Not Only Is Everything Not Going to Be OK, We Are Well and Truly Fucked
Yes, this is a political post. I know you’re tired of it. I’m fucking tired of it too. I just can’t get it out of my head, and I have to write it down to get some of this vitriolic poison out of me before what’s left of my brain drowns in it. I’d say skip it, but I don’t want you to, because I think this shit is really fucking important even if my opinions are completely irrelevant to the rest of the world. These are my opinions, though, so I’m gonna let ‘em out, and if you don’t care for them, that’s fine, because many of them are probably terrible.
First, some background, before someone accuses me of being a Democrat and invokes their football-team mentality of Us v Them, which I totally understand when someone declares themselves a Dallas Cowboys fan, because that’s all I need to shut down and ignore everything else that comes out of their mouth.
I registered to vote my senior year of high school, in 1990. I was a Republican and proud of it. I actually think Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties helped shape me as a Republican, which goes to show how fucking dumb 17-year-olds can be. I liked Ronald Reagan – mind you, not for anything he actually stood for or did, but I liked him in the cult-of-personality way that tends to define our choice of President. I thought he was swell and he helped us beat the Commies. Also, I really hated Tip O’Neil. George H. W. Bush didn’t thrill me. He looked and acted like a bureaucrat to me, someone solid and uninspiring but probably competent in a middle-manager sort of way. He ran against Michael Dukakis, one of those presidential candidate choices that looks hilariously terrible in retrospect. Dukakis seemed like another middle manager with even less charisma. Shockingly, he lost.
I didn’t really care much about their policies or positions, because I was young and had a shit-ton of better things to do. Honestly, I’m trying to think off the top of my head what the main differences were between them, and all I remember about the whole thing was how ridiculous Dukakis looked sitting in a tank and the “Wimp or Shrimp” running gag in Bloom County. Oh, and how the front-runner, Gary Hart, resigned during the primary because of a picture of him with a bikini-clad woman on his lap sparked allegations that he was having an affair. How fucking quaint is that? Not even 30 years ago rumors of infidelity could derail a campaign, and now we have Donald Fucking Trump.
Anyway, I didn’t give much of a shit either when Bush ran against Clinton. I liked some things Clinton said, what they were I don’t know, and I didn’t vote because, again, I didn’t really care all that much. I was a happy Republican who mostly supported my party because the differences between them weren’t really all that much at the time. I can say that as someone who paid zero fucking attention to politics because it had little impact on me. The only things I remember was that I agreed with Republicans on things like defense and foreign policy and Democrats about things like welfare and abortion rights. I liked individual liberty and a strong defense.
Like pretty much every white male in college, I leaned Libertarian, because it seemed like the idea that government should take care of what it needed to and stay out of everyone’s life was a good one. It would take a few years before I realized what a shitshow unregulated capitalism is so I dropped that affiliation. Ron Paul really helped kill any libertarian sensibilities I had after his constant badgering to bring back the gold standard, which is so fucking ludicrous I forevermore renounced that particular ideology. Also, libertarians are now basically anarchists who have money.
It was Newt Gingrich that started to sour my opinion of Republicans. I fucking hated him and his shit Contract for America. I hated the smarmy holier-than-thou attitude he and his cronies used, and the morality shit they constantly went on about. See, I liked Clinton, because he combined the Republican’s foreign policy and some domestic policy without the fucking obsession about abortion and Christianity that the Republicans had. I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and when I didn’t have to go to church anymore I happily chose atheism, which goes to show how shitty growing up Witness is. The only things I kept from that religion are a surprising amount of Biblical knowledge and a distaste for saying the Pledge of Allegiance, which seems really fucking Hitler Youth to me when I see kids do it.
These are my impressions and memories of what I thought at the time. We can go into rabbit holes discussing Clinton’s and Bush’s and… Bob Dole? Was it Bob Dole who ran? I think it was. Anyway, we can go into rabbit holes about policies and similarities and differences and I don’t give a fuck. I’m expressing my vague impressions over the life of my political thought process. So I didn’t vote for anyone, because I was young and stupid and didn’t see much of a difference between them, and my distaste for Newt offset my party inclination.
Then came 2000. Holeeee-shit.
In that election, I loved John McCain. He was the maverick. He took the things I liked about Republicans and left out the bullshit I hated. He was great. He broke with the Gingrich Orthodoxy and I was happy to vote for him in the primary, where he was running against the idiot son of a former President. I hated W. Fucking hated him. A person who was so proud of his “convictions” that he bragged about never changing his mind about anything. He was the religious ignorant bullshit side of the Republican party I fucking hated. So of course he won.
And that was that. I voted for Gore in the election, a middle-manager type that seemed like he could do a good job (note: the type of person that has little personal charisma but seems competent seems to lose an awful fucking lot. Maybe the parties should jot this down and think about it from time to time). I was dismayed when he lost, because I thought it was obvious how incompetent Bush seemed. I couldn’t imagine why people would support him. I watched my party rally around someone ignorant, simply because of the (R) next to his name. For me, it was more important to have someone competent leading the nation rather than someone like, well, George W. Bush. I like the man just fine as a painter, and I’ll leave it at that.
When he won again against John Kerry (a middle-manager type that… you know the drill), that was it. I couldn’t do it anymore. I switched my party affiliation to Independent, and there I have remained. I voted for Obama twice, the first time a no-brainer against a suddenly-orthodox John McCain and the fucking deranged nitwit Sarah Palin. That was the nadir of the Republicans to me. Until a week ago. People I knew who were smart actually supported her and thought she was right and good and worthy of being in our nation’s leadership. Sarah. Fucking. Palin. These fuckheads supported her and paved the way for sheer douchebaggery to become the battle cry, and we got the fucking Tea Party and Trump as their inheritors. I hate two kinds of people more than any other: the willfully ignorant, and the pretentiously elite. The Republicans managed to embrace both.
I liked Obama when I voted for him and I love him now. He’s dignified, intelligent, and willing to try to work on problems to fix them. The party I once supported turned into fucking tantrum-throwing outrage-manufacturing do-nothing dickbags.
This is a long way to go just to say that I’m a proud registered Independent.
Nowadays, the things I support somehow make me a progressive, which shows how fucked things are. I support individual liberty, especially with women’s health issues. I support equality across gender and racial lines, full stop. I support a social safety net and access to health care for all Americans. I support a strong and capable military. I support the rule of law. I support sane gun-control measures, but really like shooting guns, so I think people should still have them. I support marijuana legalization and criminal justice reform. I support the freedom of religion, provided it doesn’t impinge on the freedoms of others. I support sane regulation of the commercial industries in this country, since we’ve had ample evidence to see where a lack of regulation leads. I find all of these stances to be very rational.
Somehow, that now makes me a leftist.
This boggles my mind. When I was young, I fucking HATED Communists. They were my generation’s Nazis. I hated them completely. My favorite self-created superhero, The AMERICAN LEGION, is a dude who gets frozen in the 50’s and revived in the 2000s and still runs around calling everyone TROTSKYIST and LENINIST before punching them in the mouth. Distaste for Communism is imbedded in my soul. Now, my positions, many of which used to be OK among Republicans, are now too lefty to be supported by the mainstream Democratic party. I get lumped in with Communists now. It’s fucking bizarre.
So, anyway, that’s my background politically.
This brings us to the election just passed. Where a willfully ignorant and pretentious elite won against a middle-manager type… you know the rest. I voted for Hillary, because of course I did. I was happy to. She would have been great for the country in many ways. She would have supported things I oppose. She would have been incredibly competent, and intelligent, and would have worked hard to improve this country. This is me saying this as an independent voter.
Instead, we got a fucking tantrum-throwing idiot, who espoused ideas during the campaign that somehow didn’t render him ineligible to become president. He’s hateful and gives some of the most repugnant voices in this nation legitimacy. The fucking KKK is holding rallies openly and happily. In 20-fucking-16. The white-nationalist tools at Breitbart and Stormfront are cheering. We are fuckety-fuck-fuck-fucked. Ignorant has-beens like Rudy Guiliani and Newt Fucking Gingrich – Gingrich! Back again! Why?! What the fuck! – are looking to get into this administration. Donald Trump doesn’t even know what the President’s job is, AND THAT FACT IS ONE OF THE REASONS SOME PEOPLE VOTED FOR HIM. I would invite any of those people who did to let a career politician run their business for four years and see just how well that turns out. I don’t like politicians either, but I wouldn’t let Donald Trump run my business for four years. I wouldn’t let him be an unpaid intern for four years. He’s a rich shit who never worked a day in his life that now gets to run the country. If he wants. He’ll probably let Mike Pence and Paul Ryan run it. Just like the people who voted for him wanted, apparently.
So what the fuck happened?
I know there are a lot of things the Democrats are fighting about, whether it’s because of Bernie and his supporters, or outside interference, or cronyism among the DNC, or a million other things. To me, it comes down to one thing: the Hillary campaign failed. I mean, obviously, because she lost through the equivalent of finding the golden snitch in a game of Quidditch, because having more Americans want something isn’t how we do things here. But anyway, the campaign failed to reach voters in the Rust Belt states and other places. They failed to show how the Democrats could improve things. They instead seemed to rely on Well, We Aren’t Donald Trump, which should have been enough but in these fucked-up times somehow isn’t.
Somehow, Donald Trump was able to make these people believe that he, a fucking silver-spoon New York real-estate developer, had their best interests at heart, while getting the media to pretend like an email server was just as much a character flaw as casual racism, sexism, religious intolerance, and xenophobia that took place DURING THE CAMPAIGN. We got to watch the Big Lie in action, where telling a constant stream of lies so obvious it created a flood that distracted and paralyzed those that are supposed to tell people what the fuck is happening. The Democrats failed to respond meaningfully to this, and this is a – no fucking hyperbole – a global fucking crisis.
Things are not OK. We – the People, who once looked to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity – elected someone who is going to fuck this all up, because he has no idea what he’s doing. He promised to bring back coal. COAL. People in coal country voted for him based on that. It’s not a reality. Coal wasn’t outlawed. It’s been passed by natural gas, which is so fucking cheap that nuclear power plants are closing because they can’t compete. This braggart blowhard lied to people to get their vote, and didn’t even expect to win, so he doesn’t even have a plan for transition yet.
We are all fucked, all of us.
Everyone who voted for him will be disappointed. He can’t or won’t do the things he promised. He doesn’t know how, or they’re just plain impossible.
I see petitions to the Electoral College to change their vote. I’d love a time machine too. But that’s a waste of time and resources. If you want to PEACEFULLY protest, that’s cool – that’s your right, and we all have an excess of emotion we need to release. I think you should protest something concrete and specific, but right now people are venting their rage and it’s understandable, because we are truly fucked. I hope a million women do march on the inauguration, because that will send a serious message that misogynistic bullshit and sexism will not be tolerated by an active and passionate resistance.
Yes, as Marcellus Wallace would say, things are very fucking far from OK. I hate this result, and I won’t stand for it happening to my country, especially perpetrated by what was once my party. We are fucked, but it is up to us to make sure we do something about it besides posting cute and funny celebrity videos and not getting around to voting. If the Democrats want to win and govern, they need to reach out to the fucking heartland of this country. There are plenty of church-going people in that party. Reach people in communities that are small and not diverse, for whom church is not only part of their spiritual life but also an important cog in the community, and explain to them how you plan to help them. Listen to their fucking concerns and try to do something about them. Maybe they won’t vote for you, but fucking try, from a national level on down.
And maybe the liberal entertainment media needs to be a little more diverse, too. How many fucking shows about New York do we need? If I hear “the City is like a character in itself” one more time I’ll fucking scream. The vast majority of this country either doesn’t give a fuck about or actively dislikes New York and Los Angeles. Quit basing our entertainment on them so fucking much. You can have diverse, engaging programming that takes place west of Maryland and east of California that isn’t fucking Duck Dynasty. And you don’t have to show the people who live in those states as either fucking weird or totally backward. I’m from the fucking East Coast and I’m sick of the constant focus on it myself. Diversity isn’t counting how many fucking faces you have on a show. It’s about more than that, and YOUR PARTY SHOULD BE THE ONES TO FUCKING KNOW THAT.
All of America should unite through Westworld. It’s got everything, It’s mythic, takes place in ostensibly middle America, it has lots of guns and boobs and weiner and asks big questions and is fucking entertaining as hell. More of this, please. Westworld is the best thing on TV, besides maybe Forged in Fire. That’s another show that should unite us.
Anyway, after the election, I was inclined to hope that the Democrats wouldn’t pull the same obstructionist bullshit the Republicans turned into a way of life. The fact that my party ignored their Constitutional responsibilities makes me fucking sick, and I didn’t want the Democrats to just tit-for-tat it. Now, I say fuck that. I hope they pull every trick and bullshit move to stymie as much of this bullshit as they can.
Look, I know my opinion means exactly shit. But I truly believe if you hate living in a Trump America like I do, we need to do something. Get involved in local politics. Talk to people like people and not like an asshole. Listen to them. It’s easier to do this face-to-face than online, because it’s harder to be a dickbag when you’re looking at someone in the eye and hearing them, and that works both ways. Support the programs you believe in – John Oliver has a nice list of things you may be concerned about. Be passionate. Protest things you don’t like that you may be able to change or sway. The election’s done, so that can’t be it. Get people who agree with you to vote. And vote every fucking time you get a chance. Midterms really fucking matter, and 2010 is still fucking us to this day. Fight against gerrymandering, which is destroying our democratic process. Don’t let this anger go, but use it in ways that make something good happen. Be nice to people, but know that they won’t always be nice to you. If they aren’t, fuck them and move on. You don’t need 100% on your side, which is good because you won’t get it.
Also, try not to call people names, like I just did for the last 3,000 words.
If you’re a Democrat, try to find common ground with a Republican. If you’re a Republican, same thing. Try to convince each other why you think you’re right and agree on things that you can. If you’re an Independent, especially if you’re an Independent, talk to both sides. Get involved in your community and try to do what you can to keep partisan bullshit out of the process. If you can, get yourself elected as an independent. The only way to break this bullshit two-party system is to force another way in. A third party isn’t it. We need a no-party.
Most of all, try to stay medium. We’re all in this together, because we are all well and truly fucked.