The future we’ve allowed

My son turned 33 yesterday. He is my first child, my introduction to a life that wasn’t just about me. He was, thanks to a happy accident of timing, my Mother’s Day gift. The anniversary of his arrival has always been a happy day for me.

But this year, this birthday, the reality of where we are now, the fact that he, his sister, the people they love, the two little girls he brought into the world, all have to live in this America, this tragic place, breaks my heart.

We live in an America that idolizes wealth and fame, mistrusts education, and elevates an Internet troll to the highest office in our government. His bitter trolling emboldens other trolls, who also don’t restrict their hate to the internet. They don’t object to the separation of families and imprisoning of children. They take up their guns to protest efforts to contain an illness that has killed 270,000 people around the world, that has killed more people in our country than the Vietnam War. They shoot people who ask them to wear masks during a pandemic.


But while a pandemic is shutting down our economy, the American experiment is failing, too. It is being killed by a virus of corruption and greed that has finally overwhelmed it, and those who would defend it are inside, maintaining social distancing, and posting angry emojis on Facebook.

The headlines of the past few days have made me think maybe it’s too late. If a president loses no support when he vows in a pandemic to eliminate health insurance for a population, there is no bottom. There is no point at which his supporters will notice that none of his policies were motivated by anything other than spite, hate, or greed.

This is America. This is the future we’ve allowed. And it’s uglier than we could have imagined.


Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.

There are 16 comments

  1. Michael Whitton

    I grew up in Ulster County. Went to the Public and Parochial Schools and earned my College Education. Left the area to pursue my Career because the area offered nothing for the ability to pursue an enriched career. Thirty years later I enjoyed a highly successful and rewarding career. I visit the Hudson Valley and while its beauty remains, it is exactly the mindset of people like this one that the area remains stuck. In a time warp of having not advanced a bit since the seventies and eights And it is why those that want to be successful leave as they should Liberalism is a disease, it attacks anyone that doesn’t conform. Fortunately we are making headway’s, with this President, to eradicate the disease of liberalism. I remain cautiously optimistic the Hudson Valley will emerge from the scourge of liberalism.

    1. George Washington, III

      Gee, Michael. If I recall, Trumpism just led to the murder of a black man in GA by two white redneck Conservatives. I think I’ve seen that Trumpism fed the Nazi, White Nationalist, Confederate Flag waving murder of a woman in Charlottesville for no reason other than her CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PEACEFUL PROTEST. Trumpism endorsed to a fat white guy wearing a KKK Hood in California last week while grocery shopping because he’s one of those ignorant folks who makes fun of the temporary need to wear a mask for public health reasons. Trumpism brought YOU the largest US Deficit in history BEFORE the pandemic even began. Trumpism mocks daily the actual science and has contributed directly to the deaths of more than 78,132 Americans in just 8-weeks. Trumpism worships dictatorships and fascism. Trumpism emboldens the ignorant and selfish to spit on people, wipe their noses on people, spit on groceries that then have to be thrown away — all out of hate-rage. Trumpism has led to bold abuse of our legal system, our financial system. If that’s what you are loving because of your hatred of people you deem to be “liberals” then I’d definitely say — PLEASE DON’T COME BACK HERE. GO TO GEORGIA, WHERE YOU CAN BE YOUR RACIST CONSERVATIVE PATHETIC SELF. Later, TROLL.

    2. Greg & Marie

      Michael, I couldn’t agree more. You are correct and the author of this article is just pushing the false liberal agenda.

  2. Wetpaint845

    From what planet is Susan Bennet from? Oh planet extreme liberal! When will these people realize that business means jobs growth and progress. I agree 100 percent with the previous post.

  3. Jp

    This paper has been going downhill for years. Writers like Susan dont write articles, instead, they try to give you a sermon based on their same political views. It’s like a pep rally to get all the liberals worked up to hate Trump…..get over it! He won 3 1/2 years ago, and you know who you should blame?…..yourselves! You put Hillary up against him, a candidate most in the US were didnt like. Now Biden! We’ll see how that one works out.

  4. Carolyn L Zaremba

    It disagree that this is the future “we” allowed. As a Marxist and political activist, I have never supported the capitalist system or the rigged two-party U.S. system. I joined the Socialist Equality Party in 2003 and all of us and our international comrades work daily to enlighten and educate the working class about the crimes of capitalism, from war to oppression and social inequality, to the persecution of Julian Assange. Ever since I worked to oppose the Vietnam War in the 1960s and to support the struggle for civil rights, up until the present day, I have not “allowed” the imperialists to get away with anything without protest. I am very much opposed to that “we” generalization and what it assumes about your readers.

  5. suzette green

    Whitton and Wetpaint live in an alternate reality. I believe Ms. Barnett’s article to be bravely and truthfully written. There are some interpretations to the Constitution that serve only a few. I live in Florida, an open carry state. People from out of state formed a “protest” carrying weapons, including machine guns, openly to our downtown where a family “green market” was in progress. They had purchased fishing licenses in order to carry the weapons. Is this an appropriate interpretation of the Second Amendment, which was written in the 18th Cy. for single fire arms? Would they want their children exposed to such a display? My feeling is that people who are allowed their “rights” to open businesses will infect many others, mostly the poor and disenfranchised, and people of color. These folks who are claiming “progress” are the same ones whose forebears supported slavery to further “business”. They are caught in a web of mistruth propagated by the 70’s and ’80’s of the 19th century, and furthered by the opinion of “Fox” network. We are now in a more civilized society, but the “business progressives at all costs” do not recognize history and where we could be in the US if we patterned our society as the Western Europeans. Currently I am in the Netherlands, where it is sane and calm, re-opening slowly. My 7 years of early adulthood in Ulster County in the 1960’s and ’70’s served my education very well. We can re-open in a sane and orderly manner. Stay calm and carry on, extreme right wingers. If we had put as much money into health, housing and education as we did in nuclear arms and defense, we would not be having this conversation.

  6. Chris Acosta

    I’ve no worries about the Hudson Valley and Ulster County in particular regarding the liberal progressive movement. This November the American People as a whole will come together and elect a new president to resume the road towards better and affordable education for all, healthcare for all, an energy infrastructure no longer dependent of fossil fuels, a protected and preserved environment for future generations, and take giant strides towards changing the precipitous course we are presently on regarding Climate Change. Those people carrying guns to demonstrations against the steps taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not exercising their Second Amendment rights but showing the same idiocy that the present occupant of the White House is displaying everyday at his so called press briefings! Thank you for writing this article!

  7. Susan Solomon

    “there are none so blind as those who will not see.” Everybody wants to open up the economy. Not just Republicans. We simply cannot do so until it’s safe or we will have to lock down again. It’s in the interest of the economy to wait until it’s safe. Otherwise we will be in this nightmare forever.

  8. Suzette Green

    Poor Mr. Whitton suffered from is education in Ulster County.
    He should be so lucky he could leave with such a valuable tool in his toolbox.
    Be grateful that you could move on with what you gleaned in Ulster County.
    No one is obliged to stay where they are born.

  9. Lucy Muller

    Gee, Lady. You are the most negative person I have ever read. Be glad you are alive and well. It’s spring!

  10. Veil Lifter

    the mindset of people, blue and or red, is to follow orders and obey this fake plandemic. woodstock is blind, for most part

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