Image of the Week
07-18-2020

           

500


Hi All,

It's hard for me to imagine, but this is my 500th Image-of-the-Week. The first was on December 25, 2010, and I've popped one out pretty much every weekend since. This is not a spectacular image, mostly one of comfort for me. I was making a simple rice pilaf last night, cutting up onions and mushrooms when this cool double-headed crimini presented itself to me, so I grabbed my Lumix GX7 and a frame side.

There were no political rants in my IOTW until the November 5, 2016, the Saturday before Trump's election as president. I didn't think it appropriate for an image blog, but quite honestly I could not keep quiet. My comment at the end was "OK, I've said it. I don't expect this to change anyone's vote, but remaining silent was no longer an option for me." If you want you can read it at http://3ddigitalphoto.com/ImageofTheWeek.asp?week=11-05-2016.

This week has been painful for much of the country, as we experienced surging virus, renewed shut-downs, anticipation of resurging deaths, and contemplation of whether and how to send children back to school. It's gotten me thinking, and I'll share a little with you.

Claire McCaskile, the former senator from Missouri, recently commented there are three fairly distinct types of republicans: 1) traditional conservative republicans; 2) evangelical republicans; and 3) Trump republicans. Type 1 I suspect opportunistically supported Trump out of dislike for Hillary Clinton and an expedient way to attain/maintain power. Type 2 also opportunistically support him for their own personal religious freedoms and anti-abortion policies. In the case of Type 3, I suspect it's largely an "us versus them" scenario, and Trump has been their unwavering champion. He has quite amazingly captured the devotion of a significant minority of Americans. And so I ask, is it a fair statement that Trump republicans are for the most part lacking in empathy for people not them, or is that in itself a bigoted point of view?

I watched Mary Trump interview with Rachel Maddow on Thursday, and it was fascinating for me to the point of ordering her book (audion version). That she didn't speak up before his election him outside of her circle of friends is troubling but understandable. Like the rest of the country she didn't expect he'd win. Once he did win she believed that at least he'd be surrounded by competent people who would rein in his most vile impulses.

It was horrible before a genuine crisis emerged, but at this point she claims that he's incapable of succeeding, which would require taking responsibility, which would mean admitting to mistakes, which would be admitting weakness, which in their family was punished with the death penalty, symbolically or otherwise. Like so many of us she's astounded as to why are so many people continue to enable him.

One of her comments weighed heavily on me, I suppose because it matches those I've often made over the past few years. Many Americans claim "this is not who we are, we're better than this," but at this moment, she claims, this is exactly who we are, a society that put this damaged and dangerous man into a most powerful office.

I conclude #500 with a quick shout to a fallen hero, John Lewis, who died yesterday, one of the original Freedom Riders, a civil rights leader and long time congressman. Also please keep in mind the fascist assaults this past week by the Justice Department's bully-boy goon squad in Portland, Oregon.

Barry Rothstein

I send out a weekly email of these. If you'd like to be included, please go to the contact page and send me an email.

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