Thursday, October 27, 2022

Dark Dreams and Politics

Good Lord, I had some weird dreams last night. I don't remember them all, but in one I was visiting the neighborhood in Florida where I grew up. It was kind of post-apocalyptic. One of the neighbor's houses, which always looked very stately and manicured and traditional in real life (he was a judge), had been turned into a pile of blackened rubble. The house where I grew up was gone -- the lot was completely empty. There wasn't even a slab, though the trees remained. Other houses appeared to be OK. The car I was driving lost control and I almost ran into a tree, but managed to stop in time.

There was more to it, but that's all I remember. I'm sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with those images, but here's my interpretation. I'm thinking a lot about Florida at the moment, since I'm trying to organize our Christmas trip, so it makes sense my mind would go there in dreamland. The devastation and the absence of our house could be a reflection of my mom's memory problems, the fact that so many memories that were dear to us and to her appear to be gone now. I suppose there could also be a political meaning in the judge's house being wrecked -- the death of the rule of law and the precarious state of democracy, etc.

Heavy stuff to wake up to on a Thursday morning! I was reading the news a lot yesterday so that's enough to instill apocalyptic images in anyone's brain.

I've been thinking about the Pennsylvania Senate race, of all things. It's apparent from the recent debates that John Fetterman, the Democratic candidate, is not in optimal health. What to do, in that situation, when your choice is between an obviously impaired small-town mayor and a Trump-supporting TV doctor? I believe I'd vote for Fetterman anyway, and I don't mean to blame him for a stroke he obviously could do nothing about.

But I'm left with a feeling in many current races -- not just that one -- that the Democrats aren't running the best possible candidates. We need younger, more vital candidates who are engaged with everyday issues and problems, like inflation, homelessness, runaway student loan debt and "deaths of despair" from opioids and other addictive substances. Democrats need to reconnect with the center and remind voters that the right-wingers are the out-of-touch ones, protecting the wealthy while they bang on about ridiculous non-issues like drag queens in schools.

How can Republicans possibly be leading in so many races now, given what's happened to a woman's right to choose an abortion in the USA? Where are all the angry women, and the men who support them?

I just don't get it.

And for the record, I like Joe Biden as a person, but I don't think he should be our presidential candidate in 2024. I think we need new blood. Buttigieg looks most promising to me at the moment, but I'm open to suggestions. If Biden runs of course he'll have my vote, but I won't be happy about it. We've got to bring along some new leaders. (I guess Fetterman might have been that -- and could still be if he fully recovers, although he didn't look like the healthiest guy in the world even before the stroke.)

Anyway, that's what's running around in my brain in the pre-dawn darkness this morning. I'm giving you a couple of autumnal portraits of Olga. It's looking very much like fall out there but it's not very cold -- a high of 68º F today (20º C) and 85 percent humidity. The forecast calls for rain every day through Nov. 10, with the exception of Friday and Saturday. That's not a bad thing given we're still under a hosepipe ban because of our summer drought.

I've been running our dehumidifier and it's been taking about two liters of water out of the air every day. Insane!


Moving with Mitchell said...

What awful thoughts to start your day. I'd be tempted to go back to sleep... but, well, we all know how that went.

Frances said...

Your dream sounds like a typical " anxiety dream" ! I had one the other car wasn't where I had left it, and the dog had been in the back ( I would actually never ever leave him unattended in the car!!). In the dream I somehow knew ( as you do)that he had been released before the car was taken and I was then yelling in panic for him to come to me. Luckily he did, so at least I didn't wake up having lost my dog!
Strange that you still have a hosepipe ban considering all the torrential downpours we have had lately. Our River Lea was close to overflowing a couple of days ago!

River said...

I don't think a psychiatrist is necessary, you interpreted your dreams quite well in my opinion.
I'm also very worried about America and what will happen. I want the Democrats voted in and maybe then they can work on getting some younger members in.
Olga is looking nicely relaxed.

Debby said...

I am hoping Biden does not run. We do need new blood, but he pulled us back from the brink. I am voting for Fetterman. He is a good man. His cognitive abilities are there. He takes longer to process perhaps but he can process. I would rather have someone who takes longer to process my concerns than one more hucksters who refuses to address my concerns at all.

Andrew said...

Weird dreams! I remember those in my teenage years.

I can't help but read and hear the news, but I keep it at a distance as much as I can.

I think the same applies to the Republicans as the Democrats. I just don't understand Trump type supporters. Lordy, I expect they go to church each Sunday.

I don't know too much about Canadian politics but look how a youngish Prime Minister in Canada is so favourably viewed by the world. Like Australia's new Prime Minister, he is statesmen like too, not something the former US leader could ever be accused of.

I admire how you straddle two worlds. While you live in England and know the country so well, you still seem American.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I wonder if Amy Klobuchar will put herself forward again. She's an impressive proponent of core Democrat values, articulate and resilient. It seems incredible that the Jan 6th tainted Republicans are leading the race in several states. As you suggest - maybe the Democrats needed a better battle strategy with some different soldiers.

Jennifer said...

I think you did a great job analyzing your dream. I'm sorry you woke up to such heavy, dark thoughts.

I feel very much the same way as you about our upcoming midterms. And we definitely need new, younger candidates. I like Joe Biden, but I hope he doesn't run again. And I'm not crazy about Harris getting the nomination, either. I've never been a huge fan of hers.

Boud said...

Funny how Kamala isn't seen by anyone but me as the obvious next President. By far. I'm not watching polls which can be wildly inaccurate, but I'm watching voter turnout, massive in Georgia, and hoping that's the better picture.

My own dreams are very peaceful and entertaining at the moment!

Bob said...

I love my dreams, even the ones that seem oddly frightening.

I don't know if I'd put much stock in pundits and polls for the election--though I know it's hard to avoid them.

Colette said...

Pete! I think he's the best choice, too. Smart, honest, and unflappable.

Ms. Moon said...

Sometimes my dreams' meanings are so obvious that I feel I should sit my brain down and say, "Really? You think I don't know I worry about this shit all the time? Give me a break."

Ellen D. said...

I voted this week and now all I can do is wait. I am hoping for the best and have read that it might be close in many races so I hope things turn out okay for the Democrats. I agree that a new, younger Democrat candidate for President would be great for 2024...

Marcia LaRue said...

I am hoping women come out in force to vote these republicans out of office and, out of existence! I think it will be Roevember because women are so pissed at the men and Republican women who had the gall to overturn Roe vs. Wade!
I have been having some odd dreams myself ... who knows what that's all about! LOL

gz said...

I don't get the politics either side of the Pond.
That dreaming is enough to say politics and news in the morning only. It's what I try to do here otherwise Pirate is grumbling and talking in his sleep and waking feeling like a piece of chewed string!!

Linda Sue said...

Agree about Mayor Pete! He could turn this all around. Been listening to "ULTRA" podcast and am amazed at the stuff we did not know was going on here during Hitler disaster. "Bag man" was also an eye opener- history repeats. I take comfort in knowing that all of it has occurred before and somehow we wiggled out of it. Maybe this time is the end of the road for our democracy- maybe we will wiggle out again, whatever, nothing we can do but vote blue, duck and cover.

Pixie said...

American politics is very strange to me anyway. I just don't get how some of these candidates are chosen. And although I think Biden is a decent person, he's way too old to be doing the job.

As for dreams, I dreamed a woman was throwing a huge squid at me on the street and then hitting me with it. There was also a flooded hospital cafeteria, new shoes, Christmas Eve, work and a few other things thrown in. It was a dog's breakfast:)

NewRobin13 said...

I think your dream might mean "you can never go home again." The missing house is a reminder that the past is gone and won't be back except in our memories. I could be wrong about that, I often am when it comes to interpreting dreams.
As much as I like Joe Biden I would like him to not run in 2024. Our governor Gavin Newsom would be a great president. There have been some rumors going around that he might maybe sort of run.

Tasker Dunham said...

It's just your brain connections organising themselves during sleep, which is what they do - short-term memory becomes long-term memory, sometimes giving strange experiences related to what you have been thinking about.
I clicked on Talk TV by chance the other day - much of it was a cesspit of poisonous right-ring bigotry. Incredible what some people seem to believe.

Jeanie said...

I think you don't need a shrink to tell youabout that dream -- I think you nailed it!

I'm with you 100 percent politically in this post. I'd vote for Fetterman too but it is worrisome. And ditto on candidates. And on Biden (whom I really like a lot and has done good things but... we need new blood.) Of the "old" contenders, I tend to like Pete B. and Amy K. best but who knows who will pop up in the next year.

Sharon said...

You aren't the only one with strange, anxiety-ridden dreams. I'm pretty sure it all relates to the state of politics and the state of the environment. I also agree about Biden. He's a good man and he's doing the best he can but we really need new blood. I'd vote for Buttigieg in a heart-beat! The races here in AZ are pretty darn scary.

Ed said...

If I lived in Pennsylvania, I probably just wouldn't vote in that particular race. I'm glad I don't. But I do live in a state where we have a terrible choice for governor too and I'm either not going to vote on governor or vote for a third party candidate.

I hope the Democrats cater to the center and I hope the Republicans do too. But it doesn't appear likely in this post Trump world we live in. Perhaps after 2024 elections we can do a hard reset on politics.

Kelly said...

Governor choices in my state aren't very encouraging, either. I actually like much of what the third party candidate has to say, but you know how that goes... a snowball's chance in hell.

I didn't realize Olga was in the background of the spider photo until you said photos (plural!) of Olga. I like them both!

The Bug said...

I definitely agree about needing fresh choices in our elections! Joe Biden is just not very inspiring - although he has actually accomplished a lot. I like YP's idea of Amy Klobuchar, but Mayor Pete would be good too (maybe a smidge more conservative than I would like - ha!).

Margaret said...

I like Joe Biden a lot but he was too old when he was elected and he'll definitely be too old in a couple years. Buttigieg or Klobuchar would be my choices although I'm not sure this country is currently progressive enough to elect either one. What I'm seeing is extremely depressing and also terrifying.

Jim Davis said...

There's nothing wrong with Fetterman's health, his cognitive abilities are just fine, he does have some issues with communication, but they are improving. In any event he's a far better choice than OZ.
I too would love to see Mayor Pete run, but like you I'm not sure the US is progressive enough for that. Pity, he's a brilliant man.

Steve Reed said...

Mitchell: There is NO ESCAPE! LOL

Frances: Definitely an anxiety dream! How weird that you aren't included in the hosepipe ban, but I looked at the map and indeed you're not.

River: I think some people get so entrenched that it's hard to move them aside so younger people can get recognized.

Debby: Oh, I'd vote for Fetterman too, so I don't blame you on that count. I always say Biden is a transitional president -- he righted the ship after the Trump disaster but now we need someone fresh.

Andrew: I'm not sure Trudeau is viewed THAT favorably, but yeah, it would be such a boost (especially for younger voters) if we got better generational representation.

YP: Oh, I'd be happy with Klobuchar, for sure.

Jennifer: She seemed so promising but she hasn't performed well as VP. I don't know whether that's her fault or the administration's.

Boud: I haven't heard a single person (except you, just now!) enthusiastically tout Kamala for president.

Bob: Well, it's true that they often don't seem to represent reality, but I think if they're skewed it's toward the pro-Democrat side. I think a lot of Trumpers won't talk to pollsters or lie to them.

Colette: Absolutely! He has problems with black voters but I'm hoping he can win them over.

Ms Moon: Yeah, it's funny how sometimes you can wake up and know EXACTLY what that was all about. And sometimes it's like, "What?!"

Ellen D: It seems surprisingly close in many places.

Marcia: Well, you would think so! But I was reading this morning that many people are voting economy first, and for some reason that always seems to skew toward favoring Republicans.

GZ: It's true! I try not to read the paper in bed for just that reason but sometimes I do.

Linda Sue: I don't think Democracy will fail but I think we will look back on all this as a dark period. I still think Putin is behind a lot of it -- Internet misinformation and "stirring the pot," for example.

Pixie: This is part of the argument for term limits -- that once people get into office it's very hard to dislodge them. I'm not sure that's entirely true but I agree some fresh blood is needed.

Robin: That's a good interpretation too! And yes, Newsom would be an excellent candidate, I think.

Tasker: I've never been able to listen to talk radio (or watch talk TV). It's just way too mean-spirited and dark. It can be instructive to know what others are thinking, but also scary!

Jeanie: Either Pete or Amy would be excellent options.

Sharon: Yeah, y'all in Arizona are really the epicenter of crazy! Why IS that? It's been true since the days of Goldwater. (And maybe even before that.)

Ed: So often it comes down to, which one of these people would do the least harm? Terrible that we are faced with such choices, but sometimes you have to vote strategically just to block the most damaging person from winning.

Kelly: She's hiding behind the spider! :)

Bug: I think Buttigieg is trying his best to stick to the center, which is where most voters lie.

Margaret: It all depends on who's running against them. If the choice is between Buttigieg and Trump, for example, I think a lot of voters would go for Buttigieg even if he does seem too "progressive" for them. (Of course, Trump would still get plenty of support.)

Jim: Well, I've heard people say that and I don't doubt it, but at the same time, I'd like a little objective reassurance that's the case! (He's still a MUCH better choice than Oz, though, I agree.)