This is USA Politics Talk. You can turn back now if you don’t want any more of that for a while.
If you follow my Twitter at all, you know. Y’all know.
I try to keep the blog itself largely free of electoral politics and I’ll try to keep doing that for us. But I’m not really feeling the “We can still all eat Thanksgiving together as one great country and focus on what unites us!” talk today.
I feel anger, and despair, and a profound sickness and alienation. On top of the existential dread, I have asthma and severe bronchitis so for the last two weeks I’ve also been slowly drowning inside my own body waiting for the cocktail of expensive meds to kick in, knowing that Obamacare and the ability to get insurance despite irregular income and pre-existing conditions is literally keeping me alive right now. I knew this could happen, I knew that it was never funny or a joke or a spectacle. I knew that without the Voting Rights Act in place we were possibly FUCKED, that voter suppression was working, but I was still sitting there at 2:40 in the a.m. watching the Michigan & Wisconsin vote counts come in and hoping that it would not end this way, that it wasn’t really happening. Hoping against hope that we’d made enough inroads against white supremacy and misogyny to hold the line a little longer, four more years, just four more years. Two more years, and then, through the midterms. One more day.
I’m so sorry. I wanted to say something cool and empathetic that would make people feel better in this post. I am so very spoiled by a lifetime of living in blue bubbles Chicago and Massachusetts and New York and D.C.and I have not had to really ever have the “Dear Captain Awkward, how do I get along with a bunch of people who don’t think I deserve human rights?” conversation on the deep my-livelihood-and-life-might-depend-on-getting-this-right-today-because-I-literally-can’t-get-away-from-them level that my beloved friends & activists I know have had to do before now and are psyching themselves up to do all over again. It’s clear to me that I don’t know how to talk to racist fellow white people, even though it’s our job to unfuck this for America. I don’t know how to “empathize” with people or connect with those who voted for a walking three-dimensional NOPE display of toxic masculinity and abuse and xenophobia. I don’t know how to do it and I don’t know how to teach it. If you do know and you’ve ever wanted to write a guest post, @ me.
Here’s a small, hopeful thing. Just one for today, ok? Kim Foxx won her race for State’s Attorney in Cook County, Illinois.
This is a testament to the organizing power of young people, especially young black activists in Chicago, especially young black queer women and non-binary folks. Thanks to their tireless and smart organizing work, a candidate dedicated to criminal justice reform ousted an incumbent and is going to have a platform to make some changes in this place. These activists helped a #BlackLivesMatter candidate get on the ballot, win the primary, and win her election. That’s something. No, that’s amazing. The work is still the work and the work is still here. It will be here tomorrow and the next day and our whole lives and we will do it.
If you think I can moderate comments about the election as a whole or this sad proto-LiveJournal post in particular, well, your confidence in me is very sweet. I send love and what strength I have out to you, and I’m grateful for all that you send back. Send it to each other. We’re gonna need all of it.
Hey, I’m not a big one for New Year’s resolutions, because my jerkbrain can usually take that list and turn it into “List of Things I’m Currently Failing At” by March, but I do have one for this blog.
There is a big election coming in the USA, you may have heard about it?
I’m sure that where I stand on political stuff is not a secret. My personal vote is 99.99% sewn up (yes, even if that candidate has done/will do some stuff I don’t like that I’m very, very aware of) and my Twitter feed will likely be full of all kinds of political links and retweets all year long, but the blog is not the place for that.
We’re not bugging people to vote for a certain candidate, we’re not rehashing the horrorshow political theater debates, we’re not linking to very important articles about the election, we’re not getting all riled up and outraged about and at each other, we’re not pleading with each other to vote or telling each other to sign this important e-petition. Deal? If I slip up, call me out, though I’m definitely leaving up that thing I said about a certain candidate’s supporters from the other day. That’s just the truth.
Clean slate going forward. Politicking and electioneering at Captain Awkward Dot Com will be deleted.