Going with the flow


Mill Hall

When I was kid I used to be a daredevil. My proclivity for danger often exceeded my experience or common sense. One year at summer camp, I snuck off to the river after it had rained and the currents were high. I jumped into the swimming hole, shoes and all. I went to swim back to the rock I had just departed when I felt myself being pulled back and down. I struggled for a few minutes treading water and then I went under. I didn’t want to, but my body just gave out after fighting the current.

Just moments later, one of my cousins happened to be nearby and he jumped into the water and saved me.

Being in that moment between fighting the unstoppable current and letting go because you can’t fight anymore is an allegory for where we find ourselves politically and socially in this country. We’re all in with no way back to shore fighting a current of corruption and greed so powerful all we can do is tread water until we go under. No matter what we do, no matter how strong we fight, all our victories are turned to defeat by an insurmountable foe pushing us down with an invisible hand.

Free market jokes aside, our political will is barely enough to keep what’s left of democracy afloat in America. Most of us support universal or single payer health care. Most of us want changes to our gun laws, even those who believe in the second amendment. We know things are broken and that our elected officials don’t listen to us because they don’t have to.

Money buys votes and most Americans are broke…yes, yes I know. The stock market is doing awesome, right? Funny thing that 56% of Americans have less than one thousand dollars to their name. All that wealth is going to people who already have it. If those tax cuts pass, Donald Trump will make sure they’ve got even more.

The Republicans are so nakedly screwing the American people right now it’s hard to watch as poor and middle class Trump supporters do mental gymnastics that defy natural law to give our current President polling numbers that constantly scrape the bottom of the barrel. The lengths that some on that side of the aisle will go to put their party over people reached a new low with the desperate attempt to whitewash an alleged pedophile from Alabama.

Democrats aren’t the shining city on a hill that they want progressives to think they are as much as they are a slightly more left version of a corporate schill than their political counterparts.

The double speak recently while they openly admit that the primary was effectively rigged, but the unwillingness to acknowledge the violation perpetrated on voters is nothing short of mental abuse in the form of outright gaslighting. They are still taking corporate cash and Hillary supporters who helped undermine the 2016 primary are still in power with absolutely no transparency as they lie to our faces and expect the people they defrauded to keep taking it.

Here in the throws of what seems like forces of nature we don’t appear to have much choice, do we? Our legs and arms are tired and the rich and powerful are like an unstoppable flood dragging us down. We seem at the mercy of those who can swing elections with just a fraction of their wealth.

This is where my comparison ends, and you realize that you have been the victim of an illusion. The truth they do not want you to see is that they are not the overpowering current, you are…or rather, we are. That force you feel pulling away your hope giving rise to what seems like inevitable surrender is a dream they don’t want you to wake up from, because if enough of us ever did we would swallow them whole in one election cycle.

For all their wealth and influence, if just a large portion of citizens decided to unify and rise up for themselves, the richest among them would be me in that river fighting an unstoppable force just to try and stay above the water. This is why they spend so much on elections. This is why they try so hard to get you to accept defeat as pragmatism. If you truly achieved together what they fear in their most honest moments of reflection, there would be a cleansing flood that no one could spin back into control.

All you have to do is wake up. All that is required is that you’ve finally had enough.