rise up

I’m going to try an experiment this morning: How long I can hold off checking my Twitter feed to see what crazy thing Trump has obnoxiously tweeted about? The cats woke me up at five-thirty this morning; the clock is running.

This is a new kind of obsession for me. I’ve indulged a few obsessions before: collected around a hundred books about the moon shot and read every one of them at least once (recommendation: the best one is Apollo: Race to the Moon, by Blyford and Cox); collected something like twenty or thirty typewriters (if you want one that’s both pretty and is a pleasure to write with, I feel confident you’d be happy with a 1944 Smith-Corona Sterling); and I’ve got a basement full of toy trains (talk about an obsession no one understands).

But avidly watching a politician as he wrecks diplomacy, courts constitutional crisis, and cheats the people of the nation without the slightest hint of self-restraint is a new one for me. I was mildly interested in depraved politicians before Trump, particularly after the GOP took over the Wisconsin statehouse, but Trump’s administration is a whole new level of depravity.

Or maybe I’ve just been naive. I’m getting the impression that, generally speaking, politicians have always been as awful as they are now. If they weren’t, it seems odd that so many already in office would be so eager to carry Trump’s brackish water. I mean, there appears to be an all but insignificant group who will question Trump’s actions, and an even smaller group who will oppose him (if Kristen Gillibrand runs for president in 2020, I may have to consider volunteering).

Honestly, there’s no “maybe” about it: I’ve been naive to have bought the bullshit line that politicians work in the best interest of the American people, and here I’m talking about all of the American people as a whole, not just the American people who get fired up as a politician’s base, or a politician’s biggest donors, who I will assume are American and people, too, although even that seems to be in question. From where I sit, most politicians appear to be in it for themselves, their party, and the monied interests who back them. If they weren’t, they would ensure their constituents were treated at least as well as they were, would stand on their principles when their party twisted their arms, and would refuse money and favors from “donors.” I don’t know how else anyone could explain the multimillion-dollar donations, the gerrymandering, or the legislation that obviously came down from their monied interests, rather than up from their constituents.

And now we have President Donald Trump, who doesn’t even pretend not to lie (telling a lie and then telling a contradicting lie does not count as pretending not to lie), who unrepentantly breaks the promises he makes, and who openly admits that he’s changing laws to benefit his friends. The members of the GOP rally around Trump because either they genuinely see a politician they like in him, or because they think he’ll let them advance their own agendas. I suspect the majority believe it’s the latter instead of the former. I have no doubt there are plenty of Democrats who have the same thoughts.

If Trump lasts four years, I predict he will be reelected easily. It happened in Wisconsin, it’ll happen in Washington. There was an opposition to our new administration in the first year or so that was comparable to the crowds that have risen to protest Trump. In Wisconsin, the opposition even managed to trigger a recall election, but in the end they didn’t rally behind a single opponent who could carry the day. An opponent to Trump will have to rise very soon and the opposition will have to rally behind her (I’d like it to be a woman, partly because it’s way past time for America to elect a woman to the presidency, but also because I’d like to see a principled, gutsy woman take Trump down) or we’re gonna be stuck with Trump, Trump, Trump for the next eight years.

And that’s my sunny blog post filled with joy and happiness on this beautiful Saturday morning. Stick around to see what I have to say about rainbows and unicorns.

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