I’m no politician, but from what I see, read, and hear, the U.S. is no longer walking the path of democracy but is headed straight for the path to autocracy. Autocracy–a government ruled by one (often cult-leader-like) person who has absolute power–destroys individual rights and freedoms, suggests a Hitleresque dystopian future that no liberty-loving American would choose. After nearly 250 years of working to keep and enjoy our fragile democracy, it is nearly impossible to imagine losing it. Frightening, actually.
All it would take is for the former Republican President to be elected again and we’d find ourselves walking down the autocratic lane.
People wiser than I tell me this won’t happen. But stranger things have happened. Almost every day.
A Texas Congressmen was acquitted today in an impeachment trial on 16 charges of bribery, abuse of public trust, lying, etc. Clearly, he did these things but was acquitted because his party, in the majority, knew it could not win if he were convicted. A Congresswoman was ushered out of a theatre for obnoxious behavior including vaping and arm-dancing in her seat with a man not her husband. Numerous married Congressmen have been tagged for having affairs, including with underage girls. Others have been caught fabricating their resumes, lying, money-laundering, taking public funds, committing wire fraud, etc. And a Supreme Court Justice has wrongly received millions (if not billions) of dollars in perks, vacations, private air flights, a $200,000 RV and more. Others wrongly declare their Republican candidate won the 2020 Presidential election, knowing full well this is a lie. What is wrong with our government?! Have we no principled elected officials? Why are they not speaking up? Does the truth not matter to them? Do their constituents not matter to them? Does law not matter to them?
It seems everyone is out for him or herself. No one is serving the public. And I’m not sure the public is even alert enough to care.
It seems to me that America is too busy playing. Football games fill not just the sports channels but every channel. Networks offer stupid game and “reality” shows. People are absorbed in the latest streaming, films, and social media. Apparently, what’s going on in Ukraine doesn’t seem to matter to Americans. I wonder how they will feel when Russia takes over that country and then gobbles up our NATO friends. And who is following China’s shenanigans? Or North Korea’s growing friendship with Russia? Or anything in local politics? Does the fact that the government will shut down in a week matter to anyone? Are we ready to survive without all the many governmental services we depend on, like FEMA during hurricanes, social security, Medicare, defense, etc.? Those bossing the House of Representatives seem only to care about themselves, their own livelihood, their re-election, and how to hold on to power. They seem to want to permanently tear down all essential government offices and institutions. (Gee, when did I last hear about that happening? Might it have been in 1939?)
We regular citizens are not much better. Do we really care about how many of our children live in poverty (the rate has doubled in the last three years), that homeless immigrants are horribly mistreated–especially children working nightshifts in Tyson and Perdue chicken slaughterhouses, or that climate change has already altered our planet?
We focus on the frivolous. The temporary. The latest gratifying pleasure. And stuff–lots and lots and lots of stuff. (Have you visited a Walmart Super store lately?)
Sadly, the path to autocracy, lined with materialism, has been chosen; and we are walking it instead of the harmonious path to freedom.
Artwork: Into the Woods, framed watercolor, 27″ x 23,” $975. Among my most recent watercolors, this one is of a path my husband and I hiked, and where I took a photo from which I painted. I can’t recall if it was in PA or ME–that’s what happens when you paint and paint and paint! I’ve 425 paintings now in my gallery, most painted on location, most titles recorded and recalled, but a few escape memory. Nevertheless, I know when the piece turns out well, expresses what I intended, and this one does–a happy trail in Spring.