Dear President Biden,
How are you holding up? I hope you’re able to play with the dogs some, have dinner most nights with Jill, and actually sleep for decent stretches. I know you’ve been at the political game for a long, long time so surely you’ve figured out how to take decent care of yourself, but my goodness do we need you to stay in good shape for the long haul.
Not that you could have possibly missed the memo, but we’re in a world of hurt right now and as I said the other day, crazy, powerful forces have managed to convince a scary-huge chunk of the populous that down is up and up is down. We now have a member of Congress who has advocated that other members of Congress be harmed or killed and the Congressperson’s party doesn’t seem fazed. Indeed, at the state level, the Congressperson’s party is adopting QAnon slogans and is condemning other members of the party for voting to impeach DJT as though their votes of conscience are the most egregious betrayal of the party and Dear Leader imaginable.
It’s not as though I think you or anyone in your administration holds the magic key to unlocking and de-fusing the crazy, but we sure don’t need you collapsing or breaking under the strain.
Magic solutions aside, what do you think can be done to shift us out of this dangerous situation where an awful lot of people truly believe the election was stolen from DJT and that their entire way of life is under siege? I mean, it’s hard because they’re right about part of this. Aside from the toxic fiction about the election having been stolen, in very real way, they’re correct that their way of life is in danger since their way of life has been (and is) predicated on White supremacy, ready/constant access to high capacity weapons of war, and dictating others’ private lives. The adherents of these ways of being got their way for a very, very long time, but those of us who they’re accustomed to oppressing are clearly fed up and we’re done with putting up with their crap, so ergo, their way of life is in danger. And we aren’t backing down.
I know you know that.
And it’s wonderful how you’re stepping up with what’s looking like the most liberal, progressive agenda, maybe ever. I actually love the ‘go big or go home’ attitude you seem to have embraced.
It’s scary though, to have the Dept. of Homeland Security issuing broad warnings about the possibility of attacks by domestic violent extremists and to have the police chief at my work issuing regular “there haven’t been any specific threats against XXX but rest assured we are remaining vigilant” announcements. Maybe this is the inevitable consequence of major power shifts, but it seems really extreme and it’s absolutely unconscionable in the midst of a pandemic and in the even larger global context of imminent catastrophic climate change. It’s like they’re saying: “If I can’t have MY world exactly the way I want it, then flame on.” Really? Do none of those people have children they care about?
As noted above, appeasing them is off the table. Hoping they come around before it’s too late should also be off the table. But what should be on the table? We can’t behave like them and hope to get anywhere other than mutual annihilation. Reasoning with them isn’t a viable option. Appealing to their sense of honor and their oaths of office is clearly a non-starter. So where are the bargaining chips? What do they want and/or need that we could possibly feel ok about giving them? And if there was such a something and we gave it to them, then what? Even if they got some or all of what they want and/or need, would they be willing to behave like reasonable human beings or would they just go in for the kill? I actually don’t think there’s even a question there – it would be the latter.
I hope that you and the people you’ve gathered to work in your administration can start articulating something more concrete and practical than the calls to unity that have been your go to for so long now. Unity is fine and good in theory, but in the current situation it’s sounding more naïve by the day. It would be like telling a wife whose (completely unrepentant, victim blaming) husband just finished beating the crap out of her to hang in and find a way to make it work because unity is everything.
Uhm. No. Just no.
May we be safe as we figure out how to deal with the reality of the current GOP.
May we be willing to stay grounded in this reality and stop with the unity bullshit.
May we find ways to be strong and steadfast as we hew to the high road.
May we set real limits on egregiously bad behavior and the enabling of that behavior.