This is going to be one of those most cliched of blog posts: a post about how hard it is to blog right now.
My impassioned rant about Bernie Sanders notwithstanding, I struggle to write these days — not that that’s anything particularly new, ever since mid-2015 — and writing about politics (all I ever did, it seemed sometimes) I find extremely hard. I want to, it’s just…
I can’t summon the requisite emotional distance. The dispassionate consideration. The words.
I’m going to try to post more, and about politics, but looking at where we are at as a country breaks my heart. I have never felt such pain about anything political in my life — not even when Citizen’s United and Hobby Lobby came down.
These days, when I want to write about politics, I want to cry, not the least because my keyboard is one of my ways of taking a stand, and I feel that I need to keep speaking out here. I know that not may people read this, but if even a few do, and I make them think, or help them understand, or give them ammunition for their next Facebook fight, I will have done something.
It was easier earlier on, when Trump was first elected, and denial gave way to anger. Outrage was deeper then, more raw; now a sometimes overwhelming despair has set in. I know that we need to keep the resistance going, that continuing to fight is the only way we’ll win.
Because the other side wants us to fold. They want to weary us until our hearts are so broken — and our minds, and souls — that continuing to resist seems futile. Trump and his cronies in the Congress are not sliding into their regressive agenda gradually; they are dumping all of it on us in one giant snowball of callous oppression and cruel indifference.
They know, either consciously or instinctively, that the loyal, patriotic*, opposition will find it difficult to impossible to cover everything. The budget suggestions they have floated over the past few weeks alone reflect dozens of horrible options — speaking out against each one seems daunting. Just objecting to the them as a whole seem inadequate, but how to decide what to fight for? Meals on Wheels? PBS? The National Park Service? The State Department? (THE STATE DEPARTMENT?? Really?)**
And they are aided and abetted by a section of the electorate that really does not have problem deporting Dreamers, even though those kids trusted America enough to register with the government. It’s not as bad as the Philippines government using the names of drug users who registered in order to get help to compile lists of people to murder, but it’s horrible in its own right.
People who get offended at being called racists but who think that preventing Muslims from coming into the country is a good idea. Who resent being called misogynists but who really do not have a problem with a commander-in-chief who does not even have the sense of shame to hide his view of women. Whatever you think of Bill Clinton, he was never caught on tape saying anything like the crap the Donald has said.
People who don’t see what the fuss is all about that, until recently, a man with white supremacist ties sat on the National Security Council. Who are not concerned that the president’s son-in-law, not nominated or confirmed by the Senate — in fact who could not be, given laws against nepotism that were passed following John F. Kennedy’s presidency — representing our country in informal talks with other countries, and doing work that he is not qualified for by either education or experience.
People who shrug at the thick billowing smoke surrounding Trump’s Russia connections, who screamed at the wisp of fog that was Clinton’s emails. Who, in fact, are so determined and obsessed about a defeated presidential candidate that they are willing to excuse anything short of murder on the part of the man who did win. (See misogyny, above.) Who resist the investigation into possible collusion of the Trump campaign with a foreign power (and not any foreign power, but one of our two greatest adversaries in the world), but who didn’t mind that there were eight Benghazi investigations, none of which showed deliberate wrongdoing on Clinton’s part.
I don’t know what to do about these people. If you confront them with facts, you are accused of spreading hate. They ignore the hate that the facts reflect. From all I’ve seen, in many cases, they spit on people who try to “reach out” and find common ground.† While I have not had arguments break out on my Facebook (probably because people know I won’t tolerate it), I have seen it elsewhere. (My son got into a … discussion … in his Facebook which involved members of his family. It was polite, but just demonstrated the gulf that exists between people.)
I’ll suck it up and keep trying to write. If my friends can attend marches and write letters (I do, too) then I can write.
*I am reclaiming this word. I love my country enough to not want to see it destroyed. That makes me superbly patriotic.
**The State Departments cuts don’t concern me, they horrify me: I have a son who teaches English to kindergarteners in a village outside Seoul. I have nightmares about him being trapped there following an invasion from the North, or worse, killed. My deepest fear is not just that there will be a war, but that the decimated State department will be unable to help warn Americans to leave before it happens.
†I recognize this may entirely be due to the people on Facebook I hang with.
I think more strategy right now is going to trying to get Democrats to vote in 2018 and sooner, than trying to bridge the gap to find common ground with Republicans. If you want to sit together and write postcards urging people to vote in the upcoming special elections, I’d be down for that. More info here: http://mailchi.mp/72c02b6eb43a/postcards-to-flip-the-6th-final-stretch-145817