Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Today I have poured several glasses of water to their halfway marks.
I read the likelihood that Biden/Harris will prevail in their campaign to take the White House, having successfully flipped a handful of states that Trump won in 2016, including Arizona and Wisconsin. I read also the likelihood that Senate Republicans have managed to defend themselves against the ousting they richly deserve, leading to what we can expect to be federal gridlock and obstructionism on a scale beyond even what McConnell inflicted on President Obama. I imagine not only agenda priorities being strong-armed into impotence but qualified Cabinet members being voted down purely out of spite and rancor.
I also think of Stephen Miller no longer in charge of official immigration policies, and Betsy DeVos no longer manifesting her toxic ideals upon our nation’s students. I think of Mike Pompeo out at State, of John Ratcliffe no longer eroding national security as DNI, of Stephen Mnuchin gone from Treasury.
I breathe a sigh of relief that Democrats retained the House overall, including several of my favorite 2018 freshmen. I also mourn the losses, in particular Lauren Underwood, more painfully so that she lost to perennial fat cat candidate Jim Oberweis. I’m saddened to watch as a majority of Illinoisans fell for the dishonest campaign against the Fair Tax Amendment, and for the defeat of Prop 22 in California.I also see openly transgender candidates being elected to state legislatures in Vermont, Delaware, and Kansas (KANSAS!), and Oklahoma (OKLAHOMA!) electing its first Muslim member of its legislature. I see Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush going to Washington as a representative of Missouri. New York is poised to send Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones, two progressive, openly gay black men, to Congress.
The Biden/Harris vote total looks to eclipse even Barack Obama’s 2008 record of votes cast for a presidential candidate, and I expect the ticket’s popular-vote margin will be higher overall than Clinton’s was over Trump in 2016. And yet our continuing adherence to an outmoded, poorly scaled electoral system — one that never imagined the possibilities of a country so large and so populous, with concentrated multi-million citizen metropolises dotting the landscape — continues to grant disproportionate power to a petty and cowardly minority of us, the sort who refuse to contend with the generations of their own hard-wiring, the sort who can be swayed with a few well-placed and repeatedly shouted horror stories about socialism and rioters.
I see America, yet again, with all of its capacity to serve me with cause for hope in the exact same moment it shatters my heart. I am taking deep breaths, and I am drinking all of the water I have poured.
Then I am wrapping my knuckles yet again in cotton and leather, placing my feet solidly on the canvas, and waiting for the next bell.