Elaine Rosenberg Miller

House of Pain

A visit to the local Walmart is a window on the state of the nation.

Walmart is not Whole Foods or Trader’s Joe’s.

You will not find their shoppers tossing overpriced elderberry vitamins into their carts.

Walmart is the largest retailer in the United States.

It sells everything from tires to food to clothing.

It attracts a huge number of diverse patrons. Web sites are devoted to their often idiosyncratic dress, including leggings, gym shorts, platform shoes, bathing suits and costumes.

Today, Walmart is more somber.

You can see it in the pinched faces of the shoppers. You can hear it in their voices and in the voices of their children who have learned not to demand or even imagine.

Sneak a peek into their shopping carts.

They are buying staples and house-brands in modest sizes.

Food, fuel and rent prices have shot up.

There is fear.

Ironically, many of the people who shop at Walmart came to the United States came to to escape poverty, lack of opportunity, polarization of law enforcement and elite rule that they experienced in their own countries

Instead, they see states whose school systems act to divest them of their parental rights, teach a politicized history of the Untied States, are anti-capitalist, admire socialism. They watch a federal Attorney General call parents protesting at school boards “domestic terrorists” and witness his authorization of a raid on the former president’s home.

Most of the recent arrivals believe in God, religion and the family.

And yet, they see a president whose family seems to have escaped inquiry Into its activities, a man who takes Catholic communion but advocates abortion until birth and who demonizes millions because they voted for his opponent. They are wide-eyed at the destruction of American energy independence and stunned at the nation’s submission to Communist China.

The South Americans and Cubans are especially ill at ease. They remember Che Guevara, the Progressive icon.

“To excuse a man we don’t need proof of his guilt. We only need proof that it’s necessary to execute him. It’s that simple.”
The president of  El Salvador, Nayib Bukele recently Tweeted “What would the US Government say, if OUR police raided the house of one of the main possible contenders of OUR 2024 presidential election?”

Call it a cringe moment, worse than the time the barefoot woman stood at the check-out counter wrapped in a sheet.

About the Author
Elaine Rosenberg Miller writes fiction and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous print publications and online sites, domestically and abroad, including JUDISCHE RUNDSCHAU, THE BANGALORE REVIEW, THE FORWARD, THE HUFFINGTON POST and THE JEWISH PRESS. Her books,, FISHING IN THE INTERCOASTAL AND OTHER SHORT STORIES, THE CHINESE JEW. THE TRUST and PALMBEACHTOWN are available on Amazon and Kindle.