STATE OF MY NATION – Marilyn Armstrong


I have forbidden television viewing today. It’s the Republican opportunity to deny everything and I don’t think I can handle it. Worse, this might be the broadcast that finally makes Garry kick the TV until it shatters. Since we need to fix a broken toilet and the floor under it, we can’t afford a new TV so we’ll have to hang onto this one. This part of the impeachment will have to wait for the evening news roundups and late-night comedies.

Watching it will make us crazy.

Trump has only been in office for three years, but it feels like at least twenty. Maybe more. It isn’t only what he has done. It’s what he has tried to do, his twisting of reality and constant blatant lies. He has been the first president in my lifetime to make me wonder whether this country has a soul, conscience, or any aspirations other than the gathering of money and “things.”

Someone — and I really have no idea who — said that no one goes to their grave wishing they’d spent more time at the office. It goes hand-in-hand with all the wealthy people who have the money to buy everything they ever wanted yet feel as if there’s a big, empty hole in the middle of their life. They are lonely, bored, and feel unloved. They (who ARE they?) actually did a survey on this which has been on the national news for the past few nights. The rich don’t have friends. Making money hasn’t been nearly as satisfying as it was supposed to be. No amount of publicity, plastic surgery, or fashionable clothing fills that hole.

I have come to believe “The American Dream” is just a soft-focus, rose-colored version of greed for all.

With all the issues we have got, I am not lonely. I wish we had more in-person time with friends, but as we have grown older, so have they.  Our contemporaries mostly don’t like long drives anymore. Distances that weren’t a big deal even five years ago seem much longer now.

I always hoped we’d somehow find a way to stick together, but life has taken us in the opposite direction. Retirement to warmer climates and/or moving to wherever our kids and grandchildren live has spread us all over the map. There have also been too many deaths.

With all that, I’m pretty sure that if I died tomorrow, there would be at least a dozen people at the wake who cared about me. It wouldn’t be a crowd of people with whom I “did business,” but people I knew, talked to, and loved.

This nightmare through which we are passing has not only caused individual personal fear but has breached many friendships and family relationships.

Where we used to disagree and were willing to “agree to disagree,” we can’t seem to do that today. I don’t think I had a lot of Republican friends, but maybe I did. I never checked anyone to make sure they agreed with me politically. We didn’t talk about politics all the time. You were allowed to believe privately and in peace.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

There is so much anger, frustration, confusion, and hatred everywhere. You can feel it prickling your skin. If we don’t manage to get Trump and his trashy pals out of office, the future looks grim and frightening.

Worse, I’m ashamed of being white, and ashamed of my nation, and seriously wondering if we will ever find our way back from this mess. I never thought it could come to this.

Categories: #Photography, Daily Prompt, Marilyn Armstrong, Politics

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31 replies

  1. A sad state of the nation…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. White shame. Almost sounds like an SNL episode, but nobody is laughing. I think it is hard to face the news. I remember how appalled I was when friends shared horrible, overtly racist commentary about the Obamas. The hate and bile seemed obvious to me. There did not seem to be grounds for such reactions except for racism.

    Now that we have a scrofulous degenerate in office, I want to spew venom about his actual character and yet, I don’t want to be a hateful person. I don’t want to just laugh at his lies, make fun of his apparent illiteracy, or his total unsuitability for the office he holds. He is a laughable man. But I do not want to laugh. I want to cry. And then I want to find a way to make sure he never sits in office again. But I feel impotent to make that happen. I wish there were a great big arrow pointed at a path away from this nightmare. I can only hope the people who learned their mistake choose not to repeat it. That we can hold hope for any candidate against Trump’s sway. But if they couldn’t see through his bullshit then, I doubt they will do it now. Evidence doesn’t seem to matter.

    Sorry, I think you touched a nerve, triggering an outpouring of worry and depression. Let’s just let me simmer down. I’m sure I’ll be my sunny self again in no time. Say, 1 to 5 years from now.


    • I share all of your feeling including an overall sense of horror at how bad things have become and how fast we’ve gone downhill. I really thought as a people, we’d stand up to this clown, but we’ve just crumbled like a stale cookie. What happened to love of country and actual patriotism? What happened to morals? Where did the spines of the Republican party go?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marilyn, great and heartfelt post. I am hear courtesy of Cornfed Contessa’s reblog. I think we all are weary. Attached is a variation of a note I posted on several Senators’ websites. Please feel free to adapt and use. Note, my perspective is one of a former Republican and now Independent voter, having left the GOP about twelve years ago.

    “This independent and former GOP voter is troubled by a few why questions:

    – why did White House staff try to hide the president’s so called perfect call?
    – why would Ukraine leaders meet with Lev Parnas if he did not have the “juice?”
    – why was Trump not forthcoming about knowing Parnas?
    – why would real diplomats be kept in the dark by the Giuilani/Trump shadow diplomacy?
    – why did the nonpartisan GAO determine withholding the aid to Ukraine was illegal?
    – why do 63% of Europeans feel the US president is untrustworthy (per a recent Pew survey)?
    – why would any logical person take the president at his word, when five biographers said he has a problem with the truth?

    To my way of thinking, we need to dig further and call witnesses who can speak more clearly about the president’s apparent corrupt behavior.”



    • If you would like to put together a post, I’ll publish it. You make a lot of important points and coming from a former Republican, it holds a different meaning. It also reminds people that “the other side” isn’t a group who all think alike. Maybe despite current divisions, if we work at it, maybe we can come back together and all be Americans. With differences. Which is the way it ought to be.


  4. I watched just briefly and it was about as exciting as listening to my mother tell me the same story twenty-five different ways and none of them accurate. And she’s in her 90s.


  5. Great post. I too fear for our country. Never in my lifetime (I’m 61) did I ever feel so anxious about our country getting into another war. The president is a lying POS. We are actually looking at moving out of the country in a few years. I can’t believe how much I’ve aged since tRump was elected. What really bothers me is all of his hard core followers. How can anyone think what he is doing is okay? He’s a two bit thug, that we need to get the hell out of the White house.


    • I don’t get it either. All I can think is that my belief in who we are as a people was all wrong. It’s just awful.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I just hope people wake up and vote! We have to get our country back.


        • You know, I’ve done what I can and I’ve been doing it for more than 50 years. It’s time for another generation to take over. If they want to live in a democracy, they need to act as if it matters to them. That might sound callous, but it seems to me far too many youngsters are busy blaming their grandparents and no time at all doing anything to fix the problems. We may not have succeeded, but we tried. And many of us tried very hard.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I hope this doesn’t sound offensive, but as an outsider, my first hands on experience with the US was shocking. It was in Honolulu near a bus depot and seeing a mass of homeless people gathered and just the sheer number of them made me realise the price of the American dream was at the expense of a large subset of the population. And even though that’s not unique to the US it was the way most middle class people were unable to see it as a failure of the system, but portrayed it as a failure of the individual. That to me is the scary part. Of course people have a significant impact on the course of their lives, but to hear singly kind intelligent people tell me that the state owed theses people nothing, combined with the protection of billionaires capacity to behave atrociously was indicative of a Empire in decline. People seemed to support this bad behaviour because so many people in America are certain they are temporarily embarrassed millionaires, and any day now they will need those same protections.

        Yet despite all that I don’t feel any glee at the situation. Americans are so friendly, the nation has an abundance of culture and resources. It should have been a paradise, maybe it was and is lost?

        I hope the US can find its way, for the benefit of the world , as a compassionate entity, rather than the thing it has become


        • It has always bothered me enormously. I think you’d find it bothers most Americans. A lot of Americans aren’t deep thinkers. They don’t see it as a failure of the system because they have never thought about the system as such. Not ours or anyone else’s. It is also probably why we have such a low voter turnout and why we let politicians get away with so much crap.

          Most Americans know very little history and don’t understand why anyone else cares about it. They don’t see the parallels between what happened before and what’s happening now. It’s a failure of the system, but it’s even more, a serious failure of education.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Also the foundation of the US as I understand it is unique in its desire to be a truly free, egalitarian nation state. The conception is that the US was the first nation founded on these ideals, and that’s been the credo ever since. Once you are indoctrinated to the idea that you are the first and only truly free nation in the world, I imagine it becomes easy to ignore the instances where freedom was denied (slavery, Jim Crow laws, etc).

            Here in Australia we have a number of false beliefs that damage us as well. We call ourselves the lucky country (we are not lucky, we style this nation, which isn’t luck). We think we are easy going, honest, open and adventurous. Yet we are institutionally racist, climate change deniers who rarely leave the urban centres. All this is to our detriment in making a better nation, as is the diminishing trust we have for the US political process.

            And as a teacher, I totally agree that education (which extends far beyond school and college) is such an issue.


            • That should read we stole this nation (Australia), not that we style it


              • Europeans stole our modern countries. The older I get, the more this bothers me. Add to that slavery and Jim Crow laws and a lot of idiots who somehow are sure the Jesus was white and blue-eyed and can’t seem to recognize that he wasn’t a Christian. He was a Jew and I’m pretty sure he looked like Muslims. Americans are IGNORANT. REALLY REALLY IGNORANT.

                We don’t know history, we’re weak in math and science. We don’t know the difference between a verb and an adjective. Exported Europeans were all racists, but some of us managed to outgrow it. Moreover, there are far, far too many people who believe they are blessed because they are white. i don’t know why they would think that. Almost every important invention began somewhere else, from porcelain, and gunpowder, to (probably), the wheel. Alas, no copyright on that. What we seem to be really good at is killing each other. We love to hate personally, and we REALLY love to hate en masse, the more en masse the better.


          • The state of your nation is similar to the state of many nations across the world. We are living in scary times!


      • No Politics, No Donzo, No Beisbol scandal, No Bad Weather, No ‘if it bleeds it leads’..

        It’s ——

        “Farewell, My Lovely” ’75/Avco-Embassy.
        Robert Mitchum’s classic, career autumnal performance as the world weary Phillip Marlowe.
        One of Mitch’s finest jobs and a fine way to pass a dreary January, Saturday afternoon.



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