Not ready for kumbaya just yet
Yesterday was just so very amazing. It was as if golden angel honey love just poured over the entire country — world? — and soothed and sweetened all of humanity.
Well except for about half of our country. Nothing sweet in that half. But they can just sit there and be sour. Because today isn’t their day. It’s Joe Biden’s day, and Kamala Harris’ day, and a day of celebration for everyone who is so very done with Donald Trump and his daily dumpster fire of outrageous inhumanity. His minions will keep having their truck rallies and waving their big flags and hollering and shouting, but there’s a shelf life on that. Soon, COVID will be over, and there will be football and baseball and NASCAR again, and they’ll have an outlet for all that testosterone-soaked tribal rage and hate.
I’ve never had any use for professional sports. It bores me to tears. However, our many months spent under the thumb of COVID taught me that pro sports does have value: It pacifies those who have a deep, hard-wired need to defend their tribe and beat the snot out of anyone in a different animal pelt. Or uniform. Or political party. That’s their true driving force in this election: Their Red team needed to beat the Blue one, and that’s the sum total of their intellectual and political sophistication: Us good, Them bad.
Not to worry. Soon, COVID will be defeated, and the games will get going again, and we can plop them in front of the TV in their little red baseball caps, throw some Budweiser at them, and they’ll be as pacified as babies watching Sesame Street again, while the rest of us try to cobble together something that resembles normal.
Yesterday, I spent nearly the whole day in my comfy recliner, in my comfy PJs, and just basked in the glow of a return to normalcy and decency and honesty beaming from my television, as well as the jubilation from throngs of people celebrating in the streets (wearing masks of course, because they aren’t idiots), and I could feel my little hope nerve twitching… could it be? Could it be that this shitshow is really about to end? Could it be that racism, sexism, lying, cheating, bullying, willful ignorance, and destroying the environment and national alliances will soon be considered intrinsically bad things again? Could it be that making America suck Vladimir Putin’s balls will soon be recognized as humiliating again, and not a foreign relations strategy? Yes, my hope nerve… it’s twitching like a bunny’s ears at the first whiff of spring.
So, yesterday was a cocoon of comfy and cozy. Usually I need a fever and a hacking cough to huddle in a recliner for that many hours. On the other hand… it does feel a lot like “recovering” at this moment. Yes, I’m thrilled Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will usher in a new trajectory and tone for this country. Absolutely elated. But you know what? I’m also fucking exhausted.
I’m slowly realizing what four years of turning on the news each morning — my eyes wide in horror at whatever catastrophe and insult Trump created that day — has done to me… physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Every single day, that soulless sociopath chipped away at our democracy and our country, while complicit Congressional Republicans whistled and looked the other way. Even worse, people I know and like did the same.
I’m still having huge cognitive dissonance over people I formerly respected choosing to endorse the values (if you can call them that) that I hold vile. In my mind, they are cut from the same cloth as the very nice German people who looked the other way, even as they smelled the burning flesh from the Auschwitz ovens wafting on the breeze. I keep searching my soul on how to forgive people for endorsing what Trump stands for, and the only acceptable answer is some sort of epiphany, where they decisively and completely renouncing Trump. Repent and sin no more. But short of that — they’ve shown me who they really are, and I’m sorry, I can’t unring that bell. Like Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are — believe them.”
And to be clear — I’m not talking about real Republicans. I’m talking about Trump supporters, specifically MAGAts. Republican and MAGAt are not interchangeable terms. They aren’t even similar. Not even in the same universe. Just hold John McCain up next to Trump and the difference is grotesquely obvious.
So, I know our President Elect wants us to immediately transition into kumbaya mode. Hold the phone there, pardner — love ya, love ya, love ya, but I need some time. I’m not there yet. After four years of non-stop trauma, I need some time to breathe and heal and process first. This has been an extremely abusive relationship. So the pummeling, punching, and kicking have stopped. I’m not just going to pop up with open arms and say, “Oh, I forgive you!” and kiss and make up.
When the stinging and bleeding stop, maybe we can reach political detente — going forward, we agree to stay in our own lanes and not drive each other into a ditch. That’s as optimistic as I can be at this moment in time. I’m not at the “forgive and forget” phase yet. SO not. Is this what a nice person would say? Nope. But I don’t feel like being nice at the moment. I’m in the throes of Trump PTSD. I’m less interested in making nice than I am in being self-protective, and ensuring that the abuser never has another opportunity to gain the upper hand again.
So, for a while, we rest, we recuperate, we recover… eventually, hopefully, we heal. But we do not forget the true nature of those who would support the most corrupt, morally bankrupt individual who ever stepped foot in the White House. The cycle of domestic violence — of democratic violence — doesn’t stop until we make it stop. That begins with remembering what happened and resolving to never allow it to happen again. We can rest. But we cannot forget.
They’ve shown us who they are. Believe them.
But for now… rest. Because it’s been a fucking marathon, and I don’t know about you, but I am spent.