Hard to Ignore the Elephant These Days

This disastrous, criminal, Executive Branch fiasco is an unavoidable, daily obstacle, like any number of inevitable crises one encounters in adult life. If you’re paying any serious attention to the facts about this felonious, money-laundering, malignant-narcissist grifter who played and won the greatest con of his life, and the killing (pun intended) he’s making off of his government job, you can’t avoid the constant feeling of dread and anguish. It’s not the first time humans have been ruled by a crook or a demagogue, but this is the first full-on coup in the United States.

Other than my Sunday interludes and around a fifty-gross count in tweets, I haven’t written anything since October because of this proverbial elephant in the room that has changed every part of my life and the lives of everyone I know. Now as a vegan and animal lover, I recoil equating the lovely dromedary to the GOP or Trump but the idiom “the elephant in the room” is on-the-trunk accurate. Even if I am not thinking about his collusion with Russia, his daily violations of the Emoluments Clause or his obvious mental illness, the fact that I have thought about it earlier leaves me exhausted every day. I know I am not the only one who wakes in the middle of the night screaming expletives like you’ve acquired Tourette’s in your sleep. I’ve found myself sitting up blurting, “Melon farmer. kumquat!” or something that sounds like that, only to baffle the cat and prevent me from falling back to sleep for two, three, four hours.

The change and the ugliness is real. It started the morning after the election, after putting in a 16-hour day as an Election Judge November 8th. With little sleep, I finally got it together to run the errand I’d planned to do knowing I’d be tired, although I thought happy and relieved. I was third in a left-turn lane at a red light just four blocks from home, listening to Hillary’s beautiful speech. when I glanced in my rearview mirror one second before the light changed so I had to process what I saw behind me as I drove forward and made my turn. A man in a large, black, domestic pick-up truck was giving me the finger, pressing his hand against his windshield so I couldn’t miss it. As I made the turn and proceeded onto the freeway, he tore around me in the most aggressive road rage I’d ever experienced. I knew it was about the election even though I only had one, innocuous window cling sticker that said “AM950,” with no call letters, of my local, liberal radio station (shout out to KTNF! Woot!). And no, I was not inattentive to my driving or proceeding irresponsibly through the light. I was a woman in a car. So it was partly the sticker, partly my gender but mostly it was an emboldened jerk. I realized in that instant the world had changed and not for the better. Not exactly my imagination. Real.

But my intuition that our culture changed actually came earlier that morning because the moment I got out of bed November 9th, I grabbed a razor blade and removed two bumper stickers I’d had on my car since 2012; “Who Rescued [Who],” meaning I support animals and “ZPG, Now More than Ever,” meaning I support “zero population growth.” Neither were blatantly political but I figured I would be seen as a caring, thoughtful women and, therefore, a target. Guess my female intuition was correct.

For the next couple days, I was harassed, stalked and my life was threatened several times to the point I had to include my local police handle in a few tweets that said they were “coming for me” or had a good use for bullets. But I was determined not to be silent, even if I was afraid. I learned the history lesson that those silent regret it.

Friedrich Niemöller was a German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor. He is most know for this quote.

And here we are. History has a history of repeating itself. And those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. So this is what I hope: I hope enough of us are woke, that we have taken a lesson from history and will not allow this takeover to continue much longer. Every day I wonder what is taking Congress so long, even the GOP majority who have to know more than we know and are playing some sort of game of chicken to try to ram as many draconian bills under President Oompa Loompa’s Sharpie-holding paw before they go through the motions of putting country over party for their own self interests. I have to hope the Democrats like Reps. Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff will get enough oxygen on the intelligence gathered by our patriotic Intelligence Agencies to make his removal inevitable.

Some advise to disconnect from the news once in a while but I can’t. I must remain vigil. Psychologists say those who simply browse social media rather than engage are worse off. And I do feel better tweeting. I hope this blog contribution gets me over my writer’s block/grief and back on some new, regular writing schedule.

This is my country. My father fought to save democracy for the world in WWII. I come from two people who overcame unimaginable hardship but you’d never know it. They give me strength. Good will win over evil. And folks, we are in the battle against evil of our lifetime. #Resist

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