I don’t know about you, but I’m still in shock over the results of this presidential election. I’m mortified that more than a couple of people in my own family (blood relatives) supported Trump. They didn’t think racism or sexism or misogyny, or bad business practices were major deal breakers. They looked at their own interests. I know we all look at our own interests, but when it is at the expense of people because of the way they look, their gender, their sexual orientation, or even their physiological and mental status, I can’t abide. I can’t get over that. I don’t want to get over that. There is nothing redemptive in condoning people who think it’s fine to vote for a man who openly dismissed, dissed, and ridiculed people who weren’t like him. Hitler did that same kind of thing and rose to power by instigating the imaginations and emotions of millions of people. Hello! My last name is Jewish, my great grandparents were from Hungary, and my ancestors suffered cruelly and helplessly by people who were blinded by hate and divisiveness. To make matters worse, this wasn’t long ago. Not long enough ago by a long shot.
We have a problem in this country and it has to do with perception. I am not going to find a way for Trump’s new reign to ‘be okay’ or ‘make things better’ because I don’t believe it will be. I’m going to do a peaceful protest with some friends of mine in 2017 to give voice to my disapproval and outrage. Here’s the hard part to swallow: maybe things will turn out well overall for people in this country, a very weak ‘maybe’, but I doubt it. For instance he has hired Stephen Bannon as the White House chief strategist which is terrifying all by itself, considering he’s an avowed racist, rightwing nutjob. And is it just my imagination, or does he bear a striking resemblance Plutarch Heavensbee, “the Head Gamemaker” from the Hunger Games? Is there even a coincidence in this? (I don’t believe in coincidences.)
As a writer I try to carefully construct the antagonists to my main characters, sometimes the antagonist is the plot itself, sometimes it’s a person or group of people, and as in the Owen Hunter Series, it is incorporeal entities working with incorporeal people who have yet to move onto other realms. While these are fun to write and tie up in pretty bows at the end, what’s not fun is to see the real villains take a boatload of power right from the people they pretend they’re giving it back to. What’s not fun is that these chapters are ones we have to try and live through, and how it will further cause the breakdown of democracy as time moves onward. We all know Trump lied (he admitted to it gleefully) to get where he is. Which means that most of what he promised to do for the American people he actually won’t be doing. He won’t be getting the middle class richer. He won’t be making our country great again (remind me when that was again…) He won’t be helping anyone but himself and his suspect agendas. Like any other business man he’ll be interested in one thing and one thing only: padding his own pockets, foisting blame on anyone else but himself, throwing two hundred and forty character temper tantrums on Twitter, and abusing his newfound power for god only knows what purposes. And all that’s going to come of it is that we will get the shaft, we will be the ones who suffer, the people in my family will suffer all the more realizing their mistake in having voted for a man this corrupt.
Now, taking a deep breath, I submit that the best we can do is to help each other raise our voices, to . We need clear calm sanity, deliberate strides towards making a difference. There is an enormous need to develop stronger compassion muscles. People are terrified, hurting, and being maligned by the emboldened supporters of hate. Threat of deportation and the unconscionable use of terms like “the illegals” when discussing people who have entered our country without due process only serves to dehumanize them and make them “other”. This kind of talk is not only deplorable but needs to be called out as soon as we hear it being used.
I just need to say this as well: I’m ashamed of all the smug older white men, some of them iconic actors whom I used to look up to, saying, “get over it! Stop being such a wimp. Stop trying to be so politically correct and quit your bitching.” This isn’t bitching about political correctness. You don’t get to say that people should just ‘get over it’. If it were suddenly YOU being targeted because you were different, or YOU who were going to be thrown out of the country, or YOU being told you couldn’t do something to your body because of X or Y newly passed law, you wouldn’t be wining, you’d be just as upset and terrified as the rest of us. You know what, it’s a bad thing to make fun of someone who is physically and mentally challenged. Because if the shoe is on the other foot, you realize how defenseless you are, and yet how human you are too.
So here I am raging away about this. I’m not done raging. I’m not done taking this seriously. Telling me to calm down, to face the music, to just accept it is like telling a brick wall to stop being a brick wall. Not going to happen. I’m going to continue voicing my sense of injustice about this and I’m going to keep looking for ways to help make things better for everyone I know. One last parting gift, that I think will help put some things in perspective, is this BBC documentary called Century of the Self. I think everyone should watch it.