From a Blue State
By Rachel Cernansky
This has been one of those weeks when I have had one
thing on my mind (by which, I mean, if it isn’t obvious, the
gloomiest day in memory that will surely make these States less United
than ever) that I have absolutely no desire to talk about—I want
it out of my head—yet can’t help but complain about it.
Wait, “one of those weeks”? No, I don’t believe I’ve
had one of these weeks before.
Part of me feels the responsibility to fill this space with something
inspiring, some positive sentiment to reflect on and move forward with.
I have none of that. Right now I’m so disappointed, so—I hate to
admit it—depressed, that I wish I just didn’t care so much about
the things I care about. Then my hopes and expectations would be lower for the
potential of humanity and for expressions of compassion, and would not have been
crushed as much as they have been. And I’m hoping these feelings will disappear
and I can carry on with the work that I, we all (anyone holding or reading Satya
knows which ‘we’ I am referring to), are putting so much effort into.
But this week has not been very promising to that end. Up until Tuesday—even
early Wednesday morning—there was a glimmer of hope, a bright side to look
on. It was not guaranteed Kerry would win—but until he didn’t, there
was reason to keep working, potential for goals to be reached. Getting Bush out
being the goal in itself for the last few months, and the year or so previous
there was the chance that Bush had limited time left. With an election coming
up, he had to at least keep a friendly face on, with the November voters in mind.
But now, without another election to worry about, what incentive does he have
to even cover up his dirty work? All the work we’ve done, what’s
the point? I’m really starting to wonder…
We began this sanctuary issue with the notion of how apt, how well-deserved it
would be to highlight the crucial role fulfilled by those offering a place of
refuge for those in need. We must keep battling the source of the problems—the
destruction of forests in Africa, for example, for the sake of both the ecosystem
and the animals being killed off at a heartbreaking rate to supply the bushmeat
trade, but while we do that, there are those babies left behind by the mothers
already taken who need care right now. The day after the day after the election
(I needed one day just to mourn), we were picking out the chimp portraits you’ll
see in the pages ahead—survivors of lab research—and I didn’t
feel it coming, but soon found tears streaming down my face. All I could think
about were the rollbacks these creatures are going to see happen to the safety
of their cousins in the wild. The increased funding, or at the very least, decreased
regulations, that the logging and oil industries are sure to see in the next
couple years if not months. And the decreased support, both financially for,
as well as cooperation with, international agreements that, if only superficially
at times, provide at least a glimmer of hope that people are making efforts to
resolve the problems of our world.
And… the list goes on. And includes not least of all, the complete lack
of scrutiny of these officials who lie about policy, lie about motivations, then
lie about the election process and go ahead with stealing it, once again. (For
more on this, see www.gregpalast.com.) The election for presidency of this great
nation that was founded by people who for the most part had such good intentions
for the future of this land. Of course there are quite a few glaring exceptions
to the justices they sought and the equality provided some people, and the lands
that were taken, etc., but even so, it is quite inspiring to go back and read
some of the words of our (pardon me while I use a title I usually try to avoid)
founding fathers. They worked to make this country the place—to stretch
the sanctuary theme a bit here—of refuge they were looking for. While America
has never lived up to its ideals, there was hope that we were moving toward them.
But our current leaders are on a divergent path. They do not have the good of
the people, the welfare of the commons, the separation of church and state, and
a system of checks and balances as their underlying principles.
What does guide them is not what I’m looking to talk about—it’s
the dominant element of precisely that conversation I don’t want to have.
My problem is that I have nothing to say. I want this to pass and hope that in
no time at all I’ll be more motivated than ever—maybe take up the “Don’t
get sad, get mad!” philosophy, or is it “Don’t get mad, get
active!”? But for the moment, I’m sorry to say, I’m quite sad.
I’m quite angry. I feel quite bewildered, wondering, What’s the point?
But would very much like to hear answers, if they’re out there…