I’m really trying.
Trying to be brave, waiting for that Blue wave we’ve been working our butts off for.
I want to believe that this country is still this country. I do. I want to believe that. That “we can beat them, forever and ever,” as Bowie once sang.
I don’t want to believe that fully half of us are ready to goosestep into fascism behind 45. The feelgood his fans have been feeding off of has to be wearing thin by now, right? Has to be.
I mean, look, the man is asking our troops, troops he claims to care so much about, to come sit around on the border at the beck and call of local law enforcement, during the holidays.
Waiting for a caravan full of toddlers and strollers and tired moms who’ve walked all those thousands of miles damned near barefoot. They won’t be throwing any rocks.
Dirty diapers, maybe — is that the same as a rifle, too? I’m just asking. The rules keep changing on us, you know?
So much so that I seriously don’t recognize the country I’m living in anymore. Even the side of it I’m on, politically, philosophically and every other which way, has changed so much it scares me.
We’re all scared. Confused. Overwrought. We don’t sound like ourselves, my ggggeneration.
Mine was a generation of pretty damned amazing communicators. Incredible music, movies, all kinds of art. Changed worlds.
Walls fell because of things we said and did. A war ended, because we yelled so loud. Bowie sang that “Heroes” song in front of one of those walls just before it was smashed to bits. Watershed moment. One of many.
Through all that yelling, we knew in our hearts what America was. And that America would hear us and do the right thing, eventually. Kent State nothwithstanding…
When we protested at the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968, and were beaten in the streets while yelling, “The whole world is watching,” we knew our mothers and fathers, angry as they were with us for being out there, would be angry about how Mayor Daley chose to deal with us. And vote accordingly.
And that the whole world was watching, in horror. Not consternation. The reporters present turned their cameras toward the cops to make sure the world saw who the “perps” were in that skirmish. Kept mics open as Mayor Daley and his minions fumed and cussed.
Today we’re being told that protest is violence. Mob rule. That the press that lets the whole world know what’s really happening here is “the enemy.” That the events they broadcast, often “live,” are not actually happening and that nothing they say is true.
Oh, wait — there is no truth. I forgot about that. Truth is what you say it is. In a land where the president tells the truth, “When I can…”
They’ve turned everything upside down. And yet, I’m trying to believe the elections will go the way I’m praying they will. Even if they cheat.
And man, are they cheating. Openly, too.
In North Dakota, they’re asking Native Americans to show ID with a street address on it. Having lived on two reservations — married a Hopi artist — I’m well aware that most folks on them have P.O. boxes because many reservations don’t have “streets” per se.
Families sometimes live in isolated “compounds,” and villages are often organized around family groups. Or in some cases, based on the way land was divvied up between the clans over centuries.
There’s no “grid.” Houses were built as needed, according to those ancient allotments or where the water was or where the land was best for cattle or farming. You get the idea.
The Diné (Navajo) have been trying to create addresses for deep rez folks for a while now, but it’s slow going. In North Dakota, the tribes are finding out why, with only a few days left. While the Republicans look on, doubtless smiling at how cleverly they’ve shut out the people who helped a Democrat win last time.
In Georgia, where Stacey Abrams could become the first African American woman governor in American history, the ACLU won a small victory, forcing Secretary of State Brian Kemp to release 3,000 of the 53,000 voter registration applications he’d held back.
The rest, 70 percent of them Black, can demand provisional ballots. But of course, those ballots may be tossed if election officials still deem their registrations to be invalid come counting time.
And of course there’s also Kansas, where the only polling place in Dodge City was moved from the center of town to a location outside the city limits where no public trans is available. Ostensibly due to “contruction.”
When Ford County Clerk Debbie Cox received a letter from the ACLU asking her to at least publicize the organization’s voter help line, she forwarded it to another state official with a personal message: “LOL.”
That’s what I mean. That’s what my country’s like now. Gives me the shiverin’ fits.
I even had my daughter figure out how far she’d had to flee to get to the Canadian border from Salt Lake City, if Trump loses in 2020 and all hell breaks loose. I’m serious. She’s half Black, half Native American. Her man is white.
Yeah, they’d better run. But it’d be through Idaho and Montana. So…
Yes, we do talk like that, some of us “colored” people. Figuring out where to run if we have to. What to do if we can’t run.
Shit got real to us the day Trump was elected. People kept telling us we were being “too sensitive,” “too pessimistic.”
I don’t hear anybody saying that now. Nobody I know, anyway.
So I’m really, really nervous.
Streisand is eating her feelings — that’s what she told Bill Maher the other day. And playing video games before bedtime.
I’m doing that, too, ’til my eyelids get heavy. I’m also watching a lot of dumb TV and movies that I would never have watched before, just to avoid the 24 hour news cycle that held me captive for so long.
I laugh at things that wouldn’t have been funny before, too. Big, hearty guffaws. I need the endorphins.
I still tune in to Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It sometimes, via my Echo. Somehow their way of delivering the news lets me doze off more peacefully. The humor, I guess. The hopefulness, too.
Woke young folks make me smile. I hope all goes well for their sakes. I truly do. I had a good run. They deserve to experience that. God, are you listening?
On Tuesday, I’m going to work at a rural polling station where there’s no texting, no tablets or laptops allowed. From 5 a.m. ’til the polls close and even an hour or two after that, I’ll be at the polls, not watching the polls — the TV pundit kind, I mean.
I did that on purpose. I wanted to be part of the process. But I also wanted to away from all the chatter. Concentrating on that process, and too busy to worry about the outcome.
And I want to believe we can still save ourselves. That some of the people who voted for Trump in a fit of pique in 2016 will decide to be heroes just for one day, as Bowie sang.
You can do it, white women. You can. Hubby won’t know. Nobody has to know.
Your fight song’s up there, folks. Click on it. Get fired up.
Because that one day may be the last day of Democracy as we know it. And you will not like what happens after that.
God bless and save America.
And now I gotta go fire up my Facebook Gameroom app. And here’s that meditation image again, for those of you who’ve been reading me lately. Breathe…
And try to believe…