Last week, Indivisible Somerville organized a rally at the state house in support of the Safe Communities Act. This is a piece written in support of the work we are doing.
Photo by Unboring Photography, Evan Eggers
About 100,000 years ago, a wobble in our planet’s rotation shifted how sunlight strikes the globe, causing snow to pile up in new dark corners. Huge ice sheets grew and covered much of the land we call the west, and 90 genera of mammals, mostly large ones, went extinct in North America. This period in the earth’s history is commonly known as the last ice age.
Looking at the current administration’s efforts to police immigration in this country, it’s fitting that the acronym for Immigration & Customs Enforcement spells ICE. In an ice age, glaciers cover sources of fresh water and nourishment, causing mass migration, suffering, and a die-off of nature’s diversity and accumulated intelligence. We too are witnessing a die-off of diversity and intelligence. Republicans – the party of small government and local power – suddenly want big government telling us who is and isn’t welcome in our cities and towns. They want federal agents knocking on doors of people who speak different languages, people of different skin color and religion. They want our communities to live in fear. Worst of all, they’re okay with this happening here, in John Winthrop’s “city on the hill”; here, in the land of “no taxation without representation” – which is ironic, because if Massachusetts residents paid taxes equivalent to the amount of representation we receive in the federal government, Trump would owe each of us thousands of dollars. Our leadership has proven once again that the so-called Republicans are totally okay with big daddy, as long as big daddy is a Republican.
I do believe it’s counterproductive to blame people when their party is an ideological and practical mess. There’s been a lot of looking backwards lately, on both sides. But while you can win an election by talking about the good old days, you can’t govern by nostalgia. Making America Great Again is like getting back together with your ex – it’s never going to be as good as you remember it being, America. It’s time to move on. Maybe try a woman president. You don’t know till you try.
I have friends who know Charlie Baker personally. They tell me he’s a nice guy, but I don’t care if my representatives are nice guys. I care that they move my city, my state, and my country forward, guided by the light of research and knowledge and fact, versus how some 70-year-old rich guy in Lynnfield “feels” about “the direction the country is headed”. There are many definitions of progress, but I’m pretty sure taking Massachusetts back to the ICE ages isn’t one of them.
And if that doesn’t inspire you to pick up the glacial pace of your administration, Charlie, let me remind you that during the last ice age, the great straight-tusked elephant went extinct. So perhaps will be the fate of the modern Republican.
We are the city on a hill, friends. Let us earn this distinction.