I don’t fly my country’s flag very often. I used to put it out on Memorial Day or July 4th or Labor Day. Harriet once questioned my appreciation for the flag, because to her it seemed more of a Republican symbol — they were the flag-waving party.
I insisted that we can’t let Republicans own the flag. It belonged to all of us. It represented our entire country. I still feel that way, which is why I don’t fly the flag at all anymore. To me, our country is an embarrassment.
In fact, the last time I flew the flag, I flew it upside down, which is considered a signal of “dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life and property.” That was November 2016, when Trump was elected.
My neighbor noticed my upside down flag. He didn’t condemn me, he simply asked if I was flying the flag that way because of recent events.
It might be time put my flag out again. Upside down, of course. I believe we are in dire distress. I believe the leaders of our country are inept and corrupt. I believe they will do anything to stay in power. As my friend Kevin said,
If Republicans wait for greater certainty before restarting the economy they are without a doubt headed to massive electoral defeat. So the play is to open now and hope the cavalry arrives in the form of treatments, testing or a vaccine. If help doesn’t arrive on time and a second wave ensues — the Republicans lose, which is the same outcome that would ensue if they wait for greater certainty before reopening. Their only hope for clinging to power is to take a wild-assed chance now, risking the lives of tens or hundreds of thousands of Americans.
I used to be honored to be an American. I felt lucky. I remember after I graduated from college I took a trip to Europe and in country after country I held my head up thinking I was a citizen of the world’s leader. I proudly displayed my passport at borders.
Last year when I went to Europe I felt very differently. I was thinking then, and I’m convinced now, that if I were younger and my kids were younger, I would do my best to move to another country. One where the government cares about its people. One where wackos aren’t wielding assault rifles during protests about “liberty.” One where healthcare is a right and not a privilege. One where the rich are actually taxed, and education was funded, and immigrants are welcome, and the poor and the downtrodden are helped.
Is it too much to ask for? Apparently it is in the U.S. There are so many good people in our country stepping up to help others, but right now the power is in the hands of the corrupt, the cruel, the selfish, and the ignorant.
Boy am I in a mood. That’s what dire distress can do to you.