Note book – check.
Pen – check.
Latte – check.
Hi ho, hi ho!
Here in the US of A, it’s time to be with family (and watch football). Shopping on Black Friday is also a huge event. It can be disconcerting to witness extreme consumerism, but it is, for better or worse, part of the holiday.
My brother is here visiting which is what Thanksgiving is all about for me…and football. I’ve been a Dallas Cowboys fan since I was maybe 7 years old so Thanksgiving Day football is huge for me. For the last several years it was a rather sad event, but this year the Cowboys are on an amazing roll. Anyway, I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday, or just days in general.
I wish I was being melodramatic, but we really are headed for dark times. The things Trump has said he will do will set back American progress by decades. And a Republican controlled congress is eager to push this extreme, alt right agenda. Here’s just a taste of what’s to come:
Abolition of abortion and Planned Parenthood. If a woman is raped – be it by a stranger or her father – she will be forced to have that baby. Religious extremists rejoice. If her life is in danger she will still be forced to have that baby, even if she dies in doing so. Hallelujah! If she somehow manages to get an abortion she will be charged with murder and put in prison, perhaps even executed for the hiring of a ‘hitman’ to perform a premeditated killing. I guess this is WWJD.
Gay marriage will be nullified and gays will be prevented from shopping at stores wherever an owner doesn’t like them. Pray away the gay will spread like the fungal infection it is, perhaps even to schools.
Schools will now teach religion in science class. I think they call those madrasa, seminary, and/or cult.
The ability for minorities to vote will be made massively harder. Jim Crow II.
Healthcare…more expensive and if you’re already sick, well, you’re screwed. Insurance companies run the show now.
An extreme theocratic Supreme Court intent on establishing Christian sharia law.
Guns. All you want. Kill anyone who looks at you funny and claim stand your ground. Just don’t kill a fetus.
Deportation squads kicking in doors in the middle of the night. Special camps set up to house 15 million people until they can be forcibly removed from the country.
I’ve been wrestling with the idea of voting. If you want one candidate to win, it seems counterintuitive to urge those supporting a different candidate to get out and vote, too. Republicans in North Carolina and Florida certainly do their best to suppress the vote in African American communities. On a cold, calculating scale, that appears sensible. Prevent your opponent’s voters from voting and you win. In reality, it is incredibly damaging to democracy and to the very concept of America.
I was starting to think that encouraging everyone to vote, even Trump voters, was wrong-headed. I don’t want Trump as president so why would I want his voters to get out and vote? The answer is that people need to be, and feel, part of the process. America is what it is because a lot of people choose to share the same belief. America only works if we believe in it. Not voting is not participating which leads inevitably to a sense of resentment which can easily become hostility.
While it’s difficult for me to say this, I do want every racist, misogynist, bigot, and any other malcontent to get out and vote. I want them to take part in the process, and hopefully, lose. They need to know that they participated and that their ideas were rejected. That in turn also serves to reinforce the power of voting for those who believe in the highest ideals of America.
Democracy works if we believe in it. That means everyone, no matter how angelic or vile, must vote.
I suppose I have some affinity for this holiday over others. I enjoyed it when I was a kid, and I enjoy it now when I see kids in their costumes going to parties. There isn’t a lot of door to door trick or treating in my neighborhood. It seems they do something at school then hit an apartment or two. Still, they are dressed up and always seem to be very happy. How could they not? You can be Indiana Jones and get free candy. What’s not to love?
Today got me thinking about the holidays I grew up with. I thought it would be fun, or at least interesting, to rank them by general enjoyment. Here are my top 3 best and worst: (I don’t count Armistice/Remembrance and Memorial Day as holidays.)