It really shouldn’t be a shock that I’m not particularly thrilled with the outcome of my country’s election. Anybody who’s deep enough into my writing to be reading these words knows damn well how I lean — I’ve never pretended to be politically neutral. As an author, my views on the world are laid plain in my creative work, and that work would suffer if I made it refuse to take a stand on the problems society is facing.
Right now, we’re looking at a single party in control of the White House, the Senate, the House, and likely soon the Supreme Court. That’s gonna play merry hell with the concept of checks and balances. As someone who wants to believe a moderate and cooperative perspective will bring balance and harmony to the chaos, we’re not exactly in a great situation for that to occur anymore. Extreme partisanship has ruined our chances at finding the way ahead.
Most disappointingly, the Trump campaign has come right out and flatly stated they’re planning on rolling back decades of progress that we’ve made towards balancing our society. Removal of LGBTQ protection, crackdowns on immigrants, revoking legal abortion, and withdrawal of affordable health care — the latter of which many of my friends literally need in order not to die. Decades of hard work flushed down the toilet, with no one left in power to stop it. On the surface it’s all in the name of “smaller government,” keeping regulations light — and while I believe small vs. big government is a worthy issue for debate, the fact of the matter is that removing what little shield we have against systematic and direct oppression is not the way forward.
Two things immediately come to mind, when trying to parse what’s happened through a perspective of rational middleground. One good, one bad.
The good news is I believe we’ll survive this. While I’m deeply disappointed in our nation, I can’t say I’m terrified; we survived Nixon and Bush, didn’t we? And both were involved in literal international wars during the nuclear age, the ideal go-to conditions for global omnicide. We’re going to endure setbacks but we’ve endured setbacks before, as a society, and returned strong. And while I can’t pretend to think that the supreme majesty of our creative art alone will spread love and turn the tide — the sixties didn’t end Vietnam through pot and protest songs — I do know that the flame will be kept alive by those who believe in it.
The bad news is more immediate… Trump’s win has rallied the forces of absolute cruelty. Whether he sought their support or not, the KKK supports him, and they’re happily stepping out of the shadows as a result. We’ve already seen street harassment and beatings of immigrants and women on the rise in just two days into the proto-regime, as Trump’s supporters “celebrate” by brutalizing the Other that they loathe with a burning passion. Obviously not everyone that cast their ballots for Trump was a diehard bigot, sitting there grinning and tapping a baseball bat in hand while waiting for the go-signal to start murdering brown people… but those bastards DO exist, and they’re happy campers today. And like it or not, all those who voted for him also indirectly encouraged this wanton violence.
We need to go to work against this chaos — ALL of us, Democrats, Republicans, indies, everyone. This is a matter of basic human dignity. Report incidents, push back against a system that protects offenders, make sure it’s clear we won’t stand for irrational hatred. Speak up and be heard so that the country knows you will not tolerate this. Republicans, we may disagree on specific policy decisions, that’s reasonable in politics… but know this. If you’re also willing to excuse, ignore, or condone violence… if you want to actively ruin another’s life and happiness just because they’re different from you… you lost the right to claim you’re in the right. You lose the right to call yourself an American. Stand against brutality, or stand aside.
Everyone, do not give up. Do not embrace the great beast of the 21st century: apathy. Don’t throw up your hands and say “Well, that’s just how it is, I guess.” Boys will be boys, the Internet is always going to be hell, people are just evil bastards at heart, nothing can be fixed, don’t even try. All those familiar apathetic excuses for the status quo maintain the status quo. Reject apathy in all forms. Work to solve the problem, and be seen solving it.
Dark days ahead, no doubt. While I’m hopeful for the long term, for when the decrepit and fading legacy of hate finally gives way, we need to survive the short term together. Do what you can, do what you must, and I’ll be doing the same. Thank you.
(For folks who read that whole rant and just wanna know when Floating Point 3.5 will be coming, Soon(tm). Outline’s basically done, I just need to get in the right frame of mind to write it. Whether or not this fresh hell has put me into the frame of mind or taken me out of it, I do not know.)