Monday, January 21, 2019

the world we live in vs. the world we imagined

Today, one of the things I most wanted to see and yet feared to see happened--Kamala Harris officially threw her hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination and as always, I was excited at the possibility of a woman winning the presidency, much less a woman of color and a non -nonsense woman at that.  The kind of woman I would want at the helm of the country.  If this were even three years ago, I would have loved to see Harris in office more than Clinton.  Would have thought that as a younger candidate with more energy and a large swathe of demographics backing her, she could be sparkly and presidential in the way Obama was.  That she could win by a landslide over whatever reactionary  republican they managed to put up against her.  That it was finally time for a woman in the oval office and she might be the greatest chance of getting there.

But then 2016 happened and now I have very little faith left.  Faith in a country that is, if you lift up its rocks and boards, not only super racist and xenophobic, but also super sexist and mysogynistic. That all of these things have now been emboldened and normalized by the current regime and are somehow stronger.  Sort of like all the cockroaches that had been lurking in the shadows the past couple decades are now convinced its acceptable to move out into the daylight with the rest of us.  Every headline is a testament to this--the Catholic high school students who mocked an NA elder, the Brett Kavanaughs of the world, pretty much everything #45 does and says and tweets with his ridiculous fat fingers.

I see that Harris is running and my first rush is the same old excitement I would have had a decade ago, but then a dread.  That it will not be enough.   That democrats are too divided between the extremes and the status quo (basically the Bernies vs. the Hillarys )   I'm still convinced that there are better people in this country than just the 50 percent that did not vote Trump--but that they were too busy listening to the Democrat forces tearing each other down and apart--Bernie bros I am looking at you here.) If there is too much division in the party--then we still lose.   Because while most liberal people are liberal in their own ways and degrees--with some things more important than others (health care, climate change, education)-- bigots and liars and mysogynists are willing to get behind whoever espouses their warped values and is the most hateful.  So Harris will be too liberal, or not liberal enough. They will fight it all out in the primaries, and even if she gets the nomination, the damage suffered there could make her lose later on.

I wish this weren't the world I lived in.  But I think that November morning two years ago took any sort of hope out of me for the political system at all. I can cast my vote for whoever is on the opposing side of hate, but I can't control what others do or don't do, and it's terrifying to think, unless the Republicans are all in jail by then (which is a distinct possibility) , that it could easily happen again.

(I write this knowing that in two years I might look back and see that I was so, so wrong.  I hope to god I am..)

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