By Joel D. Eis
This is the sixth contribution in a series of op-ed pieces that can provide talking points to strengthen the information base and action decisions of those who seek to make others more aware. These are ideas to move fence-sitters.
Just like all of you, the events since the election and the uptick in the Covid crisis post-holiday season left me exhausted. I am just getting my wheels under me again and looking toward the future with some kind of focus.
As I sit in my living room making me believe it’s a table in my favorite café, I concoct numberless scenarios for the future, but they all go up in steam because we just don’t have enough information to predict the turning of events.
One thing we can predict, however, the big players at the table have their chips ready to put down on the winning numbers they control. The same house controls the dealers and the dice are still loaded against the little folks.
There just seem to be more of us aware of it this time around because the crooks were so damned clumsy for the past four years, and that makes me feel good. I am betting that right now large numbers of Republicans and their corrupt contractor friends are buying the biggest document shredders that money can buy before April 15.
It is now doubly important that the horrors of the neo-fascist presidency and the overtly “outed” self-serving values of even the moderate Republican agenda be kept in front of the electorate. Issues of racism now accelerated against Asians after the Stump’s “Chinese flu” and “Kung-flu” rants have been squarely laid at his doorstep, as having the deadly bungling of the vaccine rollout in the early days and the continual fueling of right-wing extremism. Overt attempts at voter suppression by the Republican Party are unmistakably un-American.
But there is good news as well, post-Covid, a post near fascist coup. I have been thinking about something I have observed in the young people who have been in my bookstore—in San Rafael—since the Pandemic. These are both high school and college-aged people.
I have noticed that the required patience, serious concern for self and others, and the behavior forced on young people has matured many of them in record time. They seem “nailed down” beyond their years. This doesn’t mean they are not full of hell, but I think they will deal with the recovery more soberly than many fear.
Also, the older generation has had a chance to observe their younger family members in more shared time, sharing the response to this crisis. I think that they and their families will not experience the same deeply divided “generation gap” that my generation had with their folks. This will be a good thing.
I predict a new kind of “experiential unity” in this country. Today’s youth have seen much more governmental and right-wing corruption than we could have ever shared with a lecture or a film. They have seen neo-fascism play out in their own lives. This means that the younger generation is not totally tuning out messages about political involvement.
I predict that outreach now to support their organizations and include them in current and new coalitions will bring some excellent results. As everyone gets their shots and the genuine Covid threat seems to loosen, we can meet again in socially distanced meetings, share ideas and get some actions going.
That’s as far into the future as I intend to predict right now. Give it a month or two, things might come back into focus.
Seize the time!
Joel Eis, MFA, is a former war resister and labor organizer in Fresno, a retired university professor and a high school teacher. He is the author of three academic books on theater and politics, a textbook for high school theater technology and dozens of articles. Currently, he is the co-owner with his wife of the Rebound Bookstore in San Rafael.