Thoughts on 2018 Midterms

Thoughts on 2018 Midterms

I wrote this on November 5th and posted it to Facebook.

The midterm elections are not a battle that will decide everything about the direction our country will take but will be an indication of how much more work we have to do to defend justice and inclusion and compassion. Based on who ends up in the winners and losers columns tomorrow, we’ll know more about what the next steps will be. I want to see some hopeful results tomorrow but I’m having a crisis of faith. The democracy that I grew up believing in needs major work to be the democracy it claims to be. And I find myself more skeptical than I have ever been about the possibility of its rehabilitation. I am weary, exhausted from the relentless chorus of belittling, mean-spirited words and actions from the ruling elite. I am gutted by the numbers of people who support dehumanizing policies and would cut off their own health and wellbeing to spite their brown, black, queer, trans, less able, less well off, neighbors. Who giddily chant in favor of a man who does not care a damn for them. How do we fight that kind of self-sabotage? They delight in the subjugation of others so much. They invite and support violence and death for those who stand in the way of their gilded demagogue. They sacrifice their own lives to bring about that violence. How do we fight that? Yes I vote and I urge others to do so. But is that going to work? When the GOP brazenly changes the rules and prevents so many from voting? They don’t value democracy; they only want to win. They want their white patriarchy. At any cost.

Our lives are the cost. The lives of anyone who doesn’t fit their template. How does voting and marching and protesting stand up to a group of people who don’t think their lives are worth more than being foot soldiers for a selfish, narcissistic manbaby? They worship him because he hates the same people they do, loudly and with impunity. That’s their uniting cause.

I want to believe all this work will do enough good. Enough good to show some light on the horizon. Enough good that first time voters keep voting. Enough good to chasten those made bold by hateful boasting tweets. Enough good so this emotional exhaustion can be relieved just a little. Enough so we can feel some hope. That’s what I’m wishing for tomorrow. I want the return of hope.

In the aftermath of the election, we know there is a lot of work to be done. It’s not that I’m without hope, it’s just that there is SO MUCH to do and so many obstacles in our way.  And I’m fucking exhausted.

Some hope

  • the increased participation of women, especially women of color, in the election process as candidates, as organizers, as activists and voters
  • the increased participation of youth in organizing, voting and demonstrating
  • Democrats take the House
  • Voting rights restored to convicted felons in Florida
  • Victories for minorities and losses by some conservatives and white supremacists
  • Massachusetts voted to retain protections for trans and nonbinary people
  • Kim Davis’ pious ass got dumped from office
  • an increasing recognition among white progressives that they might be part of the problem (this is probably my wishful thinking)

Work left to be done

  • the infrastructure for voting must be reformed, revamped and purged of racism, classism, ablism and transphobia and any other limiting factor that makes it hard for citizens to vote.
  • Democrats must be held accountable for their part in creating this mess; we need to keep the pressure on them to not give in to GOP demands
  • racism is alive and well and voting for white supremacists and literal nazis
  • white progressives need to keep examining their own racial biases and stop parading around like they’re all woke and shit
  • there’s no sense reasoning with Trump supporters; the die-hards are in it to the bitter end
  • Dems and moderate Republicans must protect the separation of powers, the free press, the investigation by Mueller; the constitution – because it’s an inconvenience to Trumpians
  • RBG should be bubble wrapped and protected 24/7 and not allowed to resign from the SCOTUS until we rid the land of Trumpian scourge
  • we are far more likely to be assaulted, injured, gaslighted by white men than by any other demographic in this country, by a huge margin (nearly daily reminders of this)
  • it’s easier to erase decades and centuries of civil rights progress than to make those changes in the first place and it’s fucking exhausting to have to work so hard, especially if you were someone who did work to create the progressive change in the first place.  Do overs for civil rights work are not fun.
  • Bernie has asked some good questions, but he’s not the answer to most of them; I don’t think Pelosi is either.

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