It feels extremely odd and almost wrong to be calm and satisfied, but that’s how I found myself this afternoon. I’d just put in a solid morning’s effort for a major work project, more or less successfully herded Kade through another remote school day, and played a rousing game of Scrabble after a walk in the sunshine. I was alternating my time between polishing training documents from my brand new, beloved couch and staring out the window at said sun, feeling like Wall-E charging up after our last big, drenching storm and the painful, deliberate chaos of last week.
I can’t figure out if it’s a duty to write about what happened at our nation’s capital last week, as I have a place of relative privilege and safety to speak from…or if my voice is just another tossed into the din with little to distinguish it.
Sidebar: here’s a list of where I’m getting my daily shot of news and thoughtful interpretation of our times…
- Heather Cox Richardson
- Anne Helen Peterson
- James Fell
- Jim Wright
- Tag The Flag
- Morning Brew
- Canby Current (for super local news)
- NPR Podcasts: NPR Politics, Up First, Code Switch, It’s Been A Minute With Sam Sanders, The Indicator from Planet Money, Throughline, Rough Translation, Embedded
- American History Tellers podcast (this one has been especially good for Kade)
- Lovett or Leave It podcast
- The White Pages
- Granola Shotgun
I also know listing these sources shows my shortcomings and there’s always room for improvement on which voices I’m hearing. It’s as comforting as it is disheartening to know times have certainly been just as bad, just as confusing and even harder to live through than what we currently face. Of course the current news is unsettling and enraging; the more details emerge about what happened last week and how close our elected lawmakers came to even worse outcomes the more stressed I feel. But surprised, shocked, startled? No. As bad as Trump and a lot of Republican lawmakers are (and they are pretty fucking terrible in every way), let us not forget our past well supported horrid fellows, from “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” George Wallace to Andrew Jackson, who not only decimated Native Americans but refused to follow the Supreme Court’s decisions and exposed a significant hole in our governing system.
Also, creature comforts and just living through every day for a majority of Americans for most of our history has been out of reach. Sitting safe, warm, and well fed was a luxury denied to most, and fighting for just a few more scraps was met with savage resistance from the government again and again. We absolutely should be outraged and speaking up against the undemocratic coup attempt of last week and whatever justifications and whataboutisms others toss up…but perspective, along with a solid grasp of history and science, will get us through this.