“Always make new mistakes”

Dear President Biden,

I fixed it on my blog, but of course I couldn’t fix it on your correspondence page so I need to apologize to you for the slip up of having conflated you and Mitch McConnell — “Joe McConnell.”

It really was a slip up – perhaps of the Freudian sort – since I obviously know that McConnell is Mitch and that you are Joe (Biden). However, in considering whether you might be getting some crooked bennies from allowing Mr. Mitch to run the table, I inadvertently jammed the two of you together.

Yesterday morning Laura was reading that letter on my blog and asked “Who’s Joe McConnell?” Sigh. I hate it when I make mistakes and it’s especially bad when I publish them and they’re out there for the world to see. And this one was an especially doozy, doozy even if it was only in existence for a few hours.

But, oh well. Mistakes happen.

I’ve got a little slip of paper with a quote of unknown origin up where I can see it when I’m prepping food that says: “always make new mistakes.” This was definitely a new mistake, and it’s one I’m unlikely to repeat. And, as indicated by the mention of Freud and meaningful slips, I actually don’t think it was an accident. I really do think it’s not that much of a stretch to be worried that you and Mitch are the front and back ends of the same greedy monster. I don’t want to think that and I don’t want to even have this idea in the back of my mind, but I really do think it’s a legitimate to concern and that it begs some legitimate questions.

Such as, are you (and the Democrats historically, generally) so ineffectual in standing up to the GOP because you personally benefit when they stalemate you?  What do you get out of US being stuck with the same old wealth inequality, the same old prison/military-industrial complex, the same old systemic racism, the same old police brutality, the same old shitty educational system, the same old piss poor healthcare system (to include an unconscionable lack of quality care for people who suffer from mental illness), the same old tolerance of houselessness, the same old reliance on fossil fuels, the same old lack of gun controls, the same old rape culture? Seriously, what the hell’s in it for the Democratic power brokers such that you all tell us over and over that you’re all about change, that you’re all about righting wrongs, but somehow things are never dire enough that you’re actually willing to go to the mat and best the Mitches of our world?

I actually think the idea of striving to only make new mistakes is an important one. It’s obviously hard not to keep making the same mistakes over and over since it requires being awake and being clear that what one did didn’t turn out right or maybe even turned out terribly wrong. Critically, not making the same mistakes more than once requires humility and the courage to own the original mistakes. It also takes courage, not to mention a freaking learning curve, to risk trying something different and maybe messing up again, just differently. It also takes courage to risk trying something different that might actually work – especially when one has a long history of making the same mistakes and living with the consequences long enough that their familiarity is comforting (in a sick sort of way – but we all do it, so let’s be real here).

So, if I’m off base about you and the Dems benefiting when the Mitches are running the table and you really are committed to arriving at a version of US where everyone is thriving, you all need to pull together the courage to admit your mistakes, correct course, and risk getting some things radically right.

May we all be safe from complicit politicians.
May we all be willing to let go of making the same mistakes over and over.
May we all trust that we’re strong enough to risk getting things right.
May we accept that if we don’t, we’ll continue trashing each other and the planet forever.

Tracy Simpson

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