It’s hard to write when I feel I have nothing to say. There are holes in my leg and back; I can’t go to kung fu. All I want is to be left alone with my plants and my indoor studio, I implore the world, please, just leave me alone for that, let me sit at home with some peace and I won’t say anything.
But the world won’t leave me alone. My desire for disengagement matters nothing to it. The world wants me to get mad.
So we have a fascist running on the republican ticket. Not a debatable one, not the “maybe he was just wrong” type of fascism that led Obama to indefinitely suspend the committee looking into Mr. Bush’s potential guilt, to leave ambiguous Bush’s responsibility for the war-crimes his cabinet perpetrated. Genuine fascism, the sort that starts world wars, the sort that sees cultures, human beings, ostracized, rounded up, and then exterminated all in the name of the greater good, or in current parlance, in the name of “making America great again.”
Trump grows like a cancer, a goiter at our throats that we cannot see ourselves and that causes us to strike out at any who hold up a mirror as if they were the cause of the problem. But we need that reflection, we need that clear and unflattering picture of modern American politics because ignorance of a problem has never been its cure. Because if Britain and Canada and Mexico, and all our allies, neighboring and abroad, can see the malevolent insidiousness of Trump, then perhaps we ought to look for ourselves. We’re the closest. We’re most exposed to his hate-filled rhetoric, his inane, bigoted ramblings, and the utter nonsensical bullshit which comprises the filler between the sides of his orange stained skull. We shouldn’t need anyone else to tell us how repulsive is his invective against the non-white, non-repbulican members of our country. These are our neighbors, or friends, ourselves, and Trump wants them rounded up, deported, marked so that they stand out as less than truly American.
You needn’t love Hilary Clinton. I certainly don’t. I had genuine hope for something different in Bernie Sanders. I’ll continue to hope for change, for the country to better itself, but with that hope must come work. In the case of the upcoming election, that work is manifest in compromise. You can’t simply take your ball and go home because the playing field extends beyond the edges of the public discourse, it extends past our borders to encompass the rest of the world. There’s no home safe from a refusal to act.
So compromise. It isn’t a dirty word no matter how hard the Tea-baggers try to make it seem as such. Pick the lesser of evils. I’ve heard too often from people my age and some years younger that they are tired of doing so, but the only other option at this stage is to vote for the greater, or, by your own inaction, allow the greater evil to surpass the lesser. It’s like arguing you won’t bother pulling your hand from the flames because you’re tired of having to choose which finger gets burnt. You’d rather loose them all then deal with a bandaged thumb.
If at eighteen, or twenty-two, or thirty you’re tired, how do you think your elders feel? Apathy, regardless of its source, has never driven change.
So I won’t stay quiet, won’t merely sit in my basement, tending my plants.
I’ll get mad.
I hope you will too.