I’ll be honest here. I’m not sure I can be entirely coherent as I write this. The burdens of the last who-knows-how-many years in this country continue to weigh more and more heavily all the time. I see all these posts about how, if you don’t speak up, if you stay quiet, this just means you’re privileged to stay out of the fight, but it’s not always like that. Sometimes, if you keep silent, it’s because the fight has squashed you down so badly that you have no energy to speak.
Learning on Friday evening that Ruth Bader Ginsberg had died was the latest blow. I remember back to the 2016 election, and how the culmination of all the anger and hatred and racism/sexism/all the other -isms had worn people down for a year. That year, I refused to watch a single debate, because I refused to give the Prumpster even one minute of attention. If I happened to watch the news and the man came on, I muted the TV. I have never, in the four years since, watched or listened to one minute of the man speaking. My own silent protest and refusal to increase his “ratings,” I suppose. And I remember, on watching the election numbers roll in, the devastation and hopelessness that stole into me and took my voice.
I went to bed before it was all over, and I cried myself asleep, because I knew this was no longer a “democrat vs republican” issue, but one of far greater consequence. We’ve witnessed floodgates of nastiness and backlash over the last four years. That’s not to say they weren’t there before, because they were, and they’d been building for ages as our country – GASP! – elected a Black president, and later – SHOCK! – allowed gay people to – SHUDDER! – get married. *insert headache-inducing eye roll here* But Prump gave a nod to all those prejudices and said that it was not only okay to embrace them and speak them, but that it was RIGHT to align our country to those values. And oh, we have been drowning.
To tell the truth, I have no hope for the upcoming election. I don’t think approval ratings or polls matter in the least. If the 2016 election was so gerrymandered that Clinton could win by 2.5 million votes and STILL lose the election, what’s to say that it won’t be the same this year? Biden is an uninspiring opposition, and a distasteful choice (though yes, about 1,000,000x better than the current situation), and will put up little fight against the groupies currently making the most noise. I anticipate more protest votes and a lack of turnout this year, and while Biden still may win on the popular vote side of things, I don’t think it will be as large of a margin as Clinton, and I don’t think it’ll make even the slightest difference in the electorates. Prump very well may be the first “president” to lose two elections while continuing to hold office.
Last week, I heard that one of Prump’s considerations as next up for the Supreme Court is Ted Cruz. And this also brought me back to the 2016 election, when the last two candidates with any backing behind them were Prump and Cruz. I voted in the republican primary that year, with the hope of outing the two of them from Texas’ points. On Facebook, I wrote that of the two of them, I would be more scared if Cruz won the nomination, because he seemed both smarter and more dangerous. In retrospect, I’m not sure if that’s true, but I do know that Cruz still scares the living daylights out of me, and I absolutely do not want him to end up on the Supreme Court with an appointment for life. Which may happen very, very soon.
Because we all know that the trick the republicans pulled in President Obama’s last year, refusing for an entire year to confirm his Supreme Court appointment, will not be repeated this time. There are something like six weeks left until the election, and they’re going to try to speed their way into getting someone (Cruz or other) in their before that time. Again, I don’t honestly think it’ll matter if they go speedy, because I think we have another four years of this deterioration of our country to go. I don’t believe Biden will win, not in the way that it matters. But it stirs up crushing anger and defeat and depression to watch these hypocrites embrace their gleeful triumph the very same night that RBG passed away.
“I don’t care if it’s right or wrong, as long as I get what I want.” This seems to be the motto of the current administration. The ends justify the means. And it’s crushing the life out of so many of us. It’s polarizing people, a little more all the time. I remember the kinds of debates and unhappiness involved in elections twenty years ago where one or the other party won, and it was not like this. Not at all.
I’m sorry I haven’t spoken up more. It’s not that I don’t care, or that this doesn’t affect me personally. It’s that with a foot to my neck, holding me down, I’ve spent the last four years focused on surviving, with no strength left to fight back.