God I Hope Not! – Part I of II
By Jorge D. H. Prósperi, 2020
“Back to normal!” . . . That is what the president of America has promised its citizens . . . and promised to get there “big time!”
The president was referencing his inherent ideological normal – the Stock Market, the eldest child of Capitalism . . . along with its dysfunctional siblings – Free Enterprise, Supply and Demand, Consumerism, Private Property, Capital Accumulation, Voluntary Exchange, System of Pricing, Profit Margins, Competitive Markets and its favorite among financial survivalists . . . Survival of the Fittest Share Holders – not to mention the overall driving force . . . greed.
The Republican-Trump Party is now the holy grail of privatizing without tranparency, restrictions, oversight, supervision and review. The message is simple and direct – “just trust Trump to tell you the truth and do the right thing and follow blindly . . . “big time!” Sounds like a message that resonated across the ocean in the 1930s.
Capitalism and its tenets has been defined and marketed as advantageous for ALL Americans and to be the spine of our Democracy. But there are several components that are left out of the equation that should be included . . . like ethics, conscience, opportunities of worth, inclusivity, equality, justice, transparency, oversight, regulations, meritocracy, and authenticating the infamous American Dream. It seems like some get to experience financial realities while others get to only dream about them.
America in 2020 – was shocked and rocked on its heels and given yet another opportunity to critically stop, critically observe, critically question the principles of America as they apply to the quality of life. Are we a society . . . a community of human beings or are we numbers – commodities?
Who are we . . . really? Who do we want to become? Is this a time, while we are quarantined, to begin a national introspection . . . a transformation? Can the construct of Capitalism live under the same roof as Democracy, Equality, and Justice?
If we answer “YES IT CAN!” then we must begin its authentication, and more importantly, its transformation. We must change for the better because we are better than this! We have to be! The children are watching and demanding better.
So America . . . how did Capitalism and its tenets work out during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Any critical questions to ask? How did the ‘Trumpian Normal’ react to the COVID-19 abnormal? Did the ‘Cognitive Genius’ show put?
Did Wall Street step Up – aside from asking for more bailouts? I wonder just how many Brioni Chukka Boots were marching on behalf of BLM, inclusivity, justice and equality? Just asking . . .
LEADERSHIP is now front and center for each political leader and institution to deliver like never before with competence, integrity, character, honesty, emotional intelligence, moral courage and pro-active management.
Some leaders showed up! Some doubled down on incompetence. Some are now missing in action. We can see each leader on TV as they provide confidence and credibility or leave us with anxiety, chaos and hopelessness.
Trumpian lies, misinformation, incoherent middle school rhetoric, empty promises and self-serving comments are now in plain view for all to see – for all to hear – for all to recognize its fraudulent emptiness. The emperor in the White House, CEOs and those on Wall Street have been disrobed.
Each cable news outlet now produces similar images as several pundits discuss the trials and tribulations of the virus. Two mini-screens, usually to the right of the moderator(s) keeping tally of numbers. It’s a disturbing reality. One mini screen on the upper right shows the growing numbers of victims that have tested positive and those who have died from the virus. The graphs and numbers shift from country to country – state to state – second by second.
The other mini-screen, usually on the lower right, shows the Wall Street numbers moving at hyper speed with red-green arrows pointing upward and downward. The numbers in both graphics move in real time. One pointing to real tragic human stories . . . the other to speculation . . . a construct seemingly without definition and yet in command – control of the upper right hand counterstories of the horrors of the new human condition.
It is all playing out micro second by second at uncontrollable speed – demanding a universal PAUSE. Everywhere we look the virus is telling us to STOP – OBSERVE – GET A GRIP – LOOK WHERE WE HAVE BEEN – WHO WE ARE – WHERE WE ARE HEADING!
At the same time politically we are urged to “Open up and get back to normal! Go back to work – go to school – it will just go away!” While unsaid we hear the deafening whisper, “It’s an election year!”
Aside from the COVID-19, there has been a socio-cultural-political virus since 2016 infecting America that has turned into a vortex. We hear a national scream that is resonating within families and workplaces across the country ~ “Something is not right! We can’t continue like this! There is an exhausting anxiety and stress that we face daily that is intolerable.” Sound familiar?
It’s all too raw . . . too visceral . . . surrealistic. The numbers dying from the virus rips at our flesh singularly like fish hooks. We feel like never before the vulnerability of our humanity. We can’t help wanting to know each name, each story.
At the same time, we feel the vulnerability and frailty debilitating our citizenship brought about by authoritarianism, obstruction, corruption, divisiveness, pathological lying, nepotism and a lack of decency, integrity and dignity.
Returning to normal is no longer acceptable because the normal has been exposed as a fraud . I posit that COVID-19 and our current political virus is providing America – the world – with a wake up call in the 21st Century to deconstruct the old normal with an independent democratic dynamic – a human synergism that will not settle for living and normalizing the past as the present and future.
The essence, the ethos, the vision, the mission and guiding principles of America must focus relentlessly on justice, equality, opportunities of worth, inclusivity and the pursuit of a quality of life that dignifies and respects the human condition.
The transformation will seem overwhelming, but not impossible. Such has always been the case for human beings who imagine and dream beyond normality. The judge and jury will show up via the 2020 Presidential election.
End of part I of II – Go to Part II