I update this blog every Wednesday, but sometimes I write the posts on Tuesday afternoon. I wish I had done that yesterday, because this Wednesday morning I have no words. In many ways, this blog is cathartic for me, so I guess I’ll just write what’s on my mind:
America, how could you?
Look, I was a fervent Bernie supporter, so I understand the frustration at government lethargy. And maybe, hopefully, Trump’s fear-peddling was just electoral gimmick; at least that’s what optimistic news outlets are choosing to believe. Many are now asking Americans to unify — to abandon differences and come together in solidarity, supporting the new president elect.
That scares me. Donald Trump loathes a woman’s right to choose. He repudiates climate change. He supports America’s gun fetish. His rhetoric on other issues is also abhorrent — education, foreign policy, healthcare — but at least on those he has some wiggle-room within his electorate. The first three are completely social issues, and easy wins for both his base and the Republican party as a whole.
Perhaps more terrifying is his treatment of The Other. What do Muslim-Americans think right now? How are Latino-Americans waking up this morning? Do Black Lives Matter? Much of America — an America with which I’ve had almost no contact — has a false perception of middle-class white persecution. And while The Rust Belt certainly hasn’t been helped the last couple of decades, blaming minority groups, beyond false, is also perilous. What other world leaders have divided their country into Us and Them? No Americans come to mind.
For those pleading news anchors, I ask you: under what banner should we unify? Are we to be Donald’s donkey, with homogeny as our carrot and fear as our stick? Should we have the same tired arguments — abortion, global warming, gun control — that the world was sick of hearing ten years ago?
I don’t know the path forward. Can I discuss abortion issues with the 49% of Americans who question a woman’s morality for terminating a fetus? Can I show millions of years of climate data to the 46% who believe that the Earth is less than ten thousand years old? Can I talk about the importance of affordable post-secondary education to the 70% without a college degree? Can I challenge the modern relevance of the Second Amendment with the 41% who have a gun in their home?
I don’t know. I just woke up, but I feel exhausted. I’ll work on the game this afternoon, but maybe right now I’ll just work out, and then buy myself a crisp new pair of shoes. And then maybe I’ll see a silver lining and a way out of this mess.
At least we’ll have four years of great stand-up comedy.