Thursday, January 12, 2017

How Low Do You Think This Will Go?

There's still this sense of displacement and loss, definitely grief and anger, about what the hell happened to this nation since last November.

Just rounding up some of the other bloggers I read, about how they feel. For starters, Betty Cracker at Balloon Juice:

No, 2016 wasn’t just an electoral defeat. It was a revelation of the extent of the rot, a loss of faith as profound as any I’ve ever experienced. And the defeat of a highly qualified woman by a crude sexist bully sent a personal message to me, as a woman: You’re a second-class citizen at best, an object at worst.
Like many of you, I’ve responded in a variety of ways, becoming more involved in local politics, joining or forming groups to protect those most targeted by the racist, sexist, xenophobic demagogue who will be president in 15 days. Long term, I suspect these will be the most important responses...

Leaning over to repost thoughts from PM Carpenter:

The latter I have not jettisoned from my political sympathies; I doubt I ever will. It has, rather, either marooned itself or been marooned by more powerful forces. To speak of democratic socialism (or liberalism, leftism) in this brutal age of Trumpism is, it now seems to me, to speak from a pointless conceit. No longer does America possess any rough balance of ideological powers: There is the reigning, voracious, soul-killing neofascism of Trump, and then there's all that remains of human decency. This critical remainder -- in fact, the majority of American political sentiment -- is presently scattered throughout the ideological spectrum. Such scattering, it further seems to me, must be rectified. Opposition to Trumpian fascism will more successfully battle the impending evil under one ideological flag...

Found this article in GQ searching for "Trump" and "grief" as keywords:

...The election of a lazy autocrat who traffics in Islamophobia has been a crushing blow to America’s collective psyche. Before Nov. 8, more than half of Americans had already reported that the 2016 cycle was a significant source of stress. In the month since, therapists I spoke to in New York, Chicago, and Washington have been inundated with Trump-related concerns. People already in therapy have struggled to grapple with the new reality. But those who had long felt freed of anxiety were relapsing, too, caught off guard by what nobody saw coming, and others who had never seen a therapist before called to secure an appointment...

For myself, there is little I can say except various forms of rage and regret. Like Betty Cracker, the election turnout for Trump was an eye-opening shock, that there were 62 million voters still willing to back such an openly sexist and racist business failure all because he was the Republican on their ticket. I know not all of those voters are sexists and racists themselves, but they had no problem voting for someone like that. All because they couldn't even conceive of voting for a woman candidate they were taught to despise or make a choice for a third party alternative, or at the least leave that choice blank.

And it bothers me that for all the talk about higher turnout, the actual number - when accounting for population growth and shifts in the voter registration - remained almost consistent with the previous election. The dire risk of a President Trump did not occur to more people who COULD turn out, and that to me remains inexcusable. (It is also a problem that voter suppression in key battleground states like Wisconsin and Ohio caused part of the damage done, and that remains a sin of a Republican Party and their Jurist enablers desperate to maintain a demographic stranglehold on voting)

It still bothers me that Hillary earned nearly 3 million more votes than Trump, and still lost because of an archaic Electoral College system that hasn't been truly representative of our nation's voters since 1929. I do view that as a failure of both parties refusing to fix a system they want all because the College's format ensures a two-party dominance (Gods forbid the Libertarians or Greens ever get a single Elector).

In the process of coping with despair and depression, one has to find a means to fight back, to express the outrage and to stand with the convictions of what can be made right. Calling Congress early and often is one thing. I've made a few calls to the Senators of my state to express my concerns, and I'm not the only one (lines have been busy the last week or so). There are marches and public protests to join. The Women's March is out there, organizing for nationwide rallies (and yes, guys can attend). There's a ton of positive, life-affirming things you can do.

But we can't ignore the oncoming train wreck, can we. The Senate already started Phase One of their "Kill Obamacare" agenda in the dead of night (cowards!) and did so going after EVERY bit of health care coverage they could including the popular stuff like CHIP (that helped KIDS for God's sake) and protecting people with pre-existing conditions. And they did this with fucking grins on their faces. It's as though they know getting rid of Obamacare will honestly KILL people when those people lose their healthcare, and they're reveling in other people's misery all because their ideology against regulations and federalism tell them to.

We're facing a massive tax cut for the rich that will kill whatever semblance of a budget we could expect from the federal government. The party that proclaims itself fiscally responsible is about to cause more debt and deficits than drunken teenagers using up their parents' credit cards.

And then there's Trump. Russian puppet, tax-dodging, media-bullying, Emoluments violating sonofabitch that he is. The second he puts his hand to that Bible is the second he breaks every law in the US Code. And it worries me that's there nobody in position to call him to account.

I'm having nightmares now about what Trump is going to do at the podium on Inauguration Day itself. Calling for people's arrests then and there is the least of it.

We are entering an American Dark Ages, at a time when we're supposed to be entering an era of technological wonder and social diversity.

What the hell happened, America. What the hell.

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

How I wanted to slap that shitty grin off of McConnell's face right after he voted to take my health insurance away. I'm with Driftglass on this one, I will never forgive these ditto-headed creeps for this.

-Doug in Oakland