Politics As (Un)Usual

“Waiter, this is not what I ordered” – John Hancock

I agree. But I don’t know your thoughts on how long it has taken for this long term damage to develop. Personally, I think it dates back to the rise of the Religious Right. A slippery slope time for both parties where I think we tried to politicize a religion and failed. So, I’m looking back at 30 years of bastardizing the two party system with Christianity – particularly Catholicism – and thinking if it takes 30 years for the GOP to course-correct that we’re probably either going to give a third political party time to mature and become viable OR see our two party system experience wild pendulum swings in power. 

 That oughta be fun…

And, of course there has to be a third option:  we’ve given control of our democracy to a despot.  

Well, maybe he’s not.

Except

He is.

And none of this actually matters right now.  

Because

There is still hope for our dearly departed founding father’s – or fathers’ if you prefer, but I’m really just thinking of Hamilton ATM – dream to breathe.  Perhaps in what would be its deepest breath ever, you see, because it’s December 19, 2016.

The day the Electoral College meets to validate their respective state’s Election Day results.

Sidebar: I can type Electoral College correctly 100% of the time, yet when I say it out loud in conversation?  Electrical College.

Every.

Damn.

Time.

So, I’m not going to tell you what the EC’s role is according to Federalist 68.  Honestly, if you’re reading this…well, actually, I assume no one that voted for Trump actually reads my mental meanderings.

But people who don’t know about the EC or the Federalist documents are part of the problem.

And they can vote.

For instance, I had a conversation with a colleague just yesterday where I offhandedly said something about the drastic manner of the change I’m bracing myself for under Trump.  Naively – I want to say “bravely” or “courageously” but I just know it’s neither of those virtues – he mentions that he had voted for Trump.

Now, no one may believe this, but I swear it’s true.  I didn’t fill in the blanks as to why he voted for that horrid person.  I calmly commented that he was the first person since the election to voice that in my presence.  And he is.  Before the general?  These idiots that cross my path were apparently all on their way to the nearest rooftops to sing out their voting intent.

Now?

Crickets.

Until this guy.  So, I make my comment and then practice one of my favorite interrogation tools:  I shut up.

It’s amazing how people will rush to fill in a quiet void.

And he did.

He wanted change.

That’s what it boiled down to.

But while he was talking, I admit that I was being a bad active listener.

I was judging.  I was making snide asides to my private peanut gallery.

My initial thought when he said he wanted change, “Well, you and your wife each make $11 and low change an hour and you voted for a guy who doesn’t think you should have a federally protected minimum wage.  I suspect any change you get there will be an unpleasant surprise.”

And next he’s saying something about how his mother-in-law is living with them, so he’s been sleeping on the couch.

“Visiting?”, I ask.

No, living.  Apparently, she moved out from the Midwest to be by her kids, who all live in the PNW now.  But he’s got a built in baby sitter now.

“Oh, she’s retired?”

No.  She’s a software designer. So, when I say baby sitter, I really mean someone who works from home and makes $70/hour.  But at least if I want to go do something on my day off, I can.

“Yeah.” 

What I’m thinking is how this is the guy.  He elected Trump.  Him and people just like him that feel left behind.  I think they call it unrepresented, but while to them it’s “potato” in this case, I say “fuck you”.  You weren’t left behind.  You haven’t even begun the journey.

I say this because, to some degree I’m one of them.  I’m just a good mix of better prepared for the journey I’m heel-toeing my way through in life inasmuch as I was raised with good values – y’know, being held accountable and expected to participate in my own daily and familial experience – and actually reflect on my own situation.

What happened?  What can I change or do differently to get a different result next time?

Those types of questions.

I’m not looking at a qualified presidential candidate and talking myself into voting for an unqualified opponent because he’s different.

An outsider.

When did that become an exotic qualifier?

But these people that feel left behind?  Wanting a change?

They’re just this generation’s Religious Right.  Voting a single, selfish issue in order to jerk America back to a place where maybe they’re more comfortable or maybe they just don’t feel like anyone should – through any circumstance or effort on their own part – have it better than they do.

Or if they do, that their good fortune should be handed to them because that’s out of their control.

Maybe that’s the underlying attraction to this oompah loompa motherfucker people keep calling President-Elect.

But no ones gonna mention that.

In the meantime, I’m consoling my suspicion that the Electoral College will pencil whip their duty today and certify – and by “certify” I mean “sound the death knoll of our democracy” – the remote Soviet election results.

All because Donald Trump couldn’t get a monster truck to compensate.

The don’t come in stretch limo form.

Oh, and if you want to get really depressed, I could tell you about my conversation and email exchanges with several members of this Electoral College.

But for now, I have to get to work.  I woke up at 2:20 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I pissed around the house until 4:00 and then just gave up and came to work.  On the ride in, I was really trying to decide what woke me up after only 4 hours of sleep.

That I’m feeling behind at work?  Can’t really get any consistent and sustained traction?

Myrtle sleeping in my crotch, essentially immobilizing me until I’m so uncomfortable in my restricted movement that it wakes me up?

Nah.

It’s that it’s December 19, 2016.

The day a Mad Max future became the soon-to-be reality of our planet.

Which is essentially what I thought about as I walked away from my $11/hour friend…why do I care more about the future of our world than a 27 year old with three kids?

Oh, yeah…this just may be my life and the worlds most dangerous cat that I’m responsible for…but there’s that word:  responsible.

It’s just a reminder to me to find a way to be part of the solution here and not part of the problem.

Outside of snarky thoughts and name-calling when I’m Trump-strated…I’m not giving those up too soon.  Outside of those two teensy things, I’ll try to be part of the solution.

I owe it to Hamilton.

Politics As (Un)Usual

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