Amidst endless mass shootings, wars, wildfires, drought, plague, economic collapses, insurrections, bomb cyclones, atmospheric rivers, drug deaths, and sea levels rising as fast as the crime rate, perhaps no rallying cry has been heard as often as “We’re All In This Together!”
It’s a noble sentiment but when push comes to shove, if there is any escape from perpetual disaster & doom, it’s “Devil Take the Hindmost.” Which explains all the pushing and shoving. When disaster strikes, few want to be “all in this together” if there is any way not to be. History records no one who had to be dragged kicking and screaming into Titanic’s lifeboats.
“All In This Together!” is arguably the first sign that things are not going well, especially for the growing millions of All’s unable to afford healthcare, a roof over their heads, lucrative investments, private schools, private security to safeguard hilltop mansions & private jets to take them to tropical islands with sandy beaches, discreet bankers, and fully vaccinated, masked, and socially cozy neighbors.
If we were seriously “All In This Together!” there’d be no need for food banks to feed hard-working families jammed 15 to a room. Or to conduct gestapo sweeps of our streets, bridges, creeks, and tunnels to clear out the homeless and the undocumented. Or beg every good speller in town to please, Please, PLEASE! fill just one of the teaching vacancies in our schools.
Sadly, “Socially Distanced” is a more apt slogan – and description – for America today. Of the countless afflictions besetting the Republic, the social distance between Americans is perhaps the most serious. What’s more, it is growing and, in many cases, angrily – and happily! – so.
Don’t believe it? C’mon, admit it: When learning that a loud-mouthed anti-masker/anti-vaxxer has perished a horrible Covid death, the schadenfreude is almost embarrassing. Almost.
Likewise, when a lockdown-governor is caught knocking back a few with donors in an upscale restaurant where many constituents couldn’t afford the bread sticks. And does a tear fall in any Wall Street boardroom when a protestor on the street below is beaten to guacamole by New York’s Finest?
In Sonoma, the scent of Social Distance was almost palpable during the recent “non-partisan” (cue the laugh track) City Council election. A candidate with a discoverable Republican past was “for all the people” and not “a member of any political party.” But judging by the depth of his defeat, an innocent campaign poster depicting him smiling atop a tractor flying a giant American flag and leading our July 4th parade may have had unfortunate Trump-rally overtones. Rumors that he sold his hilltop home to the (gulp) Mattson family probably didn’t help.
The politics of the prevailing candidate leaned decidedly portside. Her work history – mentioned casually in passing – included public school teacher, public school board trustee, public teachers’ union representative, and consultant for the Democratic Party. Aha! A (gulp) Socialist!
A third candidate, politically blurry, finished a Socially Distanced dead last.
In neighborly, small-town, “All In This Together” Sonoma, neither loser attended the winner’s swearing-in ceremony to publicly congratulate her or wish her well. All in all, it almost makes one weep in despair for those long-ago days when people reaching out to those “across the aisle” weren’t just trying to punch them in the face.
Almost. But did you see those “patriots” on the evening news last night??!! Here . . . Hold my beer!