A Modest Proposal to Save the Nation

I promised not to write about politics, but this could work

Jan M Flynn

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Okay, I’m listening. Photo by Sue Tucker on Unsplash

A colleague once told me, “I’m not interested in politics.” I was taken aback. The man was well-educated, a history teacher who drilled his seventh-graders on the Constitution until they could recite its articles in order.

I replied, “Well, it’s like what Leon Trotsky said about war. You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you.”

“You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” — Leon Trotsky

And then I shut up about it. Talking politics — certainly, these days — results in one of two things: contention or frustration.

The latter is a deafening session in the echo chamber as you and someone from your end of the spectrum ponder: what’s with all these people who don’t see things the way we do? It’s so clear they’re wrong!

The former — in which you and, say, your once-favorite uncle with whom you now disagree on everything stumble into the Forbidden Topic after one too many glasses of whatever at a family gathering — can sunder relationships permanently.

Writing about politics is even more perilous. Which is one reason I no longer do it. Another is that so many others do it much better and more knowledgeably than I can.

Our current impasse, however, drives me to make an exception

My husband and I have just returned from a ten-day road trip, driving from Idaho south through the intervening states and then all the way down the California coast and back up again. While we were taking in the glorious weather and autumnal scenery — even the Nevada desert sported fall colors — the dumpster fire of geopolitics burst into a conflagration even worse than when we left home.

You know what I’m talking about: Hamas attacked Israel in as vicious and brutal a sucker-punch manner as anyone could imagine. Israel, understandably enraged, responded in force, and now Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip are bearing the brunt of a humanitarian crisis. And Hezbollah, backed by Iran, in turn backed by Russia, is frothing at the mouth in its eagerness to enter the fray.

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Jan M Flynn

Writer & educator. The Startup, Writing Cooperative, P.S. I Love You, The Ascent, more. Award-winning short fiction. Visit me at www.JanMFlynn.net.