Take an Extra Day, Nonzombies

Take an Extra Day, Nonzombies

by | Jul 5, 2024 | Democracy

It’s been obvious for quite some time that we’re at risk of losing our democracy, and that a lot of Americans aren’t paying attention. So like many of you, I’ve spent the last few years doing all kinds of pro-democracy work . . . and doomscrolling. It’s been stressful.

Late last year I took some time off to de-stress, which for me means either digging holes outside or painting walls inside. I was scrounging through my work clothes when I found this shirt, which I’d worn for much of 2020 and then drop-kicked into a corner of my closet on New Year’s Eve.

At that point things looked hopeful.

A normal human had been elected president. Vaccines were on the way. There was hope for justice for George Floyd, and hope for a national reckoning over history I was still learning and processing.

Maybe because I didn’t watch Trump’s attempted coup on live TV, it took a while for the gravity of the event to fully register with me. By the time I saw the news, the threat was over. Or so I thought.

I couldn’t have imagined that nearly three years later, the entire Republican Party would have decided to selectively suspend the shared beliefs that enable us to function not just as a democracy, but as a first-world country.

Belief in established facts, in medical science, in the legal system, in the electoral system. Belief in government as a means of improving people’s lives. Belief in values I always thought of as American values, like honesty and empathy and self-sacrifice.

For those of us disgusted by Donald Trump, January 6, 2021, felt like the climax of a four-year horror movie. Then the horror stopped in much of the country. But in Tennessee it went on and on. The zombie virus festered and spread, encouraged by our state’s power-hungry, mean-spirited leaders. I don’t think there’s a shirt for that.

My fellow nonzombies, let’s take a day to de-stress. Then let’s roll up our sleeves and get back to work together. The only thing that can “make it stop” is us. And we will.