Untied States; Thanksgiving 2020
By ice rivers
I was doing the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle. The first clue I looked at, 1 across, was “loosened shoe”. I looked down at my Nikes for a clue to the “loosened” shoe clue on my shoe.
There it was.
Untied. Let’s try it and see if it locks in place.
I misspelled it.
I wrote united.
It took me an extra 25 minutes to solve the puzzle because I was trying to force a word that didn't belong, although it was close.
Not a lot of difference between the words untied and united.
The Untied States of America.
We’ve lost our mooring.
The ship of state is drifting.
The shoe is loose as well as being on the wrong foot.
Even the metaphors are becoming untied.
I remember when I used to run 10 K races. More than once I went to the starting line with my laces untied. Every time that happened, another runner noticed, politely pointed to my shoe and said “your shoe is untied.”
We were all runnin’ for fun. We watched out for each other. We were as co-operative as we were competitive.
If I had been competing against an adversary, I doubt if he/she would have shoe clued me. All the better for my opponent if I tripped and fell.
Many of my fellow citizens are living with untied shoes. These folks are not my enemy. Still, I hesitate to tell them about the condition of their loose shoes. They would take offense rather than precaution.
They are comfortable with the notion that our national presidential election has somehow become untied. The pride of America, the peaceful transition of power has been bastardized by millions armed with deep denial, blind faith and contemptuous, conspiratorial collaboration.
Twenty five million of my countrymen believe that our national election was
We have both a president elect and a president or more correctly an alleged president elect and an alleged lame duck. The lame duck isn’t going to transform into a swan, it’s simply not in his nature. Meanwhile, the bow binding one administration to the next is not only untied but also unraveling before our very eyes and ears in the Untied States of America.
We have a paradoxical solution within our grasp. We can unite while we untie. We can untie what needs to be untied. We can untie knots. We have a knot in the discrepancy between the stock market and the hungry. The stock market hit a new record high even as 50 million Americans have a hunger problem and park in gigantic cars hoping for turkey handouts. Twenty million are unemployed The progressive president elect wants to untie that knot.
We’re knotted up about Covid. Trump helped to tie that knot hosting dozens of super spreader events while waging a war fueled by insistent ignorance against science as well as sanity.
The alleged lame duck continues to proclaim that he won the election by a landslide despite the undeniable falsehood of that baseless assertion. Again another knot. Anothe absurdity. Another national hallucination. Unity depends upon untying that knot even as Covid is asserting its last horrendous hurrah while millions ignore the warning to avoid travel during Thanksgiving thus feeding the beast another couple days of "all you can eat "before the vaccines arrive.
Swallowing absurdity is an invitation to atrocity
The New York Times puzzle is unsolvable if you misspell any word. Let’s not pretend we’re united when we’re actually untied. Let's not mistake one for the other. If we do, we're part of the obstacle that hinders solution.
We must untie and unite or unite and untie.
The end result must return us to the United States.
For our sake and the sake of the world.