Satisfaction

Breakfast today – a grey day with heavy rainfall – was at Lowcountry Produce Market and Café on nearby Lighthouse Road a short distance from our apartment at Cutter Court and Lighthouse Lane. We drove silently in the rain along the shaded wilting avenue, splashing through shiny black roadside puddles.

It was from the outset an expedition of satisfaction.  Susan, our congenial middle-aged server from Connecticut, cheerfully brought us freshly prepared glazed donuts and strong black coffee. The ensuing languorous meal was superb. It ended as divinely as it had begun! The achievement of the day was to have succumbed not to have resisted. The inducement was as middling and overpowering as an afternoon nap.

Buoyed by our early morning outing we contemplated our impending egress from Hilton Head Island – naturally with the agreed assurance that we’d return one last time to visit our host Noel and his sister Nancy at Lowcountry Produce Market and Café. The Harbour Town Golf Links multiplies by the day its preparations for the upcoming RBC Heritage Classic golf tournament corresponding almost precisely with our intended departure date. The Island restaurants and cocktail bars are no doubt salivating with eagerness for the arrival of the anticipated swarms of Americans all stripped blue and white and with platinum hairdos. We however can bear the deprivation. In the result we’ve booked an unhurried three-night drive home, punctuated first by the Carnegie Hotel in Tennessee (where we’ve already made dinner reservations) and latterly by Perkins restaurant in New York where we’ve always been satisfied.

It is undeniable that there are exhilarating objectives on our agenda in Canada, notably distinguished as always by little more than their alternative after 4½ months in the United States of America. Nonetheless the daily assault of some Republicans – and their right wing media supporters – upon generosity and intellectualism has succeeded to drain our equanimity. Listening to the likes of immoderates and pusillanimous dopes such as Trump, Graham, Cruz, Hawley, Blackburn, Cornyn, Cotton and Kennedy has heightened our growing despair for the outcome of America and its threatened unfettered descent. In light of the considerable undercurrent of white supremacy in this country it is a vast stretch of hope or imagination that America will one day condone the alternative value to be derived instead from acceptance and cooperation. The imperialism that Americans once so bitterly fought against the British in 1763 has re-visited them in their wealth and grandeur. And it represents a lofty height from which to tumble if indeed there is the perceived necessity or threat to do so.

It is no missstaement to say that America is now at a crossroads between democracy and oligarchy. There is patently so much for the rich and powerful to gain by preserving their unqualified entitlement and control. The disparity between rich and poor (and even the middle class) is regularly touted by so-called leftist politicians such as Bernie Sanders. I think President Joe Biden, spirited by his advanced age and perception that he has nothing to lose, shares the concerns.  But the disparity is not only rich and poor, powerful and weak, white and black; it is visceral and cerebral. There are simply too many ways to feed the wrong appetites to fulfill the dream of democracy.  Nor is the dream for democracy even competition for the alternative dream for Disneyland and the Confederacy.

Increasingly global writers are identifying Putin’s aggression with the power struggle in America between conservatives and liberals (as though such definitions mean anything). The battle is hardly one to be dignified by intellectualism. Spending an evening with an oligarch is not assured to be stimulating. The so-called “right” proclaims its right by more than intellectual persuasion, mystified as it has been by legal arguments designed to establish the meaning of the Constitution with the same intractability that Christians have on occasion sought to interpret the Bible – and both as immutable by unspecified logic. The attacks on Critical Race Theory, children’s storey books, cartoon characters and any other advanced interpretation of history, the past or mere vulgar habit have presented nothing but an obstacle to improvement and advance. Listening to someone as obscure and disjointed as Marjorie Taylor Greene, and knowing the unmotivated presence of Mitch McConnell from his backwood origins, only disparages me in the outcome of the United States of America.  What has to be done to awaken these people to their rudeness and inhumanity? McConnell epitomizes to me those who are obdurately committed to whatever supports themselves; his power and wealth are not at all laurels to ornament or to be ornamented! He is but a lapdog at the trough. And spineless to boot!