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The Darkness Rises

And here face downward in the sun
To feel how swift how secretly
The shadow of the night comes on

—Archibald MacLeish

You feel it too, don’t you, dear reader? It’s not just one thing, it’s a whole swarm of events. The attempted assassination of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the jeering Republican response to the grave injuries her husband suffered. The polls demonstrating beyond refutation that Americans know perfectly well their democracy is at risk, but they just don’t care, or not as much as they do about the cost of filling their tank or their grocery cart. And so they are preparing to give control of Congress to the Republicans, who have promised to help by cutting government social programs and defaulting on the national debt. Then there’s the noise of those selfsame Republicans licking their chops, readying the knives of impeachment to stick into President Biden, as soon as they can concoct something to charge him with. The plum committee assignments promised to the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has called for Pelosi’s assassination. The increasing tempo of Trump rallies, Kari Lake rallies, Doug Mastriano rallies. The deadly loathing proclaimed openly now against Jews, Blacks, and immigrants, as a major social media platform is taken over for the express purpose of mainstreaming hate. The complaints about armed men threatening voters in Arizona. The gun massacres now too frequent even to make the front page.

Because we did not banish the darkness in November 2020, nor even try to do so in the aftermath of the January 6 Smear-Shit-in-the-Hall Putsch, because we have made it plain that our fondest wishes are for gas to get cheaper and for no one ever to mention again the pandemic disease still killing hundreds of Americans each day, the wings of darkness are spreading over us. Darkness gathers and seeps out of the corners in the brightest blue of cities and states. Darkness spreads from the screens of our gleaming smartphones, our enormous televisions, our “gaming systems” and personal computers. You may think you’re too busy just getting by as you sink ever deeper into debt. You may disapprove of the abortion bans, but plan to vote Republican anyway, because you think Biden hasn’t “done enough.” You may think that none of the politicians ever keep their promises, so you’re not even going to bother to vote.

In short, you may not be interested in the darkness, but the darkness is interested in you. And on November 8, it has a date with the nation.

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