Friday, November 25, 2016

"Not My America"....

I keep sitting down to write in my journal, but nothing seems to come.  It's just that I feel like the assumptions we felt relatively comfortable within have all fallen apart this month, and I don't know where I am any more.  

Donald Trump is in the White House, and he's loosed the darker shadows of fascism in a polarized America.   I don't know that America.  It's not the one I've been living in.  I don't want people from other countries to identify me with it.  The America I've lived in, along with millions of others,  is often idealistic, and full of generosity, diversity  and innovation we've taken for granted.  

Trump to me is the very figurehead of reactionary patriarchy in the face of a changing world. A world that includes the unprecedented global arising and empowerment of women.  He has all the earmarks of tyranny, just in a new suit.   Hello to a leader yelling bombastic threats to minorities, saying that he will "hang up" his opponent, threatening to silence journalists, with numerous lawsuits against him including tax evasion, fraud, and even rape, and disturbing ties to Russia........and an America where somehow that is suddenly ok, overlooked.    Bill Moyers was right - it will never be the same, because all the rules and values that kept some kind of  order in our system have been overthrown.   

We have a governing body that includes and now empowers greatly not only corporate interests, but also religious extremists whose agenda is to impose a dark ages theocracy on a 21st Century world.   In the face of Global Warming, which is beginning to include the displacement of refugee populations because of environmental degredation and the resource wars that accompany that displacement, we have an administration that wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.   And as Antarctica melts, there is  a president that not only "grabs women by the pussy", but also "doesn't believe in Climate Change", while his cronie want to teach "creationism" in the schools.  So much for science.

From the dignity and intelligence of Michelle Obama, we have a new  First Family.  You can get nude photos of the First Lady and the First Daughter simply by googling, and the darling sons can be seen in a famous photo of them holding the corpse of an endangered species they just shot "for fun" at a canned game reserve. 

 And like many  before him,  a  red-faced Trump has whipped his population up into a frenzy of scapegoating, with an impressive list of disadvantaged people to blame - Muslims, immigrants, women, gays,  blacks, even apparently Jews, since swasticas have begun to appear on walls and spray painted on cars.  Potent stuff, all that blaming emotionalism.  As Trump himself said, at a campaign rally in Iowa, he could "shoot somebody and not lose any voters."  The words of a fascist indeed.  And sadly, that force of hate and blame will do very well to divert that same population from the gutting of America by the very 1% Trump is so firmly a part of.  

And while pipelines that have burst into rivers in Pennsylvania and Alabama have caused the states to declare emergency status, and there are earthquakes in Oklahoma because of fracking, and native American protesters are being tear gassed at Standing Rock, Trump and his allies are bringing out the champagne for Exxon and colleagues, rubbing their hands at getting "a piece of the action".  

"Apres moi la Deluge" said Louis the 14th.  Did I miss anything?

I just took my bumper stickers off my car.  Yes, I can't afford to have my tires slashed, now that this is becoming a suddenly more fearful and repressive world.  Things are going to become very, very difficult.   And beyond my own small life, the great privilege I've had to live it, my real grief is for those who are yet to come.  

One of the best articles, with many links to support his statements, is by Samuel Spitale*, from the Huffington Post, "Post-Truth Nation"  by Samuel C. Spitale.  

So there it is.   I'm seeing all kinds of posts as people talk about marching and lawsuits  and then appeals to the new President (which seems naive, since the new President wouldn't be where he is if he was open to reasonable appeals)  And once in, power does not relinquish itself.  Pandora's box has been opened.  I'm also hearing many talk about how this needs to happen before things can change, people's consciousness can change.  I hope they are right, but I fear. 

So I ask myself, as so many are, what do I do?  I'm thinking of going to the March in Washington on January 21, but I don't know that I can afford it, nor will January weather there be very easy on my asthma.  There is a march in Oakland that same day, and I may go there, the weather, and cost, being easier for me to manage.  And for me, although I will resist and protest, perhaps to the relief of those who know me, I'm going to stop talking about Trump and politics for a while, and try to find my center, and what gifts I may have to offer.  Finding my center means re-evaluating so many things.

Beyond that, I think we need to make and join Circles.  And as so many are saying, in a time of hate, we have to rise to become better.  More thoughts on that later.

*Los Angeles-based journalist, storyteller, and humorist  Samuel C. Spitale is a Los Angeles-based writer. His social and political commentary on inequality, income disparity, and the struggles of the Middle Class can be found on his personal website:

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