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  • Zina

A Lame Duck Citizen

Tagline: an old @#*?!* wrestles with the Law of Unintended Consequences.

I'm old. There, I said it. I won't say how old. (I'm old, not crazy or stupid enough to dish!)

Being old makes me humble. I can feel in the very heart, soul and root of my being the things that I long to be valued by this world. But I sense, with sadness, that the relevance, efficacy, and logic of those values is passing, or has already passed.

Think of things such as family farms, 40-year careers for 1 employer, multi-generational presences in small towns. These are the values with which I grew up. They are special to me. They are powerful forces for good. (They can also be the opposite, but that is outside the scope of this post.)

The slow, relentless disappearance of these has forced me to dig deeper. What did I value? Was it truly the surface aspects of these things? Or was it the underlying character traits and shared cultural themes that I valued.

Think of character traits such as loyalty and mutual respect. Think of shared cultural themes such as hard work and tolerance for family members who are "a bit different" and a communal care for local resources.

These HAVEN'T died along with family farms and long, single-employer careers, and immobile families.

Now, I return to the title this post. I am a lame duck citizen. The decisions I make, the policies I support, and the politicians for which I vote will not have a huge effect on me. It can take generations to know the Unintended Consequences of our hubristic public policies in this Constitutional Republic in which we find ourselves. (And, that republic is a cherished value that I continue to hold, more on that another time)

As a lame duck citizen, I am more concerned about legacy than reelection. I want to leave the next generation of citizens with the tools they will need to build a more perfect Union. Next generation: I'm listening.

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