Wednesday, November 02, 2016

All My Friends Are Heathens, Hope They Vote...

I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft/
We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping/
For this is the land where the Pharaoh died... - Jim Morrison lyrics, WASP (Texas Radio & the Big Beat) by the Doors 

I have to admit I exist in an echo chamber of my own.

I tend to read the same blogs over and over - check my Links tab up top on this site's menu - and draw from them the same messages and warnings (which are "Republicans are insane," "Republicans are idiots," and "Republicans are insulting").

I tend to chat with the same people on Twitter, and with the same circle of online friends I made through Ta-Nehisi's Open Threads back when he hosted them, and had that carry over to places like Facebook.

My own blogging appeals to a particular audience - Hello, Crooks & Liars readers - and I tend to link to and get linked by the same bloggers writing on similar issues with similar world-views.

So, there's that. I'd like to think I'm honest enough to admit that.

Because the problem is in the real world away from the Intertubes and the echo chamber of "ZOMG Republicans Are CRAY-CRAY" it gets so damn lonely.

I happen to live in a state - grr, Florida - that drives me crazy with asinine voting for, well, asshole Republican leadership.

I've had to cope - poorly - with the likes of Rick "Medicare Fraud" Scott winning the governorship. TWICE. /full-on rage

The last ten years or so of my life have been living in particular Florida counties that are die-hard conservative, not exactly safe havens for Moderate ex-Republican Apostates like meself.

I drive past signs for bad actors on the political stage, for the likes of No-Show Rubio and Chris "Bridgegate" Christie back when he was the favorite flavor of the month. I see far too many Confederate bumper stickers on these coal-roller supertrucks with Trump signage far too often.

I work in a place where the people are nice but their political world-view is unquestioning conservatism. There are literally churches on every corner in this nice quiet friendly town and far too many of them are surrounded by neighborhoods where "Trump/Pence" yard signs dominate the "We Live For Christ" yard signs.

It's nerve-wracking, and isolating, where I can't comprehend how or why so many people around me would be so willing to defy their own faith - which preaches against greed and deception and sexual depredations - to back a crook like Trump all because they can't listen past their own echo chambers of "Democrats are godless heathens" and "Hillary is the real crook, lock her up."

I mean, I kind of know that in the larger sense most voters are partisan simply by party affiliation: they can't really go against their own party, even if the candidate in question is clearly someone as horrifying as Trump. I've been there. It took me years to get past by first awareness of how dark the Republicans were getting - back in 1992 - to finally break off my party affiliation in 2003 and move onto the relative sanity of No-Party Affiliate. Expecting Republicans today to vote against Trump is akin to expecting them to tear off their own arms.

Still and all, here I am in the middle of a Red county in the middle of a state that in theory has more Democrats in it but still leans far too Republican too often. Here I am in a place where the polling is schizoid, where I can't feel comfortable enough about Hillary possibly winning Florida - a major step to deny Trump even a fool's hope in Hell - and coping with the dread that Rubio could win and give Republicans a chance to retain the Senate (OH GOD NO).

The election is six days away, now about five days, and for all the worry I felt back in 2012 when Obama was fighting a close race against Romney in this election cycle I'm feeling twenty times worse.

It should never have been so close THIS time, either.

All I can hope for is all my friends in our wonderful heathen not-so-crazy echo chamber of supporting effective and competent governance. I can see some of them already voted early, and I hope the rest of them vote soon and vote well.

And I hope all their friends are heathens who vote.


Infidel753 said...

It must be an alienating situation. I'd encourage you to move to Portland, but we kind of need voters like you in Florida. (Plus, you really need to like rain.)

I've been at my current job two and a half years and, except for one person, I have no clue about anyone's political views. People simply don't talk about it. Oregon as a whole is not as blue as people think, but the Democratic/Republican divide is pretty much urban/rural. I've been to southern Oregon a few times and you could easily think you were in Alabama, but where I actually live is solid liberal (luckily, statewide there's more of us than there is of them). I guess Florida is more mixed.

Turnout is always high here due to vote-by-mail. We should try to get that in every state. It would work wonders. In the meantime, I really think we should get an extra electoral vote or two for our high civic participation.

dinthebeast said...

I agree with Infidel753 about the vote by mail thing, it's really the way to go. Also about the southern Oregon thing, at least a long time ago. In the early '80s I used to go up to Brookings, Medford, and Roseburg to race motocross, and the racing and the tracks were excellent, but when they found out we were from California they tried to cheat us on our scoring and we had to watch them over it. When we kept showing up and doing well, they sort of went "Well, Eureka isn't really like California that much, so I guess you guys are OK." Little did they know...

The information bubble really is a problem, and it does take actual effort to get outside of it in order to really know what's going on, but it doesn't seem that difficult to me. Maybe because I really don't want to be just the polar opposite of a Fox News consumer or self-described "dittohead".

-Doug in Oakland

Pinku-Sensei said...

Now I'm reminded of the lyrics to the song "Heathens" from "Suicide Squad."

All my friends are heathens, take it slow
Wait for them to ask you who you know
Please don't make any sudden moves
You don't know the half of the abuse

Other than those heathens being convicts, I hope our friends who are heathens all vote, too.

Paul Wartenberg said...

That song's line is the source of the title, yes. I love the lyrics.

It's less about "convicts" and more about walking among the mad, the disdained, the despised, the heathens.