It is now possible (and presumably even probable) that the United States will go beyond healing. That they have irretrievably damaged themselves in their hate, their madness. That division has become self-destruction.
That’s absurd given the pandemic, the climate crisis, the war in Ukraine, the education crisis, homelessness, all the drugs in America. There’s a lot to be done… but delusion is always absurd, of course.
This Summer of America’s speaker, Steve Kerr, is a basketball coach. Kerr once had to witness how his father, a political scientist, was murdered with two shots in the head in a dysfunctional country, Lebanon. Later, as a Chicago player, Kerr was shorter than Michael Jordan but assisted. Now, as coach of the Golden State Warriors, he distracts the US from its sports fixation, distracts from the distraction and back to business.
Ten people have been shot dead in a Buffalo supermarket and 21 in a Uvalde elementary school. Before a game against Dallas, Kerr speaks for just two and a half minutes, he says: “That’s why I’m asking you, Mitch McConnell, I’m asking you, all the senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and the shootings in our schools and supermarkets : Will you put your own quest for power over the lives of our children? And that of our old people? And that of our churchgoers? Because that’s what it looks like. We do that every week. I’m fed up, I’ve had enough.”
The United States Constitution, passed in 1787 and enacted in 1789, had nine amendments in 1791, including the second: “As a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to bear arms possessing and carrying shall not be prejudiced.” The authors of that constitution knew little of America’s future, and knew nothing of a semi-automatic assault rifle called the AR-15.
Incidentally, the authors of the Constitution also knew nothing about contraception or abortion; they didn’t even mention women. Everyone who amplifies America’s madness today invokes this constitution. When it comes to guns, they argue not with the right to live, but with Native American liberty. The only protection against killing sprees is arming teachers and parents, says Donald Trump, sponsored by the gun lobby.
This American freedom doesn’t matter to McConnell or Trump when it’s women’s freedom. Abortion should always and fundamentally be forbidden, even after rape or incest. A judgment of the Supreme Court, which became known prematurely, states: “Outrageously wrong from the start” was the 1973 judgment, Roe versus Wade, which awarded women the right to an abortion. At this point, America’s splitters don’t find the rules so bad, now it’s about life, the unborn.
Nothing goes together. Or is it? If it were about enforcing a masculine-martial-republican way of life and forcing women into old roles, as in Margaret Atwood’s State of Gilead, it would all be coherent.
Not recognizing lost elections was a mandatory part of it; and to call for the purchase of even more weapons, too, so that there will be enough in stock when they are needed after the next election victory.
I thought for decades, quite lovingly, that the US would always find a way because they had endless imagination and strength and courage. I’m afraid the reservoir has run out.