Heartbroken

We woke up in a country today where half the citizens turned out in force to defend racism, misogyny, sexual assault, and the ongoing corporate exploitation of the working class.

I don’t know how to explain that’s not okay to people who don’t get it.

I still don’t know what to say.

I don’t know what to say to kids who could not vote, but will be feeling the repercussions of this election through Supreme Court decisions for decades to come.

And I don’t know how to explain our devastation to the unapologetic non-voters, third-party voters, and Trump voters who think we are overreacting. Who say, “Oh, just go to work, pay your bills. Nothing will change.

I mean, first off, shut up. The whole point of this stupid vote was a change away from politics as usual, so trying to pretend things are the same and will remain so is the most facile and least reassuring thing anyone could say. If Trumpians wanted the status quo–going to work/ paying taxes/ things will be fine–they would have voted Hillary Clinton, or not voted at all.

Hillary ‘DNC Establishment Candidate’ Clinton was the “nothing will change” vote. Donald ‘The Outsider’ Trump was the vote to blow shit up.

But they emphatically turned out, in force, to vote for Trump. A guy who told them in no uncertain terms that he was against freedom of religion, that he did not accept the melting pot of America, that he rejects the tired, the poor, those huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

He told us, blatantly and repeatedly, that he hates minorities, plans to profile people based on religious practices and strip citizens of constitutional rights, and has happily used his power to sexually assault women.

And millions of people said, “Eh, probably won’t affect me. I can live with that.”

He bragged about his comfort with dishonest and shady business business practices that break contractual agreements with business partners and suppliers, harms local communities, and exploits workers; casting it as business savvy and evidence of success, despite the plethora of public records (including the tax records leaked during his campiagn) which show he not only lacks business acumen, but is in fact a man in possession of a singular talent for financial mismanagement and compete incapacity for self-assessment.

He is the type of person most observant individuals and small business owners would choose to avoid in their personal business dealings, recognizing him for the slick willy flim flam man that he is, and would warn their friends and neighbors to avoid him as well–but somehow, writ large, his flaws become charms, and the risks are no longer personal. The individual voter may decry Trumps racist language, misogynist behavior, tax avoidance, and exploitative business dealings … but hey, he says, and proceeds to minimize. To extemporize. To explain how that was then, and this is now, and it wasn’t anyone he knew that Trump said the racist things about, and his wife joked that she’d enjoy being groped by him, so that’s okay, and gosh, wouldn’t everyone like to get out of paying taxes? and maybe it was the worker/ contractor/ suppliers fault for being taken for a ride–for making a bad deal … and blah blah blah.

But what it comes down to is, “It wasn’t me got screwed over, so I don’t care. That was then, and this is now. He’s not gonna screw me over, because I’m not black and I’m not Mexican and I’m not a woman, and I’m not a dumbass who gets taken advantage of in bad business deals. 

Trump showed through language and behavior that he disdained compromise, compassion, decency, respect, and even the basic civic value of cooperative contribution– the exact personality type we try avoid at church or school; that we cringe to be assigned on work projects with; that we wouldn’t invite home to dinner; that we don’t want our kids around. He has never lied about his character. The voters knew, and they were okay with it–as the Young Turks put it, that was a feature, not a bug.

That’s the country I live in.

Its not even so much that they didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton; its that people did vote for Trump! Its what that says! What it means! It means that everything we’ve been told all our lives about decency and kindness and respect and honor and compassion–about the golden rule and do unto others was a lie. A fucking lie. That so many people either actively agree with his racist, misogynistic invective or, (possibly worse) minimize it–see it as unimportant, a non-issue. Like all the lessons of history that have been collectively taught to us–that I know my peers and community members and cousins and family members are aware of–were just fucking … ignored. “Well, that was then, and this is now. We might be hitting all the same notes, but its not the same score.”

Everyone who protest voted (or protest not-voted) seems to have been so enamored with the uniquely American absorption in consumerist choice and moral absolutes that they forgot there’s no return simple program for a faulty president. We can’t just throw this one away as defective and buy a new one, or shove him to the back shelf of the closet.

Despite the overly long marketing campaigns and technicolor reality-programming hue, political candidates aren’t action figures or t.v. shows to be turned off and ignored when their noisiness is too offensive. They create policy. Influence legislation through appointments.

Even if he’s a dud and fulfills neither the hopes and dreams of his supporters, nor the wildest fears of his detractors, we don’t need anarchy, illegal civilian detainment camps, or nuclear war to for nightmares to come true. Dystopias happen quietly, too, as regimes quietly crumble under state violence while lead seeps into the public water and the disconnected, wealthy elite sail their private armadas across moonlit seas, far from the concerns of the crumbling infrastructures on land.

The Department of Defense released a report identifying climate change impact as an ongoing national security threat, and identified the real-world impacts both currently in progress and projected to intensify over the next 34 years as a result of climate change. The are:

Trump, as you’ll recall, doesn’t believe in climate change. Neither, apparently, do the conservatives in Congress. This year, the Pentagon requested funds to adapt and upgrade national defense installations, personnel training, and weapons acquisitions to meet the threats posed by climate change.

The GOP in Congress voted no.

Then, just to be really sure the Pentagon wouldn’t “waste” any money, the GOP in Congress expressly passed an amendment forbidding our military leaders from even drafting contingency plans for climate change related risks.

Think about that for a minute. Just think about it. You don’t even have to be pro-military to recognize the fucking idiocy of it. I’m certainly not pro-military or pro-war. I’m ridiculously non-confrontational and pacifist. But c’mon … I’ve got enough self-preservation to listen to the advice of trained fucking military leaders. If the goddamn Pentagon says we should probably shore up our defenses against climate change and potential fallout, I’m kinda surprised that trigger-happy, veteran-jacking conservatives of all people reply, “fuck you very much, lets take our chances with the storm.”

I thought the GOP were the ones who were all, “God bless our military, they’re so fucking brilliant and smart and have our best interests in mind and are the super duper best!”? — but I guess that’s only when they want to use the military as a jobs program/ extermination mill for the poor in America? Not when it comes to taking actual fucking national defense advice from national defense experts?

And now Trump has said he’s going to halt all funding for programs trying to mitigate climate change. He’s picked a climate change denier as head of the EPA. And as the cherry on this shit Sundae, he is investing in the military–but not the Pentagon’s recommended climate change plan. No, he wants to make the U.S. military–already the strongest in the worldeven bigger, to “to quell global threats.”

Specifically, he wants to counter missile and terrorist threats from Iran, North Korea and other nations by adding 65,000 active duty troops to the U.S. Army for a total of 540,000 active duty soldiers. He wants to exceed the Navy’s fleet restoration goal of 308 ships by 42; bringing them to 350 ships and upgrading their cruisers while bringing in additional modern (nuclear) destroyers. Oh, and bring the U.S. Air Force up to a force of 1,200 fighter aircraft.

Sounds like *some*one wants to unnecessarily invest $30 billion or so bulking up the largest fucking army in the world. You don’t do that for a summer tea party.

Yeah… I’m sure this is absolutely a good idea not to shore up national defenses! I’m sure this is a decision no conservative in the U.S. will come to regret in the history of ever.

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Gunshow by K.C. Green

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