Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Resistance

Source: Scott Witter

I'm having a difficult time writing lately.

I can trace it back to one moment: the U.S. presidential inauguration on January 20th.

Writing hasn't been the same since. I've tried to muster the energy and inspiration to write about things I love, but all I've wanted to do instead is write about the sorry state of a country I no longer recognize.

I'm an extremely political person with strong beliefs and ideas about the issues. I'm no shrinking violet when it comes to politics. For some reason though, I haven't written about politics much around here, at least not explicitly beyond a few posts over the last year or so. That said, I firmly believe that my politics are on full display in nearly everything I write because they're the underpinnings for everything. I can't help but express them, however subtly, in what I say or do or write.

My disappointment in my country since the November election has only worsened since the inauguration. I refuse to speak or type the name of the man who's now driving our nation into a ditch. Instead, on social media and in everyday conversation I tend to refer to him with only pronouns or the occasionally sarcastic terms those of us opposed to him have been using, like Cheeto or Tweeter-in-Chief.

If you're reading this and you support him and his dangerous and unconstitutional executive orders—which he's been signing left and right while blindsiding both politicians and citizens with them—just know that I do not. I fear for our country, for what he's doing to with it.

Conservatives and pro-Cheeto supporters like to rip into me for my lefty politics, saying that President Obama was the cause of so much consternation and hard times in their lives for the last eight years. Well, I call bullshit on that. I may not have agreed with all of Obama's policies or actions as President, but I never once doubted the man's intentions: he was a strong, sensitive, thoughtful, and intelligent person who weighed options and considered opposing viewpoints before coming to decisions that would impact the American people. The man in office now is none of those things and does none of that. Instead, he tweets, several times per day, about how others have wronged him because they politically oppose him. He and his team believe the media should "shut up," that they are the true opposition party. This goes against everything we hold dear in this country. It spits in the face of it, in fact.

We're going to wind up despised by other countries quickly, if we aren't already. His insane refugee ban on select Muslim countries is only going to create further unrest and sow the seeds of hatred for more radical terrorists over time. His border war with Mexico is appalling. He's talked his supporters into believing that scary Muslims and Mexicans have stolen their jobs and make for dangerous neighbors. Of the seven countries on the travel ban, none have created terrorists who've committed terrorist acts on American soil. Meanwhile, countries like Saudi Arabia have but they aren't on the ban—because he has business dealings there.

I have plenty of friends and family who don't share my white privilege. To hear people, including those in the administration, mock or downplay the very real fears that all citizens should be feeling right now, but especially those that aren't white or male, is disgusting.

The inherit racism in his campaign rhetoric should have been enough to keep him out of the White House. The business conflicts of interest alone should have been enough. Bragging of sexually assaulting women should have been enough. Mocking a disabled reporter should have been enough. Starting the birther movement and perpetrating that absurd and racist lie about Barack Obama should have been enough. I could go on, but frankly I'm depressed and exhausted from the litany of horrible things he's done and said, and then that people still voted for him after that.

It hasn't only been difficult to write lately. Social media has been a taxing experience, especially Twitter. Maybe it's because we all now associate that site with the Russian puppet installed in the Oval Office, but it's also because it's just a vile and cruel place sometimes. I like to promote my writing there and engage with people about pop culture and everyday life on Twitter. Lately however I've had absolutely zero interest in even opening up the app, for fear of how much anxiety I'll feel once I start scrolling. It's become a cesspool of hate. And this is caused by both sides, the left and right. I can't take it. So the plan is to divest a bit from social media, from cyberspace, to live more in the real world with my family and friends. To make concerted efforts to continuing resisting.

Carrie Fisher's death wounded me, deep in my soul. This was followed by the start of our new authoritarian rule by a man who neither reads nor cares to, who has no intellectual curiosity whatsoever and sees everyone—the media, politicians, protesters, other countries, etc.—as enemies. Then the women's marches happened and people everywhere were, appropriately claiming Princess Leia Organa as a symbol of the resistance. My heart swelled. This helps me to see hope where I'd previously struggled to do so. When I look at my kids, I feel that sense of hope welling up, also. Every day that someone somewhere takes a stand against this insanity, I feel hope. That's what the resistance is built on, after all: hope. It will carry us through troubling times. This too shall pass. I only hope it's sooner rather than later.

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