Rather than focusing on the events of the world, I’ve been consciously trying to keep my eye on my work and my life here for a bit. This is mostly for my general sanity. But today has been a bit difficult on that front, so we get what we get.
Bottom line: Roe vs. Wade is no more, and that’s very, very bad.
Not specifically for the issue itself—for which the ruling is horrible—but for what it says about the country as a whole: where it’s been, where it’s going, and perhaps more importantly, who we are.
I’m on the outside looking in, of course. I’m white, male, and above an age where my personal space is being invaded by this specific ruling. I have the “privilege” of being able to dissociate. And yet, I cannot. There is a sense of numbness filling me as I write this. A new rush of dread that’s been following the steady stream of it that’s been welling up for several years now.
Back after Trump was first nominated by the Republican Party, I wrote this piece which said I felt sorry for my moderate, socially liberal, fiscally conservative friends who were going to have to face the truth and vote for Hilary Clinton. That clearly turned out to be too optimistic. A few of those friends turned from Trump. Not many, but a few. And many of those turned to Gary Johnson or Jill Stein instead.
It’s not going too far to say that people who voted for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein have everything that’s happened since on their shoulders. We were that close to avoiding this crap show of the past six years. I suspect they are not happy when they look in the mirror today, but I could be wrong.
For me, well, I’m not so happy.
On the New Year’s Day after Trump had been elected, I wrote a more rambling piece in which I suggested we buckle down because it was going to be bad. It’s been even worse than I expected.
Everything Trump touched has turned to a festering cancer, including the far too large collection of people who still follow him—which is the important thing here. The mega-Trumpy sect of the Republican party are like metaphorically rabid dogs, really. Infected so far that reclaiming them into decent society will be very hard, many so oblivious that they can’t see where they are.
Don’t get me wrong here. Hilary Clinton was not my favorite person, and mainstream Democrats are not exactly brilliant when it comes to fixing real problems. But Geez Louise. Open your eyes. Climate change, the supreme court, the pandemic, actual Nazi’s marching in the streets, racial unrest, current day gay bashing and transphobia, the rotting of the core institutions of government, income inequality, our foreign policy and how it affected our allies—and even Russia’s attack of Ukraine, Immigration, the riling up of an incursion of far-right militia to foment a literal political coup. Everything Trump touched turned immediately to feces. Everything.
And still there are people who would testify against him, and then say they’d vote for him if he’s running. That is not patriotism.
Two years after Trump was elected, I wrote this piece about Brett Kavanaugh being put onto the court. The core of that piece was not about Kavanaugh. It wasn’t even about power, which was the title of the piece. At its core, it was about the American voter, and what we accept and how we provide these politicians that power.
On pretty much every issue of merit, the will of the American people are split 70/30 and leaning toward the Democratic plank. Roe is just today’s topic of the moment, albeit a big one. But the point is that our voters have allowed Republicans to tinker with the structure of raw power to override that will, up to and including making it harder to vote your opposition.
You’re on your own, folks. Repeal and Don’t Replace, right?
That’s the Republican plan.
If 2022 goes as expected, you’re going to see a lot more of the same.
So, sitting here today, I think back and ask myself what the world be like if Donald Trump hadn’t been elected? The cancer has taken a pretty strong hold now. Fixing things today will take a long struggle. But it wouldn’t have taken much back then. I mean, really. We were very close to dodging this bullet. A few thousand votes here or there, and the world might be considerably different.
I admit to wondering if those Johnson/Stine voters are actually happy about things today. I hope they are not. But if they are not, I assume they are deflecting any blame. That’s human nature. We don’t learn well.
But, no, I am not happy.
Worse, I’m not sure I see an end in anything close to the near term. So, sigh. One foot in front of the other, though. Keep working. But deep damage has been done now. The hill is now firmly upgrade.
I think I’ll end this one where I ended my 2017 New Year’s post.
So, yeah. Happy New Year, right?
Sorry about that, but it is what it is. For those who have known me over the years, or for anyone who wades through the archives of my blog, you’ll see that on the whole I’ve always been an optimist at heart. I’ve looked for the positive sides of things, and I’ve always had that level of privilege that allowed me to think the world is out there to save me. I still believe that, in the end, all things will work out. I wish everyone well, and I wish you all a very happy year.
But I am not blind.
I think it’s going to be a tough year.
A very tough year.