I had a not-so-great time after the last two treatments (hence the lack of updates..) BUT I’m out of the hole, until next Thursday at least. Although chemo brain is definitely a thing…I just typed “whole” and almost didn’t notice. Proofread, people.
So for both of you refreshing this page for an update, one of you being my sister who I talk to every day anyway, I’m doing fine enough…only four more to go. Hopefully.
And not that you were wondering, but yes, the election definitely made it worse. Stress level is high, which just seems to enhance all the shit.
If you don’t feel like reading my take on it, then stop now…
I’m having trouble hearing everyone say “it will be OK, let’s just wait and see.” I’m trying my best to intellectually polish this turd, but the bottom line is this: Either he will do exactly what he’s been saying he will do, and hundreds-of-thousands-perhaps-millions of people will be “adversely affected” [translation: lives destroyed] by those policies, or he WON’T do what he says, and will instead follow along with the goals of the current Republican Congress, and perhaps slightly fewer people will be “adversely affected” [translation: lives destroyed] by those policies.
We are way past this idea that politics is messy and this is just a normal rightward curve in a direction that will balance out to the mean. That was where we were with George W. Bush, who at least understood how a bill becomes a law, and wasn’t empowering truly evil people like Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions. I never doubted that the country could survive Bush as President.
This is different. There are no more checks, especially if he can pack the courts. Laws are only effective if people believe in them, and if there is enough of a balance of power to allow for bad laws to be challenged. I fear that he has enough support to make things that have been illegal until now, not – and vice versa.
Everything I believe in – clean air and drinking water, voting rights, protection of speech, justice for innocent people, a healthy and robust Fourth Estate, the idea that words matter… EVERYTHING is in peril with this guy. If those aren’t priorities for you, fine. That’s sad, but fine. But if you say they are, and you think that Trump will be OK, then I urge you to be concerned and vigilant. He has launched a soft coup without firing one shot, and has infused our system with the idea that profit and power matter above everything else.
That is the real sadness here – instead of a government whose goal is to serve its people, to create a setting in which individuals can thrive and speak out and worship and feel free from want or fear, we will soon have a government whose goal is to enhance profit and protect the wealthy from losing anything, using tactics that delegitimize dissent and stifle empathic, altruistic thinking. And due to a combination of cynicism, mistrust of “the media” and the lack of any kind of civics education in this country – supported by a healthy percentage of racism and bigotry – he’s rode in on a wave of support from people who think he’ll upend the system, turning everything back to being “great” – whatever that fuck that ever meant.
I just don’t think whatever semblance of a democracy we have left is equipped to handle such a soft, insidious threat – a threat that uses not a shred of nuanced thinking or rational analysis, but will require both to combat. The different realities that exist in this country are too bifurcated to actually do what needs to be done and rework our Constitution to reflect the modern era. This document was, after all, created by men for whom the Internet would seem like Darke Magic and to whom “the Negro” only counted for three-fifths of themselves. Yes, that second one changed, technically…but has it really?
Sorry, that’s a whole other essay, I guess.
To conclude: No, I don’t know how to fight it, other than trying to pressure my representatives to do so on my behalf. I don’t have the money or connections to run for office myself, and I’m skeptical that anything other than vicious legislative fights will do any good in the current atmosphere of misinformation and mistrust of real journalists. (Cynical, I know. Sorry.) The system is what the system is, and we can only hope that we’re able to stop them (not just him) from creating a situation in which we’re unable to vote them out of power.
But hopefully that will happen, and hopefully I’ll be cancer-free when it does.