You get the election you deserve

I saw a lot of Facebook posts from women last night saying how much it meant to them to be able to vote for a woman in a presidential race. It’s hard not to feel the history being made there. That’s partly why I hope Bernie Sanders keeps going until at least the Kentucky primary in May. Just once in my life I’d love to vote for a real Democrat, one that FDR and Truman would recognize as being a member of the same party they were in. While Sec. Clinton isn’t my first choice, I’ll not deny that it’d be cool to say someday I was able to vote  for both the first African-American and the first woman President. There are worse reasons to vote for someone. So let me vote for Bernie in May and then I can go back to settling.

It’s kind of funny that to get an actual  Democrat in the Democratic race he had to come in from outside the Party. I find it amusing that we constantly bleat about the wisdom of “The Greatest Generation.” They elected a guy who for all intents and purposes was a social democrat for President.  Four times. Three of them during a World War. Those poor naive people. How did they ever manage to pull it off?  FDR would never survive in the modern Democratic Party. Too much big government.

Meanwhile, the fashionable thing in some circles is to tut-tut over the candidates left in this election. All over America delicate flowers are on their fainting couches with a serious case of the vapors. “Whatsoever shall we do? All of these cretins are so beneath us. Why if that one candidate I especially despise should be elected, I do declare that I may have to leave the country and become an expatriate in a country not too dissimilar to this one because my delicate constitution simply cannot handle the inconvenience of things that are different from what I want.”

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We are not amused

I disagree with the supporters of all the Republican candidates, but I raise a glass to them because at least they believe in something. They’re voting for the evil they want in the world. There’s nothing wishy-washy about them.  I think they’re wrong to the point of toxicity, but at least there’s a there there. On an entirely not-evil level I feel similarly about supporters of Hillary Clinton. We disagree on things, but their support for her is every bit as deep and nuanced as mine is for Bernie Sanders. And she’s getting votes. There’s no denying it. My hat is off.

The people I’m having the most trouble with are the people who are just bitching about the choices they have now. These people aren’t who you want?  Did it ever occur to you to mention to anyone who you did want? Your voice doesn’t matter?  It does if you group your voice with others who think as you do. Oh, I know. You’d have actually have to pay attention to what’s going on in the world. And engage with it. You might even have missed an episode of The Bachelor. This election has been going on since roughly the day after the Earth cooled.  Sorry you were too busy doing whatever it is you fill your days with when your opinion could have made a difference, but it’s a little late now. Suck it up, buttercup.

But let’s play a little game. Who would you want? Who is this magical unicorn who has all the qualities you want? Heck, what qualities do you want? Here’s my guess: you don’t know.  You don’t know what you want. You know how you want to feel. You know you want things to be different. You just don’t understand why they have to change in the process. “Make Things Different! Don’t Change Anythng! Don’t Bother Me!”

It’s fashionable to say the system is broken. The system isn’t broken. It’s the same system it’s always been. It’s working just fine for the top 1%. They’ve put in the effort. You haven’t.  Why should you expect it to work for you? Do you even have any idea what you want?

I saw several people say last night that you aren’t allowed to bitch unless you vote. I think that’s bullshit. If you walk into the voting booth (metaphorically, at least) and wonder how it ever got to such a state, find the closest mirror and take a picture. Then instead of that little “I Voted” sticker replace it with “I’m the problem” sticker.

Democracy is a contact sport. Choose when it matters, or someone else will be happy to choose for you.

Living in a fable

We are living in a fable. There is a Trickster seeking power, but he cannot take it. It has to be willingly given. The Trickster believes in nothing but the Trickster. He knows how to say things people want to hear. He knows how to manipulate people’s fear. He knows how to make people do terrible things and deny any involvement. “Reasonable” and “moderate” people pooh-pooh the Trickster. “He won’t last” they say.  But he does. “This will all catch up with him.”  But it doesn’t. “He’s not really serious.”

But he is.

The Trickster does not make complicated judgements. There are people who help him and there are people who oppose him. There is no third group.  Silence is assent. Silence only aids. Silence is the fertilizer that feeds him in the dark and makes him stronger. The moderate and the reasonable are his allies. Their timidity allows him freedom to feed his lies and distortions to those who eagerly want to hear what he is saying.

The Trickster is not alone in his quest. There are other, less skilled, tricksters seeking the same prize. They covet the Trickster’s followers. They want them very much. They will not get them. They do not understand the Trickster’s appeal. The Trickster has given them the drug of What They Want to Hear. It cannot be unheard.

We choose the dreams we live in. We also choose our own nightmares.

Stopping the Trickster takes no violence. Violence feeds the Trickster every bit as well as silence. Better, even.  Chaos and Confusion are his boon companions. As with any fable there is a simple spell that makes it all go away.  A single word.

“No.”

When the Trickster makes an offer, “no” stops him. The Trickster cannot move beyond “no.”

There’s only one catch, though. It has to be spoken aloud.  So far that has proven to be a very difficult task for many.

“No.” That’s all it takes.

There is still time. But not much. He will tell you you’re wrong to say “no.” That “no” is unfair to him. It is not. It’s why the word exists.

The Trickster cannot take power. It can only be given.

Given by you.

Given by me.

There are people who help him. There are people who oppose him.

There is no other group.

Silence is assent.

Choose your side.

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