Beware the Ides of March
These are horrible times. David Axelrod, who I admire and worked with on Obama’s campaign, tweeted last night, “It may be irrational but I don’t want to turn the TV off and lose connection with what’s going on in Ukraine — as if by going to sleep, I’m abandoning the valiant people, facing down a huge, invading army to save their country and democracy.” What he said.
“Beware the ides of March.”
This quote goes back to Julius Caesar and Shakespeare and intuition and the foreboding feelings we all have at one point or another. We have the ability to look away from that which is incomprehensible or unbelievable and the hubris to ignore it. too often, we opt to look away.
Turns out, every month has an “ides,” which is around the fifteenth of the month. Julius Caesar was killed on March 15th, the ides of March. He was a superstitious man, and a seer warned him of what was to come, but he ignored the warning, or so the story goes.
Beware is defined: “be cautious and alert to the dangers of.”
How can we sit and watch a country be destroyed and one of the finest leaders of a generation, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, be murdered — on our television sets, in the comfort of our own homes? Beware of the ides of March.
I can’t sleep because I am cautious and alert to the dangers that lie before us, not just the actions of this madman, who will not be named here, but to our own inaction on behalf of our neighbor and friend Ukraine. Ukraine, who didn’t cave to D.T.’s demand for Biden bashing. Ukraine, who has worked much harder than the United States of America to clear their politics of corruption, which is what was keeping them out of NATO. Hell, NATO should throw us out for the corruption in our own government that is permeating the entire world.
If my child were there, in Ukraine, I’d be on a plane right now to go fight.
“We are one with Ukraine,” Americans and Europeans sing on social media. Really? Not so much. If we were, we would be risking it all alongside them, because that is what they are doing, one gun at a time, one Molotov cocktail at a time.
The American way of alleviating discomfort is to throw money at the problem. Over this past weekend, I received no fewer than 10 emails from friends, asking where they can send their money. I’m the activist who is always calling on them to donate, so it makes sense that they would reach out to me. I began answering my friends’ inquiries with, “They don’t need money or a ride out of Ukraine; they need us to show up and fight with them.”
I get it. “We don’t want to escalate this thing into WWIII,” says my significant other. Well, we don’t. Putin does. And, he invaded a sovereign nation, so that ship has sailed my friends. We are in WWIII. It doesn’t look like WWII or WWI, but it is a world war nevertheless.
Look, I am not sure how to do what needs to be done. I elected people to do that. Oh, right! That’s the problem. The corruption in our own government is not even undercover, and we dare to criticize other countries? Our own corruption helped enable this horrible man in Russia to take the lives of so many, just not us.
Beware, my fellow Americans, of the ides of March. Let’s clean out this house of ours. Rise up and demand that we not sit idly in front of CNN or MSNBC, or in my case, Twitter, filling the feeds with information that enrages or calms us. Because in the end, each and every one of us has agency to create change in whatever circle of influence we have.