Careless and Unaware

The peace of our idyllic new neighborhood is pierced, quite literally–and often–by the shrieking of an impossibly shrill little girl. Closing the windows is no defense. Only when I’m in the shower is she drowned out.

Which gives me an idea–an awful idea…a wonderful, awful idea–as I can’t help but hear her enjoying their swimming pool at full volume. It’s far from endearing that she can’t yet properly pronounce her Rs. And God help us if she and her pals ever take up the game of Marco Polo.

“MAWKO?”

“POLO!”

All this at jet engine decibel levels.

Her parents are no better. They shout. They cajole and encourage her. Unless I’m mistaken, and they’re swimming instructors who make loud house calls.

Now, I’m not so curmudgeonly as to begrudge anyone their raucous joy, but it continues to amaze me how careless and unaware people can be. Especially when they’re not particularly joyful, and are supposed to be concentrating on something.

Like driving a car.

People are all over the road. They go too slow in the fast lane. They pull out right in front of you while you’re at speed. When turning left, they don’t cheat over enough to let you pass. When turning right, they’ll take up the whole lane until the turn finally arrives. They don’t use their blinkers–or they use them too early, confusing everyone behind them. They swerve and veer–sometimes appearing, in the opposite lane, to be steering toward a head-on collision with you. A stoplight turns green and they go nowhere–it’s as if they’re reading a magazine or something. Maybe their cell phone, which many are on while actually driving. Or they suddenly stop for no reason.

Oh–there’s so much more, and I haven’t even addressed the ballroom dance that is parking.

Here’s careless and unaware for you: People grocery shopping with a full cart, but without any spatial awareness. They do all the bad things bad drivers do. They leave their cart blocking a whole aisle, say, or else leave their cart in front of the very item you’re after–then some of them leave the empty cart willy-nilly in the middle of the parking lot. Well, maybe not willy-nilly–but just enough, at least, to clear their car before motoring off.

Want more? Pedestrians and cyclists on a public pathway–it’s mayhem, with a seeming majority listening to headphones. All those people walking around deeply engaged in a cell phone conversation with someone else who’s not even present. People who don’t hold a door open for another–and those people, going through that door, who don’t thank the person who does hold it ajar. People with signs or big hats at sporting events. Those who talk during a movie. Or forget to silence their cell phone. That loud table over there, on date night, at an otherwise romantically darkened restaurant. People who don’t appreciate waiters. People who litter. People who burn litter. Those who dispose of expired drugs down the toilet. People who don’t use biodegradable detergent. That person on a long overseas flight who encroaches upon the precious space the airline allotted you.

Republicans.

Well, maybe not all Republicans. Certainly those who have been persuaded to vote Republican against their better economic interests. These people are the embodiment of careless and unaware, and, in their sarcastic intolerance of non-Republican positions, fully deserve the hardships their leaders will deliver them.

Enjoy your time in the service economy!

And in the seventh circle of careless and unaware hell we have those Republicans willing to give Trump a pass. Careless because doing so is politically expedient for them. But are they truly unaware that history will savage and devour them? I almost miss the old evangelical, “family values” wing of the party.

My prediction is, 20 years from now, Trump’s supporters will disavow him; not his base, mind you, but those going along to get along. Those who give him a pass. They’ll never admit to it, in the future–and these are the types who need to step forward if impeachment is ever going to succeed. Yet they won’t have done, and they’re why it’s a non-starter now. Twenty years hence, they will find a way to deny their complicity. Or change the subject.

Still, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the Republican party–particularly when it sticks to its traditional self-ascribed responsibility on fiscal and foreign policy. But that party is in the rear-view mirror. At present, the Republicans can’t amass enough disgust for a sufficient number of their own to call the president out on his most recent racist tweet, let alone convict him in an impeachment proceeding.

The party we have now–that of Trump and Mitch McConnell–is anything but careless and unaware. It knows exactly what it is doing, and why. Think Supreme Courts seats, gerrymandering and perceived regulatory relief. “Make America Great Again?” Think “Make America Male Again.” Only that acronym would spell MAMA. It would never do. How about “Make America White or Keenly Orange?”

MAWKO!

So long as opportunistic Republicans are happy to swallow all this, the country will be in a rut.

Until, that is, the next election.

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