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When people and countries go crazy

LOST THE BUTTER. THEN THE MIND.

It was unsettling, to say the least, when domestic terrorists took over the Capitol Building, supported by an emotionally-damaged president and an assortment of family members, cronies and elected leaders. Like most residents of the United States, I could only watch in disbelief.

Yes, many questions remain about how it was organized and enabled with many law enforcement providing what might be described as a “hands off” approach. In my history as an activist, I have been roughed up and had my movements controlled far more effectively in various Washington, DC protests for ending wars and AIDS.

Since I live in a little village in New Mexico, far from the nation’s capital, I can only hope cooler, saner heads bring those who broke the law (and almost broke the election process) to justice.

And this brings me to the butter in my microwave. I became so distracted and disturbed by binge-watching media showing the domestic terrorism, I somehow placed my container of butter in the microwave instead of the fridge. It took me two days to find it. Getting rattled does no one any good. Focus, clarity and purpose are what’s required in these surreal times.

My mobile and laptop continue to scream out with constant news regarding the old regime of the damaged man-child. While I realize we are talking about very complicated root causes for the storming of the Capital, my cynical theory is that one motivating force was that this worst-president-ever was told by his handlers that the event would boost earnings for his new subscriber-supported, soon-to-be-launched streaming show called “No Losers Here.”

THE POINT?

The point of this article is that what happened in DC was an inevitable train wreck.

Our national leaders on both sides of the aisle have, for many, many decades, allowed large segments of the population in all fifty states to go without timely health care, affordable housing, a secure food supply, transportation to vital services and training to acquire a job with a livable wage and benefits. If you wish to know how much people in your county struggle to access what we call the services for surviving, we have a handy survey ready to go.

I am all for a peaceful transfer of presidential power and civilized protests calling for change. I am also for seeing a new era where national, state, county and city elected leaders make the health, safety and resilience of 100% of residents in the USA the priority.

Years of health disparities, injustice and benign neglect have created a nation of frightened, desperate people easily swayed by messages of the political right. It would be a mistake to write off all the protesters as crazed. We should be surveying them to learn of their household incomes, access to mental health care and prospects for a good job. We may find many truly terrified about their prospects for a stable life and work in desolate communities left to fend for themselves.

If we want a civilized culture, those of us with privilege (the ones who have good paying jobs with benefits working from home) have to get to the business of ensuring for 100% of residents the vital services for surviving and thriving — including building a functional healthcare infrastructure to handle any public health crisis. (Related rant: Don’t you find it odd in a pandemic that shows we lack a functional and accessible health care system, no urgent call for “medicare-for-all” from any elected leader?)

THE CLUTTER

I am not a fan of most of the nation’s talking head, so-called “news” shows or sites — from any place on the political spectrum. They hit you with drama-filled headlines, stories with little context and no realistic solutions. And fact-checking is up to you.

The less time we spend watching and more time we spend doing (as in local political action and capacity-building), the quicker we move to a far-better and fairer future where 100% can thrive.

SPIN VS REAL CHANGE

How will we know if our new elected leaders are committed to something new? That’s easy. You will hear the president, your senators and congresspeople, governor and mayor on the same page with one radically simple message:

“We are committing to policies that ensure every US resident life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness which includes: 1) medicare-for-all, 2) a moonshot-size policy to guarantee job training in its many forms, aligned to jobs that exist, 3) universal early childhood learning programs, and 4) each public school funded to become a fully-resourced community school with a health center.

I would add in a fifth policy but can wait till the second presidential term: “5) Free life-long learning in the college and university system with courses in world history, democracy, civil rights and historical trauma and disparities strongly recommended.”

Crazed times are here. How crazy or hopeful depends on what you and I do next.

Fight! Survive! Thrive!

Please excuse any typos as I construct an article at 3am on only one cup of joe. These stories are mine and mine alone. I do not represent any organization here. Words and images ©Dominic Cappello but share with everyone you know. Questions? The groundbreaking graphic novel and manifesto Attack of the Three-Headed Hydras: Confronting Apathy, Envy and Fear on the road to saving humans and the future awaits you here: www.tenvitalservices.org.

A NY Times bestselling author, social justice activist, Oprah guest, co-author of Attack of the Three-Headed Hydras, 100% Community and Anna, Age Eight.

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