Good Moon on the Rise

I see the bad moon a-risin’, I see trouble on the way…Creedence Clearwater Revival

I rose early enough on election day to see a small shadow on the upper left edge of the moon. So began the Blood Moon. It would glow, we were told, red. Just like the Republican tide to come. An hour or so later the eclipse was almost complete, but haziness in the atmosphere rendered the moon but a dark disc, its shade matching that of my expectations.

The Blood Moon has long been regarded a portent of tragedy. One appeared in the sky over Constantinople when that last outpost of the Roman Empire fell. The Turks only put the coup de grace on a process that was long in the making. As had Rome, some say, America is bringing about its own demise by decay from within.

Now, a few days after election day, the outcome remains uncertain, but it’s clear the Dems will do much better than expected. A good omen? Or, like the moon, is the closeness of the races in itself an evil one? Apparently half the voters continue to find grossly unqualified candidates to their liking. They seem unconcerned as Republicans press on with their assault on democracy.

Still, perhaps the shocking departure from mid-term norms means the Blood Moon was a bad omen not for Democrats but for Republicans. Could it be, just as the moon’s physical power moves the sea, its metaphysical power set in motion a sea change in some Republican and independent voters’ minds? If the election’s outcome were purely based on voter sentiment this would instill hope for 2024.

But elections are also a function of gerrymandering, of disinformation, of voting laws designed to intimidate and disqualify Democratic voters. These are essential elements in the grand plan the GOP embarked on after Goldwater’s defeat in 1964, a plan designed to shore up the dominance of big money interests and the advantages of White Christian conservatives. It has, so far, succeeded spectacularly.

Much of the plan hangs on convincing the public of bald falsehoods such as Reagan’s big lie– that government is bad, shouldn’t be trusted, and provides benefits only to those whom the MAGA crowd loathe. As soon as that highly overrated patron saint of the GOP took office, government programs and oversight were decimated and taxes on the wealthy were slashed. Since then, through a combination of deceit and serendipitous events, the extreme right wing has achieved its most cherished goal, packing the Court with handpicked ultra-conservative Justices who deliver for their ultra-wealthy sponsors.

One secret of Republican success is that they don’t overestimate the intelligence of the American public. While Democrats persist in offering complex truths, Republicans feed us simple lies.

I witnessed the early glimmerings of today’s GOP during the late 20th century in the person of a young fellow who lifeguarded at our community center’s pool. He sported a pony tail, army fatigues and combat boots, just like the Proud Boys of January 6 and the guys who were “protecting” the polling places on Tuesday. During the noon hour swim, his radio blasted out Rush Limbaugh. At the time I regarded this fellow, who hailed from a rural outlying area and was a home schooled born again Christian, as a wing-nut with one foot in the loony-bin. Turns out he was an early member of a growing conservative cadre that was still under the radar but gaining strength by the day.

Some people tell me if the Republicans take over Congress this year we will never again have another fair election. A Republican led Congress will return it to gridlock. They will wreck the economy as, contrary to popular perception, they usually do. The fight against global warming will be irrevocably lost. Minorities will be oppressed. Some even wonder, given the rapid rise of anti-semitism stoked by MAGA politicians, about the possibility that America may be the site of the next Holocaust.

On my darker days, I, like them, fear the worst. I see us on the cusp of a dark age, a time in which truth, justice, civility and equality will be blotted out just as the face of the moon was on the dawn of election day. I envision brother taking up arms against brother and the streets flowing with the same crimson hue the moon beamed down upon the world that morning.

Maybe, though, there’s another possibility. Even if we have to endure two years of frustration and anxiety, perhaps the Republicans, becoming even more extreme, even more offensive, will do enough damage to the gears of government and to their reputations to convince more voters to reject them in 2024. Maybe the programs Democrats have so far pushed through, despite Republican resistance, will show tangible results and restore voter confidence in responsible government.

There’s something else. Unlike it is in the song, the bad moon of a few nights ago was not on the rise. It was in descent. The next evening our celestial neighbor shone full and clear, restored to its glorious natural hue.

Perhaps we should take that as our omen. A sign that, whatever may be the outcome of this election, if we continue to struggle and dare to hope, America, like the moon, will rise anew, glowing in the promise of a brighter tomorrow.


  1. A beautiful piece; somehow I missed your last one, which sounds interesting to me, so I will check it out on your blog.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s