Blank is what my blog has been lately, and blank is what my mind is right now. Blank, empty, with nothing left to say other than “I told you so, America”.
For decades, I have been railing against American authoritarianism, America’s flirtation with fascism, the dangerous lack of education and critical thinking skills. I have alienated people–my husband’s high school friends, teachers at my kids’ Montessori school, and I forget who all else–by comparing the Pledge of Allegiance in Pre-K to Hitler Youth indoctrination. I have gone on and on about the uncritical or, at best, complacent way (white) Americans accept fascist police behavior, etc, etc, etc.
I have often wondered if I was going crazy because it felt like I was the only one who got incensed about any of it. Whenever I brought these issues up, the best I could hope for was blank expressions, as if I was speaking through airplane-thick glass.
And since I started my blog, about five years ago now, many of my posts have been about the same issues. When Trump first began running for president, I described him as a fascist while at the same time wondering if I was exaggerating, knowing that almost everyone I know would be sure that I was. Nah, the sky wasn’t falling–sure, Trump had instigated some immigrant-bashing here and there, but overall he was still not much more than grist on Jon Stewart’s mill.
When he lost the Iowa primary and most pundits were convinced that that was the beginning of the end for Trump, and I described a scenario of Trump thugs intimidating anyone who stood up against him, I may have sounded crazy, but at least I still had something original to say. And again I was proved right when, a short time later, Trump began to openly encourage his supporters to use violence against protesters at his rallies and threatened riots if he didn’t get the nomination at the convention in June.
But gradually, falteringly, grudgingly, folks started cottoning on, and now that Trump is the Republican presidential candidate, now that it might be too late–we have about a 50% chance of a Trump presidency–now every other article I read is saying what I’ve been saying all this time. It’s the lack of education, it’s the notion that facts are just opinions (we have the religious right to thank for a lot of that), it’s the unquestioning authoritarianism, it’s the dysfunctional political system, it’s …
For a while I still posted articles that said what I had been saying for so long, only much, much better, on the Resident Alien Facebook page. I was excited to finally see others, Americans, saying the same things, and I wanted to show that, see, it’s not just me; here’s one of your fellow Americans saying it.
But that gets old.
So I’ve been quiet. My mind is blank when I think of possible new posts. To write about anything other than these big issues that have led to a Trump presidential candidacy would seem tone deaf, and yet I wouldn’t be saying anything new in yet another post.
Of course the whole disaster is not just something for us to write about, to show off our insight or lack of it; this is real. It has been for a long time, but it took Trump, as the logical next step in American politics’ downward spiral, to open some eyes. Glad as I am that eyes are opening, it’s hard to remain optimistic. I wonder if we’ve passed the point of no return, at least until we’ve really hit rock bottom. And Trump seems fathomless–in his stupidity, his ignorance, his hatefulness, and in his ability to keep millions in witless adoration despite it all–so hitting rock bottom could take a while.
To end on an upbeat note, at least for me: here’s one last link to a told-you-so article, which even addresses the role of the Pledge of Allegiance in this whole mess. I never thought I’d see the day!
Anyway, enjoy your barbecues, America.