Fandango’s Provocative Question #145


Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

You may have noticed, if you happen to be a regular reader of my blog, that I have been pretty bummed out lately. As an American, I’m feeling as though I am witnessing the fall of the American democracy. With all of the gun violence, political extremism, and racial, cultural, and social unrest befalling my country, it seems as if our American cloth is being unraveled and the nation has lost its way. And that, to me, is heartbreaking.

My provocative question this week revolves around the legitimacy of my sense of doom.

If you’re American, do you concur with my assessment that our country is rapidly going to hell in a handbasket? Or do you believe that everything is hunky-dory and America’s light is shining as brightly as ever?

If you’re not an American, based upon what you’ve read, seen, and heard, do you feel that America has, indeed, faltered? Or do you think that America will weather this storm?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

#WDYS — The Reunion

I thought I’d never see her again after the war started twelve years ago. We were in Germany on a two week vacation visiting my family when tensions between the two sides seriously escalated. Ida, concerned about our children back in the states, immediately left for America while I stayed behind in Germany to make arrangements to bring my elderly parents back to America with me. But within a few days of Ida’s leaving, virtually all borders were closed.

I contacted the American Embassy, but I was told that they were overwhelmed with people wanting to get back to the States and mine was not a hardship case. And then the war started and any chance of getting back home to America with my parents, much less alone, was gone.

At first, Ida and I were able to communicate via telephone, emails, and text message, but as the war wore on, most forms of communication across borders was halted. Even old fashioned letters via mail ceased to be delivered.

The situation in the small village in Germany where my parents lived had deteriorated. Most things we take for granted, like plentiful food, clothing, and sundries, were in short supply. I worried about our ability to survive as the war dragged on and on. And worse, being totally cut off from Ida and my kids for so long made my life close to intolerable.

In the eighth year of the war, first my father and then my mother, passed. I constructed makeshift coffins for them and buried them in their small home’s backyard. With no end to the war in sight, I was feeling overwhelmed by loneliness and the fear that I would not survive to ever see my wife and children.

At one point I was close to starvation and was contemplating ending my life, but then word started spreading that the war was finally over and peace was at hand. I decided to travel to the American embassy in Berlin to see if they could get me on an expedited list to travel back to the States.

As soon as I arrived in Berlin, I went to the embassy, but as I approached the building I heard someone call my name. I looked in the direction of the woman’s voice and my heart nearly stopped. It was my Ida. We ran toward each other and embraced for what must have been five minutes. I was crying and whispered in her ear, “Ida, I’ve been praying for this day for twelve long years.”

Ida looked at me, smiled, and said, “You look like shit.” Then she kissed me hard one more time, grabbed my hand, and said, “Come with me, my love. Our children are at the hotel and are eager to get reacquainted with their long lost father.”

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Photo credit: Gennaro Leonardi @ Pixabay.

SoCS — Lost Hope

For this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill, we are asked to use the word “hope.”

I’ve lost hope in America, the country of my birth, the country on the behalf of which I served in the military, and the country I have lived in my entire life. I used to be very hopeful about America, but now I’m feeling rather hopeless.

What has caused me to lose hope in America? Well, let’s see. I have lost hope due to the fact that Americans own more guns than there are men, women, and children combined in America. Or the fact that there are more gun homicides and mass shootings in America than there are in any other country on the planet. And the fact that there is one particular political party that has no interest in addressing gun violence or even in enacting common sense gun laws.

I have lost hope because systemic racism and white supremacism still exists in this country — and is, in fact, on the rise — and there is one political party that won’t acknowledge that or is even willing to talk about it.

I have lost hope because one political party is doing everything it can to suppress the fundamental right of Americans to vote because the members of that party claim that there is massive voter fraud (despite no evidence to support that claim) and that political party’s voter suppression efforts are aimed directly at minority voters.

I have lost hope because eight months after Joe Biden decisively won the presidential election, there is one political party that has embraced Donald Trump’s Big Lie and is doing everything it can at the local, state, and federal levels to cast doubts upon the outcome of the American electoral process and the legitimacy of the duly elected president.

I have lost hope when I see members of one political party refusing to investigate an attempted insurrection in Washington, DC on January 6th and is coming up with all kinds of nonsensical reasons to claim that the first ever attempt to breach the U.S. Capitol Building in American history was no big deal.

I have lost hope because there is one political party, which claims to represent individual rights, and members of that party decided to make wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, and getting vaccinated during a deadly pandemic a divisive political issue. And yet, when it comes to the individual rights of women to control their own reproductive health care, that same political party is promoting and enacting restrictive laws that make it nearly impossible for women to legally have an abortion.

I have lost hope because there is one political party that denies that climate change is a man-made “thing” that threatens the very existence of the future of human life and mocks the idea of going green into order to preserve our home for future generations.

And I have lost hope that, because of one political party, the America I have known and loved will soon no longer continue to exist.

Photo Credit: Derek R. Audette at

P.S. I have also lost hope that I caught all of the typos, misspellings, and grammatically incorrect sentences in this post because it’s midnight as I’m writing this and I’m dead tired and when I try to proofread this post, my eyes are getting all blurry. Oh well. It is stream of consciousness, right?