Comeuppance is a fine word. It’s defined as a deserved reward or just deserts, usually unpleasant.
These days for many Americans there seems far too little of it to go around. And consequently, it ‘s in great demand.
Impunity is another useful word. The dictionary defines it succinctly as exemption from punishment. In our current state of affairs we find ourselves with a rash of impunity and a dearth of comeuppance.
Indeed the very notion of consequences for improper, bad, or even evil behavior appears to be seriously in question. We are very close to living in a world where truth and fact and reality are only subjective. The empirical is brazenly denied, happenings in front of your very eyes blatantly and despicably dismissed on a regular basis.
Describing this miserable American landscape as a shit show would do grave injustice both to shows and shit.
The result is an almost inexpressible revulsion, the sense that black is white and up is down and bad is good, a miasma of toxic unreality most never believed they would see prevail in their own lifetime, in their own country, settled over the land like a sulfurous smog.
As much as the term Orwellian perhaps too often has been invoked in the past, the appositeness of its invocation now is utterly precise.
A patriot’s natural response to this state of affairs is to yearn for justice at the hands of Robert Mueller, to anticipate impeachment, to long for the imminent routing at the polls of a morally and philosophically corrupt Republican Party.
The specifics of the current condition are almost too numerous and banal to cite.
Americans watch, apparently helpless, as the current president, by any and every relevant measure unfit to hold the position, degrades standards of every imaginable kind, standards of civility, of intelligent discourse, of basic decency, at the same time demonstrating a profound lack of respect for the American presidency, indeed, for the nation itself. Contemptuous and ignorant disrespect on the part of the president for a host of venerated American institutions, and its best traditions, is now considered normal.
His coarseness is counterpart to his disdain for knowledge, education, enlightenment, expertise and competence, less populism than dictatorial thuggery playing to the mob. Decency is regarded as quaint, fairness an anachronism, honor a sucker’s game, authentic concern for the well being of American citizens an altogether alien concept.
The Republican taste for gross extremity has progressed apace, along with its authoritarian impulses, an ideological embrace of illusion, and an extraordinary capacity for remaining under its sway. There is a deepening irrationality, sabotaging that which works, while lauding that which has repeatedly failed.
The indifference to the majority’s views has been staggering, whether in regard to taxation, health, firearms, climate change or immigration.
A Republican congress has insouciantly toyed with the life and death of citizens, undermining the stability of Americans’ health care. This pathologic Republican hostility to The Affordable Care Act has now solidified itself on the spectrum as derangement. The ACA of course was a reform nurtured in congress for more than a year, a process that encompassed hearings, innumerable studies, consultations with physicians, as well as insurers, and with rebuffed attempts at bipartisan cooperation, with the goal of rectifying a clearly failing, unaffordable and worsening health care system. It has largely succeeded, despite ongoing attempts by Republicans to undermine it, a system most Americans now prefer, and strongly wish to retain.
Voting laws are tinkered with solely for the purpose of selectively suppressing voting, congressional districts gerrymandered at levels that would make banana republic blush. This has been done with impunity.
One more thing stands out: the successful obstruction of Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court, in defiance of historical practice, and long abiding norms, of precedent and common sense, a parliamentary theft, with consequences that will obtain for decades. It too was carried out with impunity.
There is no surprise whatsoever in our present day America, when a movement labelling itself Christian conservatism idolizes a vulgar, morally hollow, sexually rapacious, stingy, and manifestly unchristian leader. And not reluctantly, but rather enthusiastically supports a pedophile for a senate seat.
It’s as if charlatanism has been lifted up to be the American Dream, those now so ardently pursuing it desiring nothing so much as to rub your nose in your own standards, your higher expectations for your nation, your naiveté, and apparent vulnerability, laughing even heartier on the way to power for having lied, distorted, and rigged their way there.
Your country is being stolen, and everything in it of value is being ransacked.
But, famously, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. And the intensity with which a reaction to this current era of impunity is building augurs a fierce and massive explosion once the pressure ultimately is released.
Resistance to this wanton and so far unchecked trashing of America is widening in scope, at the same time it is teeming with more and more ferocity.
Comeuppance delayed, justice stalled, consequences derailed or obstructed, revulsion unheeded, and hubris perpetuated are a recipe for a finally drastic and merciless eviction.
It may come via the justice system, it may come at the ballot box, but justice will be served with a vengeance.
Even in comparatively placid America, it may come in the streets, if the majority is for too long, and too far provoked, if insults to it are ever more blatant and arrogant. If current rulers edge closer to defiance of the rule of law, and the trammeling of democracy, this is almost guaranteed..
Biding time until justice arrives is often tedious, maddening even, so slow in coming that it seems to merely crawl. But it will come. History teaches as much. And history still exists, whether some like it or not, or more precisely perhaps, recognize it or not.
But a hard rain most assuredly is gonna fall.