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February 2017

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whatever happens

I can put in this journal - which almost no one reads - what I can't put in Facebook.

In 1972, I watched Richard Nixon's landslide victory with both astonishment and utter fury. The boys of my generation were being dragged off to an undeclared war, that bastard promised to end the war, he broke the promise, and he still got re-elected. I just couldn't believe it, and when it finally sunk in, I threw things around the room, ranted, and cried.

Since then, I have had no real emotional stake in a political race. No, I didn't shut myself off. It's just that no one interested me enough to invest any feelings into them. The most interest I've taken was with Obama, but that interested me only intellectually. I like Obama, and I was proud of America for electing a black man to the presidency, proving that we mean what we say about tolerance and inclusion. I also liked his philosophies, but, as I expected, he was able to bring very little of his idealism into practice. The president is, after all, not a tyrant in this country.

This year's election, however, has wrung emotions from me again. Not wrath, although that may yet come, once I'm no longer numb. Mostly I feel astonishment and despair. The America that I was so proud of, eight years ago, has suddenly proven that its ugly, hateful side is much larger than I believed. Now I am ashamed of this country, which is telling me that it is OK with a vulgar, dangerously out-of-control narcissist for our leader. That it's OK to have a former porn queen as First Lady, in the place once filled by the likes of Jackie Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson, Nancy Reagan, and Michele Obama. That it's OK to expect our economic woes to be fixed by a businessman who has survived on inherited wealth, cheating investors, and the protection of high dollar lawyers and the bankruptcy courts.

I just don't get it. I feel like an alien in my own country. No, I feel as if I've been transported to another dimension, through the looking glass, where everything is backwards.

Well, he's in, and it can't be changed. All I can do now is wait for him to either fulfill his promises to fix everything (or rather, fail to do so), and to pray that we somehow manage to avoid national bankruptcy and international nuclear war. Maybe even civil war. After all, roughly half of this country has voted to doom the other half.

Maybe in four years I can look back on this post and say, "Well, it wasn't as bad as all that, was it, Kathy?"

But I'll still feel dirty and ashamed in the country I thought I knew.

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