?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Well, there goes the planet...

I'm still processing the election outcome.

These might be all scrambled. I might just start and then trail off. Please excuse me.

This is a somewhat familiar feeling to what was felt in 2004...only worse. So much worse. I mean Bush was bad but this is bad and so surreal.

I feel like my adult life, since I've been of roughly voting age (I was just a month too young to vote in 2000), I have watched this country fall deeper and deeper into a strange dystopia. The towers fell, we went into war that no one wanted based on a lie, hurricane Katrina made it clear that the USA is a 3rd world country. Sure Obama's run gave us some hope, but from the Tea Party, to Trump's Birthers, to just congress in general, he had to face so much obstruction, much of the progress we wanted was not achieved. Plus we live in this world where facts have become meaningless in forming policy. Its a scientific fact that yes, climate change is definitely happening, and yes, it's totally our fault, to which many people still retort "why should I believe scientists? Look at this show ball." Opinion apparently holds more clout than facts and data. Worse! Uninformed opinion holds more clout than that of expertise! Satire is fuckin' dead now, you realize. Donald Turm is going to be the god damned president...

*just breathe*

Since undergrad I've been interested in the historical period of the early 20th century and in past months I've been reading historical fiction set in this time as well as revisiting Howard Zinn's Peoples History of the United Sates on Audible focused on the chapters of this time.  The labor strikes, the Wobblies (IWW), the suffragettes, the robber-barons, socialists, anarchists, unionization. It was a time where the struggles of many eventually earned us the things that we take for granted today. 5 day work week, 8 hour days. The end of child labor. The right of children to attend public schools. The right for women to vote. All of these things that we have taken for granted were won (many as a compromise, mind you) because of the fight of a lot of organized working class folks. People fought. People spent time in jail. People were beaten by the police (claims at that time too that the US was a police state, I think were valid). People died. Let's not forget too, and I don't advocate this but there was domestic terrorism then in this country by the far left and the anarchists. I'm sure with all that was going on everything seemed so tenuous. This question of "if everything is changing and the system crumbling what is the future going to look like?" was part of the zeitgeist.

Here we are again at the dawn of a new century and things are strikingly similar. We have modern robber barons (some, working under the corporate name avatar of their historical counter parts, J.P. Morgan/Chase Bank comes to mind). They and their public office, politician rent boys have been, since the Regan era, stripping away at these gains of labor has worked so hard to leverage; public safety nets, institutions of education and care, and fair distribution of the wealth. Again today the global economy is changing and the working class person, especially in rural areas is being left out. Hell, even with Obama's bounce back from the great recession, the guys at the top saw far more of the benefits than the working man.

People are mad, the future is uncertain and this time, apparently the people have been duped that the right, or I guess Donald Trump, is going to be their savior and fix thier problem.  Instead of going the route the of the organized working man 100 years ago, these guys have veered far right and (ironically, as if 100 years hasn't passed) with a terrifying flair of xenophobia, racism, and sexism. Oh yeah and that domestic terrorism I mentioned of the far left 100 years ago, of course, these guys are armed to the teeth, thirsty for blood, violent at Trump rallies and even shooting up polling places.

However, the ultimate irony of all of this is--because this is 2016 and black is white, up is down, and facts and figures don't matter--they elected a Robber Barron elite to be their savior! Un-fucking-believeable!

*just breathe*

Though I technically have a couple of years on the one I've got, I need to replace my IUD before Mike Pence regulates my fucking uterus. Because clearly I can't be trusted to make decisions that affect my own body and life...

*just breathe*

Before the election, I was thinking to myself that the echo chambers the internet has given us might lead us to fascism. Or rather help us into fascism, and that we would go willingly.  I've been seeing it on the right an on the left. I'm lucky that my family members in the fly over states don't post about politics too much, or if they do have it filtered so I don't see it. But every now and then I find someone who I see engage in an argument, usually a stranger to me but a friend of a friend, and then I lurk on thier page, becasue I'm attracted to the crazy that I can't wrap my head around. The far right have thier own blogs from which they post their "facts" and "news." None of which is credible. Of course in my own echo chamber on the left, I've been trying to be more conscientious about articles I share in an effort to not do the same. i have forsaken "addicting info" and other left-wing political click bait type blogs whose articles take little information and blow it out of proportion. I try to stick to proper journalism from, albeit lefty news outlets like the Guardian, Atlantic, etc.

On my lefty side there are echo chambers uppon echo chambers of anit-Hilary, pro-Hilary, and the far, far left. One thing I have noted, especially on the far far left is how prone people are to shutting down alternate views. Last week I got so upset by a thread on a friends page where the term "be safe" (in the context of saying to anyone going to Standing Rock to support) was being called out as being "a toxic microaggression" and a peer who argued--SUPER politely I might add, he was very respectful--got the "please message me to let me tell you why you're wrong" comment. How quick we've come to squashing anyone who disagrees with us because, see earlier point, ONLY OPINIONS SEEM TO MATTER. The left is just as guilty of this as the right is.

I wanted to write about this earlier  about and how I was sure this was going to play into the election somehow but time did not allow for it but I had no idea just how much this played into the election.

Trumps win, you could say, is a product of the left's echo-chamber turning dangerous. The pro-Hilary people thought they had this in the bag (I was shocked to learn she didn't even visit Michigan!). Though all of us on the left were scared we all underestimated the angry rural people and have chosen to make fun of them at our own peril...and theirs.

I'm totally guilty of this, but throughout this election process, we laughed about the GOP imploding on themselves since that Donald Trump spanner was thrown into their works. How bitter it is to remember that laughter now that the GOP will take the house, senate, and white house. Oh my fucking god.

*just breathe*

Now I'm seeing a lot of posts of "shocked [or not shocked] that half of the country are xenophobic, racist, misogynist bigots." "Fuck them, by voting for Trump they have denied my humanity so I have nothing more to say to them" And I totally get that. As I've said before I'm a victim of rape and I was sickened that the republican female vote only went down 6% for Trump. What the actual fuck!

But at the same time I think, as we lick our wounds, we need to to "take the high road" in a different way. We are supposed to be the side that cares about people, all people, and that needs to include those who we can't wrap our heads around. We need to be less smug. We probably should have listened to them more instead of laughing at them. This is what Michael Moore was saying. We need to recognize their humanity and try to understand why they've done this. Because if we don't look at the facts and figures and historical and present context we can't win them back.

And to the left that say, "fuck them, we don't want them anyway" I implore you to look at the historical context. The disillusioned people who voted for Trump in this century are the same working class white folks that used to be on the left fighting for socialism 100 years ago. The establishment, from WWI on, has gradually and effectively crushed that effort to where socialism is now a dirty word. Though I think Bernie would have faired better with this disillusioned class than Hilary for sure, I don't think he would have necessarily won either, because of that.  We on the left know that it is foolhardy for this populace to vote against their own interest by siding with the party and electing the robber barons. They don't have any answers for how globalism affects the working class poor in middle America.

There's a belief that reaching out to them, to just listening is justifying racist, xenophobic, misogynist attitudes but it's not. It's called empathy. Empathy is supposed to be a characteristic of our side. But when it comes to the other side, we turn it off. Well, this is what happens when you don't listen. This is what happens when you take them for granted. I know that it's hard for us to argue that we should pay more attention to white men, when white men are usually the ones with all the power.  For me, I'm guilty of being aware of the argument reading the Michael Moore article and the David Wong article but perhaps not heeding it enough. My friends within my liberal bubble who have more conservative friends or rural ties were saying this as well. It's my/our own smugness that didn't head the warning signs and continued to laugh. This class of people just used what little power they had and it has fucked us all. We need to understand why, instead of just dismissing them. Like David Wong said in his article about these people, you can't shame people into agreeing with you. (Again I feel I have to say, for fear of being slammed I'M NOT JUSTIFYING THEIR RACISM I'm just saying that you cant fight or work with what you refuse to acknowledge or try to understand.)

We can't heal this unless we try to understand and we have to come up with solutions that work for that group. I think after last election, when this group voted for Obama, we thought Republicans were just old bigots we had to wait to die off, and for more latino votes to come in our side and this whole GOP thing would be a thing of the past. That was us taking this former unionized group of working poor for granted. There is a problem. We have to show that we can fix it. Because Trump's promise of "throw out all the immigrants" and "build a wall" is simply not acceptable.

*just breathe*

To my friends abroad. I am sorry. I'm well aware, that it is a privilage on my part just to be embarassed by this, but there it is. I'm embarassed. I am fearful for those who will bear the worst brunt of this; people of color, muslims, LGBTQ community. I promise to stand by them. I'm also worried about the inveitable recession this is going to cause (look at UK after Brexit and the markets have already gone down). I'm worried about the people who are going to go back to not having health care after they repeal the ACA. I'm worried about the health care of my parents, as my dad is dealing with health issues that are costly and my folks live on a one person income. I'm even worried about Trump pissing off the wrong people with nucluear weapons, who are capable of turning my city into glass. (Is that another way he's supposed to be making America great again, reviving cold war nuclear anhiliation anxieties?) I know that sounds like I'm being hyperbolic but only time will tell.

*sigh*

I'll leave with the parting words of a journalist who questioned the a fascistic tide in the government by saying...

Good night. And good luck. 

Latest Month

November 2017
S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow