I do absolutely love it when someone agrees with me – I take an outspoken stand on a subject, a topic or a person – then later someone chimes in and says:
They: You are right Alexis!
Me: Thank you. It is a fabulous feeling to hear that you listened and that you agree.
It is even better when 1) their agreement is in writing and 2) they are intelligent. Can you imagine my utter joy when I, pursuing articles from The New Yorker, came upon this.
“In March, not long after Joe Biden assumed the Presidency, Freedom House, a democracy-watchdog group, ranked the state of democracy in the United States well below that in Chile, Costa Rica, and Slovakia, citing gerrymandering, the influence of the influence of money in politics, and the disenfranchisement of people of color among the reasons for the poor showing. “A change of president is not gonna make [these issues] go away,” Sarah Repucci, the group’s vice-president for research and analysis, told the Guardian, Indeed, in the months since Biden took office, the prospects for improving American democracy have dimmed considerably. Nineteen states have enacted thirty-three laws that make it more difficult for citizens to vote; a number of states have replaced nonpartisan election administrators with partisan ideologues; and Republican legislatures in states that have begun to swing toward the Democrats, such as North Carolina and Texas, have redrawn electoral maps to favor Republicans and effectively disenfranchise communities of color. Given the conservative composition of the federal courts, legal challenges to the new maps are likely to be unsuccessful.”
I have written upon this very blog about the pathetic nature of the USA democracy but goodness gracious it now considered to was well below that of Chile, Costa Rica and Slovakia? It is a cause for celebration, as far as I am concerned. The article is written by Sue Halpern now shall be given you, the link: https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/bidens-global-democracy-summit-raises-an-awkward-question-can-ours-endure?utm_source=onsite-share&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=onsite-share&utm_brand=the-new-yorker.
By the way, I am beginning to think that The New Yorker should put me on staff as I am constantly alerting ‘my people’ to their articles. AND I have a great many peoples – and some in high places. I am not talking Mt. Everest, but leaders of countries and sometimes Royalty. Yes indeed!.
Now that Halpern has our attention she goes on: It’s against this gloomy backdrop that the Biden Administration will be hosting a virtual Summit for Democracy in early December, with invitees from more than a hundred countries. When Biden announced the summit, back in August, the goal seemed to be to reëstablish America’s standing in the world by championing human rights and democratic practices in the wake of the retrograde foreign policy of the Trump Administration. “Democracy doesn’t happen by accident,” Biden said in February. “We have to defend it, fight for it. ”
Then there is a sad litany of all of the Democratic attempts to sponsor and enact legislation to correct the wrongs and the Republicans uncanny ability to make sure that, not only progressive legislation fail, but that they manage to make things worse.
Halpern continues: “There is something deeply wishful about hosting a summit to bolster democracy around the world when our own is, at best, floundering. One of the central premises of American exceptionalism is the belief that, against all odds, our democracy will endure, that it “shall not perish from the earth.” Yet the paradox at the core of all democracies is that they can be legislated out of existence. The anti-democratic movement that coalesced around Trump’s insistence that he was the rightful winner last November persists with the blessing of a number of Republican members of Congress, in order to sow doubt in the legitimacy of the electoral process. It is an accomplice to every legislative effort by Republican state legislatures to undermine future elections. A recent NPR poll found that just thirty-three per cent of Republicans think that the 2024 elections will be fair. This sentiment will not result in the creation of policies and rules to insure fairness….but instead more spurious election challenges and more breaches of election networks.”
Then there is more news: “This month, for the first time, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, a think tank based in Stockholm, added the United States to its list of “backsliding” democracies. The U.S. received this designation, according to a report issued by the group, in part because of Trump’s insistence that the 2020 election was fraudulent. “The visible deterioration of democracy in the United States, as seen in the increasing tendency to contest credible election results, the efforts to suppress participation (in elections), and the runaway polarisation . . . is one of the most concerning developments,” the group’s secretary-general, Kevin Casas-Zamora, said. He also noted that “the violent contestation of the 2020 election without any evidence of fraud has been replicated, in different ways, in places as diverse as Myanmar, Peru and Israel.”
Halpern summarizes beautifully: “This, of course, is not the kind of sharing envisioned by the architects of Biden’s Summit for Democracy.” She ends dramatically: “If the Administration is serious, the President and his supporters in Congress must now mount a sufficient defense of democratic norms to counter the Republicans’ anti-democratic machinations. Otherwise, a year from now, that stage will be dark.”
I shall not make any predictions for others upon the lighting of that stage a year from now. It is my intent to not be around – be a vagabond. Just as in murder: I have the means, the method and the opportunity to be a nomad. The definition is rather perfect: member of a people having no permanent abode, and who travel from place to place to find fresh pasture for their livestock. But I do not have any livestock. Therefore, the synonyms are more helpful: itinerant, traveler, migrant, wanderer, wayfarer, roamer, rover, Bedouin; vagabond, bird of passage.
What fun being a bird of passage and I shall save on air fare. I do admit that some the synonyms were struck from the long list – but do note that Bedouin remained, although I do not exactly look like a Bedouin, even when clad in my black abaya and headscarf and face mask.
The attached photographs promise to be a strange collection. My disappearance from Instagram appears to be permanent even though I was able to retrieve the password which kept me ‘off line.’ I have been looking at photographs taken in other countries and other times. It is always possible to recognize me but who are these men pictured beside me? I have no idea. There was an hysterically funny song which described my pre-Muslim days: It was:
Too Many Men, Too Little Time. It is a song performed by Miquel Brown:
The lyrics began:
It’s morning, I open my eyes
And everything’s still the same
I turn to the guy who stayed last night
And ask him, “What’s your name?”
It seems to happen more and more
I love those men one and all
Each new one I meet makes my heart beat fast
When I see them so strong and tall
So many men, so little time
How can I lose?
So many men, so little time
How can I choose?
They tell me I’m up to no good
I should just settle down
But I don’t wanna stay with just one man
I wanna sell for what’s around.
It is a fun song, Google it, then listen to it. Now, obviously, that Is totally inappropriate, forbidden, unsuitable and unthinkable in these days following my October 20, 2020, conversion to the Islamic faith. I can wed, but only one man. I could travel about, particularly if he were a Beaudoin. My goodness, I am in their land! How convenient! .