Depression is bad. It can be very bad. I think I have been depressed for years, certainly since the nightmare years of Bush/Cheney. My depression may have lifted temporarily after Obama became President and I had such high hopes for change. Some positive change has occurred, but as this has been muted by continued wars, drones, civil rights violations and such, things I do not approve of, my depression has pretty much continued. It is not helped by the realization that the country of my birth, and the country I love, seems unable to govern itself. But depression can be fleeting, it can disappear, and however unpleasant it is there is always the possibility that things will get better. Depression can be overcome. Depression does not inevitably lead to suicide, in fact it rarely does, although we may tend to think so. This is not the case with hopelessness. Hopelessness is the attitude that leads to suicide. When there is no hope one has no choice but surrender, giving up, acknowledging there is no solution, death becomes the final solution. That is why we must fight hopelessness. I try, but I confess it is becoming more and more difficult.
Realizing, after the last four years of gridlock brought about by the Republicans because they concentrated on making Obama a one term President, they would continue this vendetta even after the latest election, leads me to believe the situation may well be hopeless. The Republican Party has allowed itself to be taken over y a small cadre of basically know-nothing ideologues who seem to believe their thoughtless pledge to an unelected nitwit is more important than their duty to their country. Unhappily there are just enough of them to cause our country to come to a standstill. Virtually nothing can be accomplished while these fools blissfully lead our nation into eventual oblivion. And what is worse, there seems nothing can be done about it, at least until another two years have passed, and even then it is not clear anything can be done about it. I do not believe the Founding Fathers ever visualized a time when one of our two political parties would simply refuse to participate in governing. In most other countries there would be a solution to what I believe to be near treason, but we seem to be helpless in the face of such obvious neglect of duty. We are, I think, on the verge of hopelessness. But I have not completely given up yet, I cling to two possibilities, (1) perhaps we can hold on until 2014 when maybe these nitwits can be eliminated, and (2) I am old enough that suicide will be unnecessary.
My depression/hopelessness was not ameliorated today when Wayne Lapierre, Executive Director of the NRA, provided us with their “meaningful suggestions for action.” Among other things he said was, “The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them.” Unfortunately Lapierre himself is one of these monsters. As a shill for the gun industry for years he has just as much blood on his hands as if he himself has been pulling the trigger. As usual he blamed everyone for the problem of gun violence in our country, the movies, television, music, everything but guns. Indeed, for a while I thought he would manage to get through his absurd account with no mention of guns whatsoever. But finally he did mention guns, suggesting that the only way to prevent gun violence was more gun violence. His solution, carried to its logical conclusion, would have every citizen in the U.S. armed and prepared to defend him/herself from the apparent multitude of demons prepared to attack them at any moment. He would turn all our schools into armed institutions, arm all our teachers, and thus somehow prevent lunatics armed with assault rifles from killing anyone, an idea so implausible and idiotic I am surprised he didn’t choke on it. He also said, “The only way to prevent bad guys with guns from harming us is good guys with guns,” an idea he must have carried over from his days of watching Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers. I would like to say that Lapierre is an idiot, and perhaps he is, but more importantly he represents the gun manufacturers and the more guns he can sell the more they profit, and they have certainly been doing well of late. Why the more respectable gun owners in the NRA, the ones who started the organization in the first place, let this ridiculous extremist take over their organization is a mystery to me. Their inattention to their legitimate aims may eventually doom them to extinction. I don’t know if Lapierre actually believe all of the nonsense he peddles, I doubt he does, but whether he does or not he is an evil man promoting more evil all in the service of more profit for a much too unregulated business. Ordinary citizens do not need assault rifles or other military hardware, they probably do not even need handguns, but, hey, anything for a buck. I sincerely advise serious gun control believers to not let this become just another hopeless issue for an increasingly hopeless nation.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.