July 19, 2016

America and The Sadness

Emotions can be tricky. The way they blend into each other. The way they are malleable and fleeting; some leaving remnants that linger and fester and explode long after they have been felt.

For reasons that defy logic, I just spent the last hour on Youtube watching the speeches from the RNC convention in Cleveland- Scott Baio, The Duck Dynasty Dude, David Clarke, and Rudy Giuliani. The emotions I felt during these sixty minutes have left me nauseated and slightly ill. I have had a physical reaction to what I saw.

But after all the anger, shame, disgust, and at times somehow mirth, I am left with a heavy sense of sadness and pity for the American people. We deserve more than this carnival. Thousands of people did not die marching in the streets of our great cities so these charlatans can hijack our democracy and political legacy.

We did not birth James Baldwin and Hunter S. Thompson, Bob Dylan and Malcom X, Harvey Milk and bell hooks, so that Rudy Giuliani can bark at us from a red, white and blue stage while the zombie hordes chant USA, as if that simple chant and their thoughts and prayers are going to fix the problems of this country.

Arrogance, ignorance and fear have always made up the fabric of America, but this campaign has magnified these traits to the point of surreal absurdity. Again, the sadness I feel for where we might be headed is crushing me. And this was only the first day.

Scott Baio, The Duck Dynasty Dude, David Clarke, and Rudy Giuliani let that sink in. These are the experts, the showmen, the voices that this campaign chose to highlight under the lights of this farce. This is the reality of 2016. Nothing left but sadness.

I was out running earlier here at Whatcom Lake and was surprised by the number of Trump signs along this beautiful real estate. I tried to get into the heads of these people. What do they not know? How are they different than me? How are they the same? What books have they read? Which documentaries have they watched? How many stamps do they have in their passports?

House after million dollar house sat quiet and in the dark, each one littered with the occupants’ toys- trucks, boats, campers, and of course flags. The shocking thing was how many of these houses are empty and/or for sale. Their is a ridiculous about of wealth in this country and one thing that scares Americans more than anything, the one thing they hate more than anything else is poverty.

The idea of poverty is the antithesis of the American Dream. Once you have the house(s), the toys and the stability, anything that threatens you losing that become the enemy. The system is designed to reward the few and once you are the few, you will do anything not to lose it. You will chant USA, USA, USA, you will arm yourself to the teeth, you will cower behind #alllivesmatter and make sure that the thugs and terrorists know where you stand. And in the end, no matter how smart or kind or noble you might appear to be, you too will vote for Donald Trump. Because, the evil and the poor and the brown and the scary are coming for your toys and your empty houses.

The trick is, that these false boogey men are nowhere near Whatcom Lake or anywhere else where scared white Americans live; the people that Americans should be afraid of- the bankers, the hedge fund managers on Wall Street, and the lobbyists are orchestrating a night of live RNC and then The Bachelorette on ABC.

In other news, I searched for crabs in tide pools with my daughter and mother-in-law today. I drank a margarita at lunch and I am driving an SUV throughout my seven week vacation. Like I said I am a hypocrite and a fraud. A sad one nonetheless.

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