President Obama gave his farewell address last night, but I haven’t had the heart to listen to it yet. I’m still grieving the fact that in nine days, he has to hand over the reins of the presidency to Trump. PBO has been nothing but gracious during the transition, but I’m outraged on his behalf. PBO has been the best president of my lifetime, and my mind cannot accept we’re going from him to…You know. I’m still in shock and disbelief, truth to be told, and more than that–
I’m angry. Angry? More like livid. Fasten your seat belts because I’m about to tell you why.
I’m angry that a man as ignorant and incurious as Trump is going to be the our president. I haven’t been playing close attention to his daily stupidities, but I’ve seen enough to know that he’s going to be the worst president of all time.
I’m angry that his supporters voted for him because he tapped into their fear and hatred. Some of them now are fearful because they’re going to lose their Obamacare and/or Social Security, and it’s hard to be sympathetic because this is exactly what they vote for.
I’m angry that 40% of the country didn’t vote. I’m not talking about the people who had difficulties in getting to the polling place or had to wait in line for hours–voting suppression is real, yo–but those who shrugged their shoulders and didn’t even bother to go. I can understand feeling disaffected and as if your vote doesn’t matter, but it’s one thing you can do that has any effect at all on how this country is run. It’s literally the least you can do, and for most people, it’s not that difficult. I do think election day should be a holiday and that people shouldn’t be penalized for taking time off work to vote, but I also think it that’s the case,, then there should be a small fine for people who don’t vote.
I’m angry that the news media is treating this as business as usual. I’m furious that they didn’t call out Trump more during the election. I’ve heard the theory that it’s because no one believed Trump would actually win, so while Clinton was treated as a valid candidate, Trump was treated as a side show amusement. That makes sense to me, and while it doesn’t excuse their behavior during the election, it at least explains it. It’s different now, though. He’s going to be the president, for fuck’s sake. It’s about time you judge him in this capacity. I don’t want to hear about how there have to be allowances to be made because he’s never been in office before, and while we’re at it–
I’m pissed as hell about this as well. When the fuck did expertise become a bad thing in our country? I remember back when W. was president, people would say how he was a man they wanted to have a beer with. Well, fine and dandy, and go ahead and do that, but a guy who’s fun to be around isn’t necessarily one who’ll be a good president. I don’t want a president I can drink with*, damn it. I want a president who has at least a rudimentary understanding of the complex issues that we face today. Americans are weirdly biased against experts, believing that the average Joe Schmoe is better than an expert on every occasion. I know this is a worn-out analogy, but can you imagine having a brain tumor and saying, “No, I don’t want that neurosurgeon who’s done a hundred of these surgeries. Give me the guy down the block who’s good with a lawnmower!” I want my president to be knowledgeable, thoughtful, and able to think on many levels. PBO wasn’t perfect by far. There are many times I’ve disagreed with him, but I never questioned the fact that he put a lot of thought into every decision he made.
I’m pissed off at Democrats for re-fighting the primaries. Bernie supporters who say that Bernie would have won can fuck off with their needless wanking, and Hillary supporters who are mad at Keith Ellison being suggested as head of the DNC can fuck off as well. By the way, I’ve noticed a disturbing racist attitude of some Hillary supporters who oppose Keith Ellison. They won’t come out and say they have a problem with him being Muslim, but they point out that he was affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in the past. I see you, motherfuckers. I hate how Democrats eat our own. One reason we lose so much is because we’re quick to point the finger at our fellow liberals, rather than trying to work together. This has become more apparent in the last four years or so, and I think it’s partly because of social media and how easy it is to surround yourself with people who have the same belief as you do. I think we need to analyze why we lost and stop playing things so safe all the fucking time, but there’s no point in throwing shit at each other. Just stop it.
I’m mad at the people who want me to get over the elections. “It’s just politics.” No, it’s not. It’s about two sharply-conflicting philosophies, and the one that won puts the lives of me and people like me in danger. I’ve said this a million times, but I can’t just agree to disagree when it comes to the question of my civil rights, or, indeed, my very personhood. Every Trump Cabinet position pick is an affront to my beliefs, and, no, I will not just get over it, damn it.
I’m pissed off at all the liberals who are focusing on the social media poutrage of the day because it doesn’t matter. Who the fuck cares what Trump tweeted at five in the morning? He’s going to say stupid shit. That’s who he is. He can’t help himself from lashing out at any perceived insult, and it’s futile to comment on every shitty thing he says. There was a theory during the election that Trump spouted this shit on such a regular basis as a way to divert from the truly heinous things he was doing. I pooh-poohed it at the time because I was loath to give Trump any credit, but, now I think there might be some truth to it. The one thing I can give Trump credit for, albeit reluctantly, is that he has an uncanny knack for exploiting the grift, whatever it is. So, yes, in the reptilian recesses of his brain, he might have sussed out that when he says outrageous things, people don’t pay attention to what he does.
I’m horrified beyond belief that we only have nine days left with PBO. As I’ve said, I’ve cut way back on my politics consumption, but I’ve kept enough up to date to realize that we’re about to enter a period of time unlike any other in our short history. I’ve had people ask me what I think is going to happen, and I am forced to say, “I don’t know.” I have several ideas what may happen, and based on Trump’s Cabinet picks, I don’t think I’m far off from the truth, but can I say for sure? Hell, no. Why not? Because there’s no history of Trump in a political office. There’s plenty of history of him in business, and it seems as if he thinks he can pretty much do the same thing now, but it’s hard to say. In addition, he’s been all over the map in his beliefs–it seems whatever he thinks at the time is what he believes, and that’s usually based on whomever is around him at the time–so it’s possible that he’ll do a one-eighty, but not likely. Again, his Cabinet picks are pretty consistently pro-business and anti-social justice, so I don’t hold out much hope that he’ll make any positive changes.
I’m mad at myself for taking the coward’s way out when the election became too much for me. I threw up my hands and said, “Fuck it!”, and stopped following the elections except on a cursory basis.** I see all these pleas to call your congress members, but I don’t do it because one, I hate talking on the phone, and, two, I don’t see the point. All these confirmations hearings are a joke, and we’re going to get all these fuckers on Trump’s Cabinet.
I have never felt as hopeless and helpless as I do right now. This election has broken me, and I don’t know if/when I’m going to recover. I try not to be too hard on myself because I had two major negative events last year that changed the way I think about things. The first was my car accident in July. I’m fortunate that it was minor, but it forced me to realize what’s important to me and what isn’t. While politics remained important, obsessing over it on social media didn’t. My brain just couldn’t take it, and I pared it way back before the election, and I rarely look in on political Twitter now.
The second event, of course, was when Raven died a little over a month ago. That hit me in a way I never could have expected, and I’m still dealing with it now. The grief was so intense, I basically pulled in my head like a turtle in its shell, and I ignored the world around me. There was also some denial about the fact that Trump was actually going to be the president. Funny note, I first wrote, ‘…Trump was actually going to be a person’. It’s a Freudian slip for sure. It was too much to think about when I was dealing with my personal tragedy. I know that’s a luxury that many people don’t have, and I’ve spent the last month just licking my wounds.
Today, my grief was stronger than it has been in a few weeks. I don’t know why. Maybe because it was snowing, and the night Raven died, the snow started falling heavily when we*** got home. It started as we were driving to the ER, but it waited for us to get home before it really started coming down. Now, snow reminds me of Raven, which is both comforting and heartbreaking.
I don’t know how to deal with this anger. It’s bubbling under my skin, and it’s threatening to erupt. I don’t want to become bitter, but I fear I’m headed in that direction. I don’t think the anger is going away any time soon.
*Even if I drank, which I don’t, it’s not in my top one hundred qualities a president should have.
**To be fair to me, my cursory level is still light years above most people. Like, I could actually name all the candidates on each side in the election. I don’t think most people can do even that.
**Ian and I.