The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

There Must Be Some Kind of Way Outta Here

Dave Randall

Posted on July 18, 2020 23:46

5 users

We stand at a crossroads that extreme partisans fail to acknowledge — which makes it a dangerous time.

When in doubt, quote Dylan. When searching for the appropriate description of anxiety delivered unto us by a pandemic, and one man's dereliction of duty, seek the voice of a previous generation and troubling time. The opening lyric from All Along the Watchtower fits the mood of clear thinking people: "There must be some kind of way outta here!"

We, as a country, have faced travail before. The Civil War and its brutal after-effects, World Wars, the 1918 pandemic, The Great Depression, assassinations, civil unrest, and out and out demagoguery. The United States always prevailed. Not without inflicting pain and oppression upon its least-powerful citizens, but the nation and its stated principles stood.

2020 is a year of appalling realities, though. In our past, demagogues (Louisiana's Senator Huey Long in 1936, and Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1972) were stopped in their tracks by the bullets of an assassin and would-be assassin. Our current demagogue sits behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval office, tweeting invective, stirring chaos and viewing a pandemic (like everything else) through a crystal orb. His question to this Magic 8 Ball is not, "How many people will die?" it's "How much money and power will this cost me?"

What was feared of Long and loathed about Wallace, spews forth from the incumbent, careening through nearly a full term, compulsively lying, dissembling, demeaning, bullying, and betraying his oath of office. What is most frightening are the mesmerized faithful in his party. Fashioned as the country's true patriots for decades, first in defense, first to fly the colors, who now look the other way when nothing is done to question or punish a foreign adversary.

Russia encroached upon our sovereignty by meddling in our elections, and putting bounties on our sons and daughters in uniform, yet the majority of his party's elected officials fall silent. Like a back-slapping used car salesman, who manipulates the unwitting buyer, telling them what they want to hear, making them feel empowered, then ducking out of sight when the engine of the lemon he's sold them seizes-up. 

The easily manipulated faithful, like the 58-year-old man from Huntington Beach, recently quoted in a Los Angeles Times article, sunning himself, mask-less, decrying Covid-19 as a hoax that's only affecting the third world. We come to tolerate this kind of ignorance because it's his right to be ignorant, but that's where the lyrics of Dylan come in. What does someone of clear, ethical mind, eschewing partisanship, say to his or herself when confronted with the possibility of four more years watching gentlemen like this, gas-lighted to the detriment of us all? "There must be some kind of way outta here!"

With over 140,000 deaths from the novel Coronavirus, what could realistically be called a depression, virulent racism surfacing, and genuine suspicion over what lengths this man will go to in his quest to retain power, Dylan's searing query rings through, today: "There must be some kind of way outta here!"

Dave Randall

Posted on July 18, 2020 23:46

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: HuffPost

In times of national despair, art is a respite. As corny and reductive as that may sound in the wake of Donald Trump's election...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest