By Brandon Gage
My Fellow Earthlings,
At around 8 pm yesterday, January 2 2018, the President of the United States actively and deliberately goaded the young, nuclear-armed tyrant just north of the 38th Parallel via Twitter:
“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
While it’s true no such button exists in the United States, it’s no surprise that the Lonely Dotard would screw up this basic fact.
This is our reality and it is deeply troubling. Should the unthinkable… actually, no, that’s the wrong word. This is totally thinkable and imaginable. Should the nightmarish prospect of nuclear war become a reality, there are some things I would like to say while there is still time.
On behalf of the majority of Americans who did not vote for and do not support our new president, and for those who may not know how to process our current reality, I am sorry. We failed you. We failed ourselves. You are now in the crosshairs of a toxic masculinity battle between two dictators, both of whom are armed with nuclear weapons and seem poised to use them at any moment. You, like me, are at the mercy of two immature, belligerent narcissists, whose only concerns are self-preservation, unilateral power, and personal enrichment.
I am sorry that my country elected an ignorant, despotic chauvinist to be our 45th president and representative to the rest of the world. I am sorry that he, as well as the Republican party, continue to deny the reality of man-made climate change and actively sabotage any effort to lessen its severity. I am sorry that many of your fellow citizens will needlessly die because a few dozen senators value corporate profits more than our biosphere and your right to peacefully exist. I am sorry that the United States of America, after 240 years of democratic experiment, has welcomed fascism over freedom, despite helping win a World War which claimed the lives of 100,000,000 people. I am sorry we have reverted to tribalism and hate, xenophobia and ignorance. I am sorry that intellectualism and science are now taboo no-no’s within our public discourse. I am sorry that the current administration does not place equal value to your lives as it does to some of ours. I am sorry that Americans use the Bible to promote bigotry. I am sorry that racism is still so prevalent in our society. I am sorry that our leaders do not want to share American opportunities with you. I am sorry that the president’s only agenda is to undo the legacy of his predecessor, who happened to be our first black president. I am sorry that my country will no longer offer to you the sense of decency, humanity, and optimism you deserve and that the United States is supposed to practice. I am sorry that we, the American people, have consigned your cultures, families, futures, and traditions to whatever fate the deranged tenant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue decides to impose upon you. I am sorry that our military industrial complex has evolved into a worldwide, for-profit mercenary mission.
My government has decided that only corporations matter, that short-term profits are more important than basic human services, and that rampant, unchecked imperialism and racism are the only methods through which the tenets of freedom can be adopted. My government has succumbed to unparalleled greed, proud ignorance, and a degree of chronic fictionalization of reality that rivals even the most seasoned novelists.
Whatever happens, please know, without an iota of doubt; you are not my enemy. Your government is not my enemy. Your traditions, cultures, and ways of life are not my enemy. We share this small planet and have no other home. It could all end with only seconds of warning. Please, in these times, understand that the American people are not your enemy. We are mired in this twisted timeline along with you. I ask you, here and now, for myself and my country, for your forgiveness, even if that answer is “no.”
I close with the remarks of Carl Sagan, which he spoke after Voyager 1 snapped the most humbling and perspective-demonstrating photograph in the history of science, the Pale Blue Dot.