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Is It Hopeless?

by on February 21, 2017

                                                                      Is It Hopeless?

                                                                   by Marco M. Pardi

“The politic and artificial nourishing and entertaining of hopes…is one of the best antidotes against the poison of discontentments. And it is a certain sign of a wise government…that it can hold men’s hearts by hope, when it cannot by satisfaction.” Francis Bacon. (1561-1626) “Of Seditions and Troubles,” Essays, 1625

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall. 2017.


All comments welcome.  To those readers who have been hesitant to comment or ask questions, please be assured you may do so freely. In recent days several new people have signed on as followers, enabling them to comment freely, and it is hoped they will. All previous posts are open for comment by clicking on “uncategorized”. Reader participation keeps this site vibrant. MMP


Watching the news on Presidents Day I was gratified by the large crowds turning out in cities across the United States to voice their rejection of the person, and by extension the ideas currently in the White House.  Having already occurred over various particular issues for several days, these do not appear to be a last gasp. On the contrary, there appears to be a momentum which is building. And, a surprising number of Republican Senators and Representatives are facing very hostile receptions at their town hall meetings.

But as I look at these, and as I remember the massive crowds over issues such as civil rights, the Viet-Nam war, and other causes in years past, I find myself seriously wondering for the first time if a regime – which I assertively dub the 4th Reich, has come to such power that it can ignore the voices of the people.  Indeed, the titular leader, painfully aware of crowd sizes as they relate to his ego, has called the free press (media) of this country “the enemy of the American people.” I do not doubt for a moment that were the media to cover crowds equal to or surpassing the protesters and in favor of the titular leader the statement would read something like “the media are the voices of the American people.” Of course, there are no such crowds. 

I use the term titular not merely because of a particular political Party’s habit of installing puppets as presidents but also because I recently attended a get-together at which a highly placed operative from this Party was glowing and gushing about the virtual take-over of every governmental power position from the federal to the local level. The president-elect was barely mentioned; the revelry among the coterie was exemplified by the repeated cheers of “Now we are in complete control. We can do all we want to do and no one can stop us.”     

On an average day I sign and send about 200 on-line petitions. I know that sounds like a lot, but I get a lot. These are on various topics, mainly environmental, social issues, and politics.  Many of these petitions sites have counters, showing the number of petitions signed so far.  I often find myself as one of many thousands. But numbers do not seem to matter.  Several million more Americans voted for a presidential candidate other than the one who won. And the indications are now more clear than ever that, now in power, these people will do whatever they and their Big Business mentors want to do.

Wanting my petition to actually be read, and suspecting it is not, I take the site’s advice and personalize the message.  On political petitions I explicitly cite my background,  credentials, and history with the subject, particularly Fascism. On environmental petitions I cite my daughter and grandchildren as primary in my concerns and challenge the receiver to tell me what special plans they have made for their own children and grandchildren. Yet, the responses I get are “boiler plate” form letters thanking me for my letter, assuring me the recipient is doing the right thing. In other words, my petition letter triggered a pre-set response and there is no evidence at all it was even glanced at. I’ve recently been a bit more assertive on the political petitions.  I open my letter with something like, “Since I am unable in this format to enclose a large check for you I realize you will not read this. But…..”.  My fantasy is that some functionary for hire actually sees this.  Well, fantasies can be healthy at times.

In fairness, I must say I have written to the genitors of the petitions to ask if they ever read the personalized petitions they solicit. After all, wouldn’t they want to ensure that something dangerously inflammatory is not sent in their name?  No response from them either. This must be what target practice in the blackness of outer space is like.

It has been said that this “election” was just what the United States needed to awaken from its torpor, to reverse the historical trend toward less and less voter participation.  Perhaps even the evangelicals will realize they have been played, even the “Joe the Plumber” types will realize they are nothing but easy marks, even the people with two cars and a second home will realize their net worth is lunch money to the oligarchy which has tricked its way into power.  This is only a hope.

But the real problem facing every American, and every living being on this planet, is the avowed dedication not just to stalling, but to rolling back each and every initiative which has been hard won in the fight against Man Induced Climate Change.  The Cabinet appointments so far have all been people who either have no background or understanding of the mission of the Agencies they are now to direct or they have a long established record of fighting, suing, and even seeking the abolishment of the very Agencies of which they have been put in charge.  Environmental degradation in every form will not merely return to its pre-regime levels, it will increase dramatically as the interlocking leaders of these agencies cooperate with one another in serving their true agenda: The amassing of unimagined short term wealth through the rape of the planet in every form.  And, given the unprecedented power of the regime to resist any and all efforts to expose and curb “Dark Money”, it is exactly the formula Benito Mussolini succinctly captured in his statement: “Fascism is Corporatism.” In essence, the attacks are not happening in a disjointed way. For example, the appointment of an oligarch as head of the Department of Education fits very nicely with the bald attacks on journalism and freedom of the press. Censor and control what the children learn in school and smear and slander the media which provide information outside the school. Bases covered.

We are also told, repeatedly, “The election is over. Get over it.” An updated version of, “Nothing to see here, folks. Move along now.” Exactly what serves the regime. But the people who recite that mantra display a stunning ignorance of what an election is.  It is, at root, a consensus selection of a civil servant at any and every level.  Throughout my more than 30 year career in federal agencies, rising from the very bottom to a civilian level roughly equivalent to Colonel, I never forgot that I was a civil servant invested with the authority to do, within the scope of the position, the will of the people. This being so, what are we to say about the people who, by law and in principle, are the ultimate supervisors of their servants yet abdicate their responsibilities and “hope for the best”?

An election is not a one time flip a coin and then go home event. It is the tacit acceptance by the voters of a responsibility to continually evaluate the performance of the servant so selected and to speak to that performance. This is equally true for everyone who votes, including those who voted by default by not voting.  In the time I’ve devoted to writing this I have paged back and forth to read, evaluate, write and sign roughly 150 letters and petitions. It is my responsibility, even if “my side” lost.     

And so I return to my avocation, perhaps even vocation, of going through the issues and devising my evaluations of them.  I’ve never taken part in a public rally, nor do I intend to; it’s just not me.  But I hope the readers will consider their options and act on them.  Those of you here in the United States are supervisors, realize it or not. Time to fulfill your responsibility. And, I hope readers who find value in what I have written will refer others to this site and/or send it along to others.      

From → Uncategorized

  1. Ray Z Rivers permalink

    We Canadians don’t envy you your political lot in life – for it is more than just politics as you aptly point out. But the lessons must be learned – the next chance you get to sit on the throne you need to be stronger and more progressive and more permanent. We all wish you well for the next four years – believe me when ai say it affects us as well.

    Crossing the border to go skiing at Ellicottville NY on the weekend I could feel the tension in the air from those required to carry out the orders from the leader – there was still a smile but behind it the concern of someone, the border guard, taxed with doing more than he clearly wanted or needed to. It is happening.


  2. Thank you, Ray. I sometimes find it odd that, although your governmental system has had its problems, we in the U.S. don’t look more closely at such a wonderful model right next door. And, yes, our inwardly directed myth of Exceptionalism is growing stronger and more pervasive by the day.

    I’ve had dealings with U.S. ICE officers on the Canadian and the Mexican borders. In fact, one of my federal employees left our agency for a position in the Border Patrol. Most of these people at that level are struggling to keep their jobs. Despite the occasional zealot, they are often trapped between their orders and their conscience.


  3. We are certainly in uncharted waters. I have found nearly every day since the election mind boggling. I can’t process one never seen or heard before event, before there is a new one. We have a president who brags about sexual assault. Another world leader bragging their prostitutes are the best. This is a long read, but shows the whole world is at a loss what to do with our new leader:
    It is amazing how many times the phrase “Orwellian” comes up in political discussions and the news. Independent movie theaters are screening “1984” across the nation.
    I do agree with you Marco, momentum is building. It gives hope to see the large crowds of protestors not only across our nation but across the world. In the words of Barack Obama “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” I see a large majority heeding these words. I see hope.


    • Thank you, Mary. I share your feelings – almost like Future Shock, the book from 1970. It is tempting, of course, to “connect the dots” presuming they will lead to a central cabal orchestrating all this. And perhaps they would. But at the same time it is important to realize that removal of Trump is basically inconsequential to the complete power take-over from Federal to local level. It is also disturbing that, thus far, there is little to no evidence that people realize the genesis of the current American mess was the Tea Party inspired election of Senators and Representatives who took it as their duty from day One to obstruct the very first Obama administration. The ensuing 6 years of stalled and denied action by our representatives did not bring realization that their election was a mistake. Instead, it brought the dissatisfaction with government as a whole which expressed itself in the election of a thoroughly unqualified person to lead this government. I have doubts that realization will come any time soon, despite the growing protests at Republican town hall meetings. ,


  4. I think about this subject every day, and especially since I began writing my current story. I still hate politics, but this isn’t about who appears to have the power, but what those who are really in charge are doing with that power. We can’t afford to be ignorant any more; the survival of our country, and indeed our planet, depends on each of us being aware of what’s happening, and doing whatever we can to make a difference.


    • Thank you, Rose. I treasure your writing not just for its style and precision but for its insights and value in doing exactly what you say: making people aware. The temptation is to be distracted, or even to just submit and scrabble for the best one can make of life. But the truly strong, like you, will continue to delve into even the subjects you find distasteful in your efforts to help others.


  5. Dana permalink

    Marco, today I want to say things feel hopeless. If an administration decides to remove protection for our children (transgender or otherwise), what else does the future hold?

    I’m truly frightened for this country and along with that, the rest of the world. Sure, I aways have the option of returning to Canada, but is that the solution?

    I haven’t signed many petitions recently. Lately I feel as though there is little point, and I’m beginning to feel we are powerlesss.


  6. Thank you, Dana. I cannot deny that I feel the same at times. It is clear that this cabal has no interest in listening to or caring about the people and the planet. And I agree that moving to Canada, or anywhere else, is not a solution, much as it might make one feel better in the short run.

    I do continue to sign petitions, along with personalizing the message. If nothing else, it makes me feel better. The really important action will come at the voting booth. But, yes, I fear that will come too late to repair the damage so quickly being done.


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