Last night I got into a conversation with a pal and his brother-in-law on the topic of the recent political election. Seems some folks just cannot get over the fact that Hillary Clinton did not win and are struck with anguish and depression as a result. Personally, I find all of the hand-wringing a bit weird considering that Hillary is no better of an option. State that opinion aloud and see where the conversation goes…
My pal is practically sick with grief over the election and drinking more than usual. Do I understand this? About as much as I can relate with how I felt when Obama won in 2008, though McCain winning wouldn’t have elevated my state of mind. Nor Romney winning in 2012. Because none of these candidates are worth voting for, IMO. AND, unfortunately, third party options were pretty piss-poor as well. So it’s all been looking depressing to me since back when G.W. Bush was in office, or, going further back, when Bill Clinton was in office in the ’90s. In fact, I’m not impressed with any president in office since I’ve been alive or even spanning decades back before then. Consider me a cantankerous curmudgeon if you must, but that’s my feelings on the situation.
Listening to people decry Trump’s victory, berating the American public for allowing this to happen is getting to be too much. My pal last night spoke of how stupid we Americans must be, how ignorant and uneducated we obviously must be, as if we have absolutely no idea what’s actually in our own best interests at all. I had to stop him when he began lashing out against the blue-collar men he works with — ugh…sickens my soul to keep hearing the working-class denounced as under-educated imbeciles who apparently know not what they do while these “liberal” buddies consider themselves and others who are like-minded to be so much more enlightened and caring and rooted in factual substance. If pressed far enough to where I ceased caring about these pals’ feelings, I’d have to tell them outright that the opposite, in fact, may be truer.
Listened to my pal speak about his deceased mother and how glad he is that she didn’t have to live to witness this election. Yeah…
People are blowing my mind with this stuff. They truly are.
So then their conversation turned to bashing Trump as a corporatist — yeah, and Hillary is a globalist (as I reminded them). Denounced Trump as a sexist rapist (ha!), which pisses me off to hear coming from supporters of the wife of Bill “Slick Willy” Clinton, a man who very publicly was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women with much more evidence available to support their claims. But nah, who cares about all that, right? Doesn’t fit the anti-Trump narrative.
So then they went into referring to Hillary as a feminist — the wonderful, laudable, all-mighty Feminist. And since mom was a feminist, well, we just can’t take issue with any of that, huh? I told them we have more than enough feminism in our society already — not needing anymore right about now.
After that one of them said that people didn’t vote for Hillary because they’re sexist and “can’t handle” a female president. Here we go with THAT stupid talking point, once again. I reminded them that plenty of Trump supporters are women themselves, and I personally haven’t heard anyone state their reason for not voting for her being because she is a woman. Rather, most folks say they’d love a female president, just NOT HER. And that makes plenty of sense to me. Not like she’s the only female alive capable of serving as president of the U.S. To which the brother-in-law snidely suggested I’d prefer Sarah Palin. God dammit! See, and this is where the strawman enters the equation. If not for Hillary I must automatically be a hokey Palin supporter. Nope! Fuck ’em both! Imagine that.
Once again, I am NOT a Republican. Can’t get that through people’s heads, even the heads of folks who frickin’ know me. It’s like the election took over their brain and they got stuck on talking points even where they don’t make reasonable sense. Just automatically spouts out of their mouths. Makes me want to somehow freeze them in time and force them to reflect on what they’re saying and to consider the absurdity of it. Some people didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton because we do not like her as a person or as a politician. Some people voted for Trump because they saw him as the lesser of two evils (a dumb comparison that I hate hearing repeated ad nauseam, but still). And some of us voted for somebody else entirely because fuck both major parties’ candidates. And some opted not to vote at all (which was a surprisingly high number of folks). So this Hillary vs. Trump shit isn’t telling the full story.
Checked myself before I raised my voice much last night. Was aiming not to be disrespectful toward my pal and his family member since they’re free to believe whatever they wish. Makes no real difference to me. Wish my pal would’ve dropped the subject since we weren’t getting anywhere with it, so I opted to leave. No big deal. Wasn’t mad, just mildly irritated, per my norm.
Already listened last weekend to one of his other friends yell about how Russia is to blame for leaking Hillary’s emails. Told him that Wikileaks stated their source wasn’t Russian, which he ridiculed me for saying until he finally looked it up. Confirmed. But nevermind anything that contradicts the mainstream narrative. Back to bitching about Russia and exalting the undoubtedly unassailable intelligence claimed by the CIA. Because who wouldn’t believe the CIA? Right? I mean, it’s not like they ever lied about WMDs that led us into a war with Iraq during the G.W. Bush administration (how do Democrats suddenly forget that fact???). The dude then implied I’m somehow not patriotic because I consider the CIA’s claims to be bullshit and refuse to believe anything else out of them unless sufficient evidence is presented. He actually got up and yelled about that. That’s how invested this friend of his is in all this crud. I don’t get it. Told him I don’t rightly care and would prefer to just drop the argument since it’s getting us nowhere. He finally did, but then a couple days later he’s emailing me an article about Russia. Just determined to make that connection.
So, anyway, this is just a quick glimpse at a few of the “liberals” in my life at present. Not all, just a small handful. I have others but these are the ones on my mind this morning. Listened to my pal also talk about how black folks don’t have the same opportunities in this country as white folks, and he actually said—I SHIT YOU NOT—that sometimes he feels bad about being a white man. Jesus…
Ugh. What the heck is going on people? It’s so fucking strange to keep hearing this sort of stuff. Partly because I don’t believe these people deeply and truly believe what they claim to. If they did surely their lifestyles would be very different. Partly because they’re determined to pressure us all into accepting the same hive mindset. But if they’re right and true and fully believe that, why do they need so much validation from the rest of us? Keep your “white guilt” pity party to yourself — don’t foist it on me. When he started in on that topic I had to stop him right quick. First off, I’m half Arab (Saudi). Secondly, I was born to poor folks who live in a trailer in a small town in Mississippi and grew up in an area with a nearly 40% black population. The valedictorian of my ex-husband’s graduating class in 1999 was a black man who went on to study at the public university we also attended. What am I supposed to be groveling about being privileged with? Light olive skin and relative lack of melanin? Slavery that my ancestors in the U.S. were too poor to participate in (other than one as an indentured servant himself)? All those college grants I wasn’t eligible for based on my race? Boy howdy, look at me and how head-and-shoulders above my black neighbors I am these days. Stupid. *eye roll*
Keep the pity party to yourselves. If you wish to self-flagellate, by all means, go ahead. But I’m not interested in being somebody else’s whipping pony because they have a complex over their luck of the draw. You chose to embrace that ideology, not me. I’m still trying to deprogram myself from its surreptitious influence that seeped in over time thanks to my education and the media and the incessant chatter of the masses that parrot all of that. Not that my pal meant me wrong there, it’s just become a habit for him to relate to people in this fashion because it is so much the norm. And I realize when I challenge it that then makes me look suspect, as if it’s evidence that I must be secretly racist or a self-hating woman (however that works) or politically naive. And so be it. People will think what they wish. I know my pal means well in his own way, and perhaps his friend does too, but there’s a lot of confirmation bias occurring to where people are being rendered incapable of stepping back and taking a much longer and broader look at the picture. Too much emotionally invested to do so. Too afraid of the scorn of others whose opinions they care about.
So I retreat back to my apartment and my cat and resume trying to make some sort of sense out of this reality. Not barely sure what to do with myself these days. Tired of all the arguing and blame-casting and lamenting Trump winning the highest office. He was Hillary’s friend for a long time and contributed substantially to her husband’s campaign back in the day, so chances are good that he won’t prove to be some hellfire Republican like they fear. Honestly, I do think Hillary, Bernie, Obama and everyone in their campaigns deserve to be bitch-slapped for inciting this much grief and panic among their followers. Frickin’ assholes unfit to lead anybody anywhere. That’s all we needed was more crying and bitching and belly-aching. Heaven forbid we stand up, wipe ourselves off, quit comparing ourselves to one another all the damned time, and figure out how to live like upright adults who don’t fall completely the fuck apart just because we don’t get our way. This country has been in trouble for a long time. Wasn’t a cakewalk under Obama or Bush or Bill Clinton before that or Bush’s daddy or Reagan, etc.
The trajectory we’re contending with extends back several decades and is rooted in political/ideological sophistry advanced by people who probably largely mean well but are destined to figure out the hard way how life can’t always be bent to our whims and wishes and preferences. And so be it. I’ve been coming to acceptance of this hand-basket ride to hell and acknowledge that I surely in my own small way have helped perpetuate it unknowingly. Such is modern life. The best we can hope for is to deal with what may come while trying to remain skeptical yet curious. That’s all I got.
Oh, and btw, the reason I placed quotations around the term “liberal” when referring to these pals (and other supposed liberals as well) is because I’m coming to realize how illiberal a lot of so-called “liberals” are turning out to be. The Liberal position used to be about freedom and liberty, such as freedom of speech, freedom to assemble peaceably, freedom to not be encroached upon unlawfully, etc. But now it’s morphed into political correctness demands (which limit freedom of speech), disrupting others’ peaceable assemblies because they disagree with the message, shaming people for not abiding in accordance with Leftist ideology, and ignoring and/or condoning criminal conduct among individuals and groups where it serves this narrative that’s being concocted. That’s not truly or classically liberal — in fact, in many cases it’s the precise opposite. Which is quite an Orwellian spin on the language when you get right down to it. So I’m struggling with what to refer to these people as. They consider themselves to be liberal, but the term is actively being rendered nonsensical.