Stepping onto the deck at night

The USA seems to be in a bad place. What we’re doing to immigrant families and their children is horrifying. I’m concerned about the trade wars that Trump is getting us into. I’m pretty well convinced that Trump has colluded with Russia to subvert our democracy, and I think the GOP is complicit and is shirking their duty to uphold the constitution and hold the President accountable.

But each evening, I step out onto the deck with Willow before bed, and I stand in the soft humidity and look up at the stars while crickets converse, and I enjoy the relative quiet. And I think, maybe it’s all terrible, but right now, here in Missouri, maybe it’s OK? Maybe…

I’m not convinced by that “maybe.” I’m still disconcerted. But I can halfway pretend. My conscience won’t let me go entirely, but I can take some solace in the night and lie to myself for just a moment about global warning, and the rising prominence of Xi Jinping, and our president’s abuse of our allies and our citizens.

I wish I could be convinced by the night sky. I wish I could accept the peace of a still, humid evening in the Ozarks and believe that the rest of the world was like this. But we know it’s not. We know that all is not well, and that our leaders are making it worse.

It’s hard to leave the deck. Even a half a morsel of peace is a relief. I wish that I could make everything better so it didn’t feel like such a lie.

Russia and US Set to Re-Ignite the START Treaty

I just posted this article to my Twitter feed, but I wanted to write something about it as well to share how freaking excited this news article makes me. Next week, representatives from Russia and the United States will meet to discuss nuclear arms reductions similar to the START 1 treaty. From the Reuters journalist reporting on this subject:

The deal aims to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START 1) and has been billed as part of an effort by Moscow and Washington to reset relations that hit a post-Cold War low under former U.S. President George W. Bush.

If these talks go through and have a positive outcome, it will vindicate the feelings I developed during the previous administration’s tenure. The world didn’t hate us for no reason, we weren’t a victim of circumstance, and everything wasn’t going to hell “just because.” Rather, our foreign relations were strained and breaking because our leader had enacted horrible foreign policies, and President Obama is improving our relationships with other countries by correcting those mistakes.

Russia doesn’t want a war with the United States, nor with anyone else. Their economy is doing well, and war is always bad for the economy in the long run. Yes, in the short term, it can help things rally, but these days all war does is rack up debt and get important manufacturing points destroyed.

So it’s not surprising to me that they’re willing to have these talks, but it does elicit a gleeful giggle in response to the conservative fundamentalists from the last eight years who said that Russia was just itching for war and that we should give them what for. We can work together to mutual benefit, we just have to have leaders who are willing to do so.

On a tangential note, the United Nations Security Countil unanimously denounced North Korea’s test launch of a missile a few weeks ago, stating that it violated a treaty and agreement. This is only remarkable because both Russia and China signed on, agreeing with the United States, Britain, and France. To have those two countries not veto this statement marks an improvement of relations between our countries.

I’m just excited to see things working how I think they should, with people talking and working together towards the peace we all desire. I was fairly certain it could be done, and it makes me thankful that President Obama won the election.