Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Death By A Thousand Cuts

One year ago was the nailbiter election that ended in shock, disappointment and disbelief for many Americans. I can remember staying up past midnight and hearing the results, which set off a storm of depression, frustration, and anger with my fellow citizens who voted for him.

The narcissistic con man who openly flaunted his connection to Russia during the debates and boasted that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue in New York and shoot someone and not lose any voters.

The chickens have come home to roost.

Today is also an election day. One of the low turnout ones- seemingly minor issues and seats, such as school board elections, tend to receive little attention and people think they can just blow it off.

You can't. Right here in my town of Fort Collins we have a race between two school board candidates, one who cares about her community, has demonstrated her commitment to her community and the schools, wants all children to get an education and have opportunities, and wants transparency in the school board. She is running against a Betsy Devos-type clone who has already had a career in politics, with less demonstrated commitment to the schools than his commitment to the oil and gas industry.

These off-year elections can't be ignored. We are losing our democracy by apathy, our failure to hold our elected leaders accountable to us as citizens, and we can't afford to do this anymore.

The NRA has held our safety and mental health hostage for too long. So has Citizens United. I am calling every politician who has taken money from the NRA a complicit terrorist. Just like the many terrorists who have shot up schools, churches, concerts, restaurants, like in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, and in all the forthcoming shootings, because we know they are going to happen.

There is some talk about the preponderance of white men committing these mass murders. It's worth a look. I'm no forensics expert but it seems like when it comes to bizarre antisocial behavior and gun violence, these mass shootings are perpetrated by a lot of white men. What is driving this? Entitlement? Frustration? Fear of losing their privilege, control and power?

I have always been a little afraid of white men in pickups with NRA stickers, gunracks, and such. Even the display of the American flag on a vehicle gives me a little uncomfortable feeling, ever since the post-9/11 jingoistic craze. That's sad, because it's my flag too. But I see people using it in a way that I read as, "There's only one way to be an American, MY way!"

The symbol feels tainted, they've hijacked something that belongs to all of us and made it symbolic of something ugly. That's how it feels to me. Like being forced to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, or being forced to put your hand over your heart and stand during the National Anthem, or say one nation under God with liberty and justice for all like they did in public school, when you know in your heart it's not true.

The sexual assault and harassment talk is also blowing up the news- more crimes committed, mostly by men in positions of power and privilege. A lot of white men. I don't even need to go there right now, I've written about this before. It's long past time we took on this issue, but we need to keep in mind that we elected a known sexual predator!!!

Every single day we hear news about these horrible violent acts, and every day it feels like another stab in the gut. I don't want to read the news anymore, but I have to, I feel I need to know what's going on in the world, to be informed and aware. But it hurts, and it hurts worse every day, and it's cumulative, and it feels like the day after Donald Trump was elected and I felt cut down to the floor, punched in the stomach and kicked in the head. And every time I hear about these scoundrels in Washington doing things to undermine our democracy and getting away with crimes that should have taken any of them down before they ever got close to Washington DC, I get that feeling again.

I'm trying to figure out ways to cope, so that it doesn't kill me, so I don't have health consequences from this, but it's that heavy feeling, like when you take a deep breath in, it hurts deep in your gut, to open up your lungs, like you've been pummeled in the ribs and sternum and belly. It's an actual physical ache I can feel, like I'm destroyed and hopeless, at my lowest point ever, after a huge setback, loss, or disappointment.

I just keep hoping something happens, soon, to turn things around, because I don't know how much more of this I can take. Maybe a lot. Maybe not much.

I need to say this stuff. Don't feel bad for me, I know I'm not alone and I know I'm not the only one who resists this crap. Do me a favor, if you're feeling bad at all after reading this, go to your local polling place and cast your ballot. Responsibly. Just go, exercise your rights as a citizen, while we still have the right to vote. It's the least you can do.