Plague Diary 5

I’m not religious and I don’t believe in God, but I did just read an article that uses direct quotes from Revelations to prove Donald Trump is the Anti-Christ. And I’m here for it.

Three short years ago we were in an economic expansion (not a great one, but still, as handcuffed by wealth inequality as this country is, what can you expect?), we had a massive pandemic preparedness effort in place, and our cities weren’t on fire.

This weekend found Americans trying to decide between social distancing and protesting police violence while almost 40 million workers tried to figure out how to stretch $1200 for six months.

And I understand something about Revelations now that I didn’t back when I was a believer: The Anti-Christ doesn’t bring destruction with him, he brings it out of us. Racism and brutal, exploitative capitalism, and a dangerously skewed “justice” system all existed before Cheeto Dust Twitler ascended to the throne. He just opened the gates and encouraged the demons to come out.

Here are two thoughts about that, one sad and one even sadder:

  1. We are going to have to go through a terrible reckoning before this country is made great.
  2. We thought the same fucking thing in 1968.

The truth is, the system was never fair or equitable, but for a while, strong unions and progressive politics made it bearable. The idea that one could live one’s life without passing through a shit storm of existential crises was born during that time and the last generation to believe it is the last generation to have it.

The Boomers quite literally pulled the ladder up with them. They took all the safeguards put in place during the Great Depression, the ones that kept the rich from getting too rich, the poor from getting too poor, the banks from playing roulette with our money, and old people from retiring without a penny, and just tossed them away.

Forty years ago Ronald Reagan, the Great Satan, came to power by ridiculing government and lionizing the private sector. We are seeing the natural outcome of that movement today. Corporations have fully captured the agencies supposed to regulate them, consumer protections have been erased, cops are on a dangerous power trip, and capitalism is crashing while the government doesn’t have the resources to help and the billionaires who do are not inclined to do so.

I fully expect a large second wave of COVID infections following the protests. And the way things are going, they should hit right about the time the first CAT 5 hurricane slams into the coast while FEMA sits in the corner and cries.

The results of the 2016 election have done so much damage to this country that I honestly don’t think we will ever be the same again. And before you rush to say, “That’s a good thing,” remember what’s more likely than Americans facing their racism and having their hearts grow three sizes inside their chests: Trump refuses to leave office, authoritarian power grab, secession of states on the West Coast and Northeast, civil war*, end of democracy.

*only roll your eyes if you expected everything else that’s happened in the last four years.

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