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A Miasma

Dear Reader,

Forgive me, but it is long past the time when I must drag my soapbox out from under the bed, dust the cobwebs off, and climb atop the rickety structure once more in order to get a few things off my chest.

It has reached the point when it is impossible not to comment on the political miasma that is Washington these days. For too long too many of us have been silent, a community of ostriches, heads buried deep in sand piles, our behinds hiked up quivering with fear that we may be asked to stand up and speak out against the corruption in our nation’s Capital. Nervous Nellies, quaking in our boots that we may be found out for what we are—Republicans. A couple of Believers in Jesus who are very satisfied with the Health Care system we paid into for years and now, with the no-cost addition of Humana Gold managing our Medicare, we find that we are able to receive the best treatment available anywhere for Bill’s life-threatening illness. I doubt seriously that any form of Bernie’s “socialized” medicine would have taken a moment’s notice of an 80 year old in need of the wonder drug he has been given . . .of the amazing surgery, nursing care, and post op, plus Home Health treatment he has received.

Until just a moment ago when I looked up the word “miasma,” I had no idea how spot-on this term was in describing the mess in D.C.

I had pulled it out of thin air when I began this essay, not knowing exactly what I wanted to say, just that I had to say Something! Not having the exact meaning in my mind and wanting to use a word that made my point perfectly clear, I highlighted “miasma,” and this is what I found when I went to the “Look Up” site on my very smart IPad. I discovered that this is the perfect occasion when I might let the word speak for itself:

Miasma: 1.A noxious atmosphere or emanation once thought to originate from swamps and waste, and which causes disease2. Swamp– used figuratively often to describe a situation that is foul or where progress is difficult (Sounds remarkably like Congressional Impeachment). 3. In Greek mythology, a miasma is “a contagious power … that has an independent life of its own. Until purged by the sacrificial death of the wrongdoer, society would be chronically infected by catastrophe.” An example is Atreus who invited his brother Thyestes to a delicious stew containing the bodies of his own sons. A miasma contaminated the entire family of Atreus, where one violent crime led to another, providing fodder for many of the Greek heroic tales. Attempts to cleanse a city or a society from miasma may have the opposite effect of reinforcing it.

Wow. I am not making this stuff up. Those Greeks were serious dudes. Sneaking around effecting acts of revenge upon one another, sometimes going to such extremes they caused widespread destruction and suffering upon innocents. This miasma sounds like it is a dark cloud, hanging low over an area, itself infected by strife. Strife then is defined as “angry and bitter disagreement.”  Gee. I could spend hours just following lines of definitions in this very helpful “Look Up” section of my tiny handheld computer as I attempt to describe what I perceive to be the truth of efforts by today’s majority in Congress who have, since their 2018 Democrat party victory, had a single-minded goal… the impeachment and ousting of the duly elected 45th President of these United States of America.

Bill and I are both old enough to have witnessed three of the only four Impeachment trials in American History. I believe Andrew Johnson was actually the only President impeached and removed from office (the dream of those with Congressional power today and who seem to have no other agenda). I remember being confused when Clinton was indeed Impeached, but when he continued to remain at the head of our government and who continued to occupy the White House with Hillary. He seemed to enjoy great favorability among the public regardless of the fact that he had been judged guilty of some pretty lewd deeds and naughty sexual exploits.

The Clinton “First Couple” over the years were suspected of a number of shady dealings tied to real estate and to their foundation which seemed to function as a private bank account funded by oligarchs and international cash and which made them very wealthy but further contaminated the offices held by the First Lady after her tenure as the woman wronged, and which eventually led to her narrowly losing the 2016 Presidential Election.

But you, Dear Reader, know all this. Perhaps you have followed the actions of what many, myself included, view as an entrenched administrative bureaucracy (a miasma). It takes years to become “entrenched.” All one needs to do is look at the average age of the men and women in power today. Nancy, Chuck, Bernie, Joe, Maxine, et cetera. They are old. I can be honest about age and its drawbacks both mental and physical. They do not seem willing to do so.

Such a huge responsibility lies this gaggle of present and potential lawmakers ( I shiver to think) who behave like middle schoolers; their language no more sophisticated than third graders; their “plans” ( see Elizabeth Warren) about as realistic as a sand castle designed by kindergarteners. Extremely attractive to the other kids, built on the edge of the shore where the waves will have destroyed its ivory towers, moats and castellated walls by morning.

I am sad that there seems to be no choice of candidates who offer anything better than Green New Deals, Socialized Medicine, or Pie in the Sky plans for forgiving thousands of students their college loans. Cool. My granddaughter is looking at $75,000 a year at George Washington University. Our grandson’s parents will have accrued a “big $ green $ deal” from Georgia Tech by 2021. I know they would like to believe in that silly plan.

Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

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