A Note on Day 307 of Self- Isolating from America

What about those of us who still identify as people and not by political party?

As I sit and type this, my view through the window displays a world of peace. All is calm. All is quiet. I press my hand against the glass and my palm warms from the sun, regardless of over four feet of snow covering the earth from one horizon to the next. Birds take flight, startled by my presence.

307 days ago, our household made the deliberate decision to self-isolate from America. Of course, this automatically lumps us into the basement hiding cohort, attempting to escape a seasonal flu with a comorbidity death rate of a microscopic 2%, because that’s what America does. We dress up almost 400,000 Covid deaths with a glorifying “98.6% survival rate!”

Shortly after Trump took office in 2017, a friend said to me, “Now we’re forced to accept that half of the country has gone mad.” Here we are, four years later, and that percentage has only increased, and spilled over into the Democratic party.

I have no proof of this outside of the front page of every national newspaper. Our behavior has become a reality TV show brought to the worldwide internet via livestream and tweets.

Those of us who still identify as people, and not by political party, are smart enough to know that once the dust finally settles, It’ll be up to us to rebuild from the rubble.

Right now, we’re the ones who simply want to purchase pickles and bread safely in the market without having to choose a side. We’re people before party. We don’t want this war.

We’re the ones who cast our ballots and went to sleep on election night believing we fulfilled our civic duty, only for our democracy to become a global laughingstock.

We are the ones who live in reality. Pro-Trumpism destroyed everything in its path and those clinging on in the aftermath are banking on change once President- Elect Biden takes office, but it won’t change. People won’t change just because we want them to or because it’s the morally right thing to do. This is generational ideology we’re dealing with, and it isn’t going anywhere.

It’ll be the same as it was in the 1960s. We’ll stifle the racism, inequality and social injustices until another crackpot comes along and brings it to the surface again, because we never actually fixed the problems.

Instead, we acted like the problems didn’t exist anymore while claiming we’re the greatest nation. Some will claim we’ve made a great deal of progress since back then, but change requires a constant forward motion.

I have no idea where to go from here, so for now, I’ll choose to go nowhere.

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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