Marmot for President!

I think it’s really important for us to remember that Trump does not and never has had the support of the American people. He lost the popular vote by millions of votes. He currently has something like a 37% approval rating. Which is unheard of for an incoming president. Even President G.W. Bush had a 62% approval rating after losing the popular vote. So it may not change the facts on the ground, but we can take comfort in knowing that we’re not actually totally surrounded by complete idiots.

marmot-trump

Advertisements

Your Simple Act of Resistance for the Day

Going forward, I’m going to try and share one simple action with detailed instructions which you can take each day to push back against Trump and other politicians who are hell bent on destroying our country. Today’s action was passed on to me by a friend on facebook and all it takes is a tweet. In his press conference today, Donald Trump made the claim that the public doesn’t care about his tax returns. He claimed that only the press was concerned with such things and, contrary to what he said repeatedly, he has no plans on releasing his tax returns.

So, if you are one of the people who does care about Trump’s tax returns and you are on twitter, here’s your simple act of resistance for the day. Just copy and paste this tweet and send it:

Release your tax returns! I’m one of millions of American citizens who DO want to see your #taxreturns as you promised

And once you’ve done that, you should go ahead and follow me there too. My handle is @upsidedwnworld.

It’s a Disaster but Everything’s Perfect. I Guess

 

So, two weeks ago today I fell on an icy driveway and broke my ankle. It was classic; my foot started to slip on the ice, hit dry gravel and stopped. I continued my fall, my foot did not. Just like in every other broken ankle story you’ve ever been told, I heard the crunch of breaking bones, screamed and went into shock. There was no safe way to move me and both my oldest son and my husband have their own issues with balance/stability, so an icy pile-up nightmare was a real danger. So there was nothing to do but call an ambulance.

I live outside of town so it took a solid 15-20 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. During which time, all I could do is sit there. And try not to think about yet another set of medical bills we can’t afford. (I’ve lost track of how many times the local hospital has sued us.) Definitely try not to think about the implications of being unable to drive and largely immobile for any extended period of time. In a household of 7. Or about how much pain I was going to be in once the shock wore off. I’ve tapped out all my pain tolerance over the last few years.

And as I’m sitting there trying to figure out how to feel and think about all this, I had the strongest sense of God saying to me, “it’s ok. This is exactly where you’re supposed to be. Everything’s perfect and exactly the way it’s supposed to be.” Like the Spirit was pleased that I was sitting in the snow on a hill overlooking the field next to my house on a cold December morning with a broken ankle. I reminded myself that I was in shock. Obviously a broken ankle is pretty incompatible with perfect. But at the same time, I couldn’t seem to muster up any panic, anger or despair over the situation. I felt pretty at peace actually.

The ambulance finally arrived and with some amount of difficulty they got my fat ass into the back. I looked up at the clock above the doors right after they closed them and kind of stared at it, bemused. It was 11:11. I’ve had a weird thing with repeating and sequential numbers going on around me for a while now. It happens so often, in such unexpected ways that it’s become a joke in our family. When I saw that, I kind of laughed and decided that I might as well accept that the universe is in charge and everything’s exactly how it’s supposed to be somehow.

I had surgery on my ankle last Friday to put in a plate and several screws. I don’t know if you know this – but when they screw things into your bones, it hurts. Of course it hurt before surgery too, so it’s been a couple of weeks of pain and pain killers. Neither of which are good for writing. Or moving. Or being nice to stupid people on social media.

Thankfully I am being well cared for, children are still putting on clean, weather appropriate clothing every morning and going to sleep on clean sheets every night. Everyone is being fed. Even if it is an endless stream of dad’s pasta dishes. (I would be perfectly happy to never eat pasta again in my life. It’s just me.) So I have nothing more to complain about. I just wish I had a fast-forward button to skip over the next couple of months.

But I keep coming back to this assurance that everything is exactly how it needs to be, regardless of what it looks like. And I keep thinking that it’s probably a pretty apt analogy for what’s going on in our country right now. I wasn’t nearly as shocked by Trump’s election as everyone else was. I’ve spent too much time around too many different kinds of people not to recognize the power of appealing to people’s most base instincts, peddling ignorance and putting on a good show. I believe that we are all made in God’s own image, but I also know that a lot of people have layered a seriously flawed value system, a stunning lack of self-awareness and a markedly shallow relationship with reality over the top of their true identity. So I was irate at Trump’s win (I still am), but not too shocked.

But the whole time, I’ve also had this sense of peace underneath. Like everything we can see in the material world is about as big a disaster as it can be without tipping over into actual mass violence. But the Spirit keeps saying, “oh, this is perfect. Everything’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be.” And just like with my ankle, I don’t think there’s any rescue or miracle coming to fix everything; just a long, hard trudge of doing what needs to be done to deal with the situation. But at the same time, I think there’s a lot of comfort in knowing that we have what it takes to walk from here in the middle of disaster to the other side of healing and rehabilitation. We’d rather not have to. We’d rather just carry on without the disruption, the pain and the difficulty. But that’s not an option. So we’ll do what we need to do.

I have often said that keeping faith in my fellow man has been the most difficult task I’ve ever undertaken. I genuinely like people, but I also hold most of us in low regard. Some days I’m down right misanthropic. People are idiots. And stupid to boot. Yet, I do keep faith. Not because of the greatness of humans, but because I know that the same God who created this body of mine with a predictable, reliable capacity to heal and reconstruct itself created human nature as well. And I trust that God also created human beings with a predictable, reliable capacity to heal and reconstruct ourselves at the spiritual and cultural levels as well. Sure, this capacity hasn’t always gotten the job done, but we do learn. 100 years ago, without surgery, my ankle wouldn’t have healed itself to the point of restoration. We do need to pitch in for best results. It’s a co-operative venture between us and God.

In the end, I suspect that Trump’s election will prove to be the societal equivalent of re-breaking an improperly set bone. Right now all we can see is the break with the sharp jagged edge of a bone pushing up against the skin, threatening to break it. But, if those of us who know a broken bone when we see one put one foot in front of the other, fight through the challenges, do what is right and what needs to be done, I think we’ll be OK. Although I still wish that fast-forward button were real. 😉

And the Loser Is . . .

marmot-trumpSo, the votes are pretty well tallied and Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by about 2.86 million. So consider this your daily reminder that this is not Trump’s country. He is serving against the will of the majority of American voters.

I’m thinking I need to do a series of these memes. This chair could have beat Hillary. This earthworm. This bottle of water. (And if you were a true, blue Hillary supporter who is offended right now, you’re going to have to let it go. You’re in the minority too and it’s not a battle worth having at this point. I’m pretty sure the Marmot could have beat Trump in a landslide too. And won the electoral college to boot. Let’s just unite around opposition to Trump and call it a day. We can be grown-ups like that.)

As Long As We’re Calling Spades Spades

The illustrious Professor Emeritus Dr. Paul Braterman, who blogs about issues of science and religion in Scotland at Primate’s Progress, commented on my last post:

What passes for the leadership of the (relatively) more left-leaning US party must take its share of the blame. Why should Obamacare ever have been based on the discredited insurance model, when the single-payer, as quick comparison between the US and other countries shows, delivers better results for half the money? And why, in that brief interval between 2008 and 2010 when the Democratic party controlled all America’s political institutions, was nothing done to address the underlying problem of growing technology-driven inequality? Why have the working (or, alas, non-working)people of Michigan, for instance, continuously over the past decade, stopped seeing the Democratic party as speaking for them?
None of which is to minimise the imminent horrors, but to describe my view of the kind of agenda necessary to oppose them, both morally and practically.

Which is absolutely true. I’m focused on the Republican side because that’s the one currently turning our country over to an orange dusted Mussolini and a white nationalist who likes being compared to Darth Vader and Satan by his enemies. But then on the other side, there’s this from a facebook friend who recently attended a meeting of local Democrats:

At the state Democratic Party meeting last night, a friend asked my question of leadership: “Why are the Democrats not more vocal and fighting for the truth about Russian involvement in this election and Trump’s obviously racist, homophobic, etc., picks for his cabinet?” (Or something like that.) The response was basically that nobody wants to get painted a sore loser and that the Democratic Party believes in a peaceful transition of power.

Now, do you suppose that the Republican party lives in fear of how they will be perceived by those who don’t support them anyways? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess no.

How much time do you suppose the GOP spent worrying about being seen as sore losers when they were fighting tooth and nail to win the presidency for Bush during the Florida recount in 2000? Probably none.

And I fail to see how fighting to contest election results or speak out forcefully against, say, choosing a white nationalist leader as the president’s closest adviser, is necessarily an impediment to the peaceful transition of power.

And then we wonder why a large segment of the population would rather vote for a turnip than a Democrat. They don’t listen to their constituents who have been agitating for change for years. They won’t fight unless they are forced to. They are in the habit of walking into negotiations with their political opponents, giving them what they want and then asking what they are willing to give them in return. This is not leadership. This is . . . I dunno. Bullshit. A dereliction of duty. Idiotic.

Between putting up a candidate who, rightly or wrongly, was viewed entirely negatively by a sizable number of people and then just retreating into silence after the election, the DNC is destroying itself just as surely as the GOP is with Trump. Obviously the Democratic party is not going to fight for the American people. They’re not going to provide leadership. We the people are going to have to take responsibility for fighting this fight. Yeah, we can try pressuring the DNC (who just ignores us anyways). But mostly opposition to Trump is going to have to come from the ground up and be self-sustaining. These jokers can’t even be counted on for an assist.

Anyways. I am going to continue focusing on Trump and the GOP because we’re in a more dangerous position than most people realize (which I’ll be getting to in a bit today). But please don’t think that means I’m giving the Democrats a pass. They are guilty as hell in their own right for refusing to fight if nothing else.