. These folks are so desperately afraid, they are feral. They cannot be reached. Compassion is not a resource available to them, so I no longer expect that. These folks are desperate, because in their stilted world view, they are losing their status, in the country and in the world. Some of their basis implies that “you may be poor, but at least you’re not Black, so it could be worse.” That little sound byte of bias implies that even the most down on his luck white man is far better than any Black man. So where does a white man go from there? He goes to the army/navy surplus store, buys camouflage and boots. Then he goes to WalMart and buys rifles and ammunition. And that’s where he goes. And now, he’s ready for whatever comes. Now he’s ready for Armaggedon, with nothing much to lose. So bring. It. On.
We’re into this deep now. I cannot figure out how to have a reasonable conversation with someone who was breaking windows at the Capitol, or seriously believing that was a reasonable response to anything. I cannot figure out how to have a reasonable conversation with someone who believes there was an equivalence between BLM protests and marches over the summer and this crap on January 6th. I cannot figure out who these people are. They claim to be patriots, and I’m not seeing that. They claim they have the right to bring weapons to demonstrations and into the seat of a state government building. They claim they have the right to not wear medical-grade masks to avoid transmission of COVID-19, refusing to comply with state government guidelines/orders. That endangers my life, but i suppose that’s not worth as much as resisting big government. Who makes those rules??? The problem is not with the rules as much as with who gets to interpret the rules, and who gets to enforce the rules. I don’t know exactly how to fix that, and realizing there’s no apparent solution scares me silly.
Writing about a problem with no apparent solution makes me think back to times when I believed there was no solution to problems I had. Those were awful times, feeling trapped, feeling disempowered and powerless, feeling vulnerable and small. Trapped – I have to say that again. Feeling trapped leads to feeling desperate, and feeling desperate leads to feeling like a small point of light in a black sky that can be extinguished at any instant, with no warning, no reason. This is how so many of us experience our lives, never knowing if this will be the last instant of our existence. Never knowing if we were really here at all, if we really had any impact on the general dynamic of the world. When you’re not sure of that, you’re never sure of how, or if, you fit into the fabric at all. You’re never sure of much of anything, except that you’re not seen. That sucks.
So, now it’s the final countdown. (I think that’s a song, but not one that I know well or even like.) I’m very anxious to see the whole inauguration ceremony happening outside…I would rather them do it in a judge’s chambers, televised, and then have a street party when the COVID lockdown is lifted. I really hope there are no problems on Wednesday, and I hope they can get right to work without having to do in bullet-proof vests on and looking like the Michelin tire couple, all bulked up with appendages they can’t really move. I have so much optimism about our experience post-inauguration, so I’m ready to rock with them. I’m readier than ready.