On the Jewish holiday of Passover, Pessac, the children ask four questions. One of them is always, “Why is this night unlike all other nights?” I thought of this question as I drove to work past hundreds of cars lined up in front of a closed Sears at the local mall—their drivers waiting to be tested for COVID, hoping to be negative so that they could go to holiday events, see family, or avoid getting a shot!
It’s not the night that’s different but an entire year. No, it’s closer to two-plus years that we have suffered through not only the pandemic, but also the collateral consequences: closed malls (especially Sears and its ilk), remote learning, diminished or unavailable international and even domestic travel, and damping down critical international and human rights news to name but a few. I think that these past few unique years in my lifetime started with the presidential election of 2016, were exacerbated by the pandemic of 2020, then escalated during the 2020 presidential election and the heinous antics of Donald Trump, and even now continue into the lackluster presidency of Joe Biden.
The ground is shifting beneath my feet. The very air we breathe is dangerous. The last time I experienced anything close to this feeling was on a visit to South Africa in 1984, preceding the overthrow of that country’s apartheid government.
Florida Democrats are sounding alarms over what they believe is a sustained and coordinated campaign rapidly unfolding across Spanish-language media to tarnish the image of Vice President Kamala Harris. They are even more alarmed at the lack of push-back by party leaders. It feels like a setup designed to keep Kamala out of the next presidential campaign.
What’s different? I no longer trust my country.