Reckoning: A Meditation on Political Apathy

The Watcher
9" x 12" mixed media on canvas panel

January 6th should have shocked no one. 

Even less surprising was the procession of rats fleeing the sinking ship of this administration before its termination. That certainly takes bravery, doesn't it? 

For me, watching this play out on my television was something I'd expected since Trump was elected to office. The 2016 election wasn't about steering the country in the right direction. It had been all about "correcting a deviation in the course," namely erasing anything to do with the Obama Administration. 

The saying lately is "let me be clear." So let me be perfectly clear as well. 

If your political views have you marching with people wearing Camp Auschwitz & 6MWE shirts, carrying Confederate flags and weapons: You've chosen wrong, my friend. 

There are lines in our society. No one has stormed the Capital since 1814. I saw a Jesus 2020 shirt in that crowd. That's not the heart of Christ's message. In fact, it's against everything the Savior stood for. So is the multi-billion tax-dollar buffet this administration has given to the wealthiest and least deserving among us on our dime.

So let's be honest here. The following should have happened in the last 20 years:

LGBTQ & Race policy should have changed in 2000 after Matthew Sheppard & James Byrd

Medical administrative policy should have changed after HealthSouth.

Pharmaceutical policy should have changed after Vioxx, DQSA & the 2016 Drug Pricing Report.

Economic policy should have changed after the 2009 Recession.

Racial profiling policy should have changed after Trayvon Martin

 Gun policy should have changed after Sandy Hook.

Campaign finance policy should have changed with Citizens United.

Environmental policy should have changed after the Paris Agreement, Standing Rock & Flint.

Health care policy should have changed with the bi-partisan 2007 Healthy Americans Act.

Drug convictions should have been overturned & expunged with drug legalization.

Our nation had 20 years to do the right thing regarding any of these tipping points in our society. The only reason why this did not occur is due to the same core base behind this January 6th atrocity who convinced most of the country to love their tax breaks, guns & hatred more than justice. 

And the evasion of Justice in these cases by each corrupt politician, corporate judge, white-collar criminal, and law enforcement official is WHY this reckoning is here. 

The coronavirus pandemic just exacerbated existing problems until George Floyd's death became the symbol that united people to speak out and stand up. As we watched him die on our screens, he was suddenly all of us being crushed to death by rampant corruption and injustice run amok.

None of this ever had to happen. None of it. 

If all of our leaders had listened during any of the above cases, hundreds of thousands of people would still be alive today. But now we're seeing all these people try to downplay their part in this reality television craziness, as if their passive hate speech and deflection would never be taken to its logical conclusion. 

It's all connected. What you say and do has consequences. These last four years have been an absolute fiasco, but so have the last 20. These two decades are rife with examples of poor and detrimental leadership, spinelessness, and greed. That's what brought us here. 

This is us. This is America. And the only way we're going to fix it is to stop making excuses for doing the wrong thing. It's not hard. In fact, I'll do it for you since everyone keeps tap dancing around Truth:

  • Racism and discrimination are wrong.
  • Religious, LGBTQ & disabled persecution is wrong.
  • Giving corporations the rights of humans is wrong.
  • Taking bribes is wrong.
  • Campaigning on "family values" while having affairs is wrong.
  • Blocking sensible gun control is wrong.
  • Exorbitant pharmaceutical and insurance price hikes for profit are wrong.
  • Failing to disclose lethal side effects of your products is wrong.
  • Polluting our environment to maximize profits is wrong.
  • Allowing corporations to have unlimited contributions in our political arena is wrong.
  • Not having a cap on individual contributions to political candidates is wrong.
  • Failing to wear a mask during a pandemic is wrong.
  • Blocking scientific fact, innovation & sustainability initiatives for profit is wrong.
  • Blocking & silencing the Center of Disease Control for political gain is wrong.
  • Taking health care away from the middle class & the poor is wrong.
  • Blocking aid for the disabled and elderly is wrong.
  • Displacing lower classes to create lavish communities for the wealthy is wrong.
  • Defunding the Veterans Administration and the Post Office is wrong.
  • Allowing white-collar criminals to evade justice is wrong.
  • Inciting violence on social media and in public is wrong.
  • Attacking peaceful protestors is wrong.
  • Blocking a Supreme Court appointment from a sitting president for 10 months is wrong.
  • Pushing a Supreme Court Justice through without due process in weeks is wrong.
  • Setting public property on fire is wrong.
  • Blocking prison reform for 8 years so your party can take credit in the last 4 is wrong.
  • Blocking unanimous state ratification of health care reform for political points is wrong.
  • The killing of unarmed citizens by police is wrong.
  • Media character assassinations of victims who are killed this way are wrong.
  • Dehumanizing minority criminals and humanizing white criminals is wrong.
  • Expecting law enforcement to be janitors for societal decay is wrong.
  • Training police to always "shoot to kill" rather than "shoot to disable" is wrong
  • Killing arrested individuals in custody before they are tried for alleged crimes is wrong.
  • Jailing people over drugs you're now making money with legally is wrong.
  • Failing to expunge those charges & release them after making millions is wrong.
  • Assassinating police officers is wrong.
  • Threatening harm to a public servant is wrong.
  • Killing the loved ones of a public servant is wrong.
  • Attempting to assassinate public servants is wrong.
  • Kidnapping a politician is wrong.
  • Blocking aid checks to dying Americans while providing corporate welfare is wrong.
  • Corporations & wealthy individuals evading taxes are wrong.
  • Staging an attack on a federal, state, or local government building is wrong.
  • Aiding & abetting insurrection is wrong.
  • Beating officers with the American flag is wrong.
  • Failing to accept responsibility for your part in this mess is wrong.

Stop making excuses and do better.



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