Kage Baker simply was not particularly interested in politics.
She paid her taxes (years when she made enough money to actually owe any), and assiduously exercised her right to vote (because she was an historian, and knew what her exercised right had cost). But she was always suspicious of cults of personality, and felt that most politicians took ruthless advantage of the tendency of the public to follow such cults.
Even politicians that have no personalities, such as Ted Cruz. All the man is, is a walking air horn – blatting spite and nonsense whenever he thinks it profitable, and counting on his determinedly conservative, largely rural and overwhelmingly Texan constituents to carry him forward. Another one – I hesitate to say “man” – is that well-greased weather vane, Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina. He’s not so much a chameleon as a warped mirror – whatever you want, he’ll support it, and give the object of his adulation comfortingly fun-house reflections of themselves.
I actually thought of something clever, Dear Readers, to say about the loathly David Madison Cawthorn, of North Carolina. But it would be mean and nasty, and I am disinclined to treat a man in a wheelchair as his own party usually treats them. And he kind of has a personality. He is, however, a piece of work.
Anyway, Kage tended not to get emotionally involved with politicians. They were public servants and she expected them to behave that way and just get on with their jobs, as quietly as possible. Kage had very old-fashioned ideas about servants … The only politicians I recall her having feelings for were Nixon (CON!) and Obama (PRO!)
I have similar inclinations myself, though I am much more susceptible to a virtuous or heroic man or woman. Gimme an epic, a hero’s journey, a fairy tale, and I am halfway hooked. Our new President and Vice President so well embody my emotional weaknesses, that I have been in a tizzy of joy all day. Mind you, in order to get rid of Trump, I might have seriously considered Beany and Cecil; so getting a truly virtuous man and a redoubtably heroic woman has been a dream true.
Anyway, today my household has been glued to the telly from 7 AM to 7PM (Jeopardy must not be missed), drinking in the pageantry of the triumph of decency and truth. I wept during the oath-taking; and giggled, too, when snow glittered through the crowd and when Garth Brooks ran mad among the high and mighty, hugging everyone in sight. I prayed with the generations of power at the Tomb of the Unknown, which is enough to gut anyone. I both cheered and tore my hair when President Biden kept dashing out of the parade line on the way to the White House to greet people – why does he DO things like that? I was surprised the beleaguered Secret Service guys didn’t handcuff him to his wife.
And the sun shone, and the wind made the Field of Flags on the National Mall glitter like the Potomac, and babies were little coat-wrapped burritos trying to fall out of the arms of Biden and Harris kin. People wandered around in the high atmosphere of our nation’s highest ceremony, grinning and back-slapping like they were at a barbecue. Dogs were mentioned and impatiently anticipated by the press; it was reported that the Bidens are looking into a rescue cat, as well.
Kage has been well out of it the last four years, and I have been constantly grateful that she wasn’t here to see the mess America had become. But today would have pleased her. It sure pleased me.
And it slowly dawned on me, Dear Readers, that a significant portion of our government is once more in the hands of human beings. Wow! Retro me, Sathanus! And take those damned lizard people with you.
“Are you afflicted with lizard people?” Had Kage but known . . .
The word that I keep hearing, and saying, is “decency”. Biden, Harris, and the people around them seem like decent people, who actually want to heal our nation and help us all move forward. In fact, I believe that’s who they are.
But… The world is such that it won’t be long before these decent people are forced to decide between bad solutions and worse solutions, as Obama (another decent man) was, and they will make decisions from which most of us might recoil- but they will make them, and they will do their best to make the best decisions, guided by, yes, their decency.
I think that’s the best we can hope for: that they will do more good than harm. They will not make of our nation a Heaven on Earth, but they will do their best to make life better for all of us, whatever it takes. For that, I am grateful.
I didn’t realize how much stress I was carrying until Biden said, “…so help me God.” Suddenly I could breathe again. Yes, John, I hear the word “decency” about President Biden (!!!) too. He’s a man who has spent his entire life working to make the government one unified government for the People, an actual civil servant with decency guiding his work. He’s the complete opposite of the lizard who spread CoronoVirus all over the White House and I, one of many, can breathe again.
And, Kate, congratulations for breathing on your own again. Magic? Coincidence? Who’s to say?