I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
November 09, 2016 - 10:13 a.m.
I didn't want to write this morning. I wasn't planning on writing this morning. I have to leave earlier than usual for therapy so I have an excuse. My therapist will be happy; I'm not using the excuse.
Why didn't I want to write? Because I feel that it's my job to everyone's therapist at times like this. When George W. Bush won, I told everyone it wasn't the end of the world; we survived Nixon and Reagan. The problem is that Trump is far worse. The problem is we have a united government, all Republican. We lost our chance to have a liberal supreme court for the first time in almost 50 years. So, what do I say? I can't even bring myself to read the New York Times today. I say that this is the greatest test of America's institutions. We have strong institutions. We've had democracy for over two-hundred years. We are not like Germany in the 30s or Russia now. We aren't going to let our democracy become a dictatorship. I will not like the half the Supreme Court or the one that will soon join it. Just keep in mind that they are not Trump. They voted to keep Obamacare. What if Trump ignores the court, the permanent government, the Civil service will not go along with it. Look what happened to Nixon at the end. The majority of the people are not horrible people. The majority of the voters did not even vote for Trump. And yes, there is the basket of deplorables but they aren't the majority of Trump supporters. Many are simply main-stream Republicans who figured he won't be as bad as he seems. Others are simply unhappy people lashing out. They didn't think things through; They just knew they wanted change.
More than anything this is due to the great recession. The economy is pretty good now. Unemployment is low and wages are increasing for the first time in ages. The percentage of income going to labor is going up and the percentage toing to capital is going down. The problem is that's of recent vintage and people have not internalized it. This has been exacerbated from people on all sides of the political spectrum crying that the sky is falling; that everything is corrupt and democracy a sham. If we don't have democracy there's nothing to fear from a demagogue; we can't lose what we already lost. But the thing is we do have a democracy and people didn't sign on for ending it. Things will get bad but we survived the great depression, World War II and even the Civil War. We aren't going to reach the depths of the last of those. The people I love will not have to hide in basements. The people of color, the gays, the trans, those that are different will pay the price more than the rest of us but it will be along the lines of losing some of the progress we've made, not being put in concentration camps. The most important progress we won't lose, the way people's attitudes have changed.
Once again the Electoral College reared its ugly head. Maybe after four years of Trump he and the Republicans will be swept out of office and we'll finally change the constitution and make the popular vote decide the election. Maybe after four years of Trumps those same angry people will be even angrier that their lives got worse not better and be ready for a change again. Remember that it will take only a small number of them to change their minds.
I started to write this for you but as always it's really for me. As it always does, writing made me feel better. It makes me think with my neocortex not the reptilian or limbic brains. Writing that reminds me of the ways I've been irrational going into this. I knew that Five-thirty-eight gave Trump a decent chance of winning and I thought, without evidence that this was wrong. I should have known better. The numbers don't lie but people lie to themselves all the time and I'm a person just as you are; just as the people that voted for Trump are.
I have to eat now if I want to get to therapy on time. This is not the entry I wanted to write today. I wanted to say how happy I am that the best candidate I ever supported won. I wanted to talk about wearing my white pants suit when I voted. None of that is important now. My breakfast is still important. Bacon and eggs and a buttered bagel will help me feel better. I have to take the bus the MetroNorth today. That means waiting almost an hour in New Rochelle. I'll drown my sorrows in chocolate. I just have to find someplace near the train station.
NERFA starts tomorrow and for four days I won't be in the country that elected Trump; I'll be in the world of my people. I'll be hearing music. I'll be singing. Do what makes you happy. That's the best advice I can give.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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