My Country, Where Jerks Finish First

canstockphoto10359538Well, here we are – the culmination of waling on each other for the last year and a half. The result of bickering, lying, name-calling, smearing, backstabbing, flip-flopping, and deception – that toxic dump we call politics. I’m not watching, listening to or getting whimsically drunk during the inauguration. Call me naive, but I don’t think jerks should be celebrated. But hooray for the peaceful transition of power.

How long have awful people been winning and when did it become the norm? Day in and day out, I struggle with not being a crap human. But these people, they are not decent or ethical or kind. There’s no moral quandaries that keep them awake at night. Even supporters of this confederacy of dunces have to admit they wouldn’t leave children in their care. They look like they might eat them, but only the choice ones.

This administration won’t even be cognizant of their own shittiness, because they’re surrounded by humans of the same ilk. They will go through their lives sheltered from the consequences of their words and actions. They’ll write autobiographies (by ghost/poorly compensated writers). As they lay dying, under blankets made of extinct animals and unwanted babies, their well-meaning or grievously indebted family members will surround them. We won’t even be able to witness the palpable relief as they expel their last breath. Their funerals will be well-attended. And they will be a pile of ashes or bones before an accurate portrayal in a B-list movie reveals them to be the sad little meat package they were.

canstockphoto20405950Someone proposed that the rise of Trump was aided and abetted by the popularity of the anti-hero in our entertainment.  These thoroughly unlikable characters who are driven by greed, revenge and pettiness have been peppering our culture more and more frequently. I’m a fan of nuance, but there is no nuance in elevating drug dealers and serial killers to hero status. And reality television is a vast cesspool littered with the most unlikable humans you never want to meet, yet that is where our attention turns.

Every day, I try to be mindful, which also means recognizing the moments when I haven’t been – when I was too harsh in tone or quick to anger. We try to console ourselves, we’re only human, tomorrow will be a better day, apologies all around. So I cannot wrap my head around the rewarding of power and money and attention to people who say and do awful things as part of their personal protocol.

I love this country. Some things are easier to embrace than others. Bleeding heart liberals (which are, in my opinion, the best kind of liberals) are often accused of being intolerant of racists and misogynists and the deliberately ignorant. I’m down with that. This whole political season has seemed like upside-down world to anyone who is measured and rational in their thinking, and has even a scintilla of compassion for other humans.

The level of pride being taken in passing on and doubling down on bad information is appalling. The blitheness with which we are told to brush aside insults and slander and crudity is breathtaking. I can’t relate to the conversation anymore.

Today, there will be a lot of dancing on graves, as well as hand-wringing. It is the day I put on my blinders, focus on those things that are important and stop reading anything that involves some idiot’s Tweets.

canstockphoto8508310What I love about my country is that even if an asshole is put in charge, we can still be better people. We can still be better than some jerkoff with a microphone and a wad of cash. We can still focus on the values of compassion and freedom and hope for a better world. That’s the America I will stand for, work for and believe in. And it’s not going to go away just because some billionaires paid to play.

Welcome to the next 4 years. Choose who you want to be, but don’t let a douchebag be the example. Inaugurate yourselves as protectors of each other, of this country, of the planet, and of the future.

47 Comments on “My Country, Where Jerks Finish First

  1. Bravo!! “He” and his band of thieves are going to be under the most intense scrutiny of any president or cabinet ever — of that I am sure. The world is watching and Americans are uniting — determined to uphold the values that made your country great in the first place. The bad guys are in for a rude awakening.

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    • Okay sweetie, I hid in my own house for most of the day yesterday. I did not so much as listen to the radio (I don’t have t.v.). I was so going to wear a black armband, (my form of mourning) but never got around to making one. Now, I’m just going to sign petitions, be kind to the people I run into every day, give money to the causes I believe in and work on myself. I don’t know what else to do. I put up messages of love, empathy, and positiveness on my Instagram account. I try. I hope. I fight (in a nice way). I too am sick of what I’ve been seeing. I guess I’ll just keep up the good fight.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Of course, this wave of conservative demagoguery has been hitting a lot of countries before us – it just seemed like we’d be the last bastion to fall for it. Disappointing, but maybe we can stop crowing about exceptionalism.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I listened to a bit of the BBC coverage of the inauguration last night. The supporters they interviewed sounded sweet people, but the way they expressed their enthusiasm was as if they thought the second coming had well and truly arrived. Deeply troubling.

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        • It was amazing to me how two people can hear that inaugural speech (I read it) and perceive it as an entirely different thing. Having an interest and education in history (specifically Soviet), meant the whole thing gave me the creeps, while others felt optimistic and happy. It’s just bizarre. It explains all the references to 1984 I’ve seen popping up over the last 6 months.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A Day of Mourning.. – RJ's Corner

  3. Love this. So very powerful.

    “…focus on the values of compassion and freedom and hope for a better world.” I strongly support you suggestion to focus on where you want to be, instead of focusing on what you *don’t* want. That only leads to more of the same. Plus it gives attention to someone who does not deserve it.

    Be the change. Right?

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is perhaps where many of us need to switch gears. Instead of always being embattled and against, we can focus on positive goals. But I’m not sure how that will work as we go through deconstruction. We still have to decide who we will be as individuals in the face of it all.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Spot on, Michelle. I’m feeling a call to action when it comes to La Resistance. I know we’re still stunned about how stupid and misled were the people who voted this guy in, but we need to pay attention to everything that has happened and will happen. The blueprint is in place. I love this country, too, and am very fearful of our First Amendment rights. I read a great piece here: http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/11/10/trump-election-autocracy-rules-for-survival/

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been feeling that call ever since last year, when the public discourse took a decidedly ugly turn. Thanks for that link – I do love that people are enunciating ideas of how to move forward. We need to come out of shock and get moving.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Powerful, Michelle, thank you. “Choose who you want to be…Inaugurate yourselves…” Focus and get to work. Be the better ones. Rise up for one another. Show them who we are. Standing with you today, walking by your side, Michelle. 👊🏼👍🏼👏🏼

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you, Michelle, for saying what needs to be said. As our precious democracy fades into a kleptocracy and a jerkocracy, it is up to us to remain steadfast and vigilant. We must call the new administration on every falsehood, every manipulation, and every denial of truth. Love of country demands no less. We must be both civil and persistent for as long as it takes to restore honesty and integrity as fundamental American values. This is our job for the next four years—certainly not eight and, if we do our job well, possibly much less than four. Our job starts today.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well, it was certainly what I needed to say. I’m not sure it really adds well to all the other noise out there. I was thrilled to read that his attacks on the press have energized certain quarters of journalists. Hopefully, we are given good information in order to know what and how to move forward. It’s going to be a long stretch, Donna!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Donna!
      Teehee, “kleptocracy.”
      I also love this idea of “civil and persistent.” I will be reading Dr. Martin Luther King’s writings these next several weeks… I’m inspired by this piece on Brain Pickings: https://www.brainpickings.org/?s=martin+luther+king
      Resistance starts with solidarity and shared purpose. I have read that that has been a weakness of the progressive movement–there is less of unifying theme or purpose compared to the ultra-conservative agenda. Maybe this will be our unifying moment…
      Hugs and wonder woman poses to you both–it starts now. (fist bump emoji)

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Yep. You said it, sister. Not happy, but will resist in my own small ways. That’s who I plan on being, the quiet resistance shining light on this man’s failings, never losing hope that we as a country can regain our balance.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. As my Mom used to say, the truth will come out in the wash. Unfortunately truth is obscured by brash displays of patriotism and allegiance to ego, money and power. I’m personally not as optimistic as you are Michelle. I feel like the divide is too great to heal anymore, it’s a permanent fissure in our country that will continue to grow. But I will continue to live my best life and hope for a miracle.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Optimism is a tricky word. I don’t know that I have it, but I choose to pretend that I do, so that my actions move in a positive direction. If I couldn’t pretend that things will get better, well, that’s a loss of hope. And without hope, none of us would bother trying to make where we are a better place.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Interesting how people who deplore Trump for the things he has said, turn around and say awful things about him and his supporters. Kind of destroys a claim to the moral high ground…

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    • I admit, this is not a thoughtful post. While you have the luxury of pointing out hypocrisy, I am genuinely worried and angry. President Trump is going beyond just words – there are actions and bad choices in the works. So I think we can hold President Trump to a higher standard than me, some middle aged broad writing a stupid little blog. I just know I’m not going to be polite about this and won’t be for the next four years. Just to give you a heads up…

      Liked by 4 people

    • Comments and observations about Trump are based on truth, and verifiable through tweets or videos. The things he says are usually NOT true, or gross exaggerations or based on stereotype. He and his crowd will get called out for things that are not true, vulgar, and based on misogyny, racism, or intolerance of 1st Amendment rights.

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    • It is right and appropriate for the words and behaviors of people in public service to be scrutinized. The scrutiny does not reflect on the character of the observer unless it is unfair or untrue. Michelle’s scrutiny is both fair and true.

      To hold someone accountable, we must focus the conversation on the words and behaviors in question, and recognize the tactic of deflection when we see it. Deflection is an attempt to delay or confuse accountability by those whose words or behaviors are under scutiny.

      Trump is a master deflector, and so are his hires. Let’s not allow it.

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      • Thanks for weighing in, Walt. I’ve been thinking over the last day or so how important it is not to get caught up in the showmanship. It seems like a relatively new phenomenon for politics and I think even journalists are having trouble getting that sorted.
        Using the word “deflector” is useful.
        It all feels like a big ass sleight of hand and it’s too easy to watch the wrong one.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Love your anger — and your compassion. The last is especially beautiful:

    Choose who you want to be, but don’t let a douchebag be the example. Inaugurate yourselves as protectors of each other, of this country, of the planet, and of the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nice that you put your blinders on today, Michelle, you missed violent anti-Trump protestors smashing the windows of businesses, upended trash cans and injuring with cops. But then again, you’ve surely witnessed the ongoing hysteria and violence post election that got them to this stage, so you can imagine for yourself what’s been happening today. It’s disgusting. I hope you and they don’t believe you live in a democracy.

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    • There are dumbasses in every group. I do not advocate violence. I do advocate speaking up. No hysteria – just righteous anger. I did read the news this evening and I also saw that all over this marvelous country there were peaceful protests, so perhaps one needs to widen the lens a bit. I’m not sure how else to respond, because your comment seems like you have an axe to grind – I’m just not sure what it is.
      The U.S. is, as it has always been, a constitutional republic with a representative democracy. Protests aside, the relatively peaceful transition of power took place today.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I appreciate your taking the time to respond and not dismissing my opinions out of hand. But I have to ask, who hasn’t got an axe to grind, Michelle? If you believe that most protestors are peaceful these days I’d say you’re the one who needs to get out of that echo chamber and widen the lens a bit.

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  12. As my little group of meditators sat yesterday, we focused on “harmony” just to see what might arise. I was reminded that dissonance is part of harmony. It requires movement toward resolution.
    In my Pollyanna moments, I wonder if Trump’s rise will galvanize the complacent, the polite, the majority of Middle Children who don’t want to call attention to themselves or get in trouble.
    Other than that, I feel my place to to stay calm so that I can pull my friends off the cliff of despair. I’ve got rope and grappling hooks if needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I missed this comment the first go round, Sandy. So sorry for the delayed response. A month later, it doesn’t feel like much has moved, shifted or been elevated. Still trying to find solid ground. Mostly just tired of it all! Hope you are well.

      Like

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