Feeding the Armadillo

I’m sitting here in the woods, feeding an armadillo Cheerios. He seems to like them.

Did you know these little armor plated speed bumps live for an average of 16 years? 30 in captivity, and like four on southern back roads. Roughly, hopefully, the same span of most political movements.

I’m here with my little poor-sighted friend because of January 6. The day needs its own emphasis. December 7. November 22. September 11. Days that need no explanation.

What we saw January 6, 2021, was an insurrection against the U.S. Capitol, nearly organized enough to be called an attempted coup, by supporters of a vile, lying, toxic man. There is really no other way to explain it.



People died inside the Capitol.  And it was at the hands of our OWN citizens.

So I came to camp and think.

This man is not the first in history to hold such sway over a group of people. The world has seen its share of tyrants, using the time tested model of convincing a group of people that there is a crisis at hand, and that only they can solve the crisis for the people. And that those on the other side are the ENEMY.

Standard playbook. Tragically, too many of our fellow citizens bought it.

And that is really the issue isn’t it? Not the man, but the message. Because once he has been relegated to the dustbin, others will seize the message. And around we will go again.

So, given time to think and feed wildlife, I considered this idea of “taking back our country” and making it great again.

And I thought of the timeline of this nation and I have a question for the red-hatted mob.

What year, or time frame would you define as the golden age? What are you trying to get back to? I’ll actually listen, so long as you utterly renounce the assault on our democracy of January 6.

To be fair, answers can only be post 1865. Cause if you want to go back to slavery, you need to check your racist ass at the door.

But after that?

Reconstruction? That was fun right? A decade long occupying Federal force in the south, having to babysit former rebs? Do you want that America?

Or wait? What about the Homestead Act era after the Civil War when our evil federal government gave away millions upon millions of acres of land FOR FREE to citizens and hold on to your rebel flags – illegal aliens who had applied for citizenship and blacks. Yep the feds gave away the land that many of your forefathers got, for free, and that has been in your family ever since.

So 1866 work? You will be shitting in an outhouse and there is no Parler or internet, so be warned.

What about the early 20th Century? Hey you might love this time period. That’s when all the Europeans were showing up at Ellis Island. About 12 million. And they just showed up! Whole pile of Germans especially. Today nearly 47 million Americans are of German descent.

Oh and yeah, this period of time was marked with Jim Crow Laws, nearly 5000 blacks being lynched in the American South.

That’s a photo of thousands of white people watching the lynching of African-American Will James in Cairo, Illinois, on November 11, 1909.

Is this taking back America? No?

Oh and nearly 35,000 people were stricken yearly with polio during this time as well. Fun.

Oh and women, sorry, yeah you can’t vote, despite your protests in D.C.

Ah yeah, the 1930s. Wait. Great Depression, Dust Bowl. Everyone was apparently in black  and white. On the other hand, our government instituted the Works Progress Administration and created the Civilian Conservation Corps to help put men to work and rebuild our infrastructure. Dang socialist programs.

Ok wait, what about 1945? Yeah. That’s a good time right? We helped win WWII, launched us into the world leadership position, and spent the next decade executing Nazis and controlling Japan. Yay us right? We were deeply segregated, and the marginal top tax bracket was 94 percent.

Yep. 94.

The 1960s? Turbulent time of civil rights strife. The unmasking of a white, bigoted, power structure in the south and honestly, elsewhere. Oh and right, were were still actively conscripting young men into military service and sending them to the jungles of Southeast Asia to be killed.

Let’s go back to then?

I could go on and on. Each period of time in America has had its challenges, and remarkably, we have persevered. And maybe you would say, of course those periods had their trials, but today we are in the most trouble! Our nation faces ruin!

Does it? Let me answer this for you.

No.

We are, well were until a bunch of insurrectionst-jackalopes tried to destroy Congress, the greatest nation in the world. Oh and we were when Obama was President. And when Bush was President, and Clinton, and back the time machine up to the swearing in of Reagan.

Since that moment really, we have truly occupied the #1 spot on the charts. 40 years of cranking out the hits.

So take a deep breath. I’m writing this to you, the red hats. Serenity now. Let me share some stats that might concern YOU.

The United States, and this dates back in many instances to prior the current administration, is as follows..

#1 in petroleum and natural gas production

#1 in oil production, and has been in top three for decades.

#1 in gun ownership per capita and gun sales. Nobody has actually come for your guns.

#1 for Jesus. 65 percent of the country, or 213 million or so, identify as Christian. That’s a 12 percent drop from the last census, so you might try and sort out why lots of people seem to be turned off by your messaging. Hmm.. did I see a Jesus flag being hauled through the Capitol? Yep. Anyway.

#1 in incarceration both in total numbers and per capita. Clearly a law and order nation no? I don’t think China is accurately reporting concentration camp numbers, but still, we are #1 baby. Lock ’em Up right?

#2 in total newspapers and periodicals. Only behind India. But India has like 20 billion people. So Freedom of the Press is still a thing.

Oh but what about Sharia Law? The Muslims! (You mean the Saudi Arabians that crashed planes into buildings?) Muslims are less than one percent of the country.  .09 percent.

They barely outrank the Buddhists and the hippies.

And oh boy, some of you, well, you might not care for African-Americans, and really we are getting closer to the truth here. African-Americans asking to be viewed in equal light, asking that their lives matter just as much as another really wrankled some of you. They represent 13 percent of the population. Twenty years ago they were 12.4 percent. The horror! And remarkably, never attacked our Capitol, despite 300 years of slavery and 100 more of Jim Crow. I mean, if one group had right to be pissed…. just sayin..

Race has been the quiet undercurrent in all of this. Yet White people represent 61 percent of the population and are projected to still be 44 percent of the population by 2060. This doesn’t include Non White-Hispanics. Add that group in, and North American tribes still own the place. Even with those 40 million Germans (who we count as White..)

Wait, forgot! Strong military is always an issue. We are #1, by miles, on spending and usable global power. It’s not even close, no matter how many parades the Chinese have.

Sorry to inform you though, that we do have the most expensive health care system in the world. No getting around that one. So maybe back to the Polio days right ?

We regularly, on a daily basis, do things other countries can only dream of. Space, science at the quantum level, medical advancements, issues with civil rights and personal freedoms, and on and on. We are ass-deep in every aspect of this world. We stir the drink, we call the shots. The American footprint is global. This is the greatest nation on the Earth. Period. It was BEFORE that man took power. It will be after.

The only way we fail is from within, by eating ourselves.

And a gay couple getting married might want a cake. Woopty doo. Who doesn’t love cake?

Yet voices have led you to believe that we are in decline. And by we, the voices mean “White America.” Limbaugh. Levin. Hannity. They have become rich lying to you.

That’s really it isn’t it?

Here is the truth, and I’m a white male in my 50s. It was never ours.

There is nothing to take back.

This country has represented not a group of people, or a particular race. It represents an IDEA. And idea your followers of the current man in power took a shit on.

Literally. Feces was smeared in the Capitol.

This country was founded by a group that included Christians, Atheists, philanderers, cheats, liars, Federalists, State-Rights types, slave owners, abolitionists, and well pick your sub-group. They were in there.

But they managed to foment an idea and put it on paper. A system for the governed to govern themselves. It was not perfect and, dipshit Marsha Blackburn tweets aside, has been rewritten over and over, starting with the first 10 Amendments in the Bill of Rights.

The Constitution, it’s imperfect, but man it’s pretty solid. Yet we have had to work through some stuff, decade after decade, the worst of it being a Civil War. It’s an ongoing, living, process.

Yet it still sets the rules for how we do this thing called Democracy, and we saw a 230-year-old piece of paper – an IDEA – hold fast while people tried to destroy it.

You have been sold a pack of lies by people interested in only lining their own pocketbooks.

America is great. Has been. The issue has always been making it great for everyone. That means all ethnic and racial groups, social classes, gay, straight, religious, agnostic, all of US. And yes, not everyone is going to agree with every policy decision made. It’s why we vote. It’s also why we accept the outcome of those votes. And then we do it again, always searching for equilibrium, while trying to be more perfect at each step. It’s messy, but the system works.

And that idea is still safe. It might shock you because the voices on the radio and tv tell you differently, but the dems, well, we love this country just as much as you.

But it can only last with dialogue, with facts, with taking time to hear one another. Stop with the tribes and the closed information loops. Talk. Heal. Consider.

There is no going back to some other time. There is only forward. Together. 

Or, you have just lit the fuse on the end of the experiment.

Now I’m going back to feeding that armadillo. Let me know how it works out.

something to consider

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