This is very small potatoes, compared to many of the things he has done, but my immediate retirement planning was structured around being able to make a living writing and freelancing and purchasing health insurance through the ACA.
Suddenly, that doesn’t look possible.
I was aware that some of the point of repealing the ACA is so that people can’t do that. So that they can’t easily move jobs, or work for themselves. That they have a choice between Russian Roulette with their health and being tied to an employer at its sole pleasure. This is, by the way, while bad for everybody, particularly bad for writers.
Which may be some of the point. So that we shut up.
In times like these, artists have an obligation to speak up. Writers and journalists particularly.
There is another, more chilling, reason why my retirement plans are changing. The U.S. suddenly feels a lot less stable than it has in living memory. We seem to be turning into a banana republic by the hour.
One of the most terrifying things that has happened recently, is also, on the face of it, the most trivial. The inauguration crowd flapdoodle, while ridiculous, is blood curdling. The President of the United States insisted that an empirical and fairly easily verifiable fact was not so. That the media was lying about it. That government entities that did not support his version of events would face consequences.
Over an inconsequential, ego-boosting, completely irrelevant to anything actually important thing.
Think about what might happen with the important stuff.