venting, explosively

I have been trying hard to stay civil, throughout this whole election. It really does feel to me like this is something way out of the extraordinary and yet some knowledge of history tells me it may not be. The election of 1800 had even uglier rhetoric (even Trump hasn’t called anyone a “hideous hermaphroditic creature”) and I’m not convinced that some of our past politicians were not equally lacking in principle. Fanny Trollope, writing of America, and Anna Sewell (Black Beauty) and Emily Eden (in The semi-Attached Couple) writing of England all show elections in which the only principle was that your guy was great, the other guy was awful, and getting votes by any means was all that mattered.

Still, this is at least unlike anything I’ve seen, and I’m tired of being civil. I won’t say I’m done with it, because I think civility is a public duty, but I’m taking a short break, here in my own personal blog. Then I’ll go back to being good, at least in public.

There’s going to be frothing at the mouth here, or at least at the fingertips. I’m just venting. Read it for entertainment or click through and read something more useful. You’ve been warned.

And I just want to say, what the hell are you Trump voters thinking? Or are you thinking at all? How can you believe it’s right to make any decision in complete disregard of the facts?

Even though he doesn’t show much proof of it, Trump is a human being. Therefore, I think, he deserves a few basic courtesies: I will call him by his name, and I will judge him by his own words and actions, not by what his enemies want me to believe.

But good jumping gravy, his own words are all I need to see that the man is a walking quagmire. He denies on Tuesday what he said – in print or on recording – on Monday. He knows nothing about how government words or what the President of the US can actually do. He praises rapists and scam artists. He lets the voices of hatred and violence speak at his rallies and not only doesn’t try to silence them, he eggs them on.

There’s the guy I know from college who tells me he knows Trump is awful, but when you have rats in your house you just want them out and you don’t even care about the ratcatcher’s failings. Well, first of all, dude, you’re wrong about the rats. Sure, the US has major problems – but it’s a better place now than it was eight years ago. We have some issues we weren’t talking about then, but they’re not new, just out in the open. We still have lots of old problems too, like racism and sexism, but there’s no way any sane person can believe Trump will make those better. The one issue I can think of that’s really worse than it was any time in the last hundred years is income inequality, and Trump’s absolutely the last person to want to change that. And really, dude, you’re a Jew and a father. Do you really think they’ll come for the Muslims tomorrow and not come for you the day after? Are you going to be comfortable with a world in which your daughter is told to just leave her job if she gets harassed?

There’s the guy at work who talks a lot about his church and his religion. Dude, you’ve got daughters too, and you’ve worked hard to raise them and your son with a sense of all their possibilities – you want that shut down? You want young buys encouraged to think it’s OK to grab one of your daughters by a random body part, because she’s just there for entertainment? You’ve already got your daughters in a special group because Girl Scouts are too liberal for you; you can’t claim innocence when one of your kids’ friends commits suicide because she’s gay and she’s afraid her friends and family won’t accept her. Those aren’t Christian values, not if you interpret that phrase to mean “bearing any remote resemblance to what Jesus said and did”. And quit listening to that fringe “news”, anyway, because they’ll say anything to get you riled up. Hillary is not going to take your guns away, though she might work put in a few restrictions to make it harder for criminals to get them. You know how I know she’s not? Because, for one thing, she’s a pragmatist and knows how Americans would react, and for another she does know what the President can and cannot do.

And the rest of you: I’m not accusing you of racism, sexism and all that. Frankly I don’t give a shit what you believe or what prejudices you have; I just care how you act. And you are now supporting someone who is racist, sexist, and not only has no integrity but doesn’t understand what honor is even for.

Quit telling me Hillary is worse. I don’t want to hear it, unless you come with actual data or a citation from a believeable source – you can tell those because they point to real data. Wikileaks doesn’t count as a real source, by the way – and I think it’s just funny that anytime I’ve seen actual content of any of those emails, they havn’t been bad at all. (I haven’t seen many of them but I’ll bet the rest are similarly innocuous. You know how I can tell? Because Hillary’s campaign itself called on the FBI to release them all – which, I note, they haven’t done.)

Mostly, quit telling me anyfuckingthing at all unless you can back it up with facts. You can have your opinion, but try to base it on reality, just for a change.

Oh, while I’m at it, I’m sick of fringe news on both sides. Quit telling me “This new thing will DESTROY Trump!” or “Hillary’s going to jail now!” because you and I both know you’re babbling utter bullshit. Let me give you a definition: “breaking news” is meant to mean “new information coming out now”; it was never intended to mean “completely ignore this headline because this story is either old news, a complete exaggeration, or unimportant trivia”. You’re not going to be able to keep a news outlet going in the long run if you just train people not to believe anything you say; that is the exact opposite of what news is supposed to do.

I feel a little better for having all that off my chest. I promise, I’ll go back to civility now.

ETA: One more thing (though I’ll keep this civil). “Make America Great Again”? A country that is great for only a small part of its populace is not a great country. I’m feeling this at present because I’m listening to the audiobook version of “Friday the Rabbi Slept Late”. It portrays a social setting not too unlike the one I grew up in, just a little more prosperous, just a few years before I was born – right around the time my parents got married. I have reason to think it’s a reasonably faithful portrayal. The thing I didn’t notice when I last read this book, probably in my teens, is how hellish it would be to live in, as a woman. Such limited expectations, so little hope, so few ways to escape. Ick.

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