HMPRESENTLY: America’s Roiling River
The guy seemed to know the river.
Gazing at the rain-saturated soil along the riverbank, and kneeling down and lightly touching the muddy soil, looking up at the TV news reporter, he said, as I recall; ‘We’re gonna be okay.’
The river, a little over a hundred miles from our place, in northern California, has caused havoc in the past, when it overflowed its banks and inundated nearby towns. One of several atmospheric rivers of pounding rain, flowing over from the Pacific Ocean, have been causing even small creeks and streams to run rampant.
Speaking of rivers, atmospheric, and otherwise, I’m wondering — if there were such a thing — what someone would make of a ‘political river’, a river roiling and thrashing about, almost like a serpent… with polarized politicians, rather than torrential downpours, causing anxiety and chaos.
We’re frequently hearing the word ‘polarization’ in the news these days, and I’ve heard the words ‘chaotic factionalism,’ describing divisiveness, in the nation.
Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp “told a conservative group recently that Republicans can’t only be against Democrats,” according to an article in the Huffington Post. “We have to be for something,” he noted previously in a Politico interview.
Imagine a roiling river, with roiling tributaries all over the nation, stirred up constantly by deeply polarized elected officials, some who have been in politics for some time, and others, much younger — a band of young, rebellious Turks? — tearing things up, without necessarily knowing what comes next?
Who can be sure, with such a roiling — boiling? — river, that we’re ‘gonna be okay?’
Washing away key components of a democracy built up over two-plus centuries… without having solid rebuilding plans in mind — which may reflect some of the thinking among some politicians — may be shortsighted… and maybe crazy?
What does it take to reach out and talk things out? A relatively small group of politicians on both sides of the aisle have been doing that, I’ve been hearing in the news, but not nearly enough of them.
“Life’s too short to not get along,” I heard a couple of women in their eighties say, on a Sunday morning TV show.