Homeostasis, as defined, refers to the tendency of a body to maintain a condition of balance or equilibrium within its internal environment, even when faced with external changes. It can also refer to a state of psychological equilibrium when tension or a troubling difficulty has been reduced or eliminated.
Looking back on my life recalls many a time when my homeostasis was fine-tuned and when it didn’t work to benefit my physical and mental well being. There were instances where I was out of sorts due to employment matters as well as others where my personal life and people in it were a lot less than helpful to my emotional health. Simply expressed, stresses and strains from multiple sources have resulted in good and bad consequences.
There have been examples from political goings-on that provided me cheer and those that appeared to threaten me and the homeostasis of my country. In my lifetime, examples that stood out to influence how I felt and afforded sure-footedness were the election of politicians I could believe in. To the contrary, I think of how upset and even despondent I was as a young man when I learned that President John Kennedy was assassinated while I was heartened indeed by the leadership of President Lyndon Johnson to establish Medicare and the Voting Rights Act, both in 1965.
There are, as well, events from U.S, history considered by Americans as positive and negative. Without a great leap of imagination for what came before my time in terms of the breadth and depth of sentiments and reactions on both sides of any argument, it seems possible that no event stands any taller than the threat to the American democracy that is underway at the present time. I regard that threat as the one looming over us as directed an guided by the Trump Administration and those Republicans in Congress who appear as his servile supporters and blind to his dangerous, nation-threatening shortcomings.
Just look at the consequence of giving up our leadership in world trade: China is stepping in to fill the void. What about the prospects for world peace through nuclear war avoidance: We have abandoned it and there is no nation like the United States to stand in the way of a rogue nation. Then there’s the fate of a planet whose atmosphere is reaching critical mass in terms of its ability to support human life here: The world is becoming an every-nation-for-itself in the absence of the U.S. leading the way. These and other critical issues are now left to others without the will or way to guide the world toward positive developments.
Also, consider what is happening and not happening at home. We’ve thrived and succeeded as a nation due to the influx of immigrants: The Trump Administration wants all immigration to cease. Members of the Republican Party in majority numbers have pledged their political lives to a president who only cares for himself and his family even though law-breaking profits and accumulating more wealth are rather obviously his their single-minded objective. Further, Trump abandons our democratic institutions and laws for a new order of things that strongly suggests a duplication of autocratic Russia. Then, too, among so much that’s highly disturbing is Trump’s meddling in the U.S. Department of Justice, its CIA and the FBI divisions, while seemingly too often further encouraging Russian interventions here.
Trump plays to his base every day by tweeting his latest rant and rage. We are told that his base will cling to this president no matter what he says or does while Trump has told us that he believes he can do anything he wants to do without consequence. After all, he views himself as a celebrity who can grab what he wants to grab and take what he wants to take. Homeostasis is not survivable in the U.S. under a president who has shown us that he does not honor and respect the Constitution, the separation of powers, the laws of the land, and our valued traditions.
(Gene H. McIntyre lives in Keizer.)