Give Up, Give In, or Get Out
It's the Republican mantra, and they're never going to stop.
Trigger warning: I’m about to say out loud what everyone I know is saying out loud.
I’ve written and rewritten this piece multiple times now, trying to describe what’s happening and why. Trying to figure out, for myself, too, how the Republicans keep holding on to power in a country ripped apart and in shreds, mainly due to their deliberate actions to rip us apart.
Over the last couple of days, as I’ve been working on this piece, I’ve found links and quotes and enough evidence to prove my points about the Republicans, those people we finally believe are out to destroy us, because they keep telling us they are—and I’m trashing it all. Every bit of it.
I can’t do this again. It’s no use. I’m tired, I’m angry, I’m in shock, and I’m at the end of my rope. And so are many of you. You don’t need a tutorial on what’s happening and how we got here. You know the story as well as I do. What we need now is a good, honest talk about how we’re feeling. I know how I’m feeling. I’m feeling like this:
These last few years have been harder on us as a nation than anything most of us have ever had to endure. To ignore it is to pretend it isn’t happening.
Can we fix it? Not by ourselves. Not by ranting or even by joining up with others to rant. We’ve tried that. It’s not working. So now what?
I wish I knew. I can’t fix something I can’t possibly understand, and I don’t understand what’s happening here. I watch the anti-vaxxers getting more and more militant—over a simple thing like a life-saving vaccine when hundreds of thousands of Americans are dying of COVID—and I’m scared.
I don’t know how to deal with a thought process so weird, so bizarre, that they truly believe a vaccine mandate is taking away their freedom. Getting COVID takes away their freedom. Being intubated takes away their freedom. DEATH takes away their freedom.
Then there’s the constant specter of Donald Trump. I’ve been fighting against Donald Trump since the day he decided to make a name for himself by broadcasting the lie that Barack Obama wasn’t an American. I’ve written what seems like a million words against that lying, scheming oddball and not a single word has made a single difference. And that’s just me. A nobody.
Think of the thousands of Americans who have taken to protesting against the current Trump/Republican form of authoritarian fascism with words, with actions, and how few of them have ever made an impact. The Republicans are still there, still making trouble
The entire Democratic Party, including our leaders, has turned against the Republicans, and they’re still there, still plotting to take away everything from books to education to public lands to health care to civil and civic rights—including and especially the right to vote.
How it happened doesn’t matter anymore. We’re beyond trying to figure out how an entire party moved to the dark side and no longer feels a connection to a society trying like hell to hold itself together. We’re beyond demanding that they change. They’ve made it clear that they’re not going to help us. To help us would diminish their own power and they’re not about to do that.
We can’t stop them. Not now. Not yet. In fact, even after all they’ve done, we still have to worry that the Republicans will win the midterms and Mitch McConnell will get back in to further twist the Senate into a do-nothing Republican stronghold.
Donald Trump, disgraced, twice impeached, and currently running from the law, is the frontrunner for the Republican Party presidential nominee in 2024. His rallies are calls to overthrow a government that won’t give in to him. His followers treat his every call for disruption and violence as an invitation to a party. They’re more than willing to turn our country over to an unworthy madman whose only goal is to become Grand Omnipotent Dictator.
They are not US.
But how do we go on living side by side with them, knowing that if we don’t join up, they’ll do everything in their power to keep us miserable—to ultimately destroy us? Those thoughts keep me awake at night. I’m astonished that any of us can sleep. Too many of us are living in a country that’s a danger to us now. The Republicans have taken sides and have forced us to do the same. They gaslight us by telling us it’s our fault we can’t all get along. They lie about our motives and our goals, pretending that their brand of evil is the only good. They’re out to destroy lives and reputations and they never look back, never apologize, never promise to do better after the damage is done.
We know we can’t get along with them. Not unless we give in and forget who we are and where our values lie. So far, we’ve managed to stay out of their clutches, but we know they won’t stop. And we’re exhausted.
That’s what they’re counting on. The want us to be shocked and confused and primed to doubt our own beliefs.
They bombard us with outrageous words and images, they condone outright violence, and they won’t stop.
Their movement is growing.
They want it to become normal to see armed, flag-waving militants in the streets and in our shops and on our television screens.
They want us to get used to it, no matter what religion, what nationality, what color we are.
They want us to live in fear and to be wary of everyone.
I’ll never get over 70 million Americans casting their votes for Donald Trump, after a disastrous four years that nearly broke us. There’s no getting around that number. It’s huge. Trump’s movement is huge. And they want him back.
So that’s what we’re up against now. We can either go on fighting against them or we can give in. It’s tempting to just stop thinking about it, but that would be giving in.
I feel the way so many doctors and nurses and medical caregivers are feeling as they watch the spread of a deadly pandemic prolonged by hubris and stupidity: I want to quit, but I can’t. I can sit in fear and sorrow, or I can remember why I fight. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. And I will again.
But first I needed to get this off my chest and I thank you for being here. Now I want to know how you’re feeling. It feels good sometimes to get it out. If it’s all we can do today, let’s do it. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.
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