Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Blue Lady Must Live in the Red Land

I am feeling like I have been thrown to the bottom
of a place like this. I don't know
how to climb out.
It's 0200 on November 9, 2016. I cannot sleep tonight, so I am up writing some of my thoughts at this unseemly hour. Obviously this election of yesterday did not turn out the way I had hoped it would. My beloved Cubbies won the world series, but the other team lost.

I will do what I expected of either candidate. I will be gracious in defeat. The results are what they are. I will not fight against that. I will not wish ill upon our new leaders. I will only be angry with my neighbors and fellow citizens for a short time. I refuse not to be optimistic in the long run.

I probably will be little effected in my day to day life because of what happened. I'm already on Medicare and soon to be receiving SSI and a small federal pension. There was no talk this time around about messing with any of these programs. Even if there had been, it is generally agreed upon that change will effect the future, not those already receiving benefits.

My savings will take an immediate hit, but I have to trust that in awhile the market cycle will even out as it always does.  Heck, it's possible I may even benefit from any tax changes that get enacted.

And I will just go about my day to day activities. After awhile I'll stop thinking about all this because it won't be so acute. I recall being really, really anxious back in the early 1980s about the possibility of nuclear war under the Regan administration. That didn't happen, and we are all here. I imagine we'll all survive this too.

But to my neighbors and fellow citizens who wanted these results to happen, I do have to say a few things. First, I understand intellectually why you made the choice you did, but I cannot find within myself any amount of empathy or even sympathy. One thing I see clearly is that you are very afraid right now, but I fully believe your fears are unfounded, and I do not share them.

I also know that I personally benefit from a huge amount of white privilege. No one is going to go after MY right to live in the country or to vote here or to take full part in what this country has to offer. In fact, people I intensely dislike would be happy to increase my privileges.

I don't want it. I don't want to be a member of that tribe, the one that thinks this is how the world should be, the one that thinks that just because I have light skin, naturally yellow hair and blue eyes that I'm something special. I throw my lot in with my neighbors who have black hair, some straight, some kinky, and who look a lot darker than I am, if THEY will have me as a member.

The world is constantly changing. It always does that. We cannot go backwards to some mythical golden age. There never was a golden age. The past as we think we remember it is gone, gone, gone. We may want it to return, but that is impossible. We need to embrace the change and rejoice in it. But it looks like that's going to be on hold for awhile.

I'm not anxious this time around for my own survival and lifestyle. Instead I'm very anxious for other members of my multi-hued tribe. I'm very anxious for other women, especially poor women. I'm very anxious for those who believe in Muhammed. I'm very anxious about the kind of world we will leave for our younger people.

Now I guess I say #youmadeyourbed to all those of you who voted positively in favor of this change along with those of you who voted passively for it by sitting this one out. Let's see how this all works out.

To the president-elect, you asked directly for my "guidance and" Ok. I do have some guidance to offer. I'm also giving you the opportunity to EARN my help.

To begin with,  I would say that you have put forward some general ideas that I think would be good things .... IF you can pull them off. I personally don't really see how how you can do some of them, but, hey, what do I know? You said that "ONLY" you can change somethings. So #letseeyoutry.

You say you know how to defeat ISIS. Great. Have at it. Implement that plan of yours. Just please don't use that new football you're going to be given.

You say you will keep us out of involvement in any more foreign conflicts or wars. I approve of that.

I don't like seeing my fellow citizens who are older and uneducated and mostly look like me to be so discouraged and hopeless. Get those factories to open back up .... and do it soon please.

I do agree that having a better relationship with Russia would be a good thing, but I'm not sure that becoming BFFs with the present leader is the best way to go about that. Can you rethink that a bit?

And of course, anything that you might do that would actually improve the lives of my fellow citizens who live in places like the south side of Chicago would, indeed, be a very good thing. While you are at it, don't forget my friends who live in Indian country. They could use a lot of help too.

That idea about helping people pay for childcare is a good one. That one you might could accomplish if Congress will go along. Just make sure that your new program will actually help those at the lowest income level who need it the most. Tax credits aren't the solution for those who don't make enough to have to pay taxes. And while you are at it, can you raise the wages of those who work as child carers?

And fixing and improving infrastructure, I'm good with that. While you are at it, how about bringing the computer system, especially the one at the state department into the new century ... you know, like you do in business.

However, here is a list of things that I think are very bad ideas. It's rather long. It's mostly why I did not vote for you to be the new leader. You say you want to unite the country and be the leader for all of us, including me, I presume. If you want my true allegiance to you, it's gonna take changing some of those ideas you campaigned on.

I wish you would not take away meaningful health insurance from those who have it now. Do you recall all that testimony about the bad old days that happened as the ACA was being crafted? You know, that stuff like pre-existing conditions, higher premiums and fewer benefits for women, non-parity of physical and mental health. How about not throwing out babies with bathwater. Work on the ACA like they did with Medicare. That can work.

And consider what might happen to those addicted to drugs now if treatment benefits via insurance disappears. Think a little bit about what will happen to our prison population as the mentally ill really do end up with noplace else to go. Is that such a great idea?

Please don't just wholesale round up those who are living here without proper documents. I know you are not one who deals in facts very much, but the facts are that these people are mostly upstanding neighbors who pay taxes, receive few benefits and contribute greatly to the economy. We really do NEED them here in America.

That wall thing is really stupid. Fear makes you stupid. Go talk to some engineers about whether or not it is even possible to build it. I don't think so. And as for Mexico paying for it ... that ain't gonna happen, and you know it, so stop with the lies, will you?

And just drop that whole non-starter idea about getting rid of Muslims in America. You probably can refuse entry to refugees in dire need who happen to be Muslim, but I guess you will then have to live with what the world thinks about whether or not a great America means it is inherently a kind and generous America. I guess that idea is an old fashioned one you have no interest in resurrecting as you make America great AGAIN, as you say.

I also suggest that you might want to work on that whole attacking others for who they are when they say things that disagree with you. Man up, as they say. Grow some thicker skin. Stop being a playground bully. Get over that whole revenge-is-your-thing thing. None of these behaviors is "presidential."

Along this line, don't waste your time trying to actually put Mrs. Clinton in prison. That's what they do in petty dictatorships, not the US. Remember, we have peaceful transitions of power that you are now benefiting from. Be gracious here.

Please, please, please, stop attacking women and actually implement some policies that will make their lives better. Like that whole health care insurance thing. And keeping abortions safe and legal. (You ARE old enough to remember the bad old coat hanger days. Do you really want to see women and girls dying again for no good reason?)

I concede I will probably have to live with a Supreme Court that will not be to my liking. I am just grateful for the progress that has been made in recent years and hope the damage won't be too awful bad in the future.

But my biggest and most important wish is that you stop that nonsense about climate change. It's real. and the window to actually do things that might make some difference will fall during your watch. I don't care what your supporters THINK. The reality IS that climate change IS the biggest threat to our lives both now and way into the future.

(And I kind of think that you know that too, but you just had to pander in order to get what you wanted. After all, you do own a lot of ocean front commercial property, and I'm sure you have insurance companies that are quite willing to tell you about the short and long term outlook for that.)

I'm a baby boomer. I probably won't live to see the worst of it, but my millenial friends and neighbors and their children will. I have two grand nieces now. Odds are good (if we figure out what to do about things like bacterial resistance) they will both live to see the turn of the next century. That is unless climate change messes up the whole game.

You know, jobs in the new economy, that is already about things like new sources of energy, are good jobs. You have the opportunity to do two things at once here if you see your way clear to do it.

As for me, now I'm going to just sit back for awhile and see what happens. But I have to take some kind of action too. I think I will do what my media friend Rachel Maddow suggests. I'm going to get a paid subscription to my local newspaper and maybe even a big newspaper like the NY Times. I'm going to keep up my membership in public broadcasting. I want a real vigorous press and media right now. I think all those newspaper editors and editorial boards were correct about you.

I want professional reporters to be able to do their jobs. Someone needs to keep an eye on things now and to let us all know what really happens as we go forward. I want you to continue to be bugged by the media. We need this more than ever. #realreportersgettowork

BTW, would you please keep that grand vegetable garden? You have a school age child who needs to learn to eat well, after all, and it certainly does improve the neighborhood.

I hope you enjoy your time in what President Obama called "the crown jewel of the federal prison system." Take good care of it.

1 comment:

  1. Well said and thought out. I agree. -- Steve C.