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I Tremble For My Country


The American author and naturalist Terry Tempest Williams once wrote, "The eyes of the future are watching us and they are praying that we learn to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with clasped hands that we might act with restraint, leaving room for the life that is destined to come."

Described as a "visionary" by the Utne Reader, Williams’ prayerful hope sums up how I feel this morning, the day before what will be the most critical election of our time. Maybe any time since Lincoln was elected in 1860. Yet I also tremble for my country as it stands on the eve of electing its 44th president.

I tremble because we stare numbly at a world in crisis due largely to America’s catastrophic wars of and “in your face” foreign policy.

I tremble because we live terrified in an economy melting faster than a snow cone in August thanks to the unbridled greed and “grab all you can before someone else gets any” philosophy nurtured by a president who has no moral compass.

I tremble because we shiver in the cold, early days of winter as a cold, shivering chill runs down our spines when we hear John McCain and Sarah Palin throw smears and platitudes like red meat to starving animals instead of discussing real issues like 11% of the country not working when unemployment claims are added to the number of people who’ve become discouraged and stopped looking for a job, or poverty in America, or one-sixth of the country hoping they and their kids don’t get sick or injured because they have no insurance.

I tremble because we’ve endured eight years of seeing America’s honor in the world torn to shreds, the Constitutional rights that protected us for 225 years from government abuse of power and authority systematically stripped and shredded, the novel American ideal of equal justice and equal rights and equal opportunity and equal protection raped repeatedly by an ideologically driven Supreme Court where one Republican-appointed justice is angry he was born black, a second is a mental midget and a third accepts the far right notion that those who have it are worth more under the law than anyone who doesn’t.

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I tremble because if We the People of the United States of America have another election stolen out from under us there will be hell to pay at home and around the world. One of the most laconic women I know told me last night that if somehow McCain confounds the reams of polls and somehow wins, there will be rioting in the streets and “I’ll be out there throwing bricks myself.” Ironically, a deposition is being taken today in Ohio of the man who may have been responsible for illegal, computerized vote switching and disappearing votes in the Buckeye State in the infamous Great Ken Blackwell 2004 Presidential Election Vote Switcheroo.

I tremble for my country because there is not enough Loraizapam™ in the world to calm me down if Obama loses. I should be celebrating my birthday today but instead I sit worried, fearful, frightened and trembling.


Charley James
The Progressive Curmudgeon

If you're born in Milwaukee, you are born a Democrat. And so I gravitated naturally to liberal politics, first as journalist and then an activist. I've been writing since I was eight years old and, after working in newsrooms for far too long, I have devoted much of the past decade as an independent investigtative journalist. When not writing about politics or George Bush, I scribble out essays on the peculiarites of modern times.

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