Writing is usually an exercise in passion for me. The things which stimulate me, which inspire me are the things I write about. The things which enrage me, I write about those topics as well. Lately there’s been a spat of things that should make me angry, shootings, Donald Trump, the flag representing the states committing treason from 1861-1865 and one of the symbols of the Klan… just a ton of stuff. And I’ve a point where my energy to be angry is just… gone. It’s not that I don’t care, I do care. But sometimes it feels like being in a losing battle against hate. So, instead of investing in anger and in vitriol, I’ve invested in love and my community and others’ communities.
I don’t cast my lot with the angry and vitriolic protesters who dare call themselves holier than thou who have lately decided to fill Roanoke’s City Market on late nights. I don’t cast my lot with the people who a couple weeks ago backed up traffic on 220 in Clearbrook by the Walmart in order to proclaim their support for a flag that is a symbol of one race’s purported mastery over another, a symbol of treason, and a symbol of complete and utter disaffection with and misunderstanding of the world at large. I cast my lot with thoughtful people, who give due consideration to their own interests and understand that there is so much more to the region, the state, the country, and the world than what lies within sight of their front porch. I cast my lot with the people who have the temerity to question power structures with intent on improving for all rather than destroying for hate and anger.
Normally I would have watched the so-called debate that the Republican candidates had in Cleveland. Bringing myself to watching that would have been akin to an exercise of insanity. That wasn’t a debate. That was a rally for the 10 (and the undercard) candidates to have their points of views broadcast without challenge. By definition, that is not a debate. A debate is when multiple points of views are presented and then thoughtful and intent-laden cross-discussion and challenges occur, in order to hear full sides of issues. The Fox News debate… I just can’t even begin to call it anything but a staging rally for the GOP in Cleveland. Moreover, the campaign never seems to end. These people who seek to lead us are constantly angling for a position without substance. The endless campaign is not governance. I’ve come more and more to the position that the reason why government doesn’t work is because of the endless campaign. Governance has become a sideshow to the freakshow that is the endless campaign. People know when they’re being campaigned to. People know that the system is broken. People know that it’s just noise and that, really, when it comes to it, whoever has the deeper wallet has the louder voice in national politics.
And by G-d, that sucks.
But then I look locally and I see the amazing work that local elected are doing, the Sam Rasouls of the world. And it’s incredible. People who are working within communities in cities to make cities livable places. You never hear about that. It’s always the endless din of trash that we hear from the people who want us to live in fear of each other.
To hell with that.
I don’t fear the redneck from the back country who has guns, I don’t fear the immigrant living in a rundown house, I don’t fear the kid in a hoodie walking down the street. There is nothing to actually, truly fear but the idea of fear. Look at reality for what it is: the *science*, the demonstrable, provable science is demonstrating that we are changing the substance of our atmosphere at a high rate and the results of those changes can cause significant harm. We should fear the harm, but we should also know that we can change it. We can fix this. We can fix us.
And, I guess, that’s all I have to write for now.
We can be better because we ARE better.