Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Battle Lines

I'm a 2016 American just like all the rest. I have my opinions, you have yours, and unless yours and mine are the same, you have your head up your ass.

I'm sorry it has to be this way, but about twenty years ago someone set up a propaganda machine and funneled oodles of money into it, and it really took off. Things had started to go south for a lot of us during the Reagan years, what with the changes in laws and relaxing of regulations which allowed a new financial sector to blossom and dominate the economy. And corporations dismantled the unions, and jettisoned pension plans, and encouraged employees to gamble with their money in the guise of freedom; and people were just plain not doing as well as they had been, and they were feeling everything slip away.

All they knew was something had been taken away from them, and they were right. The money didn't disappear, but it did get siphoned uphill, and the folks uphill preferred that nobody notice. So they funded the propaganda machine and trotted out a new News Station and stocked it with interchangeable gals with stiff yellow hair, and they began churning out News about all the people the middle class really should be upset at. Your gays, your Muslims, your Mexicans, both of your anti-Christmas people, your union members for sure--all of them were taking stuff away from good Americans. It was all pretty clearly bullshit, a sophisticated shell game, but there's nothing anxious people like better than someone to blame stuff on.

So what happened is we ended up with two sides of the country operating on entirely different information and inclined to point fingers and double down, and now we're not talking to each other anymore. Why bother? A person is free to dislike the president's policies, but when he's on the social media all day talking about the Kenyan Muslim president and his bitch Killary, what have we got to work with? You're kind of left with "Let's agree to disagree," or "Die soon."

Which means we have a problem, and it isn't going to go away if we dodge the fat orange bullet. Because there is a faction in this country that isn't going to consider that result legitimate. Even if a comfortable majority of American citizens cast ballots for Clinton, a large number of people are going to see her election as proof that the system is rigged and democracy is dead, because their votes didn't count hard enough. And this is not a universal reaction across the political spectrum: this is special.

See here: sixteen years ago, the Supreme Court tipped the election to George W. Bush over Al Gore in what a whole lot of us thought was an egregious miscarriage of justice. And we were outraged, and we complained bitterly, and we wrote heated and well-constructed letters to the editor, and maybe we drank a little, and then we moved on, because we have a grounding in civics and a certain amount of faith in the system.

But others don't. Lincoln may have thought he freed the slaves, but the side that lost the war never accepted that, and they steadily resisted, and wrote their own laws, and terrorized a whole population, until the former slaves were once again no longer free. They re-fought the Civil War until they'd won it. They ignored the law of the land and substituted their own, and they used their guns to do it.

And there are still citizens of this country who will not accept a democratic result they don't agree with, and their numbers are growing, and they're still armed, and they're still dangerous, and they've been told exactly who the enemies are, and they're ready to take their country back, from...well. From the rest of us.

Yee-haw, darlings. Buckle up and hang on tight. Remember we're supposed to be the home of the brave.

44 comments:

  1. Jesus. Sweet bleeding Jesus! From the hip, Murr and I salute you.
    Should point out that 16 years ago, folk Down Under were not paying much attention because...wasn't that about when Sydney hosted the Olympic shenanigans?

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    1. "...is it under this shell? Or...this one over here?"

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    2. Add my salute. No guns, but definitely a salute. 'but it did get siphoned uphill' and they told us (but the truth was not in them) that it would trickle down again.

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  2. Well, with any luck, climate change will cause massive flooding, killing off a lot of people, and lack of food from the bees dying off will kill all the rest. Once this planet is depopulated of people, it should be a nice peaceful place again.

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    1. I wish it weren't going to be depopulated of so many other things too.

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  3. I'm quite worried about your country and its people.

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    1. Even the people we're worried about are worried.

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  4. You are right. There are a lot of people with their heads up their asses. Nothing will change that except a massive die off.

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  5. I'm worried about this myself. I couldn't find the words though. But you did.

    We just went to Concord, MA and I realized that kind of unrest could happen again, and I believe, because of what you pointed out, that this is a greater possibility all the time.

    This makes me incredibly sad.

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    1. Here's the other thing, though. People are talking. People are bearing witness. More and more people are learning about each other. This will be painful, but we might come out better eventually.

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  6. I'm sitting here in Georgia, having lived in the South all of my life. It's cliche -- but there are good people here and there are educated people here. Yet yards are full of Trump/Pence signs. I realize you didn't slam the South and that you're talking about across the country, but the concern hits us hard here. There are a lot of heads up asses. I would hate to be Hillary Clinton if she does win. Her life is going to be hell. I've already turned off the TV, so I can avoid some of it. Maybe. But then there are my children and my grandchildren.

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    1. If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that Hillary can take it. She's been taking it for thirty years.

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  7. Your neighbours to the north are worried too, Murr. We're used to a certain amount of crazy from you guys but this is armed and dangerous crazy. Batshit crazy to the nth degree. Some folks think that after the election and transfer of power, everything will settle down and go back to normal. I'm not so sure.

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    1. We're in another of those cataclysmic times, and good can come of it, but I think Normal is in the rear view mirror.

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    2. Because I'm a dual citizen, I've had a lot of Canadians ask how this happened and I can't tell them. I make jokes about building a wall and making American pay for it but there's that knot in my stomach.

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    3. That's the knot that's holding your dual allegiances together. Tighten it up!

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  8. Replies
    1. Remember, it isn't the heat, it's the heat.

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    2. But it's a toxic, radioactive heat?

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  9. You sure said it perfectly, Murr. I am terrified that no matter what happens in the election, there's no going back. I get chills when I think of the future. Glad there are a few good people who I can still believe in. You're one.

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    1. You too, Djan! Nice to see you here again.

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  10. Been the subject of much between me and my ilk up here in Montana. I've got my passport up to date, hell, it'll outlast me, it's around 200 miles to the border, and between MT and Canada there are many more unmonitored dirt roads crossing than the two or three highways. Better to ask forgiveness than permission, as they say.
    From there, Vancouver, a flight to Heathrow, on to Lisboa, rent a flat near the broad river, coffee and the IHT in the mornings in a cafe, naps and seafood dinners with a goodly amount of port after.
    You've got a longer drive, about 6 hours.

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    1. Also, I don't know what IHT is, and I think I should.

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    2. International edition of the Herald Tribune, maybe?

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  11. I just pray we do not end up with Trashy Trump!

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  12. Some of us will stay and fully expect to be arrested for civil disobedience if king Trump takes office!

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    1. I'm in. But what a puny contrast to coming out armed, with bandoliers gleaming!

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  13. Bravo, Murr! Best explanation of how we got into this mess that I've seen anywhere!

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. I blame it on the tragic demise of high school civics, where one learned how government works.

    Other contemporary problems can be blamed on the loss of Typing and Cursive Penmanship, two skills reduced to the swiping whimsy of auto-correct.

    Now get those damn millennials off my lawn!

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  16. I read an article (perhaps the New Yorker) about this man's promotion of more countries having nuclear weapons is now being considered seriously by leaders in countries such as South Korea. This is going to get uglier no matter who wins this election.

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  17. I am sickened to find out there are so many people in this country who back Trump. I was raised to believe the vast majority of Americans are good, decent people. Now I'm just hoping there remains a majority, because the "vast" has obviously disappeared.

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  18. Here is my fairy tale ending to this sh*t show: the turnout is so huge to avoid the Oompa Loompa-American candidate, that many Tea Partiers are turned out of both houses of congress, leaving an I-don't-give-a-damn-which majority of politicians who remember that the whole frigging country is BASED on compromise and sh*t starts getting done again.

    So let it be written, so let it be done.

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