An uncle of mine was a survivalist in the truest sense of the word. Not survival like a home bomb-shelter bunker filled with SPAM in the backyard, but the survivalist of the Jack London “To Build a Fire” variety.  A winter coat had to have buttons.  A coat could have a zipper AND buttons; a zipper is optional.  At -20 Fº, if a zipper breaks, there is no mechanical closure against the elements — the freezing temps, the rain, the snow, the wind chill.  However!  Buttons and buttonholes.  Now you have options.  If you lose a button, there are 1) other buttons, and 2) the vacated buttonhole provides a natural opening to McGyver up a working alternative fastener using a safety pin.

Metaphorically, the zipper on our democracy has always been stressed, but in the last presidential election, it may have finally separated.  And I’m grasping for any straw of hope, but maybe zipper failure is a good thing.  The bloated political partisanship has grown too big and is now bared for us to see.  Politics, politicians are in an on-going racket that isn’t about governing, justice, or holding our imperfect union together.  It is not about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  It’s about elections.  It’s about getting elected over and over. It’s about party allegiance regardless of policies either harmful or helpful.  It is fealty and obeisance to the political machine whichever machine you happen to be on.  It is sacrifice of the many to the few at the tower of power built with dollars.

It is not about us or even the U.S.  Zipper be damned.

Maybe our safety pins are the best armor we have for holding our remaining buttons together, holding us together, acknowledging that you have as much right to be here as I do. My safety pin is as vested in your survival as mine.

And it’s cold out there. We need all the safety pins.