Thursday, December 10, 2020


I am not proud of a secret wish I have, that some close associate of those in high power in this country should experience a truly serious (but not fatal!) case of the virus whose effects, to the great harm of all, they continue to minimize, ignore, or outright deny. There is, I admit, some less than noble part of me that wants these people to "be taught a lesson" they can't ignore. 

It appalls me that in this wealthiest of all countries in the history of the world, politicians persist in squabbling over helping those millions who are suffering, whether from the disease itself or its effects: loss of income or employment, eviction, hunger, or the pain of loss of loved ones. The "both sides" argument on who deserves blame does not wash with me. There is only one side to blame in this--the side of those in power: the president and his fumbling, corrupt administration, and senators on the right side of the aisle whose refusal to negotiate for appropriate aid amounts to nothing less than cruelty.

My secret wish is not for their suffering but their awakening, and it seems there is no other way. Their removal from the reality of others' pain is such that I see no other way for them to learn than to experience it firsthand. The immunity afforded them by rank and privilege seems impermeable, and is itself protected, with cruel irony, by those who stand to suffer most from their neglect. 

So when I hear of the Covid-19 infection of a prominent member of that team of powerful people indifferent to the suffering of those they are supposed to serve, I find myself wishing, secretly, for some serious learning opportunity to take place. It's a kind of desperation, I suppose. In normal circumstances I like to think that I would not wish anyone ill. And as I say, I am not proud of that secret wish. But there it is. The circumstances are far from normal. And, like it or not, the wish arises in my mind.


Unknown said...

Hi, Peter--I can very much relate to these feelings--I know that I live in a bubble of privilege and it frustrates me that those who have the power to change our existence in thsi country are not exercising it.

I know we were planning to communicate more and it got lost in my big move this summer (don't move in a pandemic!) A friend of mine here has been doing some oral history work over the phone with my dad, and that reminded me I didn't follow up with you. I'll have some down time after Christmas so that would be a great time to catch up.

Peace to you--Emily Schnabl

Marie Smith said...

I cannot believe everyone in that administration or the cronies who come down with the virus have such an easy time of it. It perpetuates the myth there’s nothing to it with those who are too blind or refuse to see.

The number of people who are in danger of losing their homes or rentals is staggering, as are the line-ups at food banks. It feels like the heart is gone out of the country.

Dr Michelle Frantom (aka Mad Fish Designs aka Dr Grafix) said...

I feel like this too. The absolute unfairness of the situation riles me. The only comfort I have is that these people will get some kind of awakening.

Peter Clothier said...

Thanks, all three, for your comments. So good to hear from you Emily. I trust I'll find some way to communicate more personally. I forget whether we have each other's email address...