The Big Picture

Mr.T is running for re-election. Let’s take at look at the latest developments that a voter might chew on before making a decision on his worthiness. Just the recent headlines from some news organizations: “T” ‘wanted to play down Covid despite knowing deadliness’. “T” asserts Kamala Harris would be a disaster for the country. Mr.T considers those in the military who died during their service “losers and suckers”. “T” approves of opening Alaska’s Coastal Plain up to oil and gas leasing. Mr.T is attempting to dismantle the Postal Service. Mr.T claims massive mail-voting fraud without evidence of such. Okay, enough of those recent aspects of Mr.T and his beliefs, attitudes and opinions. Let’s quickly review pre-pandemic Mr.T’s use of his office: families ripped apart at the Mexican border. Worker’s struggle economically while their bosses get a huge tax cut. He has referred to white supremacists as “fine people”. Mr.T curries favor from “strongmen” such as V. Putin. According to Mr.T the city of Baltimore is ” a rat and rodent infested town” targeting the late House Representative Elijah Cummings (an Afro-American). He suggested the late Rep.John Dingle may be in hell. When Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow newly elected House females of color members–labeled “The Squad”– criticized him , he told them to “go back to where you came from” although all but one was born in the U,S. Mr.T pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord. Mr.T has proposed weakening regulations on climate-changing methane emissions; he has repealed the Obama-era clean water rule.””T” has weakened the Endangered Species Act. He has boosted coal-powered plants that release carbon dioxide pollution into the environment. Mr.T is planning to loosen Obama-era rules restricting auto pollution. All of the above can be easily researched for their veracity. Oh, and one more thing: during Mr.T’s tenure at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (or is it 1600 Mar-a-Lago?) the “nuclear clock” has moved 30 seconds closer to midnight, making the minute hand sit–for the moment at least–at 100 seconds to nuclear annihilation. So that’s some of the verifiable record of the man running for re-election. Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, such a resume would be too toxic to take seriously as a motivation for such a record warranting garnering even a single vote. However, we are not in that far away galaxy. We’re stuck in this one. And the entire planet now has two very real existential threats facing it before the November 3rd, 2020 election: the pandemic and climate change. Both of these scientifically verifiable matters will be around far after November 3rd. Can the environment be saved? How many more millions will die from the virus that has no cure in sight after several months of its spread? Those are matters for all the world to worry over. Here, in the U.S., we have those two issues to either take seriously or not, plus a rather important election to either take seriously or not. Three “crisis” it is for us here, since depending on our election’s outcome, those two other issues will be profoundly affected–for better or worse. Maybe something in-tween those two extremes, given the choice available at the top of our two-party system’s ticket. There’s plenty of cynicism mingling in the breeze, possibly keeping company with Covid-19. Talk about toxic air! Humankind has some heavy lifting to do if it’s going to save itself (the Earth will be here regardless of any outcome on any of the three looming confrontations). According to the polls, Mr.T still could prevail, by hook or crook. Humans are flawed creatures. We specialize in chaos, conflict, corruption, greed, avarice, exploitation and worse and keep doubling down on the consequences of our bad choices. If I seem to be engaging in hyperbole, take some history courses and get back to me. I recently went to a planetarium and saw a great program about astronomy and its means of answering some of the inevitable questions about our place in the Big Picture fascination triggered by looking at the riot of celestial objects to be seen in the night sky. I sat there, tilted back on the seat’s headrest, once again lost in the vastness of seemingly endless outer space. Maybe it was a projected light show, but I believe it represents a reality that should remind all of us how insignificant we all are in that Big Picture. The fact that it was the human species that used its brain to explore and discover truths about time and space–and the real possibly of other life forms gave me a sense of hope. We humans are capable of such incredibly noble uses of our brains, I thought. Then the light show ended and I walked out into the pandemic reality of the day. A very hot, unseasonably hot day it was. Indeed, I had come back down to Earth with its human-made mess of a year 2020. Either we use our brains a lot better, or this particular orbiting rock has a not too bright future as just another object from some other possible view in some other possible world where other possible beings much smarter than us have yet and may never even notice we exist or existed.. That, in a.way, is the ultimate irony.

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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1 Response to The Big Picture

  1. Hard to find solace these days of 2020. Your big picture perspective delivers that and more.


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