For a country that brags about how strong and great we are we sure are a bunch of weenies.
We’ve fought in wars, members of our military are still dying overseas and most of us don’t even really know why. We’ve gotten through epidemics. None of us remember it now, but we’ve fought a civil war, and we’ve fought Nazis. We’re afraid of immigrants and getting fat and aging. We lived through the Red Scare and magically forgot it already, too, other than to use the scare tactics of that era to argue for religion in government which we also know better about. We’re afraid of terrorists and other religions and people who aren’t religious. We’re afraid of every damned thing. Hell, Republicans are still shitting themselves over Hillary Clinton.
The latest NRA propaganda has further whipped up the angry right. I know that was the goal, but we are so dumb as a nation that it worked. People have brought up the possibility of civil war. What does that say about us? In response to a tweet about civil war being a stupid idea, I actually saw a person tweet that their greatest fear is to be a liberal in a red state. We’ve gotten soft as a nation. Why are we so proud of our fear? And why does the NRA’s propaganda – and that is what it is, an ad of lies threatening our free press to get people to ignore facts and to be scared of their neighbors so they buy guns, not kidding – matter to anyone? Why does it work? And how did the NRA go from a representative for responsible gun owners to part of Trump TV and the GOP propaganda machine? Do all those gun owners really want to live in fear and anger? Does civil war so the rich can get richer sound like a good idea to them? Have they all morphed into full-blown gun nuts?
I need some perspective, I think. Perhaps we all do. “Greatest fear” is to be “a liberal in a red state” (during civil war)? The chamber pot crack was obviously a joke, but in the case of civil war it might be reality. The rest, though? Maybe it’s just that I’m a woman, and we have to make a conscious decision often from moment to moment, especially when outside of our homes and especially lately, not to be afraid. I’m not sure I truly grasped that until I read a page in a funny bit of fiction called “You Suck” where a woman had reason not to be afraid, and our author described a feeling of liberation and strength? or maybe courage? Whatever it is I will never feel it, but I can dream.
The anniversary of the United States dropping an atomic bomb on Nagasaki is in two days. We forget that there are truly terrifying things in this world, things that people do to other people.
My perspective is different than that guy’s also because I actually am a liberal living in a red state so his fear would, for me, rank very close to or possibly just below, running out of toilet paper at an inopportune time (which also happens in war). While I don’t want there to be a civil war, and I would hope we’d know better by now, I am old and white. I won’t be the first to go, but I am also very much not ashamed that I believe in equal rights for us all. I am not ashamed that I feel compassion for others and that I believe part of our government’s job is to “promote the general welfare” of our citizens- that is what we pay them for. If that is why “they” choose me as a victim in a civil war it would not shame my memory or my legacy. Honestly, though, I’m already at least four different kinds of the “other” that these republicans and ammosexual freaks hate (including not being religious and being a woman) and want exterminated. Being a liberal isn’t a big deal in comparison to what they already want to murder and/or torture me for. My point is that I think this guy might be a bit of a pansy. Clearly, he’s not a liberal if that is his greatest fear, but in a land of fear, and we very much are a land of fear, that rates pretty low. But again, perspective.
And what makes people with such a strange perspective on what is important and what to fear think that their pansy-asses would survive a war situation even if they weren’t themselves fighting? They can ha-ha-ha about war, but it’s not funny. We’re pretty dependent on each other for survival and for comforts. If we get into all-out war in the United States, there’ll be no electricity, possibly no internet, air conditioning, groceries, running water. This stuff doesn’t happen spontaneously. When their homes are destroyed (or foreclosed because they couldn’t make payments when their employer was gone) I suppose it won’t matter. Some people need to stop and think about what is at stake, why people are fighting for their lives, for their futures, to fix our broken government.
Back to perspective on fear. In my opinion, greatest fears are things like serious sickness of a child or maybe that my child is (or is perceived as) some kind of minority like brown skin or something by people who would harm him. People who don’t know assume my brother is Jewish (he isn’t/we aren’t, but people think he is) which is what I mean by “perceived as.” We are horrible to non-whites in this country. The horrible treatment and ignorant, racist attitudes didn’t go away, and our GOP is fanning the flames of hate every chance they get. That anyone would even consider civil war here is testament.
Greatest fears would include drowning, getting into a terrible accident, losing a job and being out of work for years again, or any of these things happening to my child or really anyone I love. My son has never seen good economic times. Jobs have always been scarce with low pay and no benefits in his world. He only got to see recession and recovery from recession. We weren’t fully recovered when President Von Clownstick and the Numpties got control. I fear he won’t see what I am fighting for us all to have, that he will only ever know the hate, the lack of opportunity, the struggle to survive.
I am afraid of ignorant Americans watching Trump TV and believing the lies. I’m sick over this Trump TV thing. Sick. I’m afraid of my fellow Americans who yell about “fake news” (actual, reputable news sources with verifiable facts) while choosing to believe lies and propaganda (like Fox, Breitbart, and Infowars). They are choosing to push those lies on others. They are choosing ignorance and fascism. They are choosing the nazi lines, and they repeat them like good little parrots, push them on others, tell others they are stupid for not giving our country away to Russia and big business.
I’m afraid we won’t have options for affordable health care and/or that we’ll lose the ten essential benefits, that my son will lose them, and his children. I’m afraid women will lose their already-dwindling options for safe and affordable health care including abortions. I’m afraid the Trump administration will succeed in taking away options for the elderly to protect themselves. I’m afraid our clean air and water will soon be in the past, not just for Flint and a few communities but everyone. I’m afraid of the stupid, sexist, bigot with a bad temper and no understanding of the world who has one tiny finger on the red button. I’m afraid of the damage he does to this entire country every day because he has no understanding and no respect for the office these dumb asses put him in.
We’re surrounded by silly, loud, ignorant people who are voting against their own interests (and ours). We’re surrounded by hate-filled people who blame minorities, women, other religions, immigrants, etc. any time they don’t get what they want; and they have guns. We’re surrounded every day by people who will do us harm as soon as they are relatively sure they have Trump’s blessing. Some have already started. They didn’t need a civil war; they couldn’t wait.
Forgive me if this guy’s greatest fear is laughable to me, but there are a lot of liberals in red states (Hillary actually won the popular vote, and Bernie got votes, too, so clearly there are a lot). Big deal. We have pressing issues every single day, real life-. rights- and country-threatening issues. Every time Cheeto Hitler or any of his Numpties disparage LGBTQ people, claim we’re a Christian nation, ignore a terrorist attack, or threaten the First Amendment I scream inside. This is huge. This is the stuff of nightmares. Civil war would suck, but let’s be honest; if we get that far we are so far gone as a country that there might not be anything left to fight for. The NRA is pushing for it because they want us to buy guns. Fuck them. I don’t need to kill anyone; I don’t need a gun. What I need is intelligent, responsible adults in my government.
Clearly we like to be afraid. Well, I don’t, which is why I want this regime GONE, but perspective. What are you willing to fight for? What is important? What are you afraid of? What are you going to do about it?
Link to original tweet for the newspaper clipping by William Gibson.
Book info on You Suck: A Love Story (2007) William Morrow ISBN 0-06-059029-7. This book is the second in a trilogy. The author is Christopher Moore, and the page I’m referring to here is the first one (or two, the whole intro is great) in the chapter called “She Walks in Beauty” (in my copy it’s page 81). One of our main characters is a woman named Jody who has been a vampire for a month or so. She goes out alone this night and realizes for the first time that she is the most powerful creature out here. For the first time she knows she has nothing to fear. I paraphrased, but Moore’s version was special.
Link: “Live From the White House, It’s Trump TV” – editorial piece from January by Derek Thompson at The New York Times
Link: “Trump gutting eldercare protections help Trump’s eldercare facility…” – by Steve Marmel
Link: “Fear Itself” by E. Brooks of Gray Matters