It’s been over 8-months since I’ve posted on The Daily Ration. The reason simply put is lack of time and energy. I started a very demanding job and got married, and just couldn’t find time for anything else. But now, I am sitting in bed, sick and scared, and embarrassed, and I find myself drawn to writing again.
Two days ago our country made a monumental decision. A decision I oppose with every fiber of my being. The United States has been going down a scary path for quiet a long time. We are stuck with a broken two-party system and the options, especially in this election, have never been less appealing. As a woman, I felt it was important to cast my vote for Hillary, but I also felt that the system, our obsessively capitalist ideals, and lack of campaign finance reform (not to mention the ridiculous and nonsensical electoral college, see: Why the Electoral College is the absolute worst, explained) have made a mockery of the word “democracy.”
I am not a patriot. I consider myself a global citizen, and I would never claim America as the best country in the world. I hope for leaders that can shine a light on injustice for us and for our fellow human beings everywhere. I hope for leaders who are educated and thoughtful, and can take criticism gracefully. As an avid traveler, I know how the rest of the world feels about America. We project the idea that everyone wants to be here, that we’re a refuge for all on earth, but the truth is many people, even in the poorest countries in the world, don’t want to be here.
American’s DON’T live the good life. We HAVE a lot of THINGS. We own a lot of expensive items, and we work like dogs for those things. As adults in America, our sole responsibility is to work as hard as we possibly can. To consume as much as we can to give back to the economy. To drain ourselves of energy and passion. To make sure that when we hit retirement age we can take care of ourselves, because we will no longer be valued. In many other countries throughout the world elderly citizens are revered, taken care of, and respected. Why would I want to grow old in a country that doesn’t value old?(See: 7 Cultures That Celebrate Aging And Respect Their Elders)
How about happiness? People want to come to the United States, because they think they will be happier here, but actually the countries that consistently get rated as having the happiest populations are the places that do a great job of taking care of ALL of their citizens, like Denmark and Switzerland. (See:Where are the world’s happiest countries?) Still it seems the people in many other countries (Brazil, Argentina, Italy), where the government has not historically done a great job of taking care of them, find happiness in other places, because they understand that life is not about this capitalist quest for STUFF. It’s about nature, and wonder, and time to enjoy friends and family over a good bottle of wine. Other countries (all E.U. countries) understand the importance of rest and relaxation to make productive work happen, and offer employees a MINIMUM of 4-weeks paid annual leave per year.
Countries like Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, many others understand the importance of keeping women in the workplace, and offer paid maternity leave, flex schedule, and child-care to support those women. And almost all developed nations (See: List) offer some form of government funded (yes, tax funded) health care, for ALL citizens – the Affordable Care Act has unfortunately proven to be a pretty bad compromise for this. (Side note: I had a doctor friend visiting from Israel a few weeks ago. Israel! A place some people consider one of the scariest on earth to live, and he said he would never want to settle here because he wouldn’t want to be a doctor somewhere with a healthcare system as screwed up as ours!)
All of the reasons listed above are issues I thought could at least be addressed under a Clinton administration. I could fight to bring important social changes to our country, and have a chance at winning. I might even have a president who was on my side, who wanted to find a productive way forward.
Instead, I am mortified to be an American. I am heartbroken that we’ve elected this inexperienced, inarticulate, thoughtless, misogynistic, buffoon, who will likely set America back decades in the fight for social justice and equality. Trump has no foreign policy experience, or understanding of any social class other than his own. His “policies” are non-existent and change on a whim, and the truth of the matter is, this was all a joke to him, he never wanted to be president, he’s just a person with narcissistic personality disorder (See: Too Sick To Lead: The Lethal Personality Disorder Of Donald Trump) who wanted to see how far he could take his reality television show fame.
I am scared. The social issues aside, I am worried for our safety. For the safety of my friends who come from all walks of life. I am extremely worried that this man will have his (tiny) hands on our nuclear codes, and that he is aiming to surround himself with “yes” people who could put us in a very precarious international tangle with countries like Russia and North Korea.
And I feel deep sadness, for President Obama who has worked tirelessly for our country, whether he achieved everything he set out to or not. I don’t even want to begin to imagine what Trump’s State of the Unions will sound like. (see: The election is over, but our idiocracy is here to stay) And for Hillary, whether you like her or not, she has been a model of calm and poise under the most difficult circumstances. Hillary has shown us just how tough it still is to be a woman, and reminded us that our fight is not over (see: Let Hillary Be Hillary).
My mother thinks I should be scared to say these things out loud, on the internet, for all to see. She’s worried about surveillance and what might happen. Does that kind of thinking sound like the home of the free and the brave to you? I will continue to exercise my 1st amendment rights here in this space, and invite anyone reading to send items and information they are uncomfortable posting themselves. The Daily Ration will post any informative articles or information that can lead to an end to this mockery and embarrassment.
My husband has grand ideas for how to fight back (peacefully) and I aim, in the near future, to write about our plans here so please stay tuned.
I on the other hand, think of Germany in 1933, I wonder should we get out? Should I stay and fight?