Frida Berrigan writes the Little Insurrections blog for WagingNonviolence.org, is the author of It Runs In The Family: On Being Raised By Radicals and Growing Into Rebellious Motherhood, and lives in New London, Connecticut. “Do Kids Die, Mom?” Facing the Future With Trepidation in the Age of Trump is excerpted from her piece first published at TomDispatch:
As a mother and an activist, here’s what I’ve concluded as 2018 begins: it’s getting harder and harder to think about the future — at least in that soaring Whitney Houston fashion. You know the song: “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way…” These days, doesn’t it sound quaint and of another age?
The truth is I get breathless and sweaty thinking about what life will be like for my kids — three-year-old Madeline, five-year-old Seamus, and 11-year-old Rosena. I can’t stop thinking about it either. I can’t stop thinking that they won’t be guaranteed clean air or clean water, that they won’t have a real healthcare system to support them in bad times, even if they pay through the nose in super high taxes. They may not have functional infrastructure, even if President Trump succeeds in building a yuge gilded wall on our southern border (and who knows where else).
The social safety net — Medicare, Medicaid, and state assistance of various sorts — could be long gone and the sorts of nonprofit groups that try to fill all breaches a thing of the past. If they lose their jobs or get sick or are injured, what in the world will they have to fall back on, or will they even have jobs to begin with?
The country — if it even exists as the United States of America decades from now when they’re adults — will undoubtedly still be waging war across the planet. Our Connecticut town, on a peninsula between Long Island Sound and the Thames River, will be flooding more regularly as sea levels rise. And who knows if civil discourse or affordable colleges will still be part of American life?
What, I wonder all too often, will be left after Donald Trump’s America (and the possible versions of it that might follow him)? Will there, by then, be an insurgent movement of some sort in this country? Could Indivisible go rogue (please)? […]
And when it comes to dystopian futures, I’ve got plenty more where that came from, all playing in a loop on the big screen in the multiplex of my mind as I try to imagine my kids as adults, parents, grandparents. Please tell me I’m not the only one in America right now plagued in this fashion. I’m not fixated on passing our modest family house down to my three kids or making sure that our ragtag “heirlooms” survive their childhood. What preoccupies me is the bleak, violent, unstable future I fear as their only inheritance.
It’s enough to send me fumbling for a parental “take back” button that doesn’t exist. I just don’t know how to protect them from the future I regularly see in my private version of the movies. And honestly, short of becoming one of those paranoid, well-resourced doomsday preppers, I have no idea how to prepare them. […]
“The aesthetic of a city—its sensitivity and style, the way its buildings, streets, and transportation systems are constructed, its relation to its natural and designed biological environment, its many ways of functioning—is of great importance. As the Navajos attempt to ‘walk in beauty,’ so too urban citizens should discover in themselves ways to build and live in beauty.
“And there needs to be ‘equity’: fairness among people, the full opportunity for citizens to choose, create, and live out their own special expressions of potential. The city is an instrument for human purpose—without this equity it fails in its human purpose whether it impacts negatively or positively upon nature.”
~Richard Register, EcoCity Berkeley: Building Cities for a Healthy Future (1987)
On this date at Daily Kos in 2003—Presidential Politics Update:
John Edwards received a nice column from dean David Broder today, wherein Broder remarked:
“Edwards brings enough solid assets to the wide-open race that his credentials are worth examining — even if his shortcomings are also apparent. The first of those assets is geographical. He is currently the only southerner in the field, and Democrats know their only successful presidential candidates in the past 40 years came from Texas, Georgia and Arkansas. Sen. Bob Graham of Florida and retired Gen. Wesley Clark of Arkansas may yet run, so this advantage is possibly perishable. But while it lasts, it is significant, especially as the South Carolina primary may be as important to the Democrats in 2004 as it was to the Republicans in 2000. […]
This, plus William Safire’s partial backtracking of earlier negative comments about Edwards shows that the man has had a good run since his announcement.
As for Bob Graham, the Orlando Sentinel reports today that the man is making all the moves of someone who will be jumping in soon.
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Dotard J. Trump, stable genius, stretches the book story out into a 2nd week. What a counterpuncher! He’s also lazing about on the couch. And nominating more terrible people. And claiming tax cuts are creating bonuses for workers who then get laid off.