I wrote a big old blog post about the election and Sanders and Clinton and Trump. I was about 80% through with it when I checked Twitter and learned of the Orlando massacre. Then I cried for a while. Did some grief-research, some grief-tweeting. Some grief-eating. Here’s a Storify of it if you’re curious.
Despite my best efforts, I did end up having to leave my apartment, to pick up my diabetes medication. I also got more cigarettes, some cheese/caramel popcorn, some beef jerky, and pepperocini-flavored potato chips that may be the best or worst thing ever. My diet’s been rather good lately, but today not so much.
Now I’m thinking about all this crap. Reading comments, tweets, facebook, the news stories. I watched the president speak when he clearly didn’t want to, since he’s made this same speech about a million times, through no direct fault of his own.
I think about lobbyists.
I think about how many people (over half!) who are against an assault rifles ban, even though it makes all the sense in the world.
I think about how many people are willingly supporting a reality television star businessman who has built his campaign on nativism, bigotry, and xenophobia.
I think about how political discourse in this country is a fool’s errand. There are some moderate/independent/centrist people who can be convinced one way or another, but a large swath of our electorate is filled with people that won’t even listen to the other side, comfortable in their echo chambers, reinforcing their flawed thought process.
I think about how many people think the above paragraph is about their opposition, when in reality all sides are guilty of this.
I think about the history of division and marginalization in this country, and how while things are better, most don’t recognize the lasting and current problems that plague our society.
I think about the crippling lack of empathy that we as a society have for each other.
I think about whether I even want to live in this country anymore.
I think about how in this election cycle, voice has been given to millions and millions of people who are participatory or at best tolerant of outright bigotry.
I think about how those voices, now awoken and accepted in political discourse, are a reality we have to face, because they’re probably not going to be quiet anymore.
I think about how awful, how callous, how insensitive we are in the face of tragedy.
I think about how well-meaning, thoughtful people still fail miserably at understanding their opposition’s feelings, only focusing on effects instead of causes, on statements instead of motivations.
I think about how this is all going to change. Specifically, how it might be getting worse.
p.s. the pepperocini chips were good.