The Tragic Events of 11/9
In World War II, the military tactics of both sides differed little. If anything the nuking of two Japanese cities showed the Allies to be more ruthless. Still, we don’t bemoan that we won through objectionable means. The far right has done what other political stripes would never dare. The last 20 years has seen fair play be replaced with “Try’n’stop me.” Gordon Campbell, Christy Clark, Stephen Harper, George W. Bush, Donald Trump. Kicking over the table has been rewarded. We now live in a less free, less safe, less comfortable world. Atrocities are done in our name. Sometimes, those deeds are done in our name and not to our benefit.
Do we take the high road? Do we resist the urge to sink to the level of Trump and his minions? Fuck that. It's time to shelve the illusions of empowerment and self-soothing. It's time to fight. Trump was one man. Millions of men lined up to put him into office. Those same voters are either sitting on their hands when people are harmed or they themselves are exercising harm against others. It's time that we counter every one of them we find. Educate them. Interdict them. Shut them down. Do what it takes the close off their legacy before it goes any further. Morons, scared people and bad people put Trump into power. It's time to strike at the source of his power. We're not supposed to be in a world where bad people decide the fates of others.
Those bad people I speak of are acting out of fear and self-protection. While we can shake our fists for installing Trump, we’re no better. Their self-protection was exercised by electing a hate-filled rapist. For us: we installed mirrors to keep us company. Social media gave us a happy-happy world to cocoon ourselves in-- one where our friends agree or they have to leave the club house. Our ideas don’t get challenged, tempered and expanded. Our ideas don’t permeate outside of our echo chambers. Ideas-- memes-- can be infectious. Facebook is just a series of petri dishes, where wholly voracious memes are quarantined with care.
When we’re so busy taking daily selfies to fish for approval, we didn’t look beyond the mirrors. We didn’t notice all of the people that the last 30 years has left out. The people who voted for Trump moved to turn the tide of a generation of diminished opportunities. Their good jobs went overseas and they were left with the military, Walmart or reaching for a high-tech job they couldn't handle. Our technorati civilization is leaving people out. It's not that they're stupid as much as they're average. Technology still has too many wires are poking out to be approachable. If labour saving devices do their job, we should all have less work and thereby less money and opportunity. Our system isn’t rigged for where we are. Amnesia let angry Trump supporters forget that Reagan was the one who sold them out. They forget that this convoy has been slowly coming our way. Outgoing Republican President Eisenhower warned everyone about the military-industrial complex that fuels itself on expansion and conflict. Expand or die has been the game plan and it’s played out. The people who voted for Trump are tired of being screwed and they're angry. Trump gave them an outlet.
When we look at white men and point a finger to lay blame, we don’t think about taking out the trash. Hate 100 million white male Americans, but ask the question: what do you do with them? When the Soviets were chased out of Afghanistan, some people questioned what the wake of their invasion and retreat would look like. It looked like Al Qaeda. If all of the woes of the world are hung around the necks of privileged white men, where do you go from there? You can’t kill them. You can’t neuter them and put them on an island. If you bust up the model of white power, what do you do with them? You cannot bust up a power structure and expect a random new model to appear and for it to be to your liking. That’s how we got half the voters casting ballots for Trump. To remove them from the formula, you either have to steer their path or accept that their random path may lead to something worse than where they were.
Trump won because his message of fuck-the-system resonates with a lot of people. We all want this current system gone. It serves no one. But when people reached into the tool kit they found two tools and pulled out the one they thought was both less lousy and would change the system.
We do need a change. An eventual and more pernicious model needs to come about. I feel we’re not on the right path. We’ve moved away from a societal headspace that allows for plurality. Part of the problem is that we’ve never had plurality. Before, it used to be fair for white men. Plurality should allow for everyone, but admission is carefully controlled. We are very far away from a position of innate decency towards others. Instead, we are now awarding exceptional rights to some when fight long enough and hard enough to be granted admission. But the guest list isn’t broad. It’s specific. Everyone who gets slid onto the list gets the protection they deserve. Everyone else is out in the cold. If a demographic doesn't get recognized, their rights don't exist. That says that rights have to be protected from outside in and not inside out. It says that life under Obama afforded some protection, but life under Trump will not. A change in government administration can change your apparent worth? What a horrible dystopia we’re in that our freedom and autonomy can get yanked away from us. I'm emancipated. I don't need a king or ruler to grant me the expectation of decency or threaten to take it away. The high-fives for gay marriage, followed by the applause for trans rights happened, but poly people are totally out in the cold. ERA lingered in the 1970s and eventually fizzled. What? Could over half the population leave their lives on pause waiting for the gift of parity?
We have a baseline of unfairness and peaks of exceptional and specialized protection. Those who don't fit into a box are screwed-- maybe more so because the social progress gets exhausted and those still on the outside get the reaction of "you want something too?" Next year, a lot of those exceptional protections will vanish as Trump starts to rewrite the constitution and that will pull OECD nations to a new and maybe malicious interpretation of acceptable. If we proceeded with the inward-out expectation and self-protection of respect and tolerance that would be something that fit every person-- not because they belonged to this demographic or that-- but because they were people. Everything and everyone deserves respect but it may have to start from within before it shines from others.
This morning was full of white noise from the echo chambers. Fear. Mourning. Diffuse rage. The blame for Trump’s installation was hung on male privilege. It’s sensible: Trump is a white supremacist who treats women like meat. Then the poll results revealed that white women were the swing vote than delivered Trump: 52% of white women voted for Trump. They didn’t think a career politician who shared their gender deserved the job. So the echo chamber narrative re focussed to white supremacists as the culprit. I don’t know why these white supremacists took so long to show up. Those bigots missed two elections wherein a Black man ran for office. They sat back as he won two elections. No: white supremacy, male rage and hate were foreground players in this election, but the real culprit was frustration. The population that elected Trump was so thoroughly muted that they didn’t show up in the polls until voting day. When there was no strategy that included them as part of the model for society, they turned to a man who promised to make a strategy they would like. On a micro-scale, I’ve seen this play out. Victoria’s transportation plan makes almost no mention of cars. It’s as though wishful thinking will make cars evaporate. If no one is going to make a hollistic solution that affords everyone decency, that won’t change the landscape, only the success of the plan. True plurality is hard, but it’s the only way forward. Don’t ask, “will this help the Blacks?” or “Will this protect trans people?” -- our culture is evolving and the rules have to be able to be re-applied again and again with success. If we don’t we’re going to repeat the Second Ammendment, where the law was written to govern muskets and lead balls, but it was applied to machine guns. One hundred years ago, it was intolerable to think that women could be full participants in society. Fifty years ago, gays and child molesters were batched under the pervert label. We have to rise about the incomplete solutions and come up with ideas that will endure and be fair.
Male dominance is pretty common. It’s just where we are. We should not be here and we should move, but it’s thousands of years in the making, so it’s a very long term course change. Along the way, we have to wrestle with what happens when equality conflicts with introduced cultures that have inequality as a fixture of their society. We cannot crush a culture because it doesn’t align with our ideals; and we cannot let harm come to people because it’s part of a cultural code. Our culture-- even an idealized manufactured culture-- should not practice overt dominance.
Ethnic dominance plays out all over the world. Its especially steep and of import in the US because America sets the tone for the world. Here, it looks like white supremacy. Go to a place like Malaysia, and it looks like Chinese dominance over other ethnic groups in some circumstances. There are hundreds of parallels to the problem of one race leaning on another race. There are more parallels than there are nations. Those who push that Whites are the single cause for all our woes maybe can't see the parallels if the same practice happens between non-whites. Hatred and cruelty is a part of the human experience, regardless of where you’re from or who you are.
I have something in common with Trump voters. Frustration. This system is thoroughly busted. It serves no one. If people think it serves Whites, they’re wrong. Whites are less likely to end up in jail, but they’re still on the outside, pressing their faces to the glass of a world they’re promised that they can’t have. None of us can. America is founded on the pursuit of happiness. That’s not a call to a goal. It’s a call to a treadmill. Everyone is tired of the treadmill. Everyone. It pits us against each other. It makes us feel like hate is a protective cloak. For some, it makes us feel like self-hate, introspection and immobilization is the prescription. We are where we are. We cannot keep shackled to our past. It’s time for a big chance. That’s what the Trump supporters voted for. It means we’re all going to suffer. That need for change has made millions throw their hopes to Trump. He’s going to run with that, mistaking it for an endorsement. It’s not an endorsement. It’s a rejection of the alternatives.
I welcome the status quo being dismantled. In its place, I support a compassionate meritocracy taking root. Who you are, what you do and how you confront the world should be the biggest factors in how other judge you. We would respect someone who does laundry for a living as much or more so than the brain surgeon. If someone draws a breath, they deserve respect and the capacity to have a decent life. Until we get to that place, I will be frustrated. And until then, I will fight.
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