Month: September 2016

I. Give. Up. (A Progressive’s Rant)

Before everybody sits back and relaxes and says, “Oh, Trump is such a buffoon, he blew the debate last night, of course he’ll lose,” yadayadayada, stop. Don’t get too comfortable, and don’t assume that just because you think all is well now, and we’ll all be just fine as long as the “troublemakers” get in line and do as they’re told, take a listen.

A lot of people who support Trump (or third-party candidates) do so because they’re sick of the same old gridlocked political crap that hasn’t served large swaths of the country well (on both sides of the aisle) for over 30 years.

You can toss around party talking points and policy wonkiness all you want, but the fact is, none of that has a big impact on the day-to-day lives of most people in this country. If you are a well-educated professional in a handful of wealthy cities (and I’m one of them), you’re probably doing fine. But for most Americans, reality bites. The Clintonistas/neocons have always operated in a kind of sheltered wonk world that has had little interest in how most of the country actually lived. Even the Clintons ran on the premise that they did not _need_ the working class to win elections—they could win by getting well-educated professionals and affluent fiscal conservatives/social liberals from big cities on board, and to hell with those backward, working-class idiots and union members who were holding up the show. But the fact is, that’s a smaller and smaller slice of the country. The millennials are getting screwed by the same issues that screwed the white working class. Gen Xers like me haven’t had a fair shot at all (ever! our entire careers have consisted of one gigantic market crash/job decimation), and now we’re getting crushed between the boomers and the millennials.

In the final analysis, whether you’re white, black, male, female, gay, straight, rich, poor (and a lot more of us are poor), or whatever religion, it eventually all comes down to economics. Barring all else, people vote with their pocketbooks, and if they haven’t gotten relief on the left (and many haven’t for 30 years or more), they’ll try to get relief on the right. It happened in the UK with Brexit, even when so many educated and young people in the cities thought it wouldn’t happen. And the growing disdain/dismissal of both Gen X and the millennials by the Democratic party establishment are losing those voters to third parties.

I never thought I’d just throw up my hands and walk away from the party I’ve supported since I was in my teens, but I did it this year. We had a chance to do better, and we didn’t, because the powers that be determined the outcome before we even got to make our voices heard. But that’s not how democracy is supposed to work.

Democracy has failed when voters can no longer remove bad actors or stop bad policy paradigms. Democracy has failed when we’re stuck choosing between only two bad options. Democracy has failed when our elections become side shows that seem to be designed solely to generate ad revenue for profit-driven media conglomerates.

I don’t want to live in a country where almost one-third of my high school graduating class was dead by 40 from drug overdoses. I don’t want to live in a country where young black people get shot on the streets for no good reason. I don’t want to live in a country where objective journalism (and the check on power it provides) is dead.

Democacy has failed when it makes someone like me, a believer in grassroots activism as a force for real social change, who won her high school’s highest citizenship award back in the early 1990s, who has always thought that voters can always right the ship and get a chance to pick the best possible candidate they can, just give up.

I. Give. Up.


A Poem for Hikers, Bikers, and Tree-Huggers

Left Fork Mountain Trail


Listen to me please I have to remember where I

left my left eye remember when we went

camping, you and me and the canteen?

We left our shoes in San Francisco so we

could find them again after we were lost.

You left your husband in Las Vegas I

left the aerosol can in Portland along

with my iniquities.  You were the hostess

of the tree and I was the King of Mosquitoes

you searched for pebbles in the water

there was only the moon but you left

your beautiful skirts there in the sun

and you laughed and I laughed and I

found my left eye in my right, open,

and crying.

The Lady Hubris

Hillary 2008: Bill and I made a deal back at Yale. And not just with each other, either. We made a deal with the devil, and all that goes with it. I have endured eighty-seven levels of political hell, thirty-seven hundred trashy bimbos giving Bill b-jobs, 9/11, and two terms of George W. Bush to finally get my end of that deal upheld. It’s my turn now. Shut up and get out of the way.

Barack Obama 2008: Nope.

Hillary 2008: Who the hell are you, little half-Kenyan community-organizer runt? Haven’t you ever heard of me? Don’t you know, little brown upstart, that this job is MINE?!

Barack Obama 2008: Nope.

Hillary 2008: How DARE you challenge my authority! Well, I own the voters, and the Democratic Party. They love me. We’ll beat you.

Democratic Party 2008: Nope.

Voters 2008: Nope.

Hillary 2008: Fine. You win this round, but I’ll be back. And then, nobody will challenge me. I will own everyone and everything, including Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. Don’t you know that this phoney-baloney pinko-liberal stuff you’re trying is too aggressive? You need to get back to my way of doing things—the incremental, GOP-Lite approach. You’ll never get the Affordable Care Act passed, are you nuts? And gay marriage? You really expect people to go along with that? And since when do we get a black president before we get a white woman? A conservative white woman who just mugs fake-progressive for the cameras? Have you all lost your minds?

Progressives: Nope.

Interlude: Hillary spends 2008 through 2015 buying up support wherever she can get it, and bullying anyone who dares oppose her into submission. Including the media.

Hillary 2016: See? See? I told you so. I have consolidated my power. I have paid off almost everyone. They kiss my feet and bow to my greatness. And those whom I couldn’t pay off, I have threatened. They fear me. No one in their right mind will dare oppose me now. I will run effectively unopposed in the Democratic primary. I even made a deal with my husband’s old golf buddy Donald Trump to take care of the Republicans for me with a false-flag neo-Nazi campaign. It’s mine. It’s allllll mine. No one but my gifted Machiavellian mind could have come up with such a brilliant plan. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!

Bernie 2016: Nope.

Hillary 2016: What the F*CK? You? A smelly, ugly, grumpy old Jewish hippie from Vermont? Who wears the same ugly cheap suit he bought at Penney’s EVERY. SINGLE. DAY? Who isn’t even a Democrat? What the hell have you been smoking for the past 50 years? Crack?

Bernie 2016: Nope.

Hillary 2016: Well, since you have no friends at the DNC and won’t take money from Corporate America, you don’t stand a chance. You’ll be toast after New Hampshire. I’ll cream you there like I did Barack.

New Hampshire Voters 2016: Nope.

Hillary 2016: Fine, Bernie. You can have a few states. But you’ll be defeated by February. Besides, I have all the money.

Bernie 2016: Nope.

Hillary 2016: It’s MAY. Why are you not out yet, Bernie? I have rigged the entire primary process in my favor. I learned my lessons from 2008. You should have lost. I even got your voters booted from voting in Arizona and Ohio. QUIT, ALREADY!!!!

Bernie 2016: Nope.

Hillary 2016: You cannot defeat me. You will not defeat me. I have rigged the convention. The entire DNC is in on it. Nobody will ever find out the truth, either. Your voters might have caught on, but they have no proof. I own the media, too, you know. I own everyone. Sure, I greased a lot of palms and even made a few people disappear to get it, but nobody will ever find out. Shit, I even own the FBI.

Wikileaks: Nope. Nope. Nope. NOPE.NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.

Hillary 2016: Okay, fine, fair enough, Julian Assange. You breached my server. But nobody will care what those emails and documents say if I blame the Russians. Everybody hates the Russians! Everybody’s afraid of the Russians! Besides, I’m planning to nuke them come January anyway, so it’s not like they’ll stop me. So everyone, just get in line, move along, nothing to see here. . .

Russians/Guccifer 2.0: Nope.

Hillary 2016: I. HAVE. HAD. ENOUGH. OF. THIS. BULLSHIT. I mean it this time. It’s my year. It’s my time. I don’t care if the majority of American voters can’t stand me. I already proved in the primary that votes don’t matter when you control the whole process from end to fucking end. Everybody just stop getting in my way and GIVE ME MY FUCKING JOB. IT. IS. MINE. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN MINE.

Pneumonia/Seizure/Whatever on 9/11/16 (irony): Nope.

Hillary 2016: This is your last and final warning. I even have Bernie working for me now. You will vote for me. You will ALL vote for me, even you stupid millennials whom I don’t understand, and you progressives whom I take for granted, and you working-class voters whom my husband and I screwed over back in the 90s and stopped caring about long ago. YOU. WILL. VOTE. FOR. ME. Or I will unleash hell.

57% of American electorate 2016: Nope.

Hillary 2016: Fine. Well, we’ll just rig the machines more than I’d already planned then. Or I’ll throw some more dollars over to Trump under the table and he’ll take a giant shit on the sidewalk in front of the 9/11 museum or something. It’s still mine. The presidency is mine. It always has been. Trump knows that. Hell, everybody knows that.

God: Oh really? Funny, because I was not informed. You are not on the master list, Hillary. I have other plans for you.

Hillary 2016: God, you obviously did not get the memo. I have been planning for this since I was a little girl going to Methodist services back in Park Ridge, Illinois. Working for this, praying for this. Getting into that house not once, but twice is my life’s work. You should know that by now, Goddamn it! And now, the final prize is all mine. Mine for the taking.. .

God: Nope.

Hillary 2016: But—but, what do you mean?

God: Nope.

Hillary 2016: You can’t do this to me! I’ve done everything right! I’ve worked and slaved and sacrificed and given up EVERYTHING for this!

God: That’s right. And that’s also exactly why you don’t get to have it. Because when you sacrifice everything, you give up the one thing that makes you deserve that job. The one thing you have to have in order to earn that job. Your soul, Hillary. We’ve already had a couple of soulless Presidents get in there the way you’re trying to. I won’t let that happen again.

Hillary 2016: But—-

God: Nope. It’s over, Hillary. In fact, it never even began. Sure, I let you believe it was yours for a while, but the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.

Hillary 2016: But, but but it’s MINE—-

God: Nope. You see, Hillary, dear child, I have someone else in mind this time around. I make deals with the devil from time to time, too. The only difference is, I always win when I make them. And Hillary, next time, lay off the Levaquin. And the booze. And the cocaine. (Yes, I know all about the cocaine, dear.) Have a nice trip downstairs. I hear it’s warm there this time of year. Very, very warm.