Sipping Africa, Mandela and the Reality of Trump – Swoope Almanac 11/16
Journal entry 11/15/16:
Charlottesville, VA: We ordered a bottle of Bayten, Sauvignon Blanc. It’s from the Constantia wine region in South Africa, the oldest wine region in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s Cape Town’s wine region, at the Southern tip of the African continent.
I raised my glass and gently swirled the soft golden potion and watched her long legs drift down the glass. Slowly I brought it to my nose and breathed in the granite born soil where homo sapiens began. I took a long, slow sip, closed my eyes, forgot where I was and swirled the history of that land in my mouth.
A view from Table Mountain looks out to Robbin Island where Nelson Mandela spent the first 18 of his 27 years in prison. His “Long Walk to Freedom” unlocked the chains for so many. The Boer Wars, gold, diamonds, greed, Apartied, domination by the powerful.
Constantia began producing wine in 1685. Fredrick the Great and Napoleon sipped wine from the same soil I’m now swirling in my mouth.
Wow, what a sip…now back to reality.
Cape Town Has its Granite, We Have Our Limestone
Every good wine should engage a sense of place, history and culture. Today it was Bayten, Sauvignon Blanc. Tomorrow it will be from our soil in the Shenandoah Valley. Cape Town has its granite, we have our limestone.
President-elect Trump’s Rhetoric Doesn’t Match Reality
President-elect Trump and his administration do not embrace sustainability and will not lead the world on a path forward for a more holistic and peaceful planet. He’s going to bring back coal, build the Keystone pipeline, eliminate the EPA, and renegotiate NATO while embracing Putin. So far, he has appointed an all white, male, anti-science, homphobic, bigoted, alt-right, inner circle.
The drumbeat to berate public servants and their work has begun. Regan did the same thing in the 80’s. I spent eight years fighting his mantra that government workers were lazy, over-paid and worthless. I stand on my record.
Trump’s businesses, led by his children, and his presidency are fraught with conflict of interest.
As a public servant for thirty years, I could not accept lunch from a client or a gift over $20. Our former Virginia Governor accepted rolex watches and catered weddings; he was acquitted of all corruption charges. Trump’s businesses linked to his soon to be profound, insider knowledge as president, are saturated with conflict of interest. Martha Stewart went to jail for a fraction of that.
Things are not adding up.
A Renewed Environmental Movement Begins
We have paddled upstream before. It’s time to get back in the game. Your environmental organizations need you more than ever. Volunteer, give money, voice your opinion, run for office, do not give up. Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom” took him over 27 years. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation‘s long walk to restoration has been moving streadily forward for 50 years! And we are not letting up now. The Blueprint is working. This is not the time to retreat, indeed, it is time to charge forward!
May we Have the Endurance and Grace of Nelson Mandela.