Time to dust off the ol’ blog. I was looking for a place to share my void-screaming, and rather than add to the cacophony of noise on Facebook, I figured I’d use this venue.
So. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but things are scary out there. Real scary. Now, from the comfort of my home in a suburb of Los Angeles, as a straight white dude from a well-off background, I haven’t been personally affected by it yet. I’m Jewish, so the white supremacists will get to me eventually, but right now they’re focused on Muslims and Mexicans. My father, a staunch supporter of Israel, doesn’t see the parallels between the scapegoating of these minorities and the actions of previous fascist regimes, and he never will until Fox News goes after the Hebrew people (and they may never; after all, they need the Jews for their weird end times prophecy). Unfortunately, I do. The problem: there is literally nothing I can do about it.
If anything, that impotency causes the greatest anxiety. At a certain point, it feels like watching a drama play out. Romeo will never get to be with Juliet, and Donald Trump will always get to name whomever he wants to the Supreme Court. The rampant greed and cruelty will ultimately affect everyone, but we are helpless to do anything about it. Even our elected officials – the ones who have actual, tangible power – can’t do anything about it other than issue statements. I see friends and colleagues going out and participating in marches and protests. I respect that. It doesn’t seem to accomplish anything, though – how are you supposed to shame people incapable of shame? Lemmy once said, “Just ’cause you got the power, don’t mean you got the right,” but Mitch McConnell doesn’t strike me as much of a Motorhead fan.
There are more of us, yes. Historically, though, that doesn’t mean much. After all, the British were able to subjugate millions of Indians for decades with a few thousand troops. These assholes have the power and nobody can challenge them for it, so there’s nothing we can really do but let it play out. We put our faith in the midterm elections, but let’s be honest: the conservatives have been stacking the odds in their favor for years, and now that the trap has sprung, they’ve left their political opponents very few ways to get out of it. We hope for a quick release from this hell, but these things usually play out over years. It will only get worse before (if) it gets better.
Society is a construct of mutually-agreed rules. The Republican Party, their donors, and corporate interests have abused and manipulated those rules. Now that they have the power, they ignore them completely – or at least look away when their anointed president tramples all over them. That’s how the slide towards fascism starts. Now I know how it must’ve felt to live in Germany during the 30s, watching it all dissolve, knowing that everything around you was wrong, and not being able to do anything about it. Resistance may not be futile, but it sure seems like it right now.
How does one deal with that? I wish I knew. What can you do when speaking out does nothing? How can you combat hatred and venality that seems hardwired into humanity? I don’t have the answer – I feel lost at sea, with no sign of land in sight.