I began using the range terms of, Alternate Universe…Alternate Reality…and Twilight Zone about a year ago when referring to the massive upending upheaval in Presidential Politics and the desire of people who had not been heard from in many years…to be heard.
I have been surprised and amazed at the number of times that I have heard the term Alternate Universe used in popular mainstream media. Often this is the ‘go to’ terminology to describe the Trump Administration and their accusations of, Fake news…election fraud to the tune of three to five million illegal votes…and that the mainstream media is the enemy of the American people.
These accusations seem ludicrous to many of us and damaging to our long history of the freedom of the press and the need of that adversarial relationship, of the free press with government, for the ultimate health of our beautiful democratic experiment.
However, Americans see reality through the prism of their experience. To the poor urban African American who has lived in poverty and deprivation for generations. Who have been the victims of profiling and prejudice…who have looked longingly for truth tellers in the predominately white government…the Alternate Universe that they live in is cruel and cold and filled with want and lies.
Reality of the poor white man and woman who is working, if they are fortunate enough to have a job, until their fingers bleed without any hope of accomplishing more than to cover the monthly bills and the purchase of enough groceries to stave off hunger for themselves and their children. The experience, every four years, of having presidential candidates tell them that they feel their pain and that if elected they are going to solve their economic distress. Watching silently as their government tells them that they do not have the money to give them an opportunity for a good job while at the same time their government sends untold millions of dollars to other countries to help their efforts and people. The Alternate Universe that these people live in is one of hard work… without reward.
The life of the immigrant…whether Mexican…or muslim…or any nations suffering under economic and eminent threat of death and destruction…still looks to the Great Lady with the poem of acceptance…and the hope of a better life. We were known for being a beacon of freedom and escape and opportunity to the suffering masses of the world…but now we are known as something else. As we round up immigrants that have been here for years…and strike fear in their little children and their families…are we really adhering to our values? The Alternate Universe of the refugee and the immigrant and ‘the wretched refuse of you’r teeming shores,’ is one of fear and uncertainty in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
If you watch MSNBC as opposed to Fox News…you may and will hear two different reporting of what are supposed to be facts…not alternative facts. If you only subscribe to the news source that fits your political ideology…you will continue to live in your Universe of facts and reality.
‘Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.’ Abraham Lincoln…(a Republican)
The North Dakota Pipeline is opposed by many Native Americans for serious reasons. The Standing Rock Sioux are opposed to this pipeline due to the threat to their main drinking water source. The Sioux are also opposed to the destruction of their ancestral burial sites and the destruction of burial grounds. The Alternate Universe for the Native American is often that of broken promises and lies.
If there is a solution…it must include the setting down of all of us…to break bread and listen…and listen…and listen…to each other…with an open heart…and with empathy.
The answer is not in our current leader…it is in us…if we are willing to accept the assignment.