Friday, August 13, 2021

I never had any interest in politics

One of the side effects of the bizarre, Eastern European style administration that the US suffered from during the past four years, was that I was forced out of my sheltered, apolitical and self indulgent cocoon. Part of my lack of interest came from a belief that no one in politics can be trusted. They are there for the power, fame and what money they can make out of it.

Back before I came to the US, as soon as I turned 18 I did vote in every election. I believed it was my civic duty and I understood what women had endured to give me that right. But my vote was very much a 'stick the tail on the donkey' - I suppose in every sense come to think of it. 

When I first came to the States - back in the days when there were still land lines and every house had a telephone; I answered the phone one evening to be asked by the voice on the other end "Do you consider yourself to be a Democrat or a Republican?" I paused for a moment and then said "I have no idea, I will have to find out" and hung up. For younger reader - hanging up the phone means replacing the receiver (the piece you put to your ear and talk into), back on the button(s) that disconnects the call. I thought that if I was to become an American I was going to have to learn what these political parties stood for, if anything, and decide which I was going to vote for when the time came. If this sounds familiar to you, (it started sounding familiar to me) - that is because I wrote about it back in November 2019.

Starting immediately I quizzed every person I met. I wanted to know what their opinions were of both parties. I wanted to find out what each party stood for. I was starting from a point of absolute ignorance. In Ireland at that time there were 4 parties of any significance, and then of course there was the Green Party. However, I didn't really know what any of them actually stood for, if anything at all. Or, what they pretended to stand for. In America it was, and still is, just two parties - I know, there are others but really they don't count for anything. 

In my previous blog I said that I came down on the side of empathy - but that is not actually a political party; it should be. I was then swayed one way and then another, by the people around me whose leanings I knew and whose attitude and beliefs I did, or did not agree with; in fact some I strongly disagreed with. I settled for democrat because I had enough time to observe that the alternative did not display empathy for anyone but fat, rich, white men. I am a little bit fat and a whiteish pink color but neither rich nor male. Plus I am cursed with more than my fair share of compassion. My heart breaks for everyone. I know it is a curse because when I was in therapy, a long time ago, my therapist told me that one of my problems was too much compassion! I didn't realize that was a thing.

When my mother in law used to live with us, I refused to watch the news with her and my husband. They were, and still would be if she were alive, on different sides of the political aisle. Both stubborn, with strongly held views. The news was a catalyst for some very unpleasant interchanges; I preferred to not be involved. Now, the news is all I watch. And I probably shouldn't. I know that journalists make a living by reporting the big story, and when there is no big story, they report small stories with a 'big' slant. That is their job. It scares the shit out of me. But I don't need journalists to do that. America of today is doing a great job of it. I was so relieved when Trump lost the election. I knew the white supremists who had crawled out from under their rocks and slithered out of their swamps, would still remain vocal and dangerous but I had high hopes that wrongs would be put right. I believed that America would return to the civilized country I had been so happy to adopt.

I see it continuing to deteriorate.  It looks like we, that is anyone who is not a fat, white, rich man (FWRM), will be chaining ourselves to railings soon, fighting for the right to vote, the right to live, the right to drive while black, the right to choose. No one explained to democrats that the only way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them and, if necessary, punch them hard where it hurts. And the problem is that those FWRM have a following of fools who can't see that there is absolutely nothing in it for them, other than the fact that they do not have to hide their craziness, they are just tools. They are like a virus, once you release them you can't reverse the damage. They are out there and continue to mutate. In the past two days I saw two news reports that horrified me. A Q follower murdered his own two toddlers because he thought they would become monsters (like him?) and a school in Atlanta that has implemented segregation!!

The US is retreating into the dark ages and that was not what I came here for.

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