Oh, Tender Soul

Hello, future America! This is America from early November 2016. It sure is a poop show.

As I write this, I don’t know who's going to win or how things are going to go. Some folks seem pretty statistically confident that Clinton's going to take it. Then again, I remember thinking it would've been impossible for past presidents to gain power. Multiple times. So who knows? Maybe there's more than is being revealed in polls. Maybe the world will burn. I consider it a toss up. I wake up literally sick with worry about it. If he wins, what ecological catastrophe will accelerate, or more? If she wins, what civil unrest will be visited upon the nation? What manner of hostage situation will we witness for four years?

So, civil society and dignity seems to be in decline, and that's what I wanted to send you a message about, future America. Because you need to stop worrying about what you did wrong. You wring your hands, asking “how did it get this way” or “what part did I play in the unraveling of the fabric of American society?” 

This is what you do. You write long form self-flagellating thinkpieces. You read the opinion pieces about how we brought this on ourselves. You examine your role, as though the factions just have a difference of opinion. But the difference of opinion never quite measures up, does it? You think you should be allowed to live in peace, they wish you could be in jail. You think you should have bodily integrity or privacy, they think you should be in jail. You want to live, they want you in jail.

There’s a fight on. It’s been going on for decades. You wanted to win it by voting, they wanted to end it by changing the rules of who gets to vote. You wanted to gain a majority, while they fantasized about dissolving rule of law. Thirty years ago they called for a culture war to erase you, and they built up a machine over the decades to do nothing but destroy.

But oh, tender soul. Searching for what part you played in the unraveling. Oh sure, there’s lots to despise in any political faction. And that’s how crazy people get you to think they are maybe not crazy, by convincing you that everyone’s crazy, just in different ways. But remember: there are people who committed to this path in the 1970s. They’re in for the long game, and that long game is not just to have their lives the way they like. The fantasy is to eventually imprison, deport, or destroy those who do not match up with their grand plan. So, no, the factions are not equal.

Oh, sweet, tender soul. Searching for your part in the unraveling. They declared war on you thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred and fifty years ago. When you vote, they change the rules. When you win, they pretend you don’t exist.

The only role you played was to exist. Stop pretending you galvanized their abuse. They declared the culture war. The only question is whether you are willing to fight and end the war. Well, and there's the other question... how to do it?