The Mother of All Elections

veruca_saltI know I’m not alone in experiencing what’s become known as “election fatigue”. I’m exhausted; head-scratching, rage-inducing, gag-me-with-a-spoon, rant-riddled exhausted. But I think I’ve finally figured out one reason why.

Being a Democrat this election cycle has been like parenting a two-year old.

For eighteen months the GOP has been throwing the mother of all tantrums. Over-tired toddler in the Nerf aisle of Toy-R-Us level meltdown. And while the remnants of a once proud party writhes on the linoleum kicking and screeching, the rest of us have had to draw on every last bit of patience and reserve and the grittiest of true grit just to get the fucker out of the store without drawing too much attention.

Essentially the GOP is all the kids from Willy Wonka rolled up into one  glooped out, bad egg mess.

Parenting is all about love, sure. But it’s also managing and soothing and calming, compromise, listening, modeling behavior and when it comes right down to it, making sure everyone gets a cookie.

I do all of that with my own kids. It’s tiring. The Democratic party has been doing it with a good portion of America for the last year. No wonder why so many of us are  DefCon 4 exhausted.

There are times as a parent when all I want to do is scream “What the FUCK is wrong with you?” at my kids. I don’t….not out loud anyway. It wouldn’t solve anything and it would do more harm than good. And while it might make me feel better for approximately five seconds, I simply cannot justify the potential fall-out that five seconds worth of pent-up release would bring me. Plus, it’s not exactly the example I want to set for my children.

I imagine there are a lot of blue-voting folks out there who have wanted to scream “What the FUCK is wrong with you?’ to a good number of people, but who realize it won’t actually solve anything. Because if the family fall-out is bad, what’s it going to be like multiplied by a few million? Plus, it’s not exactly the example Democrats want or should want to set.

(Though admittedly, it might make you feel better for approximately five seconds.)

There’s been soothing. Yes, we understand you’re frustrated. There’s been empathy. Yes, we understand you’re angry. There has been redirection, bribery, threats, pleas. And yes, at times, even the kind of full-frontal confrontation that is leaning down and hissing into your kid’s face in a voice low enough that no one else can hear.

You know what? Mommy’s angry too. Mommy’s really, really, fucking angry.

willy-wonka-augustus-gloop

For the past year and a half, it seems as if one side has been expected to manage, dissuade, and calm the anger of the other. They’ve been trying to convince Veruca that no, she can’t have the golden goose just because she wants it. Why? Because no one wants NATO calling child protective services called on our asses and though it may seem tempting at times, no one really wants to go and pick half their country out of a garbage chute either.

I’m not sure I’ve ever read so much about one, single topic in my life. Article upon study upon poll of why the angry, white base (yes, a gross generalization) is voting for or supporting Donald Trump. Of how people distrust the political system, the establishment, the media, women. Loss of jobs, fear, too many ‘isms’ to shake a stick at. What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Nation Divided stuff

The Democratic party isn’t dumb. We get it. You’re angry.

You’re not alone.

We’re angry too. We’re angry that we can’t just go to the store and leave without a fuss. That we can’t have nice things in our country like health care and equal rights without someone pitching a shit fit. We’re angry that everyone else in the global parking lot is staring and judging and tsk tsk-ing. And a lot of times we are angry that instead of screaming into your face we’re supposed to go high, be the adult and wrangle this mess into the car seat to get it home.

There is an entire political party in the United States which has been playing Mommy/Daddy to a group of whining brats for the last eight years. Some are whining because they didn’t get the biggest piece of cake. Others are whining because the black kid got the slice with the most frosting. And some are whining because the girl is going to get a piece too, though it’s still probably only 79% as big.

When my kids whine like that I want to smash the whole cake so no one can have any. But I’m a parent. I don’t do that, not least of all because I’m going to have to clean the whole mess up.

When I watch and listen to what is being said, how I’m meant to empathize and sympathize and understand? I want to smash the whole thing so the other side can’t have any. But I’m a Democrat. I don’t do that, not least of all because, at the end of the day, it would make me no better than those who are pitching a fit about me having some cake too.

violet_keeps_growing_redux___5_by_faridae-d8cuqstAny parent will tell you that logic doesn’t work in the face of pure emotion. Sometimes the only thing you can do is let the thing play out and hope it doesn’t do any lasting damage.

Even if it takes eight years.

With any luck we’ll get a nap in before the next fit starts. Because if you’re a parent….or a Democrat….you know damn well there’s always going to be a next one.

Thank You, Donald

trump-6If you’d told me back in September that I would see, hear, say, or write the word pussy as many times as I have in the last week, I’d have spit-laughed my coffee in your face. But the times, they are a strange-in’.

Here’s something else I didn’t think I would ever say:

Thanks, Donald.

We’re still a month out from the election, when, whatever the outcome, the nightmare nonstop media coverage will at the very least, switch focus. Regardless of who wins however, I still need to thank Donald Trump.

Like I said, strange days indeed. Most peculiar, mamas.

You see, for twenty-some odd years I’ve been studying women’s rights, sexism, feminism, women’s studies. Theoretical, linguistic, cultural, sociological. But even more, for forty-some odd years, I’ve been living it. My Steinem senses have had long periods of dormancy in the decades which have passed, but they started tingling in full flare up as soon as Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for President of the United States.

And let me tell you, there have been times in the last eighteen months when I have legitimately doubted my sanity. When I wondered if what was so clear to me yet so unclear to others meant that I had finally managed to permanently fry my brain cells with too much wine and too many unnaturally colored cheese doodles.

But then a funny think happened on the way to November: PussyGate.

To be fair, it started about a month before the now infamous tape when I started to notice more articles which delved into the underlying sexism of this election cycle. When I started noticing people finally expressing support for Hillary Clinton the candidate and not Hillary Clinton Who Is Not Donald Trump. When I started to see articles not only about her legitimate flaws, but about her legitimate strengths.

But this is not about Hillary Clinton. This is about women. And Hillary Clinton is only one.

This election was always going to be about women. First woman atop a major ticket was always going to be a big–nay, massive–part of it. Women make up a majority of the American electorate, they were always going to be a major voting block. The fact that one party courted them mercilessly while the other took them for granted should not be overlooked.

2016 is the year that women aren’t simply relegated to the electoral chorus. We’re headlining.

Throw in a former Miss Universe, Bill Clinton’s mistresses, his accusers¹, and now with PussyGate, there’s been a collective female awakening.²

So Donald, thanks for getting it out there on the national stage. Granted, I like to grab ’em by the pussy is a pretty extreme ice-breaker, but it certainly got the job done.

Thanks too for vindicating what I and other women have been shouting about for twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred, a thousand years.

The stories of abuse and assault, of degradation that have been coming out since the leak of Donald’s tape have been staggering, not in their numbers, but because people are finally paying attention.

The party of family values, the one nostalgic for dated gender roles, one which built its recent foundation on the idea of white man as protector and earner. Who exactly are you protecting us from if not the guy you just nominated for president?

So thank you, Donald for exposing the hypocrisy of the current Republican party.

Thanks too, Donald for shoring up a sisterhood. We don’t need, or want your protection. Today’s women don’t want a white knight on a trusty steed. They want someone who’s going to help fold the laundry and take the kids to school. They want someone who is their equal, not their protector. Today’s women want social change and laws that protect them, not fathers or husbands who feign offense at the words that come out of their candidate’s mouth. Hell, half the time those fathers and husbands are the ones beating the shit out of us.

So thank you, Donald for firing up the political base that folks have ignored for so long: Women.

You were right, telling it like it is has its advantages. Thanks for making plain the undercurrent of power-hungry, degradation we’ve been talking about. No, you’re no Boy Scout, but by standing by your banter you’ve actually succeeded in opening up a national dialogue.

And this time, I hope American women aren’t going to stand for being interrupted or mansplained.

Thanks, Donald for validating what millions of women have been saying.

And thank you, for making me realize my sanity was never in question, not really.

trump-5I hope that on November 9th, I’ll be thanking you for helping to pave the way for the very first Madame President, but even if it doesn’t turn out that way, I’m woman enough to see that the Pandora’s box has been opened and there’s no forcing all this stuff back in.

Women aren’t going to be cowed back into submission. If you try to keep us down, we will rise, just like we have been doing for millennia.

Thank you for rallying the sisterhood.

I couldn’t have done it better myself.

 

  1. For clarification, if Bill Clinton were currently running for president, I would take just as much issue with the allegations leveled against him and his treatment of women.
  2. Thank you to the wonderful, late Mrs. Kilburn for introducing me to Kate Chopin’s The Awakening in AP English class. Obviously it made an impression.

Apology Not Accepted

trump-1Warning: Explicit language below

I woke this morning to the news of (yet another) Trump scandal. Despite the nastiness he’s been spewing about women on the record for the last 18 months, it took the nastiness he said off the record ten years ago to finally get Donny to apologize. Sort of. Not only him, but many members of his party.

The problem is, it’s not just too little too late, it’s a lot too little, a lot too late.

So sorry, Mr. Trump, your apology is not accepted. Sorry senators and chairpersons and those of you so utterly desperate to garner votes or toe the party line that you’ve sat by like a bunch of wimps and let this person walk all over your human-ness. Your apologies are not accepted either. 

Hey, Reince Priebus, guess what? Women have been telling you for two goddamn years that no woman should be referred to in this way, but your half-apology holds no water with me. This from the man who watched as Roger Ailes, a man accused of sexual harassment, multiple times, was hired to consult on a Presidential campaign.

Your limp, “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” apology sucks. As if you didn’t know how women are described? How the hell do you think men like Trump and others describe women? 

Yo, Paul Ryan! Asking Donald Trump not to attend your rally? Too little, too late. And screw you, women don’t need to be ‘championed and revered’. We need to be treated like fucking equals.

Even when you’re apologizing you still don’t get it.

Your apologies are not enough. Do you know why? Because they mean nothing. They mean nothing because none of you have a single plan in place to change this kind of systematic sexist bullshit backroom behavior from happening.

Instead of making boardrooms and Congress and life a more equitable place for women, your plans serve only to get women out of  the boardroom and Congress all together so you can back to your cigar-smoking, back-room dealing, grab-some-pussy ways.

Women have been screaming about this crap for years. The overt and covert harassment and systematic, excused sexism that runs rampant through industry, politics, life. We’ve been talking and screaming and trying to fix it and you just send us off with a pat on the head telling us that women in Saudi Arabia can’t drive or that we need to get our priorities straight. We’ve been documenting it, recording it, writing about it, singing about it for years and what do you do?

You go and hire the very people who have done us harm to run your campaigns. Or run for president.

What.The.Actual.Fuck?

All of that and you still have no plan to do anything to change the dynamic. You have no policy that is going to do anything at all to help women. NOT ONE. 

So that’s why your bullshit apologies don’t mean anything to me. You’re not sorry, you’re only sorry because Donald Trump got caught. You’re only sorry because it might influence your elections. If you were truly sorry, you would have distanced yourself from your crass, spray-tanned, clownish charlatan eighteen months ago. But no.

Perhaps it’s your deep-rooted fear of a pussy which is responsible for making us endure this buffoonish, disgusting, and yes, deplorable behavior from a PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. Not only that, but his “spectacular role-model” behavior has given legitimacy to large chunks of Americans who feel free to spew their own crass bullshit at the other PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. Not because she tries to ‘grab some pussy’, but because she is in possession of one.

cat-sorrySo take your half-assed apology and shove it up half your ass. My eight year old has better sense and manners than the lot of you

You don’t need to grow balls. You’ve got plenty of those between you and you still screw it up. What you need to do is grow a pussy.

This one knows who her vote will be cast for in a few weeks.

Like a Death Row Pardon Two Minutes Too Late

irony-bonus-panel-1When I was but a wee lass, the children’s show Sesame Street used to end each episode with a little blurb about the show being “sponsored” by a number and/or letter.

Today’s show was brought to you by the number 5 and the letter P!!

Well, today’s rant is brought to you by the words hypocrisy and irony.

Much like a WikiLeaks e-mail dump, it’s one of those days when I need to empty the random from my head before it curdles and turns to whey…and my family abandons me and I end up in Roswell, NM with a tin-foil hat and a houseful of cats. ¹

A while back I did a post about the U.S. suffering from a bad case of the ironies–well, it appears that much like finding a way to combat Zika, Congress couldn’t get their finger out of their ass and that irony spread unchecked. It covered the US like a bad rash. It festered. And just to make things worse, the U.S. went and caught a bad case of hypocrisy as well.

Is is not a little bit ironic that Donald Trump lashed out at Mr. Khan, an American citizen, for criticizing his lack of constitutional knowledge—yet….wait for it….what Mr. Khan was doing was the VERY THING THE FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTS…criticizing the government.

Yeah, I really do think.

Or that that he wants to open up libel laws to sue the media for printing falsehoods (which aren’t really) but he thinks the NATIONAL ENQUIRER should win a Pulitzer Prize?

Like a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break.

Isn’t it hypocritical that Donald Trump calls the media biased, but only when it doesn’t agree with him, criticizes him, fact-checks or prints what he actually says but without the ‘sarcasm’ air quotes? ²

Maybe it’s just me looking for a free ride when I’ve already paid.

Isn’t it just a little bit hypocritical that Hillary and Hillary alone is solely held responsible by some for the deaths of four Americans, but those same folk seem to be a-okay with the deaths of thousands of Americans and Middle Easterners stemming from false intelligence reports of Iraq’s new program of weapons of mass destruction? ³

Or that the GOP holds Hillary’s vote for the Iraq war against her but not Mike Pence’s? 

Like a frigging traffic jam when you’re already late.Abortion rights

Isn’t it a wee bit hypocritical (not to mention suspect) that Julian Assange champions himself as warrior of truth for leaking emails which disclose bias when he himself is displaying bias by only leaking information from one party, after admitting to an extreme dislike of Hillary Clinton?

Isn’t it ironic that hypocrisy rhymes so nicely with GOP?

Isn’t it ironic that so does irony?

Isn’t it hypocritical that so many far-right Christians spread fear of Sharia Law like butter on toast yet that’s EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO IMPOSE UPON THE UNITED STATES, legislation based on their own Christian beliefs, to the complete and utter disregard of EVERYONE ELSE?

And isn’t it ironic that these are the VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO SCREAM ABOUT THEIR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BEING STRIPPED AWAY?

Isn’t it ironic how there are already claims from the GOP leadership that the national election will be rigged, yet as court case after court case shows, voter ID laws, like the one in North Carolina, all signed into law by Republican legislatures, have been shown to unfairly target and disenfranchise minorities who…. surprise, surprise, tend to vote for Democrats?

Like winning the lottery and dying the next day.

(And PLEASE. PLEASE. I want someone to argue with me how the founding fathers could not have foreseen the need for voter ID if only so I can throw back in their face not being able to have foreseen the advent of the AK47 either. Pleaaasseee…)

Isn’t it hypocritical that the “pro-life” agenda doesn’t apply to ‘life’ beyond the birth canal?

And is it not the height of hypocrisy for people to rant and rave about fetal tissue supplied by abortion providers and then take advantage of medical advances and technology which have advanced because of fetal tissue research?

(I have an idea–everyone who is anti-choice should refuse all medical treatment that is directly or indirectly a result of fetal tissue research, which includes, but is not limited to vaccine research, strokes, Parkinson’s and here’s irony within irony–to study fetal development to better understand and prevent miscarriage)

Isn’t it ironic that Chris Christie led a chorus of  “Lock Her Up” and has repeatedly admonished Hillary Clinton for lying and corruption and….BridgeGate?

hypocrisyIsn’t it hypocritical that Hillary Clinton is demonized for staying with her unfaithful husband in order to further her political career but all those Republicans standing behind a candidate they don’t believe in in order to keep their jobs are just a-ok?

Look, I’ve waited my whole damn life just to take this flight. I’ll be damned if the fucking plane is going to crash down now.

Don’t let Alanis be right. Oh hell, she’ll be ok regardless. She’s Canadian. *

Don’t let this election be a death row pardon two minutes too late.

#vote

 

¹  I have no real problem with cats, nor with people who own cats, even multiple cats. I went for the cheap joke.

²  I’m aware that most news sources lean one way or another, however, I’ve chosen to use a combination of NY Times, NPR, BBC, WaPo, and CNN as my base. And yes, I’m aware of the irony.

³  I’m going with the NY Times (see ²)

* Most ironic, none of Ms. Morissette’s musical examples are actually examples of irony. But let’s be fair, “Isn’t it Coincidental?” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

ALL politicians are hypocritical. They ALL hedge their bets, fudge the truth, and diminish and exaggerate to secure a vote. They ALL lie, break promises, and get mired down in the complexities of running a country, state or city. They ALL hand out favors and they all take the choicest pickings from the spoils. They ALL make decisions which are going to leave a pretty large chunk of the populace out. The ALL make decision which from time to time favor some over most. They ALL make the wrong decisions from time to time, sometimes with devastating consequences. It’s the way it has always been, it’s nothing new. What’s new is the complete and utter disregard for fact-based analysis and discourse. What is new is an Evangelical supported platform which, if instituted would be disastrous for women and minorities, not to mention completely against everything I feel the United States is about. For me, this year, the Republican party exemplifies the absolute worst aspects of this process.

Sure, focusing on just that is a little hypocritical.

Isn’t it ironic?