I took this photo in 1993 during the Great Flood of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. My father and I frequented St Luis while he was working at Southern Illinois University. It was the closest major city and has a botanical garden that is hard to beat. This trip, though, we were going to see the flood.
I remember looking out the car window as we drove and asking my father, “If this was a fire, would we be going to see it?”
My father, in his midwestern deadpan, said, “If it lasted 3 months we would.”
No matter where you stand on the political issues today, it is hard not to feel like we are watching a slow moving disaster. The longer it lasts the more normal the partisanship and victory-at-any-cost behavior seems. The norms that made bipartisan agreements possible are eroding away. Social structures that took over 150 years to build are being undercut at their foundations. We can stand on the shore and think it’s a mess but it isn’t the end of the world.
For some, though, the political currents are tearing appart their lives. I’m talking about the LGBTQA+ communities, undocumented people (both immigrants and those undocumented because not even documentation is free in the US), and other vulnerable populations.
Dangerous currents, indeed.