I will not look away.

I’m really trying to stay off Twitter, Facebook & news sites until I get to work late on November 4. It’s dipping my brain in pure stress for no gain. Nothing I read can affect my vote. I voted last week. Nothing I see will make me think better or worse of anyone supporting candidates whose explicit political goal is to make me an un-person.

(I am willing to discuss incendiary topics calmly and rationally. Honestly, when it comes to support of Trump, I have QUESTIONS. But the chances of online or on-screen hyperbole and insult changing my mind? Not high.)

There’s no reason to watch the process unfold from here to the finish.

But I keep peeking, like a little kid watching a scary movie with her hands over her eyes. it’s like watching a really big, dangerous weather front move in. Like a derecho, or a sandstorm, or a blizzard. The disaster is so huge it’s visible from far off, so huge it seems motionless until you look away, and then BAM it’s crept up on you, the horror is there, it’s blowing down your walls, toppling your castle, burying you alive.

The socio-political scene in the United States is as bad as it’s ever been in my lifetime, and I don’t expect it to get better. I mean that not in a “I don’t expect it to get better soon,” kind of way, but in a fundamental “something big is gonna break and a lot more blood will be spilled before things improve” kind of way.

I can’t say, “before blood is spilled,” because that’s already happened. It’s been happening for as long as this country has existed. And no, I don’t expect the country to erupt in flaming chaos overnight everywhere no matter who wins.

In fact what worries me most is not that the current outbreaks of violence are organized or that they’re extremist right OR extremist left. What’s terrifying is that much of the violence is NOT extremist. It’s violence BY the state, normalized, supported and encouraged by vocal supporters OF the state. Who vote.

All the false equivalencies and “both sides-ism” being thrown around are signs that this time, things are a little different. It pains me to see so many intelligent people I know so focused on the basketball game of “regular politics” that they are failing to see the great big gorilla waltzing through the game while people on the sidelines loot the box office and kill the staff.

Sorry. That analogy kinda got away from me. ANYway.

To all my acquaintances who fear we are doing a replay of Russia in 1917, that if Democrats win majorities that they’ll be stripped of their fortunes by a leeching leftist state, dragged out of their dachas by leftist antifa, and hauled off to re-education camps if they dare to voice conservative ideas…

I submit that we are actually in a rerun of Germany in the 30’s

Hitler was elected. He was all about law and order and bringing back prosperity. To some of the people. The right people. Good, everyday, law-abiding people who believed that

I really hope I won’t be living in 1930’s Germany after this election. I hope that at least one more time, the system creaks along towards correction.

Free and open elections are one of the few things the USA got more or less right, back at the beginning. In most ways we have never lived up to the democratic ideals we hold to be self-evident. I mean, it’s right in the Declaration of Independence that only all MEN are created equal, and on top of that insult we committed the injury of engraving in our Constitution that idea not all men were, in fact, men, that some were only worth 3/5ths of others.

But we got elections more or less right in concept. (Our execution has not been good, and since 1929, it’s gotten progressively unprepresentative, but that’s not what this post is about.) Then along came television, and the internet, and now somehow we’ve managed to forget how the basic process of having a bunch of people cast ballots and then counting those ballots even WORKS, to the point where people can believe that not knowing the results instantly means the result is wrong.

FFS, THINK about it. Why do we wait until late January to inaugurate the new President if we know who it is back in early November? Sure, orderly transition and all, but 12 WEEKS just to prepare?

Nuh-uh. There’s that long delay because it took time to count ballots and declare official winners. Every. Time. There are rules about when and who and how ballot counting happens. It can’t be rushed. Now imagine how long it took to collect and collate it all before computers. How long it took to transmit those results from place to place BEFORE telecommunications.

Yeah. Elections ain’t over until they’re over, and this time, no matter who wins, it’ll just be the beginning of a long next act.

I’mma go work on a stories with protagonists who are good and gentle folk who want to do better even after they’ve been beaten down and done bad things, stories where they achieve victory through cooperation and kindness in a world where none of those things are valued.

So, yeah. See y’all on the other side of this bit of history.

Cute panda included for de-stress purposes
Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

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