Does it all look pretty bleak to you? Whether you’re a foaming-at-the-mouth Trump zombie or a hand-wringing Libtard, do you find yourself grinding your teeth at night, wondering how the nation and the world will manage to survive? Is it all just too frustrating and maddening?
Well, here are a couple of super-useful pieces of advice. First: get your dentist to give you a good sturdy bite-guard. This will prevent you from wearing your teeth down to the bloody roots before your fortieth birthday. Second: stop worrying. As a nation—and as a species–we are guaranteed to survive until we don’t. That’s a completely air-tight promise, from me to you.
As a nation, America will have a chance in the New Year, and especially in 2020, to decide what it wants to be. Maybe it will choose a path that honors its history and those who have served, one that binds us more closely to the freedom-loving allies who have acted as a bulwark against aggressive dictatorships since the end of World War II, one that celebrates a diverse and dynamic society informed by a free press. Or, on the other hand, maybe it will choose to re-fashion America more in the image of authoritarian leaders whose unending false and misleading propaganda becomes marching orders for its citizens, no questions asked; a nation that chooses to ignore its own history and the principles that made it unique in the world, a nation that decides to remove itself as an influence in the struggle for freedom and human rights both at home and abroad, retreating to its dingy little counting house in the dungeon of its castle keep, where it hopes that its small-minded ignorance won’t subtract anything from its bank balance.
The choice is up to American citizens, the bewildered and cranky masses who will tell us what they think is right and just. So why worry? After we put in all possible efforts to counter voter fraud, voter suppression, and the obscene “legality” of gerrymandering, the nation will go where it will, even if it becomes unrecognizable to itself, even if it has drifted too far into demagoguery to correct its course. So be it. Or as our friend Jesus would say, “Amen, Amen, I say to you.”
The same goes for the planet as a whole.
If the world’s nations will not rise to the challenge of climate change, then we are de-facto accepting consequences as dire as they are obvious to all but a small coterie of scientists whose enthusiastic denial of climate facts is in direct proportion to their embrace of financial support from fossil fuel interests. The greatest irony in our willful indifference to climate change’s effects is that those effects will end up costing far more than the money that deniers claim will be lost in efforts to mitigate those effects. Rising sea level, the melting polar ice cap, increasingly catastrophic natural disasters? It’s not just the huge “ka-ching” money factor, but the far more serious issue of suffering that will be inflicted on humanity—the poor, as usual, bearing the brunt of it.
But you know all this. Or you don’t, depending on your level of denial. Whatever your view, the message still is: Don’t Worry. The choice of humanity’s leaders will take us exactly where we as a species want to go, even if it is to the brink of extinction, or over that cliff edge. There is real justice in it: whether or not we turn out to be smart enough to respond to the threat. Darwin’s thesis was never “Survival of the stupidest.” Who said humanity had to survive, or that the earth might not end up a barren landscape like Mars? The universe is very wide, and certainly doesn’t care whether we survive, especially if we don’t appear to care, either. What better justice than that we should reap the consequences of our choices? Here’s hoping we act in time, and go on to become something inspiring and transcendent, something that will demonstrate the beauty of our hearts and not just our brains. Something that will avoid making us little more than a small splat on the last page of a history that no one will ever read. But in any case, no need to worry. The universe can take care of itself.