I started the day with strong coffee and the Republican party’s official stance on transgender people’s human rights:
“[The Federal Government’s] edict to the states concerning restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities is at once illegal, dangerous, and ignores privacy issues. We salute the several states which have filed suit against it.”
“So let me be blunt: if you support the Republican party, if you vote for Trump, you are voting against my right to use restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities. There is no equivocation, no uncertainty, no shades of gray.”
I then proceeded to read through the full platform of the 2016 Republican party. (Head’s up: Unless you are a Trump supporter, do not read on an empty stomach.)
Part of what’s so unbelievably disturbing is that even if HRC wins the election, Trump’s off-the-rails, fascist candidacy (I do not use the word “fascist” lightly) has unleashed and made permissible so much misogyny and racial hatred.
These have never not been there, but now they’ve all but become official party views. Ditto white supremacy and antisemitism, Islamophobia, downright disdain for women, for LGBTQ+ people, for intellect and art, and for the planet itself; rejecting all things fair and just is posited as the only to “keep us safe,” when the biggest threats of all are running the damn show.
This afternoon, I saw a video circulating from the RNC with a woman holding (or attempting to hold) a “No Racism, No Hate” sign inside the convention arena. She was physically harassed and assaulted and people tried to cover her peaceful sign up with the American flag.
The message is clear. In this arena, racism and hate ARE America. “Make America White Again” is the deadline facto slogan of the Trump’s republican party.
A CNN headline asks: “Where Are the Ideas?”
But the question is moot, because ideas have no place here. This party, this platform, this convention — not about ideas, but power. White, male, rich power. Period. That’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us all.
The 40% of Americans who are falling for this must be living in fear of otherness; “danger” and “dangerous” are the leading words in the opening pages of this horrific document. As lovely as it sounds to say there is no “us” and “them,” I truly don’t know if I believe it at this point.
For many years — decades — I’ve had recurring apocalyptic dreams. These days, they seem less and less fantastical.
Last night, I dreamed I had a conversation with a Trump supporter who was willing to listen to and really hear my point of view. There was some promise.
Two nights ago, I dreamed I was clinging to a flagpole high above a giant ship. I was relieved not to be on the ship itself. I felt physically strong and grateful to be outside all day. I wonder if I was clinging to some abandoned ideals, as the flag itself was missing.
Last week, I dreamed I touched a black woman’s hair, only to be wildly apologetic afterwards. White privilege/guilt much? Once she saw the degree of my embarrassment, her edge softened and she totally poked fun at me, touching my wild curls in return.
I asked Mani what she thinks these dreams mean. Her insightful response required little interpretation: “You are WAY over-saturated in news and (social) media.”
No wonder I post so many photos of flowers on Facebook and Instagram! An ongoing effort to calm my nervous system and stay not only close to but deeply inside of my actual life.
Last night, full moon. “Let’s make wishes,” I suggested to Mani. She made hers, and then she chose a card from the beautiful deck she recently gave me as a gift. It showed a woman under a full moon on a summer night. No kidding. So cool. We even marveled at how much it resembled her, before reading the description of its accompanying word in the little booklet that came with the cards. It fit her wish perfectly.
My turn next — a big wish, the kind that seems audacious and you wouldn’t share out loud with anyone but your most intimate, trusted person or people. I slipped a card from the deck. A woman with wings. A woman surrounded by birds. The word on the card: “Listening.”
Listening. Speaking out is not always the way. Ranting? I seriously question its purpose and usefulness, though in this case I decided to do it anyway.
It can so easily slide into spewing, like some awful dinner party where everyone’s talking over and interrupting everyone else; the vitriol is enough to make you physically ill; and it’s all you can do not to throw your napkin to your plate and walk out without so much as a thank you to the hostess.
(Obvious problem with this metaphor: Who the hell is the hostess?
OK. Rant over, with one concluding intention: I am going to make an effort to rant less and listen more for the remainder of this election season, until or unless I have something new or useful to share. But I will not be silent or silenced.