I Love My City… But…

Okay, that’s probably a lie. My entire life I fantasized about getting the hell out of this town. I imagined myself in a loft, childless, writing and getting paid just enough to make ends meet. My goals were to be anywhere but this city. Then I became a pregnant teen and leaving this city wasn’t going to be in the plans anymore. As a parent and an adult, I see the appeal now. Relatively low crime, depending on where in the city you live. You live close enough to everything. Decent enough schools, especially when it comes to their special needs programs. You didn’t have to pay for trash and still technically don’t if you can manage to fit a week’s worth of trash in those obscenely small bins. (I can barely get away with not having extra in my recycling. Wonder when we’ll get charged for that too.) You get municipal electricity and now fiber, if you’re lucky to live in one of the areas that got it during the ridiculously slow roll out of the program. There were plenty of things to love about this place as an adult.

But I mean, there are plenty of things especially now that annoy me. I’m annoyed that half the time we can’t get out of our driveway because of illegally parked cars that cops just drive by and ignore, despite saying “we know there’s an issue, we just never see it.” I can’t have parking in front of my house because the apartment people hate their parking lot. Our city spends money and we end up facing tax increases because they are incompetent in how they spend their money. I mean, how much money was spent on an auditorium that they aren’t going to use anymore, but yeah let’s give them a raise during a pandemic when people are struggling, but don’t worry the raise won’t take into effect yet. Our teachers are working hard, to get insulted at every turn for how they did things during a pandemic. Who is standing up for them? I certainly don’t see a lot of public officials doing that.

It’s a city that sometimes I wonder if I even want to live in, though I know I’ll stay because it’s familiar and there are/were some benefits to it. But it doesn’t make me happy. Maybe it’s the neighborhood I picked, an affordable part of the Fairview-ish section so my oldest could stay in his current school district and because at the time my youngest would potentially need speech and autism services. So, I picked the same exact school district that my oldest went through because that elementary school is stellar. Many of my neighbors are great and aside from illegally parked cars as the bane of my existence and worrying about people coming over because they have to park halfway down the street to visit me, I like where I am. But I fantasize of something better. I only stay because the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side. That shouldn’t be the only reason I stay here.

I wish that they cared more about the taxpayer and not the rich people that fund their campaigns. But, that’s politicians. They don’t care about the people who voted them there, only the money that got them there. I wish that when a cop car drives by a car parked on a yellow curb that they would stop and do something about it. I wish that I had more encounters with the cops that would make me feel safe/not fly into an anxiety attack about calling them when we can’t leave our driveway because cars are parked on both ends. I wish the teachers got praise for everything that they did this year. I would love the lunch staff to get so much praise for how they’ve stepped up/continue to step up in serving food to the community. Do something to honor them. Not do victory laps because you put up a pride flag during Pride Month or an autism flag for Autism Awareness Day. I’ve always thought mayors were nothing but people who loved photo ops, and I don’t think I’ve been proven wrong yet. Well, at least photo ops at private schools or events for people who support him. I don’t recall seeing our mayor pose for pictures in one of the public schools with students, though I would love to be wrong here. And I’m not counting graduations or one photo op outside of the preschool.

Most importantly, I think I wish that one day I could be proud of this city. Not want to laugh because we make the news for ridiculous things like being the worst Walmart on the planet or because our government officials spend a fortune on something that they won’t even use. Then, they will likely spend even more money for something else to replace it once we forget about our outrage. I don’t want to roll my eyes because we make the news for having an outdated charter that makes it impossible to remove city officials that have no place being in office still. I just want a city that I could be proud of.

The Role We Play Today

Originally I had this blog scheduled for today that I ultimately pulled last minute (which is why I’m late today). As a writer with an audience, I have to be selective about the hills that I want to die on. The original topic was a conversation inspired by an interesting discussion on the local forums about a hypothetical on a school committee member and if it would be acceptable for them to work at a dispensary in the city. This inspired me to discuss my own thoughts on legalizing drugs, which I’m aware is a very controversial stance. But was I passionate enough about the topic to eventually post it? Not passionate enough to potentially argue about it. I believe in my stance, but there are more interesting and important hills to die on, and I didn’t think that was the one.

But in pulling that post, it made me realize that people who have voices play a major role in the world today. An even bigger role in what I would argue has been the slow downfall of humanity. Fear mongering, misinformation, hate, partisanship. Fighting against those things are hills that I would die on over and over again because voices against these things should be enhanced.

There’s a reason why even though there are plenty of political memes that impact me, I don’t share them. Whether I laugh about it or it invokes thought, I leave it. It’s not because I wasn’t entertained. It wasn’t because it inspired me to research the topic and learn more about it, including whether or not it’s a full truth, a half-truth, or a not truth. That’s probably the most important part. Doing your own research rather than getting your news and outrage from memes. I don’t post them because I don’t want to feed into this culture of hate, fear mongering, partisanship, and misinformation. I want people to think for themselves rather than to go off in a world of false outrage. I don’t want to be a part of what’s destroying our culture.

People like Tucker Carlson and Rachel Maddow have made millions upon millions doing that. They make their voices the loudest to get people to blindly follow them without any regard for facts. And the worst part is: People do. People find it easier to just follow than question. They find it easier to just react rather than think. It’s just easier to blindly believe and follow every word of those people that we trust for information. That’s why journalism is nowhere near the prestigious path anymore. Because news organizations don’t care about facts. They know that we trust them for information and they take advantage of that. Whether it’s for profit or to spread their own belief systems like wildfire, we let them take advantage of us with their biased viewpoints. We eat that up with a dessert of cheeky memes that we agree with, sharing it with others to spread whatever propaganda we’re buying into. That’s the role that we play.

It’s time to change the role that we play in this cluster that we’re dealing with right now. Instead of accepting it, fight it. Instead of following blindly, question it. It’s easy to sit back and complain that the world is gone to crap, but it’s another thing to realize the role that we’re playing in this downfall.

When Research Isn’t Enough

I’m a bit of a geek. I like to read about everything. It’s a thing. I get it from my dad. I end up down rabbit holes sometimes and find out I’ve wasted 3 hours of my life because one thing that I researched led me to about 20 different things. I find it helpful to know as much as possible about things because it makes me feel good that I can chime in and show off. Plus, I just like to know things. Knowing things is probably one of the best defenses against the lies that the media and the “media” want to push on you, knowing that most people are only going to research other similarly biased websites. Education is so important.

I understand why people are hesitant about the technology behind the COVID vaccines. They believe that this is rushed science and seem to only read information that backs that. The thing is, even with just a quick Google search you can find studies that go back a bit further than just last year/this year. For instance, this study that was dated back in 2018. I’m not very well-versed in science, but the basis is that they were using new technology for mRNA vaccines that show it could potentially be very effective against viruses. But the research data goes further back than that. This study from 2008 shows the potential of mRNA and how it can be used for vaccines in the future (we’re now in 2021). Another study from 2006 discusses how these can be potentially safer. The point is: this isn’t some new technology scientists pulled out of their butts when COVID hit. This has been extensively studied for a very long time. This was used for vaccines that were tested out for Zika, rabies, and a few other viruses and COVID just happened to be the first thing that they could really apply this technology to successfully.

Another reason why people are hesitant about the shots is because they track the VAERS data. While I’m sure this can be a useful tool, I’m not entirely sure I trust a tool that can be updated by anyone without any real validation of that data. I could say that the vaccine transformed my DNA and turned me into a man with dog ears and a tail and they would have to list that. Then, the alt-right would say “The vaccine turns people Trans” and it would be a whole thing. But, I don’t trust data that hasn’t been verified. I can’t say I even looked at VAERS data just because I don’t want to know if the COVID vaccine will make me stub my toe more.

The fact is that you are responsible for making your own medical decisions. I pay my doctor to keep me alive, so I typically listen to her. If she tells me it’s safe, she’s not someone who likes to mess around and will tell you exactly what she thinks. She thinks I should get it, I get it. I did my research from various science sites that are trusted. I don’t find anything worrisome and in fact, I am excited to see that this technology could be used for cancer vaccines. Can you imagine that?

I get my second Moderna shot on Saturday. As someone who has a very questionable immune system (at best), even an “untested and microchipped” vaccine is better than what would happen to me if I ended up with COVID. I managed to walk away from this pandemic with my sanity intact (primarily because I am a loner anyways), without sacrificing too much despite a loss of income, and managed to not get sick with COVID, the flu, and only had 1 cold. I’ve even decided to follow the Asian traditions of mask wearing during the cold/flu season in the future because I just enjoyed only being sick because of my own body’s failings, not from an illness. I’ve decided to trust the science and I appreciate other’s for finding science that disproves my research and following that. I don’t judge. If they ask my opinion, I give it. If not, I can be happy with my vaccinated self and move on.

People make the beds that they chose to lay on and as long as they can sleep soundly at night, there’s not much else you can do. You can’t hate people because they don’t believe what you do. We’re not supposed to agree on things. Science may be divided by politics, but people don’t have to be.

You Just Need to Step In Line

I never understood the need for stepping in line or blind loyalty. My most treasured friends aren’t the ones who just back me up; they are the ones that question me. They don’t just tell me I’m right because they think that’s what being a good friend is. They tell me the truth because they know that’s what being a friend is. My friends don’t just step in line and nor do I.

That’s what makes this whole thing with Liz Cheney so amazing and appalling to me. Do I agree with her politics? Not usually. Do I think that she should be punished for not bowing down? No. This is freaking America. The land of the “free”. A good politician doesn’t bow down to the president (or former) because of their standing in the party. A good politician questions the things that they don’t support. They are supposed to challenge the president. They are supposed to challenge each other. Politics shouldn’t be about stepping in line and following the “Supreme Leader”… because this is America, not an absolute monarchy or dictatorship. I would have more trust in a politician that questions their party’s leader than I would one that just bows down and kisses the ring.

This is why our country is in such trouble right now. Both sides have their blind loyalists that refuse to see what’s really going on. They don’t care that they are further isolating the Independents, the ones who actually think freely, because those are wild cards. Instead, they decide to focus their efforts on brainwashing the ones that they can into blind loyalty and enjoying that rabid base of followers. It’s been effective so far because no one seems to care that this is going on. They just eat the pebbles of food offered by “their party” and think that they are perfection and the answer to all of our problems. But they’re not the answer. Because they don’t want to be the answer. Being the answer is not quite as profitable.

A point that I keep mentioning is this: they don’t care about you. Why blindly follow a political group that would so quickly sell you out to their donors? That’s why I don’t follow a political party. They just want their cushy no term limits jobs where they can just make a fortune and do nothing all day but bicker about how the other party is the party of obstructionists. And that’s what they get paid for. Not to do their jobs and make the lives of the American people who put their trust them better.

Stop stepping in line. Stop blindly following political parties and politicians that actually don’t care about you. They want the power and money, not to improve your lives. Start fighting for things like making them work for the minimum wage that they want us to work for. Fight for term limits. Hell, I’d say even get rid of the 2-party system. Because what we have right now just isn’t working.

To Pack the Court, or Not to Pack the Court

Normally, I offer a witty anecdote to lure my readers in to care about what I’m writing about. It normally works. Today, I just want to get into the dirty topic of packing the court. This is a concept where one party rams in a bunch of judges “on their team”, a process that ultimately happens when every new president comes into power. Did RBG’s seat get stolen from the Democrats? That’s a loaded question, isn’t it? Now, should they have rushed through a vote as an election was going on when they wouldn’t for President Obama, just because it was “their team”? The answer is absolutely not. Any reasonable person would see that as a hypocritical power grab. But, I would also argue that the Supreme Court is supposed to be the one governmental body that isn’t supposed to have any other side than the Constitution.

So, this topic of now that President Biden is in office we should magically create new seats to pack the court is insane to me. Why? Because if the roles were reversed, the Democrats would be crying at how this is a power grab from the Republicans. Then the other party comes into office, does the same thing, and we are now in a loop of just adding more judges so until we have 1000 Supreme Court justices. Doesn’t anyone else see how ridiculous it is and how both parties should be against this? Packing the courts isn’t the problem; the problem is the lifetime appointments.

There should be term limits for a justice. Maybe they can only serve for 10-20 years. Maybe they only serve 8. There would be no need to pack a court if there is no lifetime appointment. They do their job for a limited amount of time, then fresh perspective and insight gets added in after the term. That’s a logical approach. That’s a reasonable answer to this problem. Times are always changing, so why have a 90 year old judge that can barely think straight make these important decisions that directly impact our lives? Imagine, just imagine, if we truly get impartial judges to serve for their term, and then we just get a new one to replace them. This can be staggered so that there are some veterans on the bench. But, why not avoid the major problems we have no by implementing some type of term limit. (I’m also 100% on the side of having term limits for every politician, in case you’re wondering.)

I’m a big fan of common sense. And court packing isn’t common sense. The logical approach is not to add more judges to the problem, but to fix the underlying cause of the problem: lifetime appointments. That is the wave of the future.

It’s All Fun and Games Until They Come Home Republican

The point of the title is shock factor. That offensive commentary that people will either dismiss without reading, hate read assuming I mean it, or love read because they assume I mean it. The other day, a good friend of mine posted a meme on social media, which said something along the lines of “I don’t care if my kid is gay or trans or whatever. But let them come home Republican…” I laughed. I laughed because I would have laughed even if the other part of the meme replaced “Republican” with “Democrat”. The joys of being a lowly independent in the middle of the bickering.

But at the core of the meme, I don’t agree with the message. Now if my kid came home an alt-righter conspiracy nut that follows Q, I’d have some issues with that. I’d still love the kid, but holy Jesus, would I not be happy about it. But coming home Republican? Just do you, bruh. At the core of my principles is to just let people be. If they aren’t hurting anyone else and following the law, I honestly don’t care. I don’t care who you love and want to marry. I don’t care if you think getting an abortion is the right choice for you. I’m not gay nor would I have an abortion. Just because I don’t feel morally right about having an abortion, that doesn’t mean my beliefs should be pushed onto others. I’m pro others to have that choice. I’m straight, that doesn’t mean everyone else should be. People just gotta live their lives. What consenting adults do in the privacy of their home is their business, not mine.

I don’t care if someone is a Republican as long as they don’t push that belief system on me. I don’t care if someone is a Democrat, as long as they don’t push that belief system on me. I don’t care what religion you are, you can see the pattern here, as long as they don’t push that belief system on me. There’s enough crap going on in the world than worrying about which side of the aisle the other person is on. Though, I would argue that the fact that people take sides of the aisle is at the very core of the problems today. Why does it always have to be an “Us vs. Them” argument?

I remember one time, someone asked me if I was a Democrat or a Republican. I replied, “Neither. I like to think I’m somewhere in the middle.” The person laughed at me, saying it was because I couldn’t make a decision and wanted to stay neutral, as if because I was a woman that I didn’t have my own opinion. I responded back, “No, it’s because I realize that both sides have great points. When you can see things from another perspective, you’ll see the solutions are always somewhere in the middle.” He laughed at me again, completely dismissing my statement. He said that I had to choose a side.

Why do I have to choose a side? Why are there even sides to choose? Why can’t we just be what we are without having to put labels on it, so that people can organize us into pretty little boxes together? I’ve been very vocal about my opinions about abolishing a two-party system. I think that there should be more candidates debating than just the Republican or Democrats. Up until this last election, I’ve never even voted for a major party candidate. (I still don’t regret my choice, yet.) I’ve also consistently pointed out that they like us better divided because without us coming together, the extremes on both sides are better able to control us and how we think.

We could let this stay the way it is. We could continue bickering for no reason because we are the only ones who lose by doing this. America is the only thing that loses.

United States of AMErica: One Nation, Under Oneself

Browsing through social media, a place that has caused me more anger than “real life”, I saw someone say that people don’t wear masks because we live in “AMErica”. I chuckled. It was a bit clever. I enjoyed it. But this idea stuck in my head, for all the wrong reasons. It made sense. It was witty because it was beyond true. We have become a country that is more concerned with our own self-serving purposes than helping our neighbors. It’s about selfies to show off “looked cute, might delete later” for the sole purpose of likes and compliments. It’s about taking a photo of you helping someone, when it was just a photo op without any real kindness or intention to help. Once the camera is off, they go back into their luxury cars proud of their “good deed” plastered all over social media.

Think about this for a minute: What issues have been caused by this “Me First” approach? I’ll go with the obvious one first: the pandemic. “But I don’t want to wear a mask. I’ll get asthma if I do and I searched around 20 different websites before I found the one unscrupulous medical ‘professional’ to prove I’m right! You’re all sheeple that are being controlled by the fear-mongering liberals. Don’t wear masks! Don’t follow guidelines!” Spoiler: I’m no medical expert, but they said the longer that people had this mindset and did whatever they wanted because it’s “Me, me, me”, the longer we stayed in this mess. This “Me First” policy has kept us in this situation where over a half a million people in America died and still following these same guidelines a year later. It just involved people doing something for the greater good to get over this quicker, but freedoms and liberties or something. Whatever. Me First.

In a lesser, but equally important context, the concept of offensiveness. When Dr. Seuss’ estate stopped publishing books that even the author himself said was racist (also key point here: the estate stopped publishing the books not the government), it suddenly became this “I don’t see how this can be offensive.” “I don’t find it offensive at all.” First of all, I didn’t even know those books existed until this happened and I’m willing to bet most of the outraged people didn’t either. Secondly, if an Asian person (like I don’t know, my husband) points out why it’s offensive, I believe him. When your kid is called “chinky” or won’t get played with because he’s “Chinese looking”, I understand why that imagery of Asian people is offensive. When I pointed this out on Facebook to someone who says “I’m not sure why an Asian guy wearing an Asian hat eating with chopsticks” is offensive and people still don’t get it, it’s because they don’t care to get it. Because the fact that it’s offensive to someone else is irrelevant to them. Because it’s “Me First”. They were told to be offended by people being offended and by golly, they are going to be loud and ignorant about it!

I don’t remember it being like this growing up. But now I realize why my heart gets happy when I see something on social media about how someone bought their coffee order for them or paid for their breakfast tab at a restaurant. It’s because at some point, we have become so numb and oblivious of this descent into selfishness and self-serving ideals that these stories of people just being decent-freaking-human beings is hero-worthy these days. These people are being kind, and are rightfully complimented for their anonymous good acts. Hilariously, the biggest people applauding these special moments are the people who seem to be mostly about “Me First”. Do as you say?

The point is, we can be better than this by listening. Maybe instead of just letting someone tell you “cancel culture” (hilarious note: think of all the banned books in predominately Republican states before ranting about cancel culture), maybe take some time to see maybe why someone finds it offensive. Because it matters to them. Even if it seems ridiculous to you, maybe there’s a valid reason that you didn’t consider. Maybe if medical professionals say “wearing a mask would end this thing”, you should just suck it up and wear a mask. Because freedom doesn’t mean that you get to tell everyone else to eff off because you don’t want to be told what to do. Imagine the crappy world we’d live in if that were the… oh.. wait.

The Real Problem is That You’re Shocked

All last week, all we kept hearing about is Ted Cruz went on vacation. Honestly, I was more offended at the amount of people who harped on this for so long. Not because what he did was acceptable for a person on the (partially) tax payer dime, who should be working for the people. But because they were seemingly shocked that he doesn’t care about the people he’s supposed to work for. In fact, I think any time that people are shocked that _____ (insert politician here) didn’t do something with the best interests of the people in mind, I’m shocked that people don’t pay enough attention. Or, they are just complaining for the sake of complaining. I take my normal stance on things like this: I would respect him more for standing his ground and just staying on vacation rather than feigning a sense of duty because people were mean on social media.

This isn’t a point about arguing whether or not Ted Cruz did the right thing or anything about a specific politician. (Though, I mean, fine for your family to go but as a politician, you have a duty to your constituents to at least pretend to care.) The point is that people are somehow shocked that politicians don’t care about them. They care about the people who pay them the most; the corporations and lobby groups. We are nothing to them, unless we are rich donors that have some significant problem that money can easily buy away. That makes me wonder then: are we the problem or are they? I would argue that we are the problem.

Politicians shouldn’t be politicians because they want riches and power; they should have a sense of duty and commitment to their constituents. You know, the people who have voted for them because they believed that they were going to do the right thing. Because they believed that this person was going to help make a positive impact on not just their family, but their community or even society as a whole. Or, they just voted for that letter next to their name, because they are ride or die with whatever group they are associated with regardless of their actual beliefs.

I would argue that we are the problem because as a collective society, we are the ones who keep voting these people into power. We are the ones who care more about political affiliations than principles. We are the ones saying that this behavior is acceptable every time that we ignore things like, I don’t know so I’m pulling this out of nowhere, inciting an insurrection and allowing people to continue to believe a lie just to get votes. We are the ones who ignore their misdeeds because “blue no matter who” or “red or we dead” (I don’t know, there’s got to be some saying for them but I just don’t know it.) We are the ones who do not expect more from our elected officials, at any level really.

I would also argue that at this point, we are too far gone. People have drawn their lines in the sand and don’t care about anything else. As long as those people dig in, certain that there are only 2 belief systems and that it’s us vs. them, we’re screwed. Our only hope is that the future generations learn the lessons from us, that most of the time the answer is somewhere right in the middle. That political extremism and making enemies with people just because their ideals are a little different are the real problems. We need to be more accepting. We need to listen, even when we think we are right. Because, the other person also thinks that they are right. And most of the time the answer is somewhere in the middle.

To Impeach or Not to Impeach: Part 2?

I will admit, I wasn’t entirely a fan of the first impeachment proceedings. Did he do what they said? I argued this point way back when I wrote about the first impeachment. I argued that it didn’t matter if he did; he wouldn’t be convicted because it was a relatively minor offense and the Republicans would never actually convict. I argued that it was a waste of time and tax payer money. No one would take it seriously, especially since up to that point people were calling for his impeachment before he even took his oath. Did I like him and think he should have been elected? No, I thought he was a criminal and at least as questionable as Hilary was, so I believed neither had any business being in office. But, to root for his failure was to root for America to fail and I just couldn’t get behind that idea.

Now, we are coming upon a second impeachment trial. Do I still think it’s a waste of time? In a way, yes. Unless people grow a spine, he’s not going to be convicted. Party before country is the new belief that these politicians have, where they worship their leader and never question anything. I wasn’t raised that way. And I absolutely think he should be convicted this time, whereas last time I wasn’t really sure what to think. Whether or not I believe that he incited the capital riots during that rally, his behaviors leading up to that point were enough to have me sold. Instead of peddling lies, he could have took the loss like a man. Not like my kid who doesn’t want to admit that he ate the last of my Flamin’ Hot Doritos, going with the “deny, deny, deny” approach. I get it; no one wants to admit failure. But at what cost?

In this case, the cost was our potential freedom.

We have an election process in place, one that even his own judges said was valid and not illegitimate. There was no fix or fraud. The only difference is that more people had the ability to vote due to the ability to mail in their ballots. I have skipped “minor” elections as my polling place is 2 miles away from my home because it was too much of a hassle to get there and park where there’s hardly any parking. It just isn’t worth it. I didn’t vote in our mayoral race for that reason. I’m not here to argue about whether or not they should continue allowing it to be easier for people like me to vote. (Spoiler: every legal American has the right to legally vote.)

Had he admitted that he lost and that the election was fair, this entire situation could have been avoided. We wouldn’t have our nation’s capital barricaded like a war zone as the National Guard, FBI, capital police, and local police walking around as if everyone is the enemy looking to take down the core of our democracy. They wouldn’t want to see everything burn. They would just sulk away as those who claimed Hilary was robbed did when Trump was sworn in. Did they complain afterwards? Yes, but I didn’t think they were going to ever try to kill political rivals. They were just whiny people that spent their energy complaining.

But he didn’t. Then, you could potentially argue that his tweets and his rallies after this point only dumped gasoline on this fire. Did his rally prior to the vote certification inspire an insurrection or was it a combination of everything prior to that and then the rally was the final straw? Was this all planned out? I think so. I honestly think so.

But it doesn’t matter. Because facts don’t matter to his dedicated believers, those who look at President Trump as a messiah. It doesn’t matter that the election wasn’t actually fraudulent; they were told it was therefore it was. The Republican senators have a choice to follow suit, keeping their votes safe and secure by staying in line with their messiah whether they are actually believers or not. Or, they could stand up for what’s right. To put the country ahead of the party. And until politicians start putting America first rather than their party, this country will never get better. They are governing for all of us and it’s about time that both parties start remembering that.

When You’re Walking Around a Fantasy World

My plan Tuesday was not to sit around watching the television glued to the senate race in Georgia. Honestly, I figured the Democrats would get one seat and the Republicans would keep the other. Whatever happened, happened. I had no control over the outcome and I learned long ago to not stress too much about the things that I couldn’t control. I have enough to stress about as is. It was what it was.

Tuesday, we decided to try Beyond Beef tacos. Spoiler: not only was I repulsed by it, I ended up covered in hives. It wasn’t fun. I couldn’t sleep, so I stayed up probably until 3 or 4 watching CNN’s election coverage because maybe it’d help me sleep. It didn’t. I was miserable and itchy and the hives burned and I wanted to scratch the hell out of them. I was shocked by what was going on in the election, which was actually helping to distract me. Would they actually win both seats? To me, it wasn’t so much that the Democrats won those races; it was the Republicans who are turning their own base away from them.

As an independent, who probably aligns more with a weird mesh of libertarian/democratic belief system, I get it from both sides. I get people mad at me, screaming about how I’m some socialist liberal when I point out the flawed belief system around Trumpism. When I agree with Republican politicians, I’m called a snowflake sheep Trumper. I’m neither. I seem to be unique in my belief of you can exist somewhere in the middle. At least if you’re a Republican or Democrat, you only really have to deal with the other side ganging up on you.

Back to my story.

Wednesday, exhausted and dealing with continuing sinus issues. I had planned on spending the day watching coverage of the counting of the elector votes. I knew it would be a historic moment and I wanted to be able to talk about it in the future with my youngest or my future grandchildren, mocking the insanity. History was going to unfold right in front of my eyes. They were going to fight about this all day, wasting everyone’s time in futile attempts that were ultimately going to fail. There was no fraud; these objections were purely motivational of people trying to get their last minute brownie points from the Trumpist base for their own future ambitions. When in reality, they should just let the hardcore ideals of Trumpism die with the ending of his presidency. Then what’s left of the shambles of the Grand Ol’ Party could recover their reputation, try to overcome this past, and become better people in the future.

I was right in all the wrong ways. I watched in horror as the events unfolded on my screen. It didn’t seem real. After living through the unreal experience of the pandemic, this still seemed like I was living in a fantasy world. There’s no way, not in America, that this would happen. We grew up being told that America was better than this. We grew up being told that this was a land where we were safe and free. These events make me question these apparent lies we were told. I didn’t feel like it was me sitting on the couch watching reality. It felt like me indulging in my sweet pleasures of trash “unscripted” television, watching an episode of “90 Day Fiancé” where some things are just too ridiculous to be real life. This wasn’t the America I grew up in. This would never have happened in that America. The America that stood together on 9/11. That America that came together during the Boston Marathon bombing. This is an America were there are people refusing to call these people for what they were: terrorists literally attacking our democracy.

This is almost like when you are watching the news when another country has their election and you know they are corrupt. The ones where America goes in with their shiny knight armor to save the day. The heroes of democracy, a role America tries to play every chance they get because they feel their approach to government is the ideal and superior to other countries. We are acting like that country today that needs America to come save. Only it’s us… and apparently we can’t save ourselves.

I kept saying that the division would ruin our country. My blogs reiterated the danger of this division. To watch something unfold that I only thought was possible in my imagination, doesn’t seem real. It’s not right and this is not the America I want my kids to grow up in. It seemed like something even too ridiculous for fiction. But here it was, our current reality.

I was reminded by a dear friend about how I would always right in my early days of my blog about how I taught my oldest to be the change he wanted to see in the world. That the future was his and he can help make it better. These are lessons I’m trying to teach my youngest. They are the future. It’s too late for us now, but it’s not too late for them. We can teach them to be better than we are. Because dammit, our country… our world… deserves better than this.