Yelp Review of the 2020 U.S. Election
Bad. It’s all bad. None stars. Stars made of poop. What’s a star.
I Wish In High School I Had Read Fewer Dystopian Novels About an Independent-Minded Hero Who Leads a Revolution Against Authoritarian Traditionalists
Or, rather, I wish I’d taken it to heart when I read them, that EVERYONE IN THE STORY except the hero and the hero’s band of merry weirdos is cool with the teeny sliver of sleezy, selfish, cowardice liars at the very top holding all the power and money and moral direction for the rest. I should have known, from reading books like “Ferenheit 451,” “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” “Brave New World,” etc, that people like to be told what to do, and are comfortable assuming that those in power are there for a solid reason and deserve to dictate the terms of how we should live, who should be allowed to thrive. The fact that they cheat and lie and make anyone who questions them out to be unwelcome dangers to the system is all pretty effective- it works in the novels, and in real life, too.
It’s election day in the U.S., and we’re all just trying not to freak out because somehow, impossibly, a lot of people have fallen for Trump again…still? Holding our breaths (making sure we CAN comfortably hold our breaths-we’re all still living on COVID island here, too), we’re waiting to see if all the votes are allowed to be counted, or if that sleezy sliver on top don’t allow all citizens to have a say. Assuming the democracy is still intact enough that everyone is allowed access to voting and then that their votes are actually tabulated, then we’re holding our breath again to see if our fellow Americans see the same things we do, worry about the same threats, vote with the same fears and needs in mind.
Never in my life has an election represented personal and community values to me as much as this one. Probably because I wasn’t paying enough attention before. How we interpret the governance over the past few years and intent for the future says a lot about whose rights you are voting to protect. None of this is simple, it’s all giant complex machines, but to me, if you’re voting to support excluding certain citizens safety protections and freedoms, if you’re voting against common sense in order to maintain some allusion of order or greatness that never really was, your mind/heart aren’t working in a way that is good for the community, good for me. I want out. I’m walking away from relationships, choosing where I live and who I associate with, based on what I’ve learned about people during this election. Maybe I also read too many books in high school that showed non-dominant pain and power (“The Bluest Eye,” “Native Son,” “Night,” “The Handmaid’s Tale, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” etc).
I thought it was so obvious who were the good guys and who were the bad…and that even if it felt more safe to side with the bad, we, you know…shouldn’t. But when it comes down to it, we protect our necks, our money, and our proximity to power, our privilege. We are weak.
I don’t want to be weak. I want to be raucous and willing to tear some shit up, but I don’t know if my army is big enough, if I’m strong enough. The neo-Nazis and incels coming out into the sunlight because their leaders beckoned them and told them it was safe, gives us a unique opportunity to finally fix the shit we’ve been hushing up since the inception of this country. I’m excited that we’re at a point where we’re finally talking about the racism and sexism on which we are built. I want to dig this shit out by the roots and rebuild anew, but there are a lot of people who don’t see it, don’t want to see it, will not deal with it, and they’re in power, and maybe maintaining that power.
This is a pretty terrifying week on top of a bleak year in the middle of a rough decade…you keep winding back, depending on who you are, or how open your eyes are to those around you…you see that it’s been scary and hard for a long, long time. We’re due a revolution.