Being “off the grid” for a while can be good and bad
By Kim Swindell Wood | July 8, 2019 8:33 am
Democratic Dialog – By Debra Wines
I was “off the grid” for a little more than a week due to a move. I had some access to things happening in the news via data service on my cell phone, but I did try to limit that as much as possible, and I had too many other things going on. I am still missing items I was sure I packed but have no idea what box they might be in right now. My new kitchen has four times the number of cupboards I had in my old kitchen, and that is really wonderful. It is all very well organized and efficient now, but remembering exactly what is in each cupboard has become an interesting game of “what’s behind this cupboard door?” In my old house, I had lots of shelving units and things were out in the open and easy to find, even if it might have looked a little messy, it was my logically organized mess. It worked for me, until it just didn’t work any longer. I downsized, and yet I now have more “real” storage space than I had at my other house.
Sometimes, in life, you get too used to things the way they have been for so long; you can’t imagine doing something different and new. As you get older, it is much easier to get set in your ways and avoid making life-altering changes. Knowing I would be limiting my connection to the “outside world” was especially challenging to me. I would hear bits and pieces of what was happening around the country, at the border, and Donald Trump’s behavior at the G20 meeting, and I was grateful I didn’t see or hear more details. The little bits I did hear were more than I wanted to deal with at the time when I was trying to find where I put the manuals for my new washer and dryer for safe keeping. I finally found them after I experimented with all the dials and buttons and successfully completed a load of laundry. Sometimes, you just have to trust your instincts, logic, and common sense, and, other times, you have to trust someone else to do a job you know you can’t do yourself. You do have to be smart about those people you chose to trust.
I was prepared to feel somewhat overwhelmed once I got back on the “grid” and saw and read more in depth reporting of what happened while immersed in my semi-isolation. I found I was not overwhelmed. It was more of a feeling of nothing really changed, and I wasn’t surprised by any of it. Congressional Democratic leadership was still talking tough but floundering when it was time to take any action. Donald Trump was still acting like a buffoon on the world stage and still idolizing dictators. He was still “rallying” his supporters with his incoherent ramblings. Mr. Trump continues to use William Barr and the judicial system to help him obstruct Congress from investigating him. He is still using his perfected art of distraction to keep the American public and the world guessing what he will say or do next regarding implementation of plans and policies to fulfill his promises of “Making America Great Again.”
According to the Trump administration: the economy is booming; job numbers are at an all time high; the trade wars have been concluded successfully; illegal immigration problems have been solved by bipartisan cooperation; Donald Trump made Iran back down from starting a war due to his diplomatic expertise; everything is under control with North Korea; healthcare for everyone is cheaper and better; Social Security and Medicare benefits have not been cut; farmers are doing great because of the wonderful new trade deals the greatest deal maker, Mr. Trump, negotiated; drug prices are plummeting, again due to Donald’s negotiating skills; the opioid crisis is under control; there are no longer any homeless people living on the streets; our military is huge, and all military personnel have gotten raises; our veterans are being well taken care of because the VA is fully staffed and funded; our veterans are getting all the benefits they were promised, in a timely manner; there is no more racism – police and the justice system treat everyone equally; women get paid the same as men for equal work; parents are allowed six months paid maternity leave; training is available and free to workers whose jobs have been lost for whatever reason; manufacturing is coming back; the minimum wage has been brought up to date allowing people to afford decent housing and take care of their families without depending on government assistance; the national debt is at an all-time low; and the entire government and Congress are working well together. Oh, I almost forgot, Donald Trump is bringing peace to the Middle East and the rest of the world.
Yes, that last paragraph was a fantasy and would never be reality even if I was totally off the grid for a year or more. The point is those are some of the things candidate Trump promised when he ran for president in 2016. There are dozens of other things he promised but so far has failed to deliver; the biggest one was “draining the swamp.” Considering the number of people in his administration and cabinet who have been fired, left voluntarily under a cloud of suspicion, or have been under investigation, that swamp-draining thing has been a complete failure.
Of course, Trump supporters, like Trump, blame any perceived “failures” to keep his campaign promises on everyone else, which has always been Trump’s MO. This 2020 election is going to be crucial for our survival as a democracy and a country. It will take tough, goal-oriented, honest leadership, in the White House and Congress, that reflects the will of the people and not corporations or foreign countries. We must vote for the people who have those qualities.