So yes, I am worried, but do I have to constantly be provoked by media outlets front and center (and of course left) flashing the doom and gloom of a coming Trump victory?
Seriously, guys, you’re killing me with the headlines that don’t seem to let up. “How Trump could win Pennsylvania”; “How Trump could win the Election”. It doesn’t seem to stop. Are the Russians now in charge of the New Yorker? Because people, we need to talk, since even the most fervent Biden/Harris supporters are susceptible to depression, despair and dread — not only in dread of despotism but of defeat which some of us feel every day.
So, then to follow op on these headlines, we seem to inch our way out of that dread to hear the desperate pleas of a campaign you gave to just five minutes ago. The campaign is wanting more money just five minutes later, something that seems totally geared to make any of us feel unappreciated and like we are making no impact at all. Wow Trump is raising lots of money, is that supposed to be a surprise to anyone? Is the money spending the only thing we have to focus on? Or is it the messaging and not only about the money?
Some people are happy with Trump because they are already rich and could give a you know what about the neighbors in the country who are not. Some people feel he is the hero of Israel because he alone could get some Arab countries to permit travel there. Some people feel that he is king or emperor or messiah. But there are others who…
There are other people who don’t realize he is hurting their livelihoods, and not really paying attention to their welfare even though he says he is. In fact, some people feel Trump has sensed the rejection and neglect many white working-class people have felt. And this would mean that if the Biden-Harris ticket is serious about attracting these votes they have to seriously not only listen but have a convincing agenda for workers, for farmers, etc.
Then the messaging about fascism. Fascism, just saying, is a police state where no difference of opinion is tolerated. People who want to make America great are usually at least imagining America as a democracy. Fascism is defined by Merriam Webster as follows: a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
2: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.
So, then, to take this a step further, we cannot have a democracy where people aren’t free to compare views without authorities damning every source of information unless it heralds always the views of the king, or the President who acts like one. Information has to be given to the people, as about the pandemic so we, the people, can then evaluate the sources of public health care and concerns. You cannot have a democracy without an informed public and you cannot have an informed public when they are not trusted with public health information. And when every public health official, in the case of this pandemic, has taken the virus seriously except they have been poo-pooed (and I’m being kind) by the Administration.
It is hard to have a democracy when parties refuse to work together and when vast numbers of people are saying the other side is a bunch of cannibals and pedophiles. I wish I were hallucinating here. And my hope against hope is that even rich people or people actually looking forward to Armageddon, would give a you know what about the decency and integrity of people enough not to sit by idly and watch so many debased and utterly hated.
As a Jew, I am particularly haunted. I cannot believe that racist tropes are prevailing in so many parts of the country. I do know there is systemic racism and and that there is also terrible resentment of white people by many people of color. I understand many white people have lost their places in the promise of an American dream which was promised so much, without firm or clear or reliable methodology in place. But I say if the dream has been broken let’s fix it or adjust it or make another one that can fit all of us.
I for years have been unaware (and this is not an excuse I realize) of my own white privilege. At the same time, I personally have been not at all focused on the plights of white workers and farmers, who often felt demeaned by the upper crust intellectuals of the Northeast who weren’t looking out there at the mainstream of America. At the same time it can be true that most of us can have a tendency to lose sight of other people and other perspectives, something we may all need paying more attention to.
I want Joe Biden to win and I hope to the goddesses he/they/you can make this happen. Because beneath the fears and the hatred there are human beings here, among us, all of us. We need to listen not only to the hate, but to the messages of fear and vulnerability that lie under much of it. And trust me, I know how hard this can be; I find it plenty difficult to walk this walk. We need so much practice, though I do persist in thinking that the more we hear each other’s stories and back stories, the more we can retreat from the foment of opinions stated with rage and outrage only.
Meanwhile, can you — the New Yorker people and the New York Times people and the Atlantic people and the rest of you, stop predicting a Trump victory please. It’s like a parent constantly warning a kid against stealing and talking about it all the time it’s the only thing the kid can think about. And guess what that kid does as soon as he/she can move about freely, yeah you’re right. They steal. You know, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Meanwhile a second time. I don’t love pleading and I know a pleading stance is not usually seen as that classy. But whatever, right? People, please read up on fascism. Read up on what happens when there is no free press or when there is one and nobody cares. Please. We may need to realize that admitting that there has been systemic racism, is actually in and of itself a beginning and an act of courage, an affirmation of freedom. Think about privilege as a good thing for a moment; we have the privilege of actually evaluating our own emotions and our own actions, and to change course.
And please, media outlets: the psychodramas we are already living are so disturbing. I know you need to sell your product, but do you have to so frequently revert to fear tactics in headlines? I’m hoping not. Alarmism sells, must be a motto in your board rooms. But it also kills our cells, and makes us numb, zombies.
I for one, do not want to stop caring and hoping and getting informed. I don’t want to have to turn off the news, which so many people are doing, for a modicum of wellbeing and sanity. I want you to help our sanity, to help my sanity, not threaten to destroy it. I want you to contribute to the liberation of my capacity to think. Because if you/we stop doing that, well I think you get it, it wouldn’t be so good. We can only have a free press if the consumer is free enough to process the content. Right?