Written Wednesday morning, 11/9.
I’m not a drinker, so I’ve never known the misery of “the morning after”. Until now. As penitence, purge, and catharsis, I offer up this series of reflections. Think of it as “literary ipecac”. (I’m also considering taking up binge drinking.)
For a long time I resisted recommending the movie “Idiocracy” (tag line: “In the future, intelligence is extinct.”) because, while it’s smart and funny, it’s incredibly profane. Now, in the aftermath of one of the most shameful days in American history, I feel comfortable doing so. In fact, I consider it mandatory viewing, especially the opening setup. Not only is it hysterically funny, it has proven to be prophetic, almost frighteningly accurate.
For reasons I can’t figure out myself, I’ve never written about my father here. He died one year ago this month. He was a stereotypical member of “the greatest generation”. He lived to make sure his children had better lives than he did. He worked for the same company for decades. He fought on a PT boat in the South Pacific in World War II. (You remember WWII – the last war that wasn’t fought purely to generate profit for American industry.) I was incredibly proud of him. As much as I miss my father, I’m glad he isn’t around to see this day. He used to say, “I didn’t fight in a war just to see this country sold to billionaires.” I can’t imagine what it would do to him to see it handed over for free.
Time to dust off my “Don’t blame me, I’m from Massachusetts” bumper sticker. It served me well when a previous sleaze-bag won an election. This pudgy-fingered, overgrown, adolescent sexual predator makes Nixon look like Mother Teresa. I’ve never been more proud to be a citizen of Massachusetts.
I’ve been ashamed of my country before. The war in Vietnam, Watergate, our silence in Rwanda, and the invasion of Iraq in my lifetime were embarrassing episodes. They remain taints on our history along with a lot of others that preceded me: slavery, Native American genocide, the internment of Japanese in WWII, the McCarthy hearings. This day can be counted among that infamous number because it could usher in new versions of any or all of those.
In addition to a lot of other negative lessons, this campaign and election have taught me that most American men, especially self-proclaimed “Christians”, hate women.
The term “bully pulpit” has taken on a whole new meaning.
My next vote: Lexapro or Zoloft.
“Make America Hate Again”
Before your president-elect did it, when was the last time you saw someone ridicule a disabled person? Right. Middle school. Most of us grew out of that phase. I have a lot of disabled friends. A lot. That image is burned into my mind forever.
We still haven’t learned that those who forget history (or, more commonly in this culture, were ignorant of it in the first place) are condemned to repeat it. Welcome to the Fourth Reich. Ask holocaust survivors. They’ve been there.
I have a few predictions:
1) The presidunce-elect will not serve out a full term.
2) His ignorance and arrogance will cause a major international tragedy.
3) Along with Nixon and McCarthy, he will be remembered as one of the darkest stains in American history.
To start, I’m going to place all stamps on envelopes upside down, an old protest trick from the Vietnam era. I know it’s just symbolic, but it makes me feel better. It takes on greater significance if there’s a flag on the stamp, as there often is. An American flag flown upside down is a sign of national distress.
There was a similar feeling among some people back in 1980 when the Reagan revolution helped Republicans sweep the presidency and both houses of Congress. That was different. People chose one philosophy and rejected another. It was an ideological victory. This was an idiot-illogical victory.
My previous post in my other blog, LITL, about the Christian community’s culpability in this fiasco is hereby re-emphasized.
Pray for mercy.
I’m going to build a wall around me. I’ll gladly pay for it.