Saturday, November 12, 2016


The last four days have been brutal. I threw out my back. Which was kind of a blessing in disguise because it means I was allowed to lay in bed watching West Wing episodes like they were a morphine drip and cry about the future of our country.

We, the People of the United States, in our infinite electoral college wisdom elected an absolute moron with no belief in anything but himself president.


This was a joke. This was supposed to be a joke. No one was taking this seriously. Sure, it exposed the racist, misogynistic under-belly of our country. But they were still supposed to be in the minority. Good and truth and light were still supposed to win out. We are a country of thinkers. We are rational and logical and wouldn't slit our own throats. I held this belief more deeply and truly than I really recognized. Because when Tuesday night happened, when hate won and reason lost, it left me devastated.

Which maybe wasn't helped by the endless watching of the West Wing because the other thing I realized is the value with which I hold public service.

I pretty close to the lowest on the totem pole of government service, local government isn't exactly sexy, but I'm in it; it's still government. And between my personal knowledge, and endless watching of a show about public service, I realized how utterly we've fucked up.

It is an important job. It is a VERY important job. We take it seriously. I may fuck around at work. I may get frustrated with dealing with my departments. But what I do, the things I dedicate resources to, the fights I take on, have a direct impact on people. That must go a thousand fold for the president. They have nuclear weapons and oversee massive staffs. They make decisions that get people killed. Actual lives get lost holding that job. And we gave it to a sentient corn puff. We gave it to a man with no morality. A sexist, misogynistic, racist. A man who thinks violating women is not only okay but an appropriate way to behave. Who thinks...a president who thinks I am not attractive enough to sexually assault. That I personally do not merit being sexually assaulted because my ass is not small enough.

I ask again: what the ever loving fuck happened? How did we get here? Intellectually I know. Intellectually I know that straight white people, generally boomers, wanted to clutch the power they know is slipping through their fingers and voted to keep what little power they have instead of voting for the greater good. That women who are so hateful they care less about keeping control of their own bodies than they are about continuing their hatred and disenfranchising others. Emotionally, this boggles my wee brain and I keep shaking my head going "WTF! HOW?! HOOOOWWW?!"

And I am terrified. I am selfishly terrified that there aren't enough layers of government to keep this man from affecting my job. That because he may shrink government, which will mean less government funds for local projects, which means...look, you can follow the thread. We're headed for a recession and things are about to get bad and that may mean they get personally bad for me earning a living.

I am also terrified about my student loans. I am on the low interest based repayment with ten year loan forgiveness. I am scared this gets gutted because...well...because he's capricious and apparently concerned about finance but only to the extent that they make him, or the country, or...whoever, wealthier. If that happens, I'd be able to afford exactly nothing in my life.

More importantly, I've spent a lot of time weeping for our country generally. I worry and ache for every minority in this country. Every person who wears a hijab and relies on the free exercise clause. I worry about the lgbt community and the increased hate that they will face. Every black, brown, Asian...every person who does not look straight and white is going to face unprecedented, or at the very least more open, levels of hate. What the ever loving fuck, everyone? I knew we didn't live in some post racial utopia. But I had belief that good people existed.

And maybe we'll actually see more good people. The good people are going to have to rise up and be even better. So maybe that's a plus. I know that I can't just ache. For the first time, instead of just writing a check and hoping things get better, I want to get actively involved. People will need legal services to protect their rights and that's a skill I actually possess so I've begun looking at opportunities to help. I'm not a trial attorney, but I'm a decent researcher and I can hopefully get people answers. I have a strong feeling that funding for public defenders is going to go away and that the promises of Gideon will go with them. And no one should have to face the legal system alone. Especially one bent and skewed through the funhouse mirror of this executive branch.

My husband has been trying to tell me that things might not be that bad. We've had awful presidents before. We had genocidal Jackson who ignored the Supreme Court. More modernly, we had Johnson and Nixon. I appreciate his optimism and his knowledge of US History, which always shames me, as an American married to a Canadian. I also reject his optimism. I think things are about to get very very bad. And I really don't know how to combat that fear. Which is partly why I'm blogging for the first time in forever. If I speak this out loud, if I say these things...well, at least I've put them out in the universe.

He also talks about our strong system of checks and balances. This is also not reassuring because this orange cotton ball faces a friendly congress for the next two years. He gets to nominate a supreme court justice. A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE! A man who made some of his only legitimate money on a television show saying "You're fired!" gets to appoint people to the supreme court. I can't. I'm disgusted.

Aside from fear, I also feel very very angry. My dad passed along a flip article the other day where everyone's favorite folksy grandpa Garrison Keilor advocated that elitist liberals fiddle while Rome burns. I went off. I went off on how dumb a notion that was. I went off on that I hope when my dad's former colleagues who were pro-despot have their benefits and retirements slashed and are in need of medical help die slow painful deaths. And I meant it. It may be the meanest thing I've ever said. But they got us here. THEY got us here. And they are most likely going to fuck themselves over. Because once this guy comes for the blacks and the browns and the muslims, he's coming for whites too. And I will not lift a finger to help them. I will help the marginalized who are victimized by this. I will not help anyone who actively got us here.

There's been a lot of talk about continuing friendships with those who voted for this man. Good for those open minded people. Here's my take: if you voted for him, if you got us here, you can burn with your choice and we share no values. There was no real reason, no logical, rational, truthful reason to vote for this sentient sphincter. I do not want to know you. I don't want to see it from your side. Your side is ignorant and I don't have time for it. I have time for those who understand the social contract, who understand the greater good, and understand working in public service and what an utter privilege it is to serve their fellow man. I know lots of cops who voted for him. They feel the wrath of the public as this country gets more divided between us and them. But if they can't see the value they provide, the people that appreciate them, and that their motto is to protect and serve and to instead constantly say "fuck this, fuck everyone, where's mine?", I have no room in my life or my heart for them. That may not be in the good Christian spirit. But, well, I've never been a great Christian.

So where do we go from here? Up, I hope. It may be dark now. It can't stay dark forever. Not to sound cheesy but we all need to practice self-care. Meditate. Take care of yourself. Take care of each other. Write a list of the things you love/that make you happy and hold the dear (idea stolen from @anamariecox). Practice them. And do what you can to help. Email me if you need suggestions or have ideas. I am open to them all.

I love you. Let's do what we can to actually make this place better and not use some cheap slogan on a Chinese manufactured hat.

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