The following is not necessarily anything new, and is probably not even useful to anyone, but I feel the need to purge. I wonder if I am alone in my conclusions or if I’m simply being too melodramatic. I accept that either may be the case.
I tend to be a glass-half-full kind of guy. My mother called it pollyanna-ism. It’s been my default stance since getting sober in 2006 and I’d like to believe that most people I know view me that way as well.
Lately I’ve been in a funk; feeling tearful even when it doesn’t seem to make sense to me. I’ve been irritated at just about everything; rageful in traffic or at stupid small stuff. It’s an old familiar feeling; a feeling I used to wallow in after the 9-11 attacks. The feeling was more of a belief that the world was a terrible place full of terrible people. It was, of course, a distortion that was fueled by alcohol (a central nervous system depressant) and when I got sober the “lens” through which I view the world saw things more realistically: “The world is a human place and good outshines evil in it.”
Even in the worst of my cynicism I had a strong sense that, at the end of the day, my country and my government had my back. Whenever bad people came, the “tyranny of the masses” would be undone by our leaders and our American spirit. I had a firm believe that old racist and homophobic beliefs were being aged out as we matured as a country.
Then Trump was elected and I was shaken to the core. How could my country do this? It didn’t make any sense. I had really been in the dark.
Out from under rocks came the scourge: nationalist alt-right neo-nazis, a resurgence of attacks (and legislation) against the LGBT population, immigrants, Muslims, healthcare, the environment, the poor, and critical thinking. Add to that a presidential administration that not only aligns with that stuff, but constantly tweets out vitriol to fuel the fire.
The tweeter-in-chief has spent the last year escalating his attacks against US citizens without ANY consequence. The news cycles display hateful point-counterpoint discussions and it all becomes the “new normal” as some new hateful tweet or other scandalous news takes over the mind of the public. There’s too much data. I feel overwhelmed; saturated.
The word unprecedented has lost its power and meaning.
At first, I wanted to believe I was being alarmist. I mean; there would be checks and balances, right? SOME kind of intervention would happen to bring us back from the brink of insanity and authoritarianism, right?
Where is it?
It has been a year… and never has the potential for a nuke hitting Los Angeles, because of the careless snipes from a 5-year-old narcissist in the oval office, been more present (at least in my life).
America has become a place where hate, fear, and the elevation of the rich and powerful is the new priority; the poor and sick be damned. And it’s becoming more insane literally (an actual valid use of the word) every day.
Things started hitting me harder when I saw the patterns of THINKSPEAK happening. Lies become canon. The consequences of sexual harassment are instant for celebrity but sold as acceptable in politics so long as the right party stays in power. Sex with 14-year old by an adult in his 30’s is “something Joseph did too” (religiously acceptable?).
America has “Trump Cancer” and it a malignant stage-4 kind. I fear there’s no return to the days of “HOPE”, optimism, the embrace of diversity, and “Yes we can”. It feels too far gone. How could we ever be the same after so much division, anger, and hate?
I have friends who avoid social media and the news in order to not feel the way that I am feeling. They suggest I do the same. But I do not see that as an acceptable answer because avoidance is NOT the answer. Avoidance feels DANGEROUS. Ignorance is not bliss; but rather a self-lie. I feel like ACTION is the only answer, but I have no idea what kind of action is even useful or possible at this point.
This week I identified what is gnawing at me most. I feel unheard and unsafe in the country I was born in. I feel like my country has already been vanquished by malignant cancer and it does NOT have my back.
I feel homeless.
I am without a country.
Mine has been taken from me.
(and as I post this I read the Kellyanne Conway, a career pollster and lying talking head, will be the new “Opioid Czar.” SMH)