Think About It: What will the chickens do?

I bet you didn’t have a morning coffee conversation with your partner about “chickens coming home to roost.” It might help to understand the importance of this non-event if I explain part of my process for writing a column. A column idea begins to interrupt or circle in my thoughts before forming a concept, then an outline.

In the case of this column, I had in mind a year-end review of 2021 columns. I couldn’t leave this year without some recognition of the sheer drama of the year, more drama than most of us want in our lives. The chicken idiom kept coming into this serious contemplation like an unwanted guest demanding attention.

Chickens coming home to roost can refer to two meanings. One is simply coming home at night for food, shelter and sleep. The other is the idea that a bad act is revealed as bad, most likely resulting in unpleasant consequences for the bad actor.

Here from the online Free Dictionary ( “Politicians can fool some people some of the time, but in the end, the chickens will come home to roost. Note: This expression is taken from the poem “The Curse of Kehama” by the English poet Robert Southey: “Curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost.” (1810)

Keeping this hopeful vision in mind, I begin my column year-end review.

‘Vote for life without COVID’ (Sept. 22)

We glimpsed a return to normalcy once boosters came out in the fight against the deadly Delta variant. Officials were also implementing policies that protected against the spread of COVID such as requiring proof of vaccination to participate in indoor dining.

Two groups protested: those that worried about the impact on their business and those that wanted to protect their right to spread the disease by remaining unvaccinated.

Six area restaurants filed a lawsuit while the YMCA adopted a policy of only allowing vaccinated people to use their facilities. Some people threatened to boycott those restaurants. Some promised to patronize them.

Now that the omicron virus has arrived, normalcy is questionable, more boosters and restriction are possible and definitely more objections will be made based on misinformation and mis-characterization.

So far one chicken came to roost when the city residents voted to oust the city council members who voted in support of the freedom of people to spread the disease.

Otherwise, the chickens aren’t in unless we count COVID itself causing the sadly preventable deaths of unvaccinated individuals.

The COVID virus is winning abetted by the propaganda of vaccine misinformation, a political party that politicized COVID making it the star of their campaign to regain power and a hapless former president who’s created a monster.

Unfortunately, COVID decisions coming home to roost are killing many of us and still will.

‘Les Misérables?’ (Jan. 13)

We all witnessed the Jan. 6 storming of the capitol in Washington D.C. in what seemed an attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden as president and for some to at least threaten to do harm to then Vice President Mike Pence and the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Anyone watching the replay of the rally for then President Trump heard the crowd being egged on by speakers including the then president to go to the capitol and fight.

Not everyone went to fight but there were apparent lead groups of several hundred among the thousands who were prepared for a fight with weapons like bear spray and batons.

The immediate reaction in the aftermath came from many congress people and senators who were trapped like prey in the capitol. Most condemned the violence, even some ardent supporters of the then president who waited, watched the storming and finally told the plundering crowd to go home with a reassuring, “We love you.”

I wonder how that felt to them, most likely not the same as the hundreds that are charged and are in or may well go to prison. The bad acts of bad actors are coming home to roost while the rally promoters have gone silent and are busy manipulating the legal system to cover their own bad acts.

More is coming out about the involvement of Republicans in congress which explains their high level of resistance to investigating the Jan. 6 storming and stance that the violence never happened! It’s the keeping the flock in the dark strategy.

Is democracy worth saving? (Oct. 6)

The column focused on the Republican party’s effort to manipulate votes through legislation that removes the power of a single vote by directing the vote to appointed administrators who have the power to keep or toss the vote depending on who got the vote. Transparently slick, don’t you think?

The column created a bit of a backlash because I should know all identified Republicans did not vote for Trump or support all policies. That’s true.

But then, I still wonder at their silence in view of the threats of overthrowing our system of government through stealthily chipping away at the representative power of the American people.

I don’t know why those who remain in the Republican party stay silent and don’t demand accountability or a direction bigger than “whatever Trump wants.” Is it because they think of themselves as a privileged protected class and therefore protected from the consequences of dismantling democracy? I hope not.

Annus horribilis

It may see like I narrowed this 2021 review too much until we realize every one of these impacts our daily lives in some way. The power of one political party in an essentially two-party system to undermine the public’s health, confidence in the accuracy of elections and science is impressive. Impressive, short-term and stupid.

We need more chickens to come home to roost for bad actors. One way is to turn silence into a voice for fixing instead of destroying, for science instead of voodoo and common good instead of destroying, worse yet, killing ordinary Americans.

Bertha Cooper, a featured columnist in the Sequim Gazette, spent her career years in health care administration, program development and consultation and it the author of the award-winning “Women, We’re Only Old Once.” Cooper and her husband have lived in Sequim more than 20 years. Reach her at