Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Price of the Ticket

Were we joking when we said we'd expatriate if Trump won? it seemed impossible that he would, and therefore safe--even fun--to imagine pulling up stakes. Phil wanted to go to Costa Rica; I thought Ontario was more within reach. it was a Plan B that made the prospect--however slight--of such a catastrophe more palatable. It helped me sleep at night.

But then the worst thing happened. And very quickly the question of whether to stay or go was answered by the progressive consensus: Stay.  Stay and help to defend against the evil in our midst.

But on a very deep and personal level, I feel so shockingly betrayed and disempowered--robbed is not too strong a word--that I cannot take the first step in what I'm told is a prescribed process for getting through this, which is to "accept that Trump won."

No, I can't accept how he won or that he won or that such an altogether irredeemable reprobate is going to be the President.

The more I learn about his staff picks, the shit he says, and his nefarious lies, the further I get from being able to even imagine getting past Step One.

So, personally and profoundly, he will never be my President. He will only ever be a sex offender and a wildly irresponsible human being who is about to hold more power than anyone else on the planet.

And if that weren't enough to make me want to get the hell out of Dodge, then the fact that I am living in a state in which one out of two people voted for Trump is enough to make me feel deeply suspicious, apprehensive, appalled, and bitterly disappointed in half the population where I live and breathe.

Already, I see a kid walking home from school wearing a big American flag on the front of his shirt. I see big American flags popping up on front lawns. And the sight is as disturbing as the Confederate flag--just slightly less unnerving than a swastika.

Why must I stay?

Shall I wear a safety pin to show that I am not a threat to those for whom the American government and public has become so shamelessly menacing?

It’s a stretch to imagine myself so powerful-- in a country that strips women of clothes, dignity, voice, and power--that I should feel obliged to stay and fight the good fight; as opposed to leaving and thereby save myself from being further beaten down.

It strikes me that perhaps those self-proclaimed progressives who are willing to accept Trump as president-elect, who are optimistic that he might do something good for working people, who are willing to give him a chance to lead, and who are able to overlook the damage he has already done and the evil that continues to hurt people in his name...perhaps THOSE people should stay and play the game.

I can't do any of those things. So perhaps it's time to leave.


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