When I stumbled into the future in all its grim horror, I felt an urge that seemed uncomplicated: not to hand your mother and uncle a degraded country, planet, new century without lifting a finger in opposition, without at least trying. I felt the need to mobilize myself in a new way for the future I’d seen.
Sometimes cause and effect are centuries apart; sometimes Martin Luther King’s arc of the moral universe that bends toward justice is so long few see its curve; sometimes hope lies not in looking forward but backward to study the line of that arc.
The streets are much darker now, since money for streetlights is rarely available to municipal governments. The national parks began closing down years ago. Reports on bridges crumbling or even collapsing are commonplace. It’s 2023—and this is America 10 years after the first across-the-board federal budget cuts known as sequestration went into effect.