I woke up to feelings of despair and disillusionment. I’m slow; I’ve lived my whole life with this idea that we live in a nation of laws, and I’ve been comfortable with the idea that I’ve been treated fairly by them. I’ve been able to face the fact that not everything goes my way with an appreciation of the fact that we have to accommodate hundreds of millions of different points of view. So Ronald Reagan got elected, I was horrified and knew he was a disaster for the country, but I could at least feel that he got there through a fair and equitable democratic process, and that we could work within the system to curb Republican excesses (and obviously, that it was just for them to work through the system to curb what they considered Democratic excesses). Rule of law. Checks and balances. Democracy. Everyone working together, sometimes in opposition, sometimes in concert. What a beautiful…fantasy.
It felt like something snapped in my head overnight, and the whole fabric of lies tumbled down. I don’t believe any of that any more. I can’t. The whole concept is at war with a deeper value, the importance of evidence and reason, and the evidence is all saying “No!”
The first cracks appeared with the appointment of George W. Bush to the presidency by the Supreme Court. That was not fair. We can’t pretend the court is impartial anymore — it’s been warped strongly by ideologues serving political factions (and the historians will tell me that’s always been the case, I’m just saying I can’t ignore it anymore), and has been shaped specifically by one side to favor archaic conservative views that do not reflect the will of the people at all. It has become a tool to strip power from the people and hand it over to the wealthy, and it’s in the process of being made worse.
Congress has become an object of contempt. Everyone expects it to be the domain of self-serving nincompoops, where incompetence is the rule, and our representatives now work only in the all-consuming process of raising obscene amounts of money for their re-election campaigns, and most of that money comes from rich special interest groups who will obligingly write legislation for their pet figureheads. Both parties do it, but the Republicans have taken venality to a new high, and have prospered for it.
And then, there’s the executive branch. You can’t witness the elevation of Donald Trump, a shambling, lying, illiterate boob of a man, and not lose all faith in representative democracy. He won by the favor of the electoral college, not the popular vote, and do you all remember the defenses of that at the time? It’s a relic from 200+ years ago, but it’s important that we abide by the rule of law (not that there’s been any significant effort to change obsolete laws since). We were fed pious declarations that the college was there to halt at the last minute any errors that would have put a manifestly incompetent person in charge. I don’t think that worked at all.
The system is broken. Totally broken. And it’s getting worse.
The Kavanaugh nomination is simply the last straw. Here is a man whose only qualifications are that far-right fanatics have selected him as representative of their views, and congress has rushed him through a meaningless process, hiding his record from critics, and even as it’s revealed that he was a selfish, uncaring thug, a blackout drunk who assaulted women, it has become apparent that none of it matters, that he’s going to be approved along party lines. The whole review process is a sham.
It’s not just the head that has rotted. The system is corrupt at every level. Your school boards are packed with religious bigots who hate science, and are doing their damnedest to wreck education. You want to know how to get such awful people elected to the highest positions in the land? Make sure the electorate is ignorant. Poison their minds at the earliest age.
And don’t get me started on the police. Does anyone trust Officer Friendly? That was a lie we were indoctrinated with as children, but now it’s clear that Officer Friendly was attending KKK rallies in their spare time, and that now they’ll bust into your apartment and murder you, and that they conveniently carry around toy guns to drop on the bodies of the children they kill so they can claim self-defense. The one thing you can trust is that when you are murdered by a cop, they will thoroughly dig into your background to find a post-hoc justification for the execution.
I don’t think it’s just Monday. I think I failed life when I didn’t raise the black flag and riot against the goddamn rotten system in oh, about 1980, and 2018 is way too late.
So now what? I don’t know.