History says, Don’t hope
on this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
the longed for tidal wave
of justice can rise up,
and hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change
on the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
and cures and healing wells.

from The Cure at Troy
Seamus Heaney

50 days, 50 reasons

Exactly 50 days from today, an election will have taken place. For various reasons, it is unlikely we will be certain of the outcome until some days later, but on that night the voting will be over and the die will be cast: the United States will either remain in the grip of a terrifying madness for a further period or it will cast the madness off and try to build something new in its wake.

If the former happens, it will in all likelihood mean the end of a 240-year-old experiment in representative democracy that for all its faults will remain one of the most most significant attempts ever made by humans to forge a better civilization for themselves. Similar claims made four years ago were met largely with eye rolls, reproving glances, and mutterings about alarmism. Such signs of incredulity began to melt away away, of course, once many of the doomsayers’ predictions came to pass. As the toxic fruits of 2017 and 2018 ripened and fell, poisoning the most vulnerable among us, more and more unflappable people began to be, well, flapped. Now the existential crisis is acknowledged, and all sorts of people—hell, even quite a few Republicans—have been speaking out.

This blog will count down the days until November 3 and, for each day, provide one good reason to vote for the other guy, the non-incumbent, the one without narcissistic-cum-sociopathic tendencies. The one who isn’t up all night tweeting his tantrums out to the world.

An explanatory note

Since early 2017, I have studiously avoided using the proper noun spelled T-r-u-m-p, substituting for it a variety of euphemisms, epithets, and circumlocutions as context has demanded and as the mood has struck me. Words are terribly important, and I refuse to sully either my conversations or my writings with words that I find repugnant. As of mid-2020, there is no word in any language that I find more repugnant than the T-word. It may seem trivial, but it is an act of protest that I can carry out any day, any time, with great consistency, and I insist on it.