Monday, October 14, 2013

Can you lead me beyond the nightmare to the shoals of clarity and shores of reassurance?

Can you lead me beyond the nightmare to the shoals of clarity and shores of reassurance?
By Daphne Muse
 All morning despite a great swim, I’ve been trying to gain my footing, secure my spirit and release the terror within.  I feel like I’m drowning in the murky rip tides of 21st Century Fascism and there is no clear shore in sight.  With every passing minute, I’m more and more terrified by the debt default deadline and the two-hundred and thirty-two Republicans in the House of Representatives controlled, and forty-nine domestic terrorists in the Tea Party, holding our country of more than three hundred and nineteen million people hostage.  They also are about to take billions around the world hostage as well, if they take the country into default.
The Civil War, which has been on simmer for well over a century, has now been brought to a boil and like Gettysburg and Chickamauga, these 21st century battles are brutal. From changing standing rules to up ending laws, the storm trooping Tea Party and Right Wing Republicans have extorted their way into power: are immune to any name calling, attempts to bring well reasoned mindsets to the seats they hold or look past tomorrow at what the take down of the country by their own hands really means.
While continuing to refer to the president as a Muslim to demanding he be impeached, they would rather take it all down than be told what to do by any black man, but especially President Obama.  Even the Koch Brothers, the money and architects behind the TeaPubs are now reversing their strategies and pleading to shut down the shut down. The Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert skits now grate against the rawness of my nerves. The shutdown of sane voices, seeking to prevail, is deafened by silence, which has become a deadly weapon of mass destruction.  There is no poem, piece of art or person in this moment that seemingly can reassure me.  Despair looms large in the air I’m trying desperately to breathe.  
Transformation of any sort can be painful, but the mass assault on this social order is eviscerating the soul, spirit and vision of a country that by decree but not sustainable policies and leadership could have been an inclusive and viable Democracy.  Though founded in treachery and structured on the bones of colonialism, there were so many components from which a real Democracy could have been forged and sustained.  For the sake of my grandchildren, your grandchildren and all these young people working their way into the future, I don’t want to be locked down by this terror.  I entered struggle as a social activist in high school and joined with millions of others across the decades to invest in creating an amazing future for them.  This is not the inheritance I wanted to leave the children pushing back from tables where plates are empty, black and brown teenagers being frisked out of their freedoms and girls being rendered in cauldrons brimming with sexism and exploitation.  I ask to be lead to the shoals of clarity and shores of reassurance, so I can engage in struggle and conduct resistance beyond the lockdown of fear. This is not the world I dreamed, but the nightmare I’ve felt coming on for a spell now.
Daphne Muse is a writer, social commentator and poet.  Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Portside and Atlantic Magazine, and aired on NPR. You can read her blog at

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