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Can We Save America When We Are Getting Exactly What We Voted For?

 

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I rarely write about what I am thinking or feeling. I’m supposed to be strong and stalwart. Never give up, never surrender and all of that. But over the past 6 months, I have mostly known despair. I have failed at my long term goals in life, and the unyielding, unstoppable advance of time has put any chance of achieving them behind me.

Now it is becoming clearer and clearer no Republican is willing to put country ahead of party, that no amount of corruption in the executive branch is sufficient to even warrant a sincere investigation. My personal failures, and the fact that one party rules them all, is forcing me to ask some deep questions about what I believe, and where we’re going.

What can I do to save this country? Can this country be saved? Does it deserve to be saved?

 

The answers to these questions, and what I must do based on these answers, are even more troubling.

They only deepen the miasma I find myself in.

As an individual, I find myself further and further from any position where I can achieve anything of value. I can write, certainly, but it’s like screaming into the void. The people who hear me are the ones trapped in the echo chamber with me. It’s not as if our elected representatives are listening, anyway. Republicans got elected by a xenophobic, racist, mob of religious nut-jobs, and they’re doing exactly what that demographic tells them to. Indeed, they will lose their hold on power if they stop listening to their base and start listening to us.

The rest of us, and this planet we live on, are completely fucked. No matter how much we protest, no matter what we write, no matter what the polls say, the conservatives who control all of the federal government and most state governments could not care less what we have to say. And why should they? Structurally, our voices don’t matter to the one thing they do care about: getting re-elected.

A toxic combination of gerrymandering and voter ID laws has guaranteed that conservatives will stay in power, and that the only elections that really matter are the primaries. In the primaries, the people who matter are the ultra-right wing ideologues who will replace their Republican representatives in a heart-beat for moving an inch towards the center.

These laws are likely to survive any legal challenge after Justice Kennedy leaves the Supreme Court, and is replaced with another ultra-conservative like Gorsuch.

In the end, we are in an accelerating descent into madness. No amount of corruption can bring down the executive branch. Corporations will gain more and more power over the lives of employees, and the middle class will continue to vanish as a new gilded age of robber barons and plutocrats dawns.

Separation of church and state will erode to the point where everyone is subject to the ecclesiastical whims of religious conservatives; to the point where the Civil Rights Act is effectively gutted. Police will be granted unchecked power to keep the state in power, and the for-profit prison-industrial complex brings back legalized slavery.

As the standard of living drops, and health care becomes something only the rich can afford, life expectancy will drop. Medical bankruptcies will soar, and the plunge into third world status will be complete.

In short, in time we will look more or less like Russia does today; a nuclear armed third world nation rife with violence, corruption, and religiously fueled oppression of sexual minorities.

If there’s almost nothing I can do personally to stop this, and it probably can’t be stopped, one final question remains; is this flaming wreckage of a nation worth saving? Are we intrinsically a good people who have fallen prey to an unelected group of autocrats?

No.

This is what we, as a nation, chose.

Several million more Americans voted for Republican legislators than they did for democrats. The racist, sexist, religious, bigoted language of vengeance was exactly what they wanted to hear. This is what they voted for. They are getting exactly what they wanted. We are a democracy, and the voters have spoken. Subverting this system of government that I swore to defend, and dedicated 25 years of my life to, is out of the question.

And frankly, as one of the queer people the masses think should be legislated out of existence, I’m not in the fucking mood to save them from their own stupidity and hatred.

It doesn’t mean that I have to be here when the shit hits the fan, however. I can leave this country anytime I want. I’m married to a Canadian. Our children have their citizenship. Leaving is a matter of finding a job and emigrating.

Some might argue that I have a duty to stay and fight for all those who didn’t vote for this madness. Historically, this argument doesn’t hold water. Did gays in Germany in 1938 have a moral obligation to stick it out and fight? Of course they did not. The window for effective resistance was effectively closed. In hindsight, the only rational, ethical thing to do was to run. GTFO. Save their families. Save themselves.

But I’m torn. As long as there’s a sliver of a chance that things won’t end in madness and decay, I cling to my decent job here. As long as things are ever so slightly better here for our children than wherever we would end up across the border, we have to stick it out.

But when that window closes, we’re gone. We’ve made the preparations. We’re ready. There’s no point in going down with the ship and pretending that deck chairs matter.

Hemingway once wrote, “the world’s a fine place and worth fighting for.”

 

I wish I could agree with either.

 

 

Written by:  Jessica Earhart - "Queer woman with a flamethrower." 

Posted:  22 September 2017

 

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