Dear President Biden,
It’s a small problem, but it’s one that I don’t think is unique to me (though how it manifests for me might be a tad unusual), which is the problem of not knowing exactly how to efficiently call out the “bad guys” anymore. It comes up every morning when I’m reciting the portion of the loving-kindness meditation for my most difficult person or persons. During the reign of (terror) DJT I mostly just defaulted to tagging him but occasionally substituted Mitch McM or someone of that ilk who was being especially egregious and shitty. I know (and knew) full well that DJT was just a symptom of the much larger, deeper, longer cruelty that is the White supremacist patriarchal tyranny that has dominated American life for centuries, but he was an exceedingly good poster boy for it, so ergo, he was my go-to most difficult person.
Now, though, he’s struggling to be heard (and to be solvent J) while his grasping former-minions mouth their fealty to him. The power shuffle currently going on, however, suggests that he is not and likely never was in control of the GOP puppet monster so I’ve had this awkward time not being sure who to call out or how to characterize the evil forces trying to drag us backwards by our collective hairs.
For a while I said something like:
“all those pushing voter suppression legislation”
“all those pushing racist agendas like voter suppression”
Occasionally it was something like:
“all those lying about vaccine safety”
And sometimes it was something like:
“all those who refuse to deal with climate change (….gun violence, ….poverty, …..houselessness)”
The possibilities are absolutely endless, aren’t they?
This morning I landed on:
“all those promulgating “The Big Lies”
Yesterday it was going to just be:
“all those promulgating “The Big Lie” – singular
but it finally dawned on me this morning that the so called “Big Lie” regarding the election (I won’t elevate it by restating it as though we don’t all know what it is) is just one of the many twisted mega-lies propping up late stage capitalism (and that enabled it in the first place) and so it would be fair, efficient, and less personally draining/stressful to roll all the lies up into “The Big Lies” for my LKM recitation. And yes, I know it won’t do to always take such a shortcut. It would be like trying to help someone deal with their anxiety or depression when all they’re telling me is that everything is anxiety provoking or depressing – it’s impossible to get a handle on solutions or anything constructive when the problem remains one big, undifferentiated ball of yuck. You have to dig in and identify something specific to start to work on if for no other reason than it’s only in the specifics that new (instrumental, as in non-navel gazing) learning can happen.
And still, sometimes it’s liberating to identify a big, overarching name for the yuck (or suck or malign evil….), to be like “hey, there’s a big-ass pattern here and it pertains to being lied to and gaslighted over and over and over again about the most fundamental aspects of our collective ways of being together so it’s time for a big-ass rethink of what the hell is going on.” I think that as long as I keep this reality centered and keep working at articulating it better and doing the work I can do to address it, it’s ok to use the shortcut in my morning LKM recitation. At least that’s what seems reasonable right now – I’ll do my due diligence and watch to see if I get overly glossy and start letting myself slide too fast by what “those promulgating The Big Lies” means and will let you know if I end up needing to revise the phrasing.
May we all be safe to call out The Big Lies.
May we all be willing to face them, call them out, and start the crucial truth and reconciliation process.
May we trust that we are strong enough to take on this work.
May we accept that if we don’t, we are hosed.