What have they done to our fair sister? Pt. 2

October 08, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

 

Firelight through an etched-glass window.

This period of my life is best described as one of holding in abeyance. I’m waiting for wildfire season to subside. Waiting for the plague to pass. Waiting for the right time to retire. Waiting to decide where to retire. That last one, where to retire, depends mainly on the outcome of the election in November. If by some catastrophic twist of fate Trump is re-elected, my wife and I will have to face the possibility of retiring somewhere abroad.

There are so many reasons why I’m praying that this is not a decision we will have to make. I’m too old to be contemplating such a move, and the logistics from the outset seem overwhelming. Then there’s the matter of where we would go. Where would we be welcome if Trump is re-elected? Americans at large will become even more undesirable than they are now.

And how far away is enough? If he is re-elected, the entire world order will be thrown into more dangerous confusion than it is at present. Most importantly, the rape of the environment will continue without constraint. There is no running far enough away from that. No escaping a deteriorating planet.

I am somewhat heartened by the latest polls that show Biden well in the lead. I’m trying my hardest to imagine a world without the constant barrage of Trump’s hateful rhetoric and petty vindictiveness, and I look forward to that world as if it were some Edenic paradise shimmering in the distance. But at the same time, I know that that vision of paradise could so easily be stolen away.

I don’t think anyone could have imagined how fragile our system of government could be when the wrong person is allowed access to the halls of power. Our government relies on unspoken protocols and tacit understandings that are too easy to exploit by someone who’s spent his life’s energy searching for loopholes and gaming the system. He exploited the vulnerabilities of our government just as cannily as he exploited the vulnerabilities of his constituency.

And so, I await the outcome. I am holding my breath, betting it all on a relatively fair election, a decisive majority, and a peaceful transition. I'll know my fate in a few short weeks. Will it spring the trap I’m in, allowing me a clearer picture of the future and my hoped-for retirement? Until then, I remain in abeyance.

And of course,

Vote Blue, y’all

A yellow-orange sky streaming through my office window.
Before the wildfires, a central coast sunset at Pismo Beach, California.

 


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