Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Listen.

Psst! Hey! I'm over here!

Not you, Donald. I know you can't see me. Don't need to talk about anyone's pussy for me to know that. We all know what you think of us. That's our superpower: you can't see us, but we can see you. You're a deeply insecure old fool, of only average intelligence and little education, who needs a lot of attention, and you elevate yourself by assuming you have nothing in common, even humanity, with anyone else. You further subscribe to the preposterous notion that wealth, no matter how it is accumulated, is proof of virtue. You're a boob.

I'm waving at the rest of you, right behind Donald. You guys have spent way too much time in your little clubhouse. But we can see you, even if you can't see us. We can see you, too, Speaker Ryan, even as you rise to our defense, scolding Donald and declaring that we women should be "championed and revered."

Oh, I swann, Mr. Ryan! Thank you! That's me, up there in the stands, in my pretty velvet gown, gazing in adoration as you arrive on your muscular stallion, your long lance in your hand! Now please help me down from this high seat you put me on and give me a little of your time. I'd like a word.

This is such a simple idea: I don't know why it's so hard to understand. But here it is: I'm not that much different from you. Believe me, it hurts me more to say it than for you to hear it. Even though I am female, this unknowable Other, I am a human being who was born and is going to die. That's a mortal frame around us we share, and it's more important than the bits we don't share. And I can tell when someone is looking right through me without seeing me. If you say you revere me, I know you have no idea who I am.

Some club. You know what you people are missing? Empathy. A plain and simple willingness to see other humans as the humans they are. The ability to accept that another's experience is neither the same as yours, nor ultimately that much different. Empathy means you should be able to imagine what it might be like to be a Muslim in a country that increasingly isolates and threatens you. Or an African-American who is repeatedly pulled over and searched for driving a crappy car, or a really nice car. Or a Syrian fleeing his only home with his bloodied children only to find there is no other home for him. Or an ordinary woman reflexively strategizing how to get home without being assaulted. Do some of us frighten you, or repel you, or bore you? That's a sign you need to listen harder. It takes practice. The more you are able to imagine yourself in someone else's skin, the more justice there will be in this world, and the closer we will be to achieving peace..

I don't want a champion. I'll be fine. There are some big things you could help me with: you could dismantle the for-profit health insurance industry. You could dismantle the for-itself wealth industry. You could change the tax system so that our shared burdens are borne fairly. You could recognize that economic growth is unsustainable and that the earth's resources are finite. You could put people and planet over profit.

But you won't. I can see you. I'll see you in November.

48 comments:

  1. Hear, hear, Murr! Well said! The "Affordable Health Care" Act especially sticks in my craw. Affordable to whom? Even with the government's hefty hand-out to us, my husband and I can only afford to what amounts to catastrophic care. We were actually better off before we had health insurance: In 2013, my husband broke a few ribs and punctured his lung. Because of our financial status, the hospital waived the entire fee for ambulance, hospital stay, and emergency room. We were shocked at this show of kindness from what we thought to be a nameless entity. This outcome would not happen today, however, because "everybody has health insurance." Yeah, right. But we have it only because we have to; it's better to pay for the "health insurance" and get nothing than to pay the "penalty" to the government and get nothing.

    What we really need, though, is to get rid of the fucking medical insurance industry, which does absolutely nothing for us except drive up medical costs and make huge profits for itself.

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    1. That's a hard one to suss out. Many people of my acquaintance are doing a lot better with the ACA--obviously including the ones who couldn't afford insurance before--and at least for a while there, premiums weren't rising *as fast* as they had been before. I think it's interesting that the Republicans refused to support the government-run insurance option. It was only supposed to be an option among the other insurance options, but I believe they correctly believed that it would be so popular that it would undermine the insurance industry. Now I heard Hillary wants to reintroduce that option. I'm not sure hospitals still don't waive bills for the indigent. Obviously those costs go to someone else. Your last sentence is just right.

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  2. A wonderful speech, Murr! I applaud you!

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  3. I wish you were running for President!

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    1. Oh god. I wouldn't even run for Postal Supervisor.

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  4. Murr, you are simply the best.

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  5. You have my vote. You have said so well what I find so frustrating and trying to put into cohesive sense as I talk to people. You really should think about running for office.

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  6. It all comes down to what happens in a few weeks and I hope everyone uses all their brain cells to figure it out.

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  7. I'm with you on those issues, but would like to add, "Do something constructive with our prison system so that the ones who are there deserve to be there, and are actually given a shot at education and rehabilitation."

    Dern. This is raising my blood pressure.

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  8. Ryan would probably be dumbfounded to read such a lucid argument written by a woman!!

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    1. One cool thing about being a Murr is no one knows what sex I am, if they're not squinting real hard at a picture.

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  9. Yes. So many voices crying out to be heard. World wide.

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    1. This is one good thing happening. There are more and more movements that are nothing more (or less) than people requesting to be heard. They're being castigated for it in some corners ("Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization!!!") but ultimately voices will be heard.

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  10. Murr, been lurking for a while, but I want you know that I love you. Your words, at least.

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    1. Oh heck! NO! I want you to love me for my smokin' body! Thanks. Just took a stroll in your direction and it got me thinking about tomato hornworms, and how freaking big they are, and you STILL can't find them all on your plants. Clever beasts.

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  11. Yes, imagining ourselves in other people's skin would lead us to so much more empathy, and wisdom, and justice. It starts with listening carefully to what others are really saying, and paying attention to the realities they deal with. Orangeman has precious little talent for that.

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    1. None, in fact. More's the pity for him. I can't imagine he has anyone he's truly intimate with.

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    1. Y'know, you and a few others above may have an idea there. Murr for....whatever. The city commission, the school board, something local, even state rep from your district!
      You folks look into this, get back to me...I once was a 'political operative' before med school, Kennedy (RFK) in 68, and Tony Knowles (Alaska) in 80.
      Let's get her on a ballot, give her something to do....
      Mike

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    2. I GOT STUFF TO DO. It's somewhere over here. I had a list. It's...

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    3. How about a Department of Murr? Some congressman wants to spend 10 million dollars on something, they have to explain it to you first, and you get to say Yea or Nay.

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  13. Replies
    1. Oh, compared to my Facebook midnight rant, this was mild, wa'n't it?

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  14. You'll get no argument from me! And although our universal health care in Canada is getting a bit creaky along with all of us boomers, I still think it's the only way to go. (I saw a sign in a doctor's office recently that asked patients to have a discussion with their doctor about proposed tests and treatments to be sure they were necessary and likely to lead to an improved outcome. I welcome this bit of common sense.)

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    1. And well done on the rest of the piece. I got a bit side-tracked there.

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    2. I'm sure these things get creaky, but how awesome is it that you're allowed to get sick without thinking you're going to bankrupt the family by letting on? Our system sucks. I have it on good authority (personal friend) that Obama is in favor of single-payer, but he surmised he could not make it happen in the current political climate (and Hillary has even MORE experience to get to that conclusion). Which means we really need to rejigger the populations of the House and Senate. Not you, jenny o, you're absolved.

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  15. May I use a link to this post of your blog? You may have guessed from my previous comments I agree with you, and despite my kin's tendencies to vote for idiots, I'd rather vote for Hitler than Trump.

    So, if it's ok, I'd like to put a link on my post, suggesting you can say it better than I.

    Y'know, in 1962 in Bend I might have had the wrong ideas, but by '70, in Portland, after a couple years in SE Asia, I had it figured out.

    My years helping people, maybe saved a few here and there, give me hope that I've done the karma thing.

    This election gives me the willies. What the fuck, is this 1933, have we forgotten the past??
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    1. Never have to ask. Nothing a writer likes more than an audience. Sorry you had to spend non-vacation time in SE Asia, dude.

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    2. Ok, just did a post. it's here:
      http://memoirsofacardiopulmonaryguy.blogspot.com/
      Thanks, keep up the good work.
      Mike

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  16. Ya know, this blog is public, so I don't believe you have to ask permission to link to it, though it is thoughtful of you to mention it. This would be one of the BEST ones to connect to.

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    1. I regret that my SHARE buttons are so tiny and insignificant, and, occasionally, non-existent. I don't know what to do about it, but I suspect my antique blogger template is to blame.

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  17. I definitely know I do not support Trump. He is a liar and egotist and much worse.

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  18. Amen, sister. I still can't believe anyone is voting for that giant orange turd. We Canadians are dumbfounded.

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    1. Honestly? Sure, some of what he says resonates with people. But a whole lot of Trump supporters I've encountered find him objectionable but REALLY believe all the stuff about Crooked Hillary. That campaign, going on nigh thirty years now, has been wildly successful. And they want to "shake up the establishment" by dropping the apricot bomb.

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    2. Did anyone else notice that his hair and makeup have been somewhat less cheetoh colored for the national debates? Curious if it's the network's doing...

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  19. Glad to have wandered into your presence. You make sense and that no doubt frightens some. Power on!

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    1. I thought I saw someone skulking around the edges. Welcome!

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