Note: This is the fifth installment of The Toilet Zone, a commentary series on the Trump presidency.
“There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you have had enough.”
This week I reached my limit, the tipping point. I momentarily went off the rails, posting on Facebook, using social media as my primal screen therapy, echo chamber of sorts. It was in response to this past Sunday, when a crazed white male gunman, domestic terrorist, lone wolf (you choose the descriptor) massacred innocent people attending an outdoor country music festival, 58 dead, almost 500 wounded or injured. My nephew and his family live and work in Las Vegas. My nephew John is a Metropolitan Las Vegas Police Officer, one of hundreds of first responders and heroes, including concert-goers who stepped up to help save lives.
Things often happen in threes. Trump responded shamefully to the devastated hurricane victims and U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico, pitching rolls of paper towels, like free t-shirts at a sporting event or concert, promising aid to restore infrastructure, then reneging, while harassing an outspoken, articulate Mayor of San Juan who was seeking help for the people she represented, and who were dying. His rants and tweets reflected his misogyny and racism. Lastly, Tom Petty died, another loss of an important voice of our times.
The President, his advisers, cabinet, and the Republican Congress, collaborating with Wall Street, corporations, the 1%, plus lobbyists, including the NRA, the Koch brothers, campaign donors, and special interests, and alleged collusion with the Russian government, individually and/or together are degrading and ultimately destroying our democracy.
The Personal Is Political & the Political Is Personal
To connect the dots between the personal and the political, because I strongly that the personal is political, and the political is personal, I attended a concert last night, Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls on a solo tour with her new band promoting her album, Murmuration Nation. Saliers, and Indigo Girls, singer-songwriter partner, Amy Ray, are both known for their political-themed songs. It was true last night as well. Saliers and her band performed songs about gun violence, Vietnam, and the emotional response to the election of Trump as POTUS.
The opening act was Lucy Wainwright Roche, the daughter and musical prodigy of Loudon Wainwright III and Suzzy Roche (of The Roches). She closed her set with a cover of Tom Petty’s song, I Won’t Back Down, which summed up for me and many others our resolve to keep on fighting the good fight, to wage peace and in the words of Abraham Lincoln ensure that a, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” The song has become my new anthem.
“If Not Now, When?”
The quote, attributed to the Jewish religious leader, Hillel the Elder, became a leitmotif of sorts for me this week as I began reviewing all the issues and concerns unfolding these past few months since Trump was elected president, almost as if an earwig had entered my brain and kept repeating dire warnings, “If not now, when?”
The following are both rhetorical questions and a call to action.
To read the rest of The Toilet Zone commentary series: