I’m terrified. Absolutely terrified.
I’ve been wrestling with these thoughts and emotions for awhile, trying to make sense of it all, but I can’t. There is no sense in it. It feels like America is dying, which hurts me to the core because I love this country, but I can’t even express what I see wrong with the nation between I’ll be met with “if you don’t like it, you can GET OUT!” Since when did pointing out flaws in a system equate to hatred of the system? That’s like a mother hating her child for having a runny nose.
But that’s just part of it; this rabid nationalism disguised as patriotism is scary in so many ways. The very ground veterans walk upon is worshiped, but the man responsible for this new type of American psychosis signs bills taking away their benefits, AND NO ONE CARES. It’s one thing to praise veterans for their brave service, but actually making sure they’re taken care of when they leave the service? That’s far too much to ask for.
Which brings me to my next point: it doesn’t matter anymore what the reality of a situation is – only the public perception of it. As long as people *think* you care about veterans (or insert any topic here, really), it doesn’t matter how you treat them. Tweet about, act the opposite way – the public will only remember the tweet. You’ve heard it before, but this is a post-truth world we live in now.
Public discourse is ruined because facts are meaningless in this world. If you try to convince someone that their candidate doesn’t stand for what they value, showing them how the votes played out doesn’t even help. “Fake news.” If every fact that you don’t like is fake news, are you living in blissful ignorance or self-created hell? Just because data doesn’t support your argument doesn’t make that data incorrect. Of course, we’ve seen this for years with deniers of climate change, but that was only science. As frustrating and horrible as that is, somehow it’s even worse when it pertains to current events. We’re standing in a burning building and half the population has blindfolded themselves and is blocking the exits and plugging their ears while the other half desperately tries to get them to realize the danger.
The Mueller Investigation is not a witch hunt. The goalposts in the case must be attached to goddamn Ferraris, because I have never seen them move so fast. In the last two years the narrative has gone from “Russia had nothing to do with the election” to “okay, Russia tampered with the election, but no one from our administration had anything to do with them” to “okay, some members of our administration met with some Russians but they didn’t cooperate” to “okay, so they made some deals with some Russians but the President didn’t know about it” to “okay fine, the President knew about the meetings and the deals, but that isn’t collusion” and now we’re all the way at “okay, it was collusion, but is collusion really even a crime?” Because that was a lot, I’ll summarize: the narrative has shifted all the way from “Russia didn’t tamper with the election” to “members of the current administration colluded with Russian officials to alter the election, but that might not be illegal.” I’ve practically got whiplash, but somehow that shift is okay with the American public! It’s mind-boggling that we can swallow that pill without a national outcry. What’s next? “Collusion is a crime, and the President did it, but we should all be taken over by Russia anyway so it’s okay??”
It’s all possible because the supporters of the current administration have no interest in facts, reality, or justice. They listen to Faux news tell them that the investigation is a witch hunt, and they don’t care at all that the investigation has already secured five guilty pleas and has indicted 31 individuals and three businesses. Witch hunts don’t find anything. This investigation has found things. Many things, and big things; one person has already served jail time for the charges. But people don’t care what’s happening, they care what they’re hearing, and since they have some sort of news blinders on, they only hear what they want to hear from whom they want to hear it!
It’s a scary thing to see this many people ignore their own best interests and the interests of the country they claim to love so much, and to be completely incapable of doing a thing about it because your own dissenting opinions will be filed away as “fake news.” I will vote, and I will vote for whatever candidate runs against the current administration, not because I’m enthusiastic about that candidate but because SOMETHING has to change. Not that my vote will count for much, since this country is gerrymandered to hell and back, but I have to try.
About voting: I have never felt less confident that my vote will count. If the Russians don’t hack the election and physically change the vote, my vote will be labeled as voter fraud because it isn’t in the best interests of the current administration. Even if my vote counts, it will be diluted in my district with people who will vote the way the administration wants them to, so it won’t matter. I’ll win the popular vote (just like in 2016) but lose the electoral vote, so nothing will change. The GOP has won the popular vote just once in the last seven elections, spanning 26 years. They’ve won the electoral vote in four of those seven elections. At this point, what the people want doesn’t seem to matter, and for that reason gerrymandering needs to end. But it won’t end as long as it benefits the people in power, and that won’t change until it ends, so we’re stuck.
I know I’m young, and I haven’t lived through a lot of history, so maybe some of my more experienced readers can think of a time in their lives, but I can’t remember a time since I’ve been alive that this nation has felt more divided. It’s terrifying, and I haven’t even touched on the amount of control of policy that the NRA has, making being out in public dangerous for huge swathes of Americans.
I have no solutions, only complaints, and I feel like a whiny millennial, but I can’t stay quiet about the problems I see, and it makes me sick that I can’t do anything about it.