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Dear G.O.P.,

As you work towards your goal of “taking back our country,” I ask that you consider reading Robert Pogue Harrison’s book Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition. Throughout the work, Harrison stresses the significance of care-taking as an essential aspect of being human and living a meaningful life. I’m sure you’re far too busy to read an entire book so if you can read one chapter, I suggest the one titled “Boccaccio’s Garden Stories” where Harrison reflects on The Decameron. Harrison’s explication offers a vision of a world that many of us would like to live in:

To be human means to be vulnerable to misfortune and disaster. It means periodically to find oneself in need of help, comfort, distraction, or edification. Our condition is for the most part an affair of the everyday, not of the heroic, and our minimal ethical responsibility to our neighbor, according to Boccaccio’s humanism, consists not in showing him or her the way to redemption but in helping him or her get through the day.

Please consider Harrison’s view of our responsibility to one another as you go about “taking back our country” and so setting out to repeal the Affordable Care Act, returning Central American children to a culture seemingly crueler than our own, preventing women from having control over their bodies and denying those same women equal pay as well as affordable and high quality child-care. Helping our neighbors get through the day could also be advanced if police officers and self-deputized citizens stopped killing black children because they “don’t belong here//don’t be long there, to cite Nina Simone. In general, our country might be best served if instead of emphasizing to us citizens taxpayers that we need to lower taxes and keep more of the money we earn, that you tell bankers on Wall Street and greedy politicians that “good is knowing when to stop.”

From a Concerned Taxpayer Citizen, EMM

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