#100WW — The Will of the People

The demonstrators marched to the statehouse to protest the latest injustices. There were hundreds of them — angry, upset, carrying signs, and chanting. The protest leaders gave rousing speeches to thunderous cheers.

They were calling for the governor and state legislators to come out and face them, to begin a constructive dialogue on the issues, and to right the wrongs.

But neither the governor nor the legislators responded. They were elected by the people, but did not have the courage to meet with those who put them in office.

It was as if the will of the people didn’t matter anymore.

(100 words)

Written for Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt. Photo credit: Heather Mount.

Tale Weaver — Then and Now

EA2CBDD8-9D78-46B2-9ECB-3065C5B40AD1Taking a look backward about fifty years, back to the late Sixties and early Seventies, I used to be active in the anti-Vietnam War/anti-Nixon protest movement. It was a turbulent time in America; a time when a lot of people felt divided, alienated, and disenfranchised.

Ultimately the U.S. cried uncle and gave up engaging in that unwinnable war. Sadly, so many young men lost their lives in the Vietnam, and those who made it back home were treated very poorly, even though they, as individuals, most of whom were drafted into military service, were not responsible for that unjust, unnecessary war.

Now flash forward to 2020 and we see the build up of yet another turbulent time in America. Another time when large segments of the population feel just as divided, alienated, and disenfranchised as they did fifty years ago. Maybe even more so.

People are, once again, taking to the streets, staging large protests.BE4EA7A9-9BFC-41F3-98DC-1E6F19723281But what is different now than then is that these protests are not about a war. They are about the very fabric of our American society. Back then, Richard Nixon, the corrupt president, resigned, the war ended, and America came together to heal.

But Donald Trump, an even more corrupt and morally bankrupt president than Nixon, is not going to resign. And the American institutions that have stood for 250 years are crumbling beyond repair. I don’t believe our country will be able to weather the Trump storm.

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt, where the topic is “protest.” Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (backwards), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (alienate), Ragtag Daily Prompt (uncle), The Daily Spur (Service), Your Daily Word Prompt (responsible), and Jibber Jabber (build).

America, Love It or Leave It

50B0A60A-30FA-442A-9576-A901646F6F48“America, love it or leave it” was a popular bumper sticker back in the late 60s and early 70s. It was allegedly directed toward “angry, left-wing radicals” who claimed that America was wrong to be fighting in Vietnam.

I did not consider myself to be an “angry, left-wing radical,” as I was relatively conservative at the time. But I did strenuously oppose America’s involvement in the Vietnam war, which I thought was wrong, unjust, and was tearing the country I loved apart. So I did participate in a lot of anti-war protests and often heard “America, love it or leave it” shouted at me by those counter protesters who supported Richard Nixon and the war.

The thing is, I did love America and I didn’t want to leave it. But I also felt that those who were shouting “America, love it or leave it” at me were condemning me for being critical of some of my country’s policies. And part of what makes America great and the country I love, is that you are free to voice your criticism without fear of being arrested and incarcerated. I hated to hear anyone tell me, “America, love it or leave it.”

Eventually, after the Vietnam war ended, our country started to heal, to come together. And that phrase, “America, love it or leave it” faded away, like bell-bottom jeans and rose-colored granny glasses.

But thanks to Donald Trump, that same phrase that was often shouted at those of us who protested against the Vietnam war, seems to have resurfaced in a 2019 version of that 60s/70s phrase.

Trump tweeted this past weekend that four minority Congresswomen should go back to the countries from which they came. Then, defending his tweet, he said,

“If you hate our country, if you’re not happy here, you can leave.”

In other words, “America, love it or leave it.” So much for healing and coming together, right?

It’s one thing to have a bunch of crew-cut rednecks shout “America love it or leave it” at young, long-haired hippies (like I was) at anti-war protests. But to have the President of the United States telling four U.S. Congresswomen, three of whom were born in the U.S. and one of whom became a naturalized citizen as a child, to go back to where they came from, is unconscionable.

I love America. I have no intention of leaving it. But I will not be silenced when I see migrant men, women, and children seeking asylum in our country being held captive in literal concentration camps at our southern border.

I will not say nothing when the current administration is rolling back environmental protections designed to keep our water and air clean and is giving tax breaks to the fossil fuel polluters.

I will not remain quiet when women, blacks, Hispanics, and non-Christians are being marginalized and discriminated against, when gun violence and mass shootings are everyday occurrences that barely make the news anymore, when the Republicans want to take away healthcare from millions of Americans, and when autocrats and dictators serve as role models for our moron-in-chief, who is also a pathological liar.

None of us should be told that being critical of our government equates to hating our country and that we should just keep our mouths shut or leave. Especially by the same man who, when he was running for President, based his campaign on criticizing almost everything aspect of the country, referring to the American carnage, and claiming that he, alone, could fix it.

And remember to not be confused about what racism is.31736ABA-9657-4D22-89B2-BE24C280C95A


I is for Taxes

DA90BCB9-5728-4912-B8BE-E7FC6C7AFCDCOkay, I’m not an idiot. I know that the letter “I” is not for taxes. At least not directly. But every year in the United States, April 15th, which is just five days from today, is when tax filings (and payments, if applicable) are due. And since the agency to which we in America must file each year to pay our fair share to fund our federal government is the Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, which starts with the letter “I,” I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that “I” is for taxes. Besides, my “I” post for last year’s A to Z Challenge was titled “I is for IRS” and I didn’t want to use that again.

So as I said, the tax filing deadline for our 2018 taxes is April 15th. I’ve been seriously thinking about not filing my taxes this year as an act of protest and civil disobedience. How about if I refuse to pay my taxes until Donald Trump releases his taxes?

I was thinking of not paying my taxes to protest the inhumanity happening at our country’s southern border, with the separation of little children from their families and throwing these kidnapped kids in literal steel cages.

I was thinking that there are plenty of other legitimate, in my opinion, reasons to not pay my taxes. However, I was also thinking that I wouldn’t do so well were I to be incarcerated for tax evasion in a federal prison. So I admit, I’m all talk, and I am going to file my taxes on or before April 15th.

There is a bit of a silver lining this year. I am actually getting a very small refund from the IRS for my federal taxes. Woo hoo!

But please hold your applause. April 15th is also the day my state tax filing is due. And my home state, the state of California, is requiring me to pay the state for the privilege of living here, an amount that is more than ten times greater than the refund I will be getting from the IRS on my federal taxes.

What a sad state that is.

Previous A to Z Challenge 2019 posts: