Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Lesser of Four Evils

I had to write the word "explosion" about twenty times for work today, and every single time my fingers inexplicably typed "explosure" and that's actually a pretty accurate term for what happens in my head when I think about the fact that Donald J. Trump may actually become the President of the United States.

I understand I'm just preaching to the choir at this point, and that's fine. I just hope I can impress upon the choir that this is not a drill. The latest Washington Post-ABC poll has Trump at 46%, Clinton at 45%. This causes me physical pain and acute nausea. The KKK, neo-nazis and other white supremacist groups are plotting a show of force at urban polling places on election day in hopes of suppressing black votes. Complacency has no place in the last best shit show of 2016. Get. Out. There. And. Vote.

I don't know how to "fix" America, but I do know Donald Trump is not the answer. He is the worst thing to happen to this country in a long time. He's a hate-peddling swill-merchant. And the saddest thing is, people are buying what he's selling.

Here's a little story. I was in San Francisco this weekend and ended up in the middle of a budding bar fight. Well, really it was just an unprovoked attack on some unsuspecting bystander and I decided to play knightress in shining Northface fleece. I was sitting at a table minding my own business, having a cocktail and chatting with my brother and a friend when I couldn't help but notice a drunk blonde leaning over me to yell at the woman behind me.

Woman 1 (Drunk Blonde): "ARE YOU EVEN AMERICAN?!"

Woman 2: Yes I am.

Woman 1: WELL YOU DON'T SOUND AMERICAN!

Woman 2: I don't know what to tell you. My family has lived in San Francisco for three generations. How long have you lived in San Francisco? [Her ancestors hailed from Japan, I later learned.]

Woman 1: WELL YOU DON'T LOOK AMERICAN! DO YOU EVEN KNOW ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION? DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY REPRESENTATIVES WE HAVE? YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW! SEE?! YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW! YOU'RE NOT EVEN AN AMERICAN!

I stood up at this point because, No, bitch. Nobody invokes the Constitution of the United States to support their harebrained, bigoted blonde ass on my watch.

Me: Do you know how many representatives we have?

Woman 1: I asked her!

Me: I'm asking you. Do you even know?

[I shit you not, this clown did. not. even. know. I cannot think of a more telling display of self-righteous dys-trumpian ignorance.]

Woman 1: SHE'S UNAMERICAN!

Me: 53. 53 representatives. Do you know who our senators are? Do you know your representative? Do you know your state representatives? Do you know when the Constitution was adopted? How many amendments are there? Which ones are in the bill of rights?

I basically gave this real life troll an American citizenship quiz. And she failed. Bigly. (She was then escorted from the bar by an acquaintance who assured me "She's really pretty nice when she's sober." Riiiight.)

This reminded me of the time someone called my little brother a fag in the Castro. Like, bruh, two groups you should probably not insult in San Francisco: The Asians and The Gays.

My husband thinks things have always been this bad - or worse - and the unholy trifecta of the internet, Donald Trump and the GOP have merely converged to reveal America's vast, flabby underbelly. Personally, I think I preferred when they stayed in their mama's basements. But if we're gonna smoke 'em out and smarten 'em up, there has got to be a better way.

Listen. If you truly think Donald Trump or Gary Johnson or Jill Stein are, in any universe, on any scale, by any measurement - more prepared, educated, capable, or qualified to serve as Commander in Chief - well then I personally think you need to get your news somewhere other than Facebook. Gary Johnson is dangerously uninformed. Jill Stein is a tin-hat conspiracy theorist who also has no idea what she's talking about - and, ps, has ties to Wall Street, Big Pharma & Big Oil - the same industries she so sanctimoniously decries!!! As I've said before, if you choose one of these yahoos over Hillary Clinton - flawed? yes, uninspired? maybe, a politician? most definitely, but one who's eminently qualified and has served thirty years as a public servant, then I think your "principled stand" against the "Lesser of Two Evils" is a bunch of baloney. But if, after doing your due diligence and educating yourself, that is what you truly and honestly believe, then I am not here to persuade you otherwise.

Likewise, if you truly and honestly believe that Hillary Clinton is an evil warlord intent on fomenting WWIII for her own personal and political motives, then, you know what? This post is not for you.

If you're still here - a recap of my feeling on third party candidates in general. I completely understand your beef with the two party system - now more than ever. And most years I would absolutely encourage you to do you. That is your right and your prerogative as an American citizen. But this is not most years! I am legitimately terrified that Johnson/Stein will pull a Ralph Nader and land that Squirrel Nut Zipper in the white house. People keep saying "If not now, when?" My answer to that is, ANY YEAR A BIGOTED, MISOGYNIST, ORANGE DEMAGOGUE ISN'T ONE OF THE TWO MAJOR PARTIES RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. But hey, I guess it's better to "throw away your vote" than cast your lot with the likes of Donald Trump. At least then you can sleep at night. (Unless the third party votes result in a Trump presidency. Then that nightmare's on you.)

I have suffered from repeated brain explosures these past days as I read about the latest Hillary Clinton email "drama" that is, from what I can tell, more of a last-ditch political stunt than an actual story, but hey, 'Merrica. Obviously I'm looking at this through my own lens, but, this is how all this crap reads to me:

Trump says Mexican immigrants are criminals and racists.
Clinton used a private server for her emails.
Trump says John McCain isn't a war hero because he got caught, insults a decorated general, and lest we forget the Khan family.
Clinton used a private server for her emails.
Trump mocks a disabled reporter.
Clinton used a private server for her emails.
Trump says we should bar all Muslim immigrants, subject the Muslims that are here to an "ideological test," and while we're at it, screw those Syrian refugees.
Clinton used a private server for her emails.
Trump threatens to unwind the First Amendment.
Clinton used a private server for her emails.
Trump tried to play judge, jury, and executioner when he said the Central Park Five, who were cleared of any crime by DNA evidence, were "still guilty."
Clinton used a private server for her emails.
Trump vows to single-handedly overturn Roe v. Wade, says women who have abortions should be "punished," (and clearly lacks basic understanding of the workings and responsibilities of the three branches of government).
Clinton used a private server for her emails.
Trump says a federal judge ruled against him because the judge was Mexican. (He was born in Indiana.)
Trump refuses to disavow white supremacists.
Clinton used a private server for her emails.
Trump has said countless terrible things about women, but I think this is everyone's personal favorite: "Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything."
Clinton used a private server for her emails.

Of course, I'm hardly unbiased here. And I do understand why people have concerns about her. She's hawkish, she's too cozy with Wall Street, etc. Fine. Again, if you truly and honestly believe that her shortcomings outweigh those of your third party candidate of choice, then great, democracy, yay. But just FYI, the whole "Crooked Hillary/Killary" thing is such a fallacy. Hillary is not a "criminal." If you had gone to law school (ps - I did) you would know that one essential element of a crime is criminal intent. Such intent was deemed lacking in each and every Republican-led witch hunt investigation against her. Another "minor" prerequisite to being a criminal is breaking the law. She hasn't done that either. On claims that she (personally?) "sold weapons to Saudi Arabia" or "created ISIS" - News flash - America has been bargaining with bad guys (the lesser of two evils, so to speak), propping up authoritarian regimes, and engaging in shady back-channel arms deals with countries lacking democratic pedigrees since the Cold War, so you're not pinning that shit on my gal Hillz. On the claims of her being a "murderer" - Unless you are ALSO going to call every sitting president, vice president, secretary of state, director of the CIA, and so on and so forth an "evil-murdering-murderer-head" then you do not have a leg to stand on.

Do I agree with these policies, from my comfortable position as a civilian armchair quarterback? Absolutely not. Do I think this is the way it should be? Hell no. The thing is, I have never been president or secretary of state, so I cannot presume to know what kind of difficult choices they are forced to make on a daily or hourly basis, but I don't think any of these people (save Donald Trump) goes to work every morning deviously rubbing their (tiny) hands together planning how many innocent lives they're going to destroy. These people receive stacks of surely terrifying intelligence data. They make hard decisions. They try to protect our country - its people, and yes, our economic and political interests. This is the real world. It's messy and scary and there are grey areas and terrible things happen and the United States, in building itself up as a global superpower, has made some pretty shitty sacrifices along the way.

Should we as a country work together to change the United States' role in this global game? Well sure, if everyone really feels so strongly about it, then yes, we certainly should. But you know what is 100% NOT the answer? Handing over the nuclear codes to an insecure, power-hungry little man who can't resist pushing shiny red buttons.

You know something else we have to do if we really want change? We have to care about this shit more than once every four years, and we have to do something other than bitch about it on the internet. The only thing politicians care about more than money is votes. If we - their constituents - show them that we really and truly care about these issues, all the time, not just as a platform and imaginary agenda. If you really care about things like oil dependence, unnecessary foreign intervention, drone strikes, civilian casualties of war, war period, police brutality, inhumane treatment of immigrants, for-profit prisons, the school-to-prison pipeline, equal pay, public education, to name a few - then we have to get involved, find your local representative (mine's Daryl Issa, so I'm fucked), get organized, get vocal, BE THE CHANGE. This means still caring, still bitching, and most importantly, STILL DOING on November 9th, December 9th, next year, and beyond.

PS - In case you're wondering, I personally, do not at all feel as though I'm voting for the "lesser of two evils." I think Hillary, though as flawed as anyone who has spent her entire adult life in the public eye would be, has a solid track record as a "liberal with a centrist tinge." I don't even see it as a choice. It's like asking if I want a vodka-with-flat-tonic, or a glass of drano.

PPS - Anyone who thinks Bernie Sanders or the like could have stepped in January 20th and immediately sever all foreign ties and turn the United States into a great pacifist nation and change our national anthem to Kumbayah has been smoking too much of Gary Johnson's wacky tabacky.

PPPS - This is (probably) my last political post for the year, I'm sure you'll be happy to hear. This time next week, I'll write about something much less controversial, like vaginas. Unless Trump wins. Then I'll be writing about my little "vacation" to the insane asylum.

For some reason this reminds me of Donald Trump. Except without the leash. 
Read:

I Didn't Unfriend You Over 'Politics' "I am so tired of people feigning shock and outrage over others not wanting to remain friends with those who are directly or indirectly fueling discrimination."

The Atlantic: From Whitewater to Benghazi - A Clinton Scandal Primer

Newsweek: Donald Trump's Companies Destroyed Emails in Defiance of Court Orders.

Newsweek: The George W. Bush White House 'Lost' 22 Million Emails

Oh, hello Pot. Meet Kettle.

Salon: Is Hillary Clinton an emailing criminal? A nonpartisan guide to national security and foreign policy issues in the presidential election

Media Matters: A Comprehensive Guide to Myths and Facts about Hillary Clinton, Benghazi, and Those Emails

Admit It. The Clinton Email Controversy Bothers You, Yet You Don't Actually Know What the Clinton Email Controversy Is

Fact Check: Hillary Clinton 'Corruption' Claim

Also, if you're going to get your news from Facebook, follow Dan Rather. He's awesome.

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