I Am a Designated Nonsurvivor

Okay, I am prejudiced, I admit it. Like you, I am a "Designated NonSurvivor" if the US and NK actually fulfill their threats to use nuclear weapons. Designated Survivors are individuals in the presidential line of succession, who are ordered to a secure and undisclosed location when the President and the country’s other top "leaders" are gathered at a single location. This is intended to guarantee continuity of government (COG) in the event of an occurrence that kills the President and many officials in the presidential line of succession.

I am not writing this to complain about being a Designated NonSurvivor. I will be in good company – practically everyone in the world! All the artists and builders, farmers and singers, the young and the old! Not a shabby group to belong to.

I much prefer that to hanging with those whom will emerge from the US or NK "continuation of government" bunkers. Those people are simply not my kind of folks. A world in which they emerge "on top," such as the top will be then, is not for me. Good luck to them as they seek to "remake the world in their own image." Sorry to break it to those folks, the world you emerge into will already have been remade in your image: death and destruction. Congratulations, you win.

Back to the point, let me tell you why I am prejudiced. Today I transplanted five white oak trees. One had grown to about 20 feet, its acorn somehow taking root at the base of a 40-foot-tall, healthy, white pine. I wanted to save both.

I dug out around the roots of the oak – it was 20 feet tall but less than an inch in diameter having been crowded out by the pine. The root was bent and twisted and turned down under the massive root bole of the pine. I could only follow it about 18 inches and it became unreachable.

I had an idea. I would run water into the opening, dig out more, as the ground softened. After about 3 hours of this, I had made a little progress but not much. As those who criticize people who protest against nuclear war say: "Resistance is futile!" Maybe it was futile.

Then I came up with another great idea! I tied a line to the oak which I attached to tensioning straps like you use for holding a kayak on top of your car. I put the oak under tension in the direction that seemed best to loosen its roots and possibly pull it out. I kept pumping water in, digging out with my hands reaching into the earth and freeing the roots. By dark I was beat. I soaked the root bole down – it now held about three feet of water, and headed for bed. I figured the oak was dead by morning.

I awoke, made coffee, and went out prepared to see the oak showing signs of demise. The oak looked fine. I continued the soaking and digging using my hands and tightening the pressure most of the day. By evening I had to act – I reached in as far as I could and cut the root as deep as possible. Then I transplanted the oak into a prepared hole after treating with root growth hormone. It may not make it, though five days in still looking good!

What does this have to do with my prejudice? I would like to one day show my grandkids that oak, standing tall at the top of a Lake Michigan sand dune, healthy and sending its roots deep to anchor the dune. That oak could live for 200 years, reach 100 feet, provide shade and wind break for generations. Not, however, if the US-NK threats turn to action.

Thus, I am prejudiced against nuclear war. I am prejudiced against Designated Survivors and their associates, their "superiors" in office, and their "subordinates" who must carry out those orders if issued. I am prejudiced against all those whose work or support the plans or preparations for nuclear war. Yes, I am a literal tree hugger. I have probably planted several thousand in my life. I believe every one of those trees may be a "Designated Survivor" in an honorable sense, not the dishonorable sense of COG and survival bunkers.

I am prejudiced, because for the reasons above, I simply do not know if I can tell my grandkids the story of the oak without lying. Sure, I can honestly tell them the oaks may survive, but what do I say about the future generations to shade, to behold the glory as the leaves change, the joy of jumping into a leaf pile?

Kary Love is a Michigan attorney.

2 thoughts on “I Am a Designated Nonsurvivor”

  1. Truly ironic that the ONLY people who should EVER suffer in conflicts between governments are the ones who always seem to survive to wage future wars. I too would rather perish than be among the slave labor crowd who will be forced to do the bidding of those emerging from their safety bunkers.

  2. The TV show namesake had a fine 1st Season, although the writers can barely keep-up with twisted real-world political intrigues. The subject lightly handled anywhere is American “War-For-Profit”. That business mystique may spread globally and harm all even more. Privateers and official “Mercenaries” are regulated by civil controls which need strengthening. The evil of war ought not to be rewarded by more than “industry standard” wages. Windfall profits and high wages must be removed from the “Military/Industrial Business”. Huge profits and excessive pay is causing new and continuing war. War and it’s business is inherently evil, retrograded civilization. The rich rewards of war must be illuminated and doused. Free markets do not allow uncontrolled promotion of toxins, poison and extermination-developers. Freedom should not extend to the “war business”, which includes traditional slay-methods and newer technology of the “intelligence” type.

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