Taking The Long View When History Is Happening

Pace yourself before you brace yourself.

You might have noticed I don't have much to say about impeachment proceedings... yet.

It's not that I'm not paying attention, but I feel like my kind of reflective analysis doesn't add much to the discourse when it comes to live-tweeting history as it happens.

As my friend Sunny Moraine said during the mid-terms last year, it's too soon to say what anything means when it's happening. My Twitter feed is full of people talking about whether The American People are paying enough attention and making predictions about what will be the thing that Team Trump can't overcome. There are more people than I would have expected taking a "wait-and-see" approach, but still plenty of people happy to say "stick a fork in him, he's done" for the eighty-eleventh time since October, 2016.

I'm not ignoring the hearings or people's various commentaries on them, and I wouldn't counsel anyone else to do that. My point isn't that the pundits aren't worth listening tom. My point is they're not worth believing. I'm soaking in a multitude of viewpoints and I sometimes find things that are worth considering even from people I don't agree with.

People whose job is to peddle a viewpoint often wind up being reductive out of necessary. The editors and the social media and marketing people then frame their takes to be even simpler, narrower, and more direct than they are.

Meanwhile, we happy few know that there are no causes with just one effect and no effects with just one cause. Or maybe I should say "very few"... because as we also know, Mostly The Sith Deal Predominantly But Not Exclusively In Absolutes.

The last thing I saw on Twitter before I started writing this was that Trump had delayed departure for a rally to talk to Barr. Speculation had already ran the gamut from trying to craft a deal for his own resignation to ramping up the attacks on the Bidens. I think the latter is more likely at this point than the former, but Trump is as ever the biggest X factor in anything having to do with himself, as he's the only player who can act unilaterally.

Anyway. Stuff is happening and it matters that it's happening, but which parts matter most and how much they matter will become clear with time. So pay attention, to the extent that it is healthy and you are able.

Last year I got so burned out from the midterms I had to get off of social media completely for most of a month. It's okay to come up for air. It's okay to take a break. History demands witnesses but it doesn't have to be all of us, all of the time.

Whatever happens next, it won't be the last thing. We need to be in this for the long haul, and that means taking care of yourself along the way.

Eternal vigilance may be the price of freedom, but the occasional nap is the price of eternal vigilance.


Thank you for reading!