Back in the beginning of June, I had gotten a thousand words or so written on a post about the recent spike in transphobia in the United States. I promised that post because I felt fairly confident that I’d have it done in a week or so. So far I’m at around a little under 6,000 words, and it’s no so much an essay as it is a literary amoeba that keeps extending new psuedopodia as new, terrible things happen to feed it. I’m not even clear on what my point is, beyond wanting people to be safe, which feels like it ought to be the bare minimum. At this point the fact that I still haven’t finished it is becoming a problem in my brain, so as odd as it may sound, I have to remove the deadline if I want to get it done any time soon.

I feel like I’ve been talking about ADHD a fair amount on this blog recently. It’s a predictable result of maintaining a commitment to daily posting, if I want this blog to be more than just recycled content. I only really came to believe I have the disorder in the last couple years, and since medical treatment remains out of reach, I’ve been in the process of trying to figure out how to manage a brain the often refuses to cooperate. One lesson I should have learned a while ago is that I need to stop promising the results of work that isn’t already done.

That post will be up when it’s finished, and unfortunately I see no indication that it will be less relevant in July or August than it was in June. The tragic reality is that without some very uncharacteristic behavior from the leadership of the Democratic Party, it looks like we’re in for a long period of conservative, theocratic, minoritarian rule in the United States. If the implications of that don’t chill you to the bone, then you either haven’t been paying attention, or you’re one of the bad guys. Neither of those are good things.

I’m generally inclined to believe that people are products of our experiences. To me that means that saying someone is “good” or “bad” tends to obscure a more complicated reality. That said, bigotry is similar to violent crime – we can discuss the philosophical implications after the harm has been stopped, and the people inflicting the harm no longer have the power to do so. The important thing right now is defending those who are under attack, and as with oppressive regimes of the past, that may will involve doing things that could make you a target, either of the government, or of the fascist movement that is currently being emboldened.

That’s not an easy call to make. I would never pretend it is, especially seeing as how I up and left the country.

But I think it’s important to understand what seems to be happening, and to think about what that means for us, and for the other people in our lives. A lot of people are justifiably frightened, angry, and grieving right now, all while continuing the never-ending struggle to make ends meet.

To quote my new favorite movie, “The only thing I do know is that we have to be kind. Please, be kind. Especially when we don’t know what’s going on.”


  1. John Morales says

    Being Australian, I almost certainly don’t get the subtleties of the processes in the USA — and yes, the USA is the largest single economy in the world.

    Still, one thing I notice is this 6-3 split. Keeps coming up.

    So: this article from 2020 seems prescient:

    If the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is replaced this year, the Supreme Court will become something the country has not seen since the justices became a dominant force in American cultural life after World War II: a decidedly conservative court.

    A court with a 6-3 conservative majority would be a dramatic shift from the court of recent years, which was more closely divided, with Ginsburg as the leader of the liberal wing of four justices and Chief Justice John Roberts as the frequent swing vote.

    As a scholar of the court and the politics of belief, I see three things likely to change in an era of a conservative majority: The court will accept a broader range of controversial cases for consideration; the court’s interpretation of constitutional rights will shift; and the future of rights in the era of a conservative court may be in the hands of local democracy rather than the Supreme Court.

    In short, my perception as an outsider is that the USA Supreme Court is a political body; its job is clearly to rationalise whatever interpretation of the (rather vague) constitution suits its political leaning.

    (Shorter, even: it’s not an apolitical body, evidently)

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