You Can’t Always Get What You Want

DC3CDBB7-1031-4AA7-B772-9AF04604FF16Compromise is a part of life. For example, if I want to do one thing and my wife wants to do something else, we compromise — and do what she wants. Because, you know, happy wife, happy life.

But in American politics these days, compromise is a dirty word. It’s a sign of weakness, of capitulation. It’s considered to be a zero-sum game, a situation in which one group can win something only by causing group to lose it.

As a result, there is legislative gridlock in Congress where key votes are strictly along party lines and any congressperson who doesn’t vote that way is considered to be a traitor to his or her party.

No wonder Americans are frustrated and angry with the government and with Congress, where it’s always party above country. And we have an imbecile in the Oval Office and a Cabinet where the primary qualifiers for being on it are great wealth and incompetence for the role.

Perhaps for the greater good, our elected representatives should heed the words of the Rolling Stones:

You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “compromise.”

Sunday Photo Fiction — The Aftermath

179D041D-4CCD-4B3F-931C-1EA4DDB03F37“They closed the school after the second mass shooting of the year last year,” Maggie told her cousin, Erica. The two girls were standing outside of the fence that blocked the school’s now empty parking lot. “I was supposed to go here, but because of the carnage, they shut the place down.

“I’m one of the lucky ones,” Maggie continued. “My parents can afford to send me to private school. Some parents have chosen to homeschool their kids. But a lot of parents — those who can’t afford private schools or who work and don’t have time to homeschool their kids — have given up. So a lot of kids are just hanging around instead of going to school.”

“That’s awful,” Erica said. “Can’t something be done to stop the gun violence so kids can get an education instead of just aimlessly hanging out and getting into trouble?”

“Not really,” responded Maggie. “The NRA is too rich and powerful. They literally bought and own the Republicans in Congress. The White House, too.”

Tears started streaming down Erica’s cheeks. “Maggie, I wish you could come live with us in Ottawa. You could go to school there and not be afraid of being shot.”

(200 words)

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Photo credit: Sascha Darlington.

To Save and Preserve

D5DFFEC0-E9C6-4526-8DCC-B631AA2E558FMy first inclination when I saw today’s one-word prompt, “courage,” was to go political and to write about the absence of courage that the Republicans in Congress have exhibited when it comes to their constitutional role to serve as a check and balance against an unhinged, autocrat-wannabe who occupies the White House.

But then, since I’ve been watching the Winter Olympics on TV, I thought I’d write about the incredible courage of those athletes who attempt what to me appears to be almost superhuman feats of athleticism as they go for the gold.

And then I thought about the courage of first responders who go charging in — whether for natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, fires, or hurricanes, or into man-made tragedies, like mass shootings and terrorist bombings — when everyone else is fleeing the scene.

There’s also the courage of whistleblowers who are willing to risk their careers — and possibly even their lives — in order to release to the public details of underhanded or illegal activities on the part of employers or even governments.

And what of the courage of women who have told their stories about sexual harassment and abuse by the rich, famous, and powerful?

But what is needed most today is the courage of everyday Americans to go out and vote at each and every election, from local and statewide elections to national elections. The courage to pay attention to the issues that matter to them and to actively support and vote for candidates who reflect their personal values.

That is the kind of courage that is critical in order to save and preserve our democracy.

#JusJoJan — Liberty Lost

BC71CB31-1FA8-44D7-9A67-32E49BBFA232I was going to write a post today about how Americans seem to be losing many of the liberties that we hold near and dear and that are guaranteed to us by the Constitution.

Religious liberties, civil liberties, political liberties, and personal liberties.

But instead I’m going to take the liberty to state that our president is an unstable, incompetent, narcissistic moron and our Congress is a dysfunctional body comprised of a bunch of highly partisan, spineless, amoral politicians who care more about their own unenlightened self-interests than they do about what is in the country’s and its citizens’ best interests.

I wonder how much longer I will have the liberty to make a statement such as this without fear of arrest and/or imprisonment.

Written for today’s Just Jot It January prompt from Linda G. Hill. Today’s word, selected by Capt Jill over at Capt Jills Journeys is “liberty.”

#JusJoJan — The Revolution Has Started

D3947AEF-60FE-4243-A3E6-0379CF37E68CShe was probably the least likely person to emerge as a leader of the revolt. She was an older woman in her late sixties. She had never been politically active. Apathetic is probably the best word to have described her attitude toward politics. Yes, she voted, but it was pretty much a straight party-line vote.

So what changed? What prompted her to become an activist? What triggered her to take up arms and join the resistance?

First it was when the President and his political cronies in Congress said that the huge increase in the defense budget, along with the cost of the border wall, would require that social welfare programs, like Social Security and Medicare, be defunded. She lost her primary source of income and her health care coverage.

That was bad enough, but then the President began shutting down what he called “the fake news” media and started arresting and imprisoning journalists and even bloggers who were critical of him and his administration.

But the final straw was when the President signed two Executive Orders, one naming Christianity as the country’s official religion and forbidding the practice of all other religions, and the other declaring that performing or having abortions would be illegal, with the threat of jail for both doctors who performed such procedures and women who had them.

And that was when she had had enough. That was when she decided that the revolution must begin.

Written for today’s Just Jot It January prompt from Linda G. Hill. Today’s word, “revolt,” was suggested by Sandra, of What Sandra Thinks.