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No Despair. Just Exasperation

Howell Hurst Uncategorized


No Despair: Just Exasperation

One of my high school classmates, who seems to loyally read my comments about the condition of the country, emailed me recently. Responding to a down day I’d experienced and written about, she said she was sorry I was feeling despair.

That got me to thinking: am I experiencing despair? Am I upset at the condition of our country? Do I find the current situation hopeless? Am I becoming weak livered, accepting that all my classmates and I are now in our eighties? That the future is irrevocably shorter than the past?

Is the quantity of the years weighing heavy on my spirit? That’s the question I face. Is that the subject of my internal thinking each morning when I wake up? Well, I ask myself, are they? Are all these years making me feel hopeless?

I’ve figured it out. No, I am not filled with despair. I do not feel hopeless. It’s something else: I am exasperated. Bluntly said: I am annoyed, irritated, and angry.

What’s causing this is you: all my fellow Americans. That’s right. You’re to blame. No, wait. Let me get this straight. It’s not you. It’s Us. We’re all to blame. That’s it. The present condition of America is caused by Us. We’re the real culprits.

Investigate this with me. Are we not members of a country wherein we are empowered by a constitution to be the source of all political power? Is not our actual responsibility as citizens to insure our own social stability?

Why then, I ask, are we all sitting on our couches, watching TV, searching through the Internet, scouring our newspapers and magazines, and doing little if anything about the lamentable actions of our government?

Is mine despair? No, it’s simple disappointment that we octogenarians don’t  organize national activism to alter the continuing battle among those seeking to gain political power.

They always claim they’re running for all of us, but they always end up benefitting themselves, not all of us. For example: all senators and house members have lifetime medical care, but are incapable of securing it for us.

Why are we all just letting this happen? Particularly, why are we oldsters not organizing in churches, Rotary, Moose Clubs, Masons, whatever groups we belong to – and demanding they take care of business?

Local veterans where I live strive to persuade others locally to support their efforts to moderate our defense industry, but do not organize nationally. Great intentions. But reality is that unless that and other issues are organized nationally, the effort is futile.

The political battle today is the national manipulation of the issues of the day – by gaining the attention of national media. If we are not organizing nationally to attract the attention of national media, no matter what we propose our voices are unheard.

We do not exist. Except to warm our couches. That’s the source of my exasperation. We are engaged in a national battle for the soul of our country. But we remain complacent, while the need is to organize and force the issues.

Corporate money, due to the Supreme Court ruling of ‘Citizens’ United,’ is the defining factor in America’s politics. We people relinquished our responsibility, and long and silently have been replaced by corporations designated as people.

There is no organized outcry by us about this. No one responds, “Yes, let’s do something about this legal ruling.” Instead, from the bottom of a voiceless pit comes the thundering sound of silence.

What is required to get mature American citizens actively involved? It might start if every disgruntled American googled “Citizens United” and read Wikipedia’s explanation of the subject.

Grab your stroller, put on your specs, and get to your computer. Maybe that will get some of us up off our couches. Or, am I asking the wrong question? We can all still read, can’t we?

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