Election 2024: A Cautionary Tale — Look Beyond Trump and Biden

by on May 15, 2023 · 2 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach

By Colleen O’Connor

Last December, I wrote a column and predicted that neither Biden nor Trump would be the next President. Then it was an outlandish suggestion. Much less so now.
Why? Things are exponentially worse. Trust is lacking. Solutions non-existent.

Increased anger over gun violence, immigration surges, abortion restrictions, financial corruption, inflation, homelessness, war, a pandemic, climate change, the dark web, and global rise of dictatorships, etc., has unleashed a rare form of political and social near-insanity that now infects the American body politic.

Add the insecurity, confusion, and fear, surrounding the revolutionary, and yet unknowable, consequences of OpenAI ChatGBT and one senses an explosive atmosphere.
An atmosphere that neither Trump nor Biden can corral. Their weaknesses of omission and commission are glaringly obvious. No need to list here.

Instead let’s look to the stars for a more promising arc of history.

A recent scientific discovery may help us better understand this moment while clinging to some future hope in the cosmos; metaphorically speaking. See if you can identify the relevant, distinctive political markers defining this campaign season.

Astronomers recently spotted; the “biggest and brightest” cosmic explosion ever, aka “unprecedented.”

This enormous fireball, which is about 8 billion light years away, is approximately 100 times bigger than the solar system.

Estimated to be two trillion times brighter than the sun, and about twice as hot as the surface of the sun, according to lead study author Philip Wiseman, an astronomer at the University of Southampton.

In just terms of physical size, “it’s just ginormous” Wiseman said. But these flashes usually die out within a couple of months. [However], this flash lasted for more than three years.

The leading theory is that the explosion was caused by a supermassive black hole sending shock waves through a cloud of cosmic gas.

The blast, called AT2021lwx, is ten times brighter than any supernova and three times brighter than a tidal disruption event, which is when a star falls into a black hole.

While it’s brightest flash ever seen, it is “by far the most energy released” from a single explosion, Wiseman added.

The most probable [theory] at this point, is that a supermassive black hole is gobbling up its cloud of gas and dust. It’s like there’s been one massive dump of material onto a black hole, completely isolated from anything else, which has never really been seen before.”

In short, We may be witnessing the death of a galaxy/era.

Theoretically, there’s no reason for galaxies to stop growing. Galaxies “should keep on forming new stars and keep on forming new stars, because there’s a constant supply of gas from the cosmic web,” the study’s author said.

But at some point, a lot of galaxies die and just stop making new stars, and it’s not clear why, he said.

Right now, the explosion is so bright that it’s not possible to see a galaxy around the black hole. But as it dims, Wiseman hopes the galaxy will appear, shedding
[new] light on how galaxies regulate.

And maybe discovering new stars.

Looking for “new stars” in the galaxy is the now imperative. Just who might set us free and protect our democracy remains the question.

Democrats, Republicans, Independents, No Label third parties and non-voters alike have begun looking for those stars. With good reason.

Democracies, as with aging galaxies, can and do die. Look at the global trend toward authoritarian rule.

Witnessing our own “black hole” in- the-making, should motivate us to birth new stars before it is too late.

In the darkest hours, a Martin Luther King, Jr., a Mahatma Gandhi, an Eleanor Roosevelt, a Lech Wallsa were “new stars.” Surely, America is home to more such

A cautionary tale. Look beyond Trump and Biden.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gravitas May 15, 2023 at 4:17 pm

Watch Turkey’s runoff election two weeks from now. Real test of “Democracy v. Authoritarianism”–with possible cries of “fraud” after results tallied.


lyle May 15, 2023 at 9:45 pm

I heard on radio news today that Turkey may be getting its feathers ruffled.


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