Arc Is Long

Paul playing soccer at IU in the old football stadium vs. St. Louis 1968. Photo by Leo Dodd.
Paul playing soccer at IU in the old football stadium vs. St. Louis 1968. Photo by Leo Dodd.

We had a zoom chat with my brother and sister-in-law over the weekend. It was going to be a dinner zoom but we eat early and they eat late so we watched them eat. We got into politics pretty quickly and all pretty much agree so the conversation moved along to the finer points.

I yammered on about the electoral college and how it minimizes the importance of voting for the type of government we want and need. NYT just identified 20 counties scattered in six swing states that could determine the presidency. That’s like Cambridge Analytica identifying the handful of “persuadables” and targeting them to sway the election. Everybody else might as well stay home.

There was some discussion of whether Obama had done all he could or whether what he did, or maybe by just being who he is, stirred up this racist backlash. I don’t blame Obama and maybe because of my new found focus on age, I suggested it wasn’t that long ago, double my lifetime plus thirty years that someone like me could own another person to do my chores. The arc is long unfortunately.

In 1968, the year my father took the photo above, the in-your-face racist, George Wallace running as a third party candidate, won the electoral college votes from five states and took almost 14% of the popular vote. While in Bloomington to watch the soccer match, my father and brother stopped up to my dorm room. I had a McCarthy poster on the wall and The Pill Is A No No poster of Pope Paul VI. My father got a big laugh out of the pope poster. He missed Trump’s reign but he always liked Biden and he would be so happy to see him win on Tuesday.

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