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Living History

The other night I was watching Call The Midwife, and the characters were discussing the possibility of nuclear war due to the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was marveling at the small things people were doing. Painting windows white to reflect the nukes, but mostly everyone was sitting around drinking and taking the night as if it might be the last. And I thought about how strange it was to live through the dark moments of history.

Most of my life has not been that dark. I grew up at the end of the Cold War. I was in school when Perestroika happened, when we embraced Glasnost. I remember the day the Berlin Wall fell. I saw a third party candidate make a decent run for President (even if it was Ross Perot). I saw a few wars, but nothing like Vietnam or Korea. I saw a rover land on Mars. And I was in Chicago the day Barak Obama was elected.

I was hopeful that the progress we had made would continue. That we would slowly and surely move forward, embracing the good of the earth. We would again walk on the moon. We would venture to Mars. Humanity would progress. Maybe my home team would finally win a World Series.

Instead, today, I saw a sitting US president fire the FBI director.

And I thought “This is what it was like when Nixon fired Cox.”

There’s this overwhelming gut wrenching feeling of dread. There’s a constant state of horror and fear. It has been almost everything I’ve feared. Almost. I have seen some rebellion. I’ve seen anger. And I’ve seen people risking their lives to laugh. I’ve seen the House decide that money is more important than their people. I’ve called my House rep so many times, his people sigh when they hear my name. I’ve gone to protests and rallies and called and mailed and voiced my opinions in every way I can. I’ve tried to explain to those who tell me “Oh it’s not that bad” that yes, it is.

I’ve seen Margret Atwood become so relevant, I can’t tell when I’m reading about the book or when I’m reading the news.

And her quote remains more relevant than ever:

Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.

And I look at today and I wonder. What will we be?

We’ll survive, some of us. But what we will be? Who will be left? What lessons will we have learned?

I don’t know. But I know this. I can’t be silent. I cannot let my friends and family live in ignorance of the dangers, and I cannot let the dangers persist. I will keep trying and trying and fighting and pushing. Because for those that survive, we cannot stop fighting. No matter how sick I feel about this. No matter how scared. If we fall, if America falls, there will be no safe place.

What do I want?

45 resigns and is impeached. Paul Ryan resigns. The Republicans start to care about their constituents and vote for their benefit. Universal Health Care. President Franken (or President Warren, I’m not picky, I’ll even take VP Yates).

I want to see us be great again, and we can’t do that from a place of hate and fear.

You shall not hate another in your heart. You shall love the stranger as you love yourself, for we were once strangers in a strange land.

I don’t hate anyone. I’m angry and I’m disappointed and I’m tired of seeing people knowingly do evil.

I doubt this post will change anyone’s mind. It will simply make you think “Yet, that’s Mika alright.” I wish I could shake sense into people and make them see that they’re putting the world at risk. But they won’t see. They won’t listen. They don’t care.

More than anything I feel sadness, not hate.

But nevertheless, I persist.