By Paul Hicks
F. Scott Fitzgerald is quoted “there are no second acts in American lives.” Since that time scholars, pundits, talk show hosts, and whoever have said this is not true, that America is the land of opportunity, creating out of whole cloth the idea of second chances and renewal of direction.
I don’t think these people have it. I think Fitzgerald’s point was nuanced and layered. I think he meant Americans are more slavishly devoted to the brash and ruthless social constraints of habitual and overwhelming consumption, racial barbarism and political venality.
Case in point: The Trump Administration. A perfect example of pedal-to-the-metal top-down craven corruption and oligarchical ideology threatening to rip the already fragile social constructs to pieces. Ushering in a seemingly racist patina to every move along with the adherence to an authoritarian premise these guys use the media to crash blindly down twitter alleys and preposterous executive orders while the nose of proto-fascism gets its nose more firmly under the tent flap.
I don’t want to waste ink or time pointing out this bilge or to take the ‘wait and see’ approach with this guy. He may not be the worst person to ever occupy the office but if he isn’t then he’ll do until a worse one comes along.
Which brings me to my point. There is something happening here or more specifically all across the country. Americans of all description, race, gender, age or economic level are lending massive voice to rejection to Trump and his minions (the Republican congress) and the potential moves or the existing moves he’s already made.
From the women’s march to the airport protests a building consensus is rearing it’s ungainly head to
push back and hopefully stop the daily grind of senseless, gut wrenching and dangerous actions by this president.
I am deeply critical of the Obama Administration. They are culpable in putting us where we are. But those days are gone. Push back like this in the last eight years may have changed things.
However this is where we are at. I am old enough to remember the anti-war protests but this new thing is bigger, wider, stronger. And the target is not the Republican Party for which there is no hope. Instead the idea is to hold the Democratic Party to it’s stated notion of social justice and with its possible dying breath become a principled opposition party. It’s all we got. Each other. That’s enough.
Because maybe Scott Fitzgerald was wrong. Maybe we do have a second act. I sure hope so.