Thursday, July 11, 2024

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CONNECTIONS: I worry about us

I am not worried about him. If we reelect him, he will do the job. If we don’t reelect him, it will be, well and truly, our loss. No, I am not worried about Joe Biden; I am worried about us.

He had an off night. He said when you fall or fail, get up and keep moving. He did. He is my hero. Not because he is silver-tongued; he is not. Not because he is young and sexy; he is not. Not because he is uber rich; he is not. He is my hero because he knows how to do stuff; that knocks me out. He does the stuff well; that is fun to watch. Whether football or politics, the masters of the game are always fun to watch. He does stuff for other people, not just himself; okay, now that is just plain terrific.

I am not worried about him. If we reelect him, he will do the job. If we don’t reelect him, it will be, well and truly, our loss. No, I am not worried about Joe Biden; I am worried about us. We think the other guy was the winner, not the consummate pro. We don’t think it is substance; we think it is enunciation. We don’t think it is knowledge and experience; we think it is looking ruddy and sounding robust. Fit as a fiddle even if dumb as a doorknob and dishonest to boot.

The Republicans manage to overlook a good deal and stand by their man—an assault on a woman in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman’s, cheating his own father, stealing from a charity, 34 felony convictions, four counts of business fraud, six bankruptcies, and a temper tantrum that desecrated our Capitol because he didn’t get his way. The Democrats cannot overlook a single bad performance. They conveniently forget the legislation, executive orders, and other deft moves Biden made to right our ship of state after two plagues—COVID and Trump—beset us. No glitz no glory? Really?

The media let the lies slide and declared the liar the winner. The New York Times, that beacon of something or other, wanted POTUS to step down. What does that mean about who we are and whom we allow to inform and represent us?

I had a bad night last week too. A man who has been verbally attacking me for years—in letters, emails, and yelling on the street—sent another. I am having a party on the Fourth of July, and he got hold of the invitation. How? No idea. He wanted me to know he had it, so he emailed it to me with a sort of RSVP: “see you there”—not a welcome thought. He added, “Geeze didn’t get an invitation. Going to cost her …”—an equally unwelcome thought.

This has been going on for years. Once he “swatted” one of my parties. This year, he again called the cops. This time he reported my political signs. Some say he is unstable. Some say he has assaulted folks. He says he has guns in his truck. If true, that eels like a bad combination to me.

Will anyone do anything? Nope. We got cops with Glocks, but if a woman is uneasy or fears a man, she is exaggerating. (You know, hysterical.) If the threat is obvious (she is in the emergency room with bodily wounds of evidentiary value), then she brought it on herself, or it is a he-said/she-said situation, and there is no way to solve one of those. I’m not worried about Biden; he will be fine. I am worried about us.

According to Carl Jung, phobias and fears come from the collective unconscious rather than a lived experience. Fear of the dark, loud sounds, bridges, or blood may be universal. In the same way, Jung suggests, we may accept universal archetypes with certain characteristics. For example, those of the hero, the woman, the rich man. So, what would it mean if such symbols of collective unconscious are ingrained in us all?

Carl Jung’s collective unconscious suggests a woman today can feel the pain, the fear, the suppression of the 18th-century woman. She can feel what a woman felt who could not vote, speak in public, hold office, own property, exercise control over her own body, or say no. To put in simple terms, we feel we know how the story ends because we know how it ended for our ancestors. The fearful woman knows for sure, and the man with the badge and gun knows better. Approximately 4,970 women are murdered annually by men she previously reported.

More, the existence of the collective unconscious suggests the Black community today can feel the chains of slavery. The Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohicans can feel the slow, sad march out of Stockbridge. How? Jung believed the collective unconscious was genetically inherited, not created by personal experience. It may seem far-fetched until you consider how much is transmitted genetically, and to all animals, instinctually. Socialization is transmitted though the family by interpretation and sharing the experiences of the ancestors.

What else would it mean if such symbols of collective unconscious are ingrained in us? It means Biden cannot be the hero who wins in the end. Even though he is my hero and I believe he will win, he can’t because the archetypal hero must be young, strong, and articulate, attracting others to him with his clarion call.

I worry about us. Can we meet the moment? Do we get the government we deserve?

The Democrats say he must win, or we all lose. The Republicans—wait for it, you are about to disagree strongly—the Republicans don’t care who wins in November.

The Republicans don’t care who wins because they are already hard at work shaping the country they want. They are working without resistance. As they score, the opposing side doesn’t even have a defense team on the field.

The Republicans are weakening the federal government and bolstering states’ rights. We will not have the power of a United States or the identity of a large nation.

They are deconstructing the administrative state, blurring the division between our branches of government. Think Housatonic, the government will not have the power to regulate the quality of your water. Striking down the 40-year-old Chevron decision takes the power away from the government agencies, out of the hands of experts, and puts the power, if any, into the hands of judges who don’t know the difference between poisonous gas and laughing gas or into the hands of politicians who don’t care.

They are wrecking the balance of power which was carefully crafted to protect us from the unlimited power and legal immunity of a king. It has been a long time since the Republican Party believed they could carry a popular vote, and they never did care much what the people thought. It is now the party of discontent—displeasure with expanding power to the people and expanding rights—justified in setting the clock back.

The Republicans are not focused on November. They are busy taking rights away from women. The bribe takers are busy dismantling protections, erasing equal rights, weakening laws that leveled the playing field, and obliterating laws that regulated greed. Our institutions are not holding.

He defended our democracy even to the detriment of himself, but he had a bad night, so let’s throw the bum out. Never mind reality, Mr. Lincoln, how was the performance? I worry about us.


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