I lived in Israel, a nation I love but as controversial as any country on earth. When I arrived there, I was sure I knew something about how things could be fixed. By the time — nine years later — I left, I knew nothing except that should anything in the area get fixed, I wouldn’t be the person doing it.
I left, but it was okay. I was going home. I needed normalcy by then. Nine years in a country that is permanently just this side of war makes everyone nervous. We’d had some great days, right after the Camp David Accords were signed. I was there. I saw the cars — those big black cars from the U.S., Israel, and Egypt fly past me after signing at the King David Hotel. Israel was deliriously happy. Peace!
They assassinated Mubarak soon and Dayan died 10 days later. The peace became more like a non-aggression pact. The sunshine of a future faded and hasn’t returned.
I am here. My country. I’m older by 27 years. Happy, for the most part. Last year, we had an election — hardly news, really. I’ve been following elections since I was a small child. The first one I followed was the second election of Eisenhower. It was on the radio. We didn’t have a television, so I followed it with my mother. She explained each thing and what it meant, or could mean to us. By the next go-round, I watched it myself.
Kennedy was assassinated. Things got a little crazy, but our strong government took over and things were set to rights.
Something else happened. This … person … we have put in office? He has taken a powerful government, perhaps the most powerful government on this planet in this period of historical time and trashed it. Controversy? It has gone way beyond that. It’s a mess.
For the first time in my life, I wonder if we really have a government. If there are people watching out for us, caring about us. Because despite everything, that’s what governments are supposed to do for the citizens of a country. They supposedly watch out for us. Try to do the best they can to make our world better.
It is as though we have “privatized” the U.S. government. It’s not a “real” government anymore. It’s a bunch of individual yokels out to make a few bucks. They aren’t watching out for us. They aren’t taking care of us. They don’t care if we live or die, if we can breathe, have water, or exist. If we are sick, we can die, but we won’t find help here. We are the rag-tag nothings of the world.
A nothing people with a long slide down, but no way back up.