Commentary: As we head to the polls this is a good time to take a look at what we, as a nation have lost since the last presidential election. Perhaps putting into perspective how things used to be before we turned our nation over to a man and party lacking in character and principles.
As Elayne Griffin Baker posted on Facebook:
“There is no literature or poetry in this White House. No music. No Kennedy Center award celebrations. There are no pets in this White House. No man’s best friend. No Socks the family cat.
“No kid’s science fairs. No times when this president takes off the blue suit-red tie uniform and becomes human, except when he puts on his white shirt- khaki pants uniform and hides on the golf course.
“There are no images of the first family enjoying themselves together in a relaxing moment — anywhere. No moments like Obamas on the beach in Hawaii, or Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport, no Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape.
“I was thinking of the summer when George H couldn’t catch a fish and all the grandkids made signs and counted the fish-less days. And somehow, even if you didn’t even like GHB, you got caught up in the joy of a family that loved each other and had fun.
“Where did that country go? Where did all the fun and joy and expressions of love and happiness go? We used to be a country that did the ice bucket challenge and raised millions for charity.
“We used to have a president that calmed and soothed the nation instead of dividing it. And a First Lady that planted a garden instead of ripping one out.
“We are rudderless and joyless. We have lost priceless cultural aspects of society that make America great. We have lost our mojo. Our fun, our happiness.
“The cheering on of others. The shared experiences of humanity that make them all worth it.
“The challenges AND the triumphs that we shared and celebrated. The unique can-do spirit Americans have always been known for.
“We are lost. We have lost so much. In so short a time.”
Adding to that, locally we have lost even more.
We have lost meeting our friends at George, Robert’s Lafitte, and other pubs, to share laughs and good times. We lost boot scootin’ boogying until the lights come on at Neon Boots. We’ve lost countless businesses — permanently.
We lost many gay bars which, in order to pay the bills and their employees, shed their identity and are impersonating restaurants. (Not blaming them, just lamenting what they had to do in order to survive.)
With the closing of bars, we lost live shows by our favorites drag performers, many of whom lost their sole source of income.
We lost hugging our family and friends without somewhere in the recesses of our minds thinking, “I hope he’s not sick.” We lost smiling at strangers crossing our path in the fresh produce aisle in Kroger and seeing them smile back.
We lost the fun of attending the Fort Bend County Fair, the Texas State Fair and so many others. We lost Friday night football. We lost Oktoberfest.
We lost first day of school pictures. We lost graduation celebrations.
We lost college football. We lost seeing throngs of dedicated fans cheering on UH, Rice, A&M, and the Longhorns. Watching a game on TV with no one in the stands seems almost apocalyptic.
We lost shaking hands.
We lost seeing Tanya Tucker at the Heights Theatre and other live concert events.
We lost brunch at Riva’s and their bottomless mimosas.
We lost attending an Astros game to cheer on the boys of summer. We lost the Roughnecks and the possibility of welcoming a championship team to Houston.
For all we’ve lost, no amount of lamenting can bring back the hundreds of thousands who lost everything.
We lost friends, family and loved ones to a virus that the president called a hoax even after he was warned about its deadliness.
We have lost so much.