Over the past few weeks, I’ve been transfixed by all of the dramatic developments occurring in our political and legal systems. To be honest, I feel frightened by the unraveling of protections as well as the gradual merging of religion and government. Both of these aspects of American life, among other strikingly dangerous reforms, appear to be happening at such a swift pace that it’s difficult to keep up with the immoral chaos that could arise.
The result of these dizzying transformations, as I see it, is chaos.
But I also feel that such an out-of-control evolution signifies more than a tumultuous and largely unwelcome revision of our values. These changes, particularly the Supreme Court rulings that overturn precedent to reflect a minority, quite partisan point of view and the intense, dictatorial efforts to chip away at our country’s democratic foundation, amount to the unapologetic entrance of immortality into our cultural landscape.
While I’m a passionate feminist liberal, known by my closest friends to be adamant about certain principles that characterize a Democratic perspective, I strongly believe the current reconstruction of America’s consciousness transcends political identity. Instead, it emanates from the profound question of morality, an adherence to integrity and justice.
On this front, I feel we’re significantly failing to follow an ethical path that embodies a humane awareness and an embrace of our nation’s diversity. This reality haunts me with great terror.
Regardless of one’s political stance, reducing women to incubators, where they cannot make private, immensely intimate decisions about their own reproductive future, constitutes immorality.
Despite party affiliation, openly allowing assault weapons to be accessible to anyone, which makes every single public space a possible war zone and shows zero regard for human life, demonstrates an immoral mindset.
Whether a Democrat or a Republican, pressuring anyone, stated or unstated, to adopt culturally dominant religious practices in order to achieve community approval and/or the support from an authority figure, is immoral.
The cumulative effect of these immoral facets, in addition to other unmentioned yet just as problematic societal renovations, represents a chaotic world that’s blatantly indifferent to our individual rights.
In writing my novel Detached, I considered such a frightening national direction while shaping the environment integral to this story’s three vastly different heroines. Their divergent vantage points explore the aftermath of a well-known neighbor’s violent murder. Throughout the horror of discovering this homicide within their townhome complex, they also struggle as victims of the oppressive society in which they live.
Due to looming secrets that they cannot verbalize, each woman feels tremendously alone, unable to reach out and make meaningful connections. As a result of this shame, fear, and incapacity to achieve understanding, these protagonists must navigate an intolerant world while also coping with the murder investigation’s gradual revelations.
The universe where these women exist, a progressively white nationalist culture, is very similar to today’s unfortunate America. Furthermore, its immoral core, which excludes and expels, abiding by a rigid image of what’s acceptable according to mainstream measures alone, contains the same kind of underlying cruelty that’s become powerfully apparent in this country now.
Because of these abhorrent elements, alienation festers, only increasing divisions to form immense estrangement and acute misery. Sadly, that’s the world my characters must confront, the context that reinforces their own emotional isolation.
When I wrote Detached, the frenzy of debilitating changes that are plaguing America today didn’t exist yet. But threads of this narrow-mindedness, a steady increase of shocking extremism, weave through the story’s narrative as an implicit undercurrent. Little did I know then that our country would spiral so wildly to such a vicious juncture.
Although I can’t help but feel frightened at this undeniable reality, sometimes even exhausted by my growing alarm, I do see signs of hope. The resistance that’s evolving at this crucial moment, from small, local protests to state legislatures’ strategies to circumvent the Supreme Court’s draconian decisions to the federal government’s aggressive moves in an effort to protect our rights, inspires me.
I believe that the powers of morality will eventually surpass these discriminatory forces, even though we must endure their dominance right now. With America becoming increasingly more diverse in its cultural representation, the minority’s desperate grasp to retain power will be overridden. It’s inevitable.
For now, though, moral chaos is our reality. Writing about this spread of hateful policies alongside the frenzied consequences is the best way for me to face such a difficult chapter of our nation’s life. Furthermore, and most importantly, I’ll continue to look for as well as celebrate any glimpse of promise that occurs within the turmoil.