Sunday, February 09, 2020

We Should Be Ashamed

I viewed a Norman Rockwell exhibit today at the art museum.  The centerpiece of the exhibit was Rockwell's paintings of the "four freedoms," paintings that brought FDR's words to life and made them resonate when his speech, and every other effort of the government after that speech, had failed to do so.  The exhibit also included this famous photograph, also from the Great Depression:

Dorothea Lange was working for the federal government when she took this iconic picture.  It prompted government officials to rush food aid to the camp where the woman in this picture was trying to survive the death of her husband and the loss of her farm.

This picture was there, too; another effort by a government photographer documenting the effects of the Great Depression.  Again, when this photo was released, government aid was rushed in to alleviate the worst of the poverty in that community.

Now think of the pictures you've seen of Puerto Rico after the earthquake; an island where they haven't yet recovered from Hurricane Rita.  And consider how Trump responded:  he cut off aid to Puerto Rico, because he claimed the local government was corrupt.  Rather than see that aid was delivered to people who need it, rather than fight the corruption (he didn't want to fight it in Ukraine, either, but use it as an excuse), he starves Puerto Rico of aid.  Puerto Rico, which is as much a part of the United States as Alabama or California, is, under Trump, cut off.

This is what we have come to.  This is who we are now.  From FDR's four freedoms to Donald Trump's Four Terrors.  Or maybe only two:  he says it's simple, just 'MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!' and 'KEEP AMERICA GREAT!'  He only means Americans who tell him he is great; the rest of us are enemies of the state, and the state is him.

We stand on the shoulders of giants.  Today, rather than acknowledge that fact and honor them, we piss on them and declare ourselves great and powerful.

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