A whole lot of I don’t know
November 14, 2016
I had some thoughts about money but they’re hiding under my sadness right now. I’m still heartsick by the elevation of someone who is supremely unqualified to the office of the President.
I don’t disagree that politics as usual has been terrible for some parts of the country nor that we haven’t done nearly enough to address those ills. Some of my dear friends live in those economically depressed areas and I’ve spent a fair bit of time in medium-small towns, enough to see how wholly devastating it would be when the primary source of employment shuts down and leaves you with next to no choices. And I have tons of firsthand knowledge of how much being poor in America sucks. And because I understand all that, I particularly can’t see why anyone thought that DT would actually do anything to fix that. He’s certainly the brick through the window of the Washington establishment, I can understand a resentment running so deep that you’d do anything to express it. Remember my dad? But then what? If you’re wielding a vote to Show Them, should you be putting your vote into the bucket of a con man? Is he really the guy who’s going to help your problems? Or is he going to carry on blustering about unconstitutional changes to make it seem like he’s addressing your resentments? He’s a reality show host, a failed businessman who by his own admission hasn’t paid taxes in many years so hey when you wonder why we can’t afford to properly educate our kids he’s part of that problem. He’s all about flash and celebrity. What could possibly pass for a reason to have faith that this person would actually address that which ails the working poor? When I was holding down three jobs, and sick, with a sick grandmother at home, tended by a sick mom, and an unemployed dad, things were pretty damn tough. I didn’t love where the Bush economy went and I struggled mightily under Bush policies. There weren’t enough hours in the day to cover the bills. I for damn sure couldn’t afford health insurance for my family and if I was no longer able to work, there was absolutely no way I was going to get insurance coverage or have the means to live a marginally useful or tolerable life. At any time during those years, had someone proposed DT as an answer, I still might have just thrown up on them.
Note that I am aware that HRC is an imperfect choice. But guess what? Any career politician would have been. It’s the result of having spent your life in public service that you have a record to be judged by. When has DT ever served in the government or military? Half my family is military. I was military bound as a teen, if my body hadn’t betrayed me.
All that said, I’m not going to say “not my president”. I’m not going to say he IS because I’m not there yet either and I may never be but I’m not going to do what Obama haters were doing all eight years either. If the American experiment is to stay alive, if we are to continue to have a peaceful transfer of power, we have to respect the process even if I cannot respect the man. Not that I could blame anyone who is saying that because part of my soul is still hollering NO NO NOPE.
We have midterms in two years. We need to work towards breaking the stranglehold in Congress. I don’t say this as a Democrat, I say this as a thinking person who doesn’t think it’s good for either party to hold all three branches of government, no matter who it is. That’s too close to absolute power for my comfort.
My grandparents witnessed the rise of fascism and communism, my parents lived to escape it and gave us a shot at better lives here. Now I hold my child close as I observe an awful lot of parallels between DT’s rise to power and Hitler’s: rising to win the election by preying on unrest and discontent, fomenting hatred, making sweeping claims to make the country great again. There are plenty more if you’re looking. It’s enough to give this history student the shakes. “…make the trains run on time”, indeed.
Edited to add
Nicole and Maggie published this today, and it’s timely considering what I’ve been wondering we need to do: Getting an oxygen mask on: Protecting oneself monetarily
And while I’m working on that in the background, I’m also doing what Cait has wisely shared. As much I can without tipping over my boat, I’m reaching out to metaphorically squeeze a shoulder, tell a friend I’m here for them, tell another friend I’m thinking of them and promise to help in any way I can. I need these bright spots of positive to help me deal with the dark.