I Just Can’t

lemons1

I am usually the very first person saying: “Let’s make some lemonade!” The person who is secretly wishing that people would just stop complaining and get on with the business of life.

This time, I JUST CANNOT. I cannot get over this. I cannot get on with life. I cannot stop the grief. I cannot move on. I cannot stop the rage.

 

I think I can put my extreme level of upset into three categories: Trump Voters, The Electoral College and My Mother.

Generally speaking, I feel a good deal of pity for the average Trump voter. These are often hardworking people who consider themselves Christians and they have been left behind by modern society. These voters are people who have graduated from high school, believe that their diploma is worth something (in truth, it is merely an attendance certificate but that is a topic for another day) and twenty or thirty years ago these voters would be able to obtain a reasonably well paid job with reasonably modest skills. Often these jobs were in manufacturing. In modern society, THIS NO LONGER EXISTS AND IT NEVER WILL AGAIN. We have moved on to a knowledge and service based economy. Unfortunately, these voters were left behind and without the job skills needed to cope with this massive shift in the US economy. When you are a proud and hardworking person who has been indoctrinated to believe that being poor is because you have been lazy, this will make you very angry.

Pittsburgh is an excellent example: on paper, the economy looks great. It has reinvented itself from a coal and steel town to a town prospering from the medical technology industry. This is great. However, there aren’t too many med tech jobs out there for a former steel worker or coal miner. These voters see prosperity and understand that it is firmly out of their reach.

Then, one day a guy throws in his hat to run for president and he taps into your anger. “Hey buddy, you wanna know why you can’t pay your mortgage or feed your kids?” This guy gives you someone to blame and empty promises for a solution to your problems. We’ll deport the cheap labour, we’ll back out of our trade deals, we’ll tell the environmentalists to eat shit (or tar sands) and we will restart our steel mills and coal mines. This voter is so desperate to improve their circumstances that they eat all of this up and ignore common sense: if the steel mills and coal mines were profitable they would likely still be open. I get this. I feel like I understand the motivation of a lot of these voters. When times are desperate you look after yourself and this is just human nature. It isn’t racism and it isn’t sexism, it is the politics of desperation. This should be an extreme wake up call to the DNC (as a Bernie supporter I have massive beef with the DNC but that is a topic for another day).

So, Trump has been given his mandate from the Heartland. Or Heartless-land. Right?

Well, not so much.

There is no mandate. Two million more people across the country have voted for Hillary. Trump merely won the Electoral College. Look, this was the goal post at the start of the election. Anyone who voted in 2000 knows how badly this can go. WE KNOW. I am not suggesting, as many are, that we should change the result of this race. I AM saying that this should not happen again.

We grow up, go to school, try Rocking the Vote with MTV and the message we are given is this: one man, one vote. Except that this is complete and utter DONKEY DICK SUCKING BULLSHIT. Yep. I just typed that. Why is it fair that some voters have more say than others? If you poke around you can find all sorts of infographics  (most from long before this election cycle) explaining how much your vote is worth depending on the state in which you live. Since I am a NY voter, my vote is literally worth chicken shit.

So, thanks to antiquated rules, a man who lost the election will win the election.

Fucking Awesome.

Finally, there is my mother. I cannot bring myself to speak with her right now. I WILL say something to damage our relationship forever. I am so angry with her hardline ideas and attitude. Her belief that she is the more Christian person because she is forcing people to help themselves. It is such a Victorian way of thinking. She’d have debtors prisons and workhouses. She can’t wait to get rid of Obamacare. WHY? Because her policy isn’t as good as it once was and, apparently, who cares about the 20 million who have insurance now and weren’t able to before. She wants to go into schools in her area and speak to the children about abstinence instead of birth control. She is a hardline pro-lifer. She blames Obama for pretty much everything but especially racial unrest in the USA. Usually, I can handle all of this and we just avoid politics. This time? I am just too angry. I blame her and her peers for being nostalgic and holding an entire generation of people back by denying modernity. I blame her and her peers for denying science and refusing to believe in climate change. For destroying the environment for my children. I am so very disappointed.

Some of you might read this and think I need to “put my big girl pants on.” If so, fuck you.

Freedom!

Do we give kids enough freedom?

Recently, the ladies in my neighbourhood book club were chatting about our children and their awareness of the cars that drive on the street. All of the women seemed pleased that the children would halt play when cars were coming. All of the women admitted that they stayed outside with their children.

This made me sad. Firstly, that because we don’t have gardens in our neighbourhood, our children must be car-aware from a very young age. Secondly, because the children weren’t getting the chance to explore and have adventures, independently.

As a child, my siblings and I would run and shout like feral children and it was wonderful. We became adventurous and self sufficient.

What happens to the heavily supervised and prematurely car-aware?