My friend Rich used to say that every day he woke up and put his feet on the floor was a good day.
I thought of Rich this morning when I opened my eyes in the early light, looked around and wondered why the Republican Party thinks being awake is such a bad thing.
Much of what Republicans dislike is “woke,” they say, ironically stealing a Black Lives Matter term to heap their scorn on race, gender and voting rights issues, or anything that smacks of social justice. The complaint seems to be that “woke” folks are too sensitive, implying their delicacy is inappropriate because there’s no reason to worry over things that are really just fine as they are.
It’s a neat system. Any problem that can’t be conveniently, if wrongly, blamed on Democrats, like gasoline prices or inflation, is “woke” or doesn’t exist.
And what doesn’t exist for Republicans makes a long list.
Global warming. Mountains of money dumped into our elections. The stranglehold of monopolies on the economy. The excessive cost of pharmaceuticals. A healthcare system that still fails to serve millions. A lopsided tax system that targets the middle class. The daily carnage of gun violence. An insurrection Republicans work hard to ignore.
Republicans rarely even acknowledge such subjects. When legislation designed to address them is introduced in the Senate, they notice them only long enough to vote “no,” as they have on recent bills intended to protect voting rights or combat domestic terrorism. (New York Times)
House Republicans have dealt with legislation to lower drug prices the same way. (Vanity Fair)
Unlike Republicans, Rich and I are happy to wake and get out of bed. Folks our age, sensitive to the passage of years, are aware of the grim alternatives: Being comatose or dead.