This would make a great post in the primary feed, except it wouldn't get read. It would get scanned and then the monkey poo sling-fest would be right back up to full tilt. I might bite someone. Biting has not proven helpful, ever. Dammit.
Summer of 1995, a woman with a disturbingly strong personality told me it was time to get off the fence.
Let's discuss that adverb. Strong personalities aren't good or bad; they just are. Why?! Why can't you use your powers for good?! Now, 'good', is definitely subjective, but we all understand the sentiment.
Summer of 1995, a woman with a disturbingly strong personality and an equally strong personal agenda told me it was time to get off the fence.
I should not have gotten off the fence. It wasn't time to get off the fence and it ended badly. She's not accountable for that, I am. Granted, she pushed every boundary button I had, but that was her nature. It was in my nature to succumb. No one is excused, but the villain/victim conversation is also, not helpful. This is just an illustrative event.
Sitting on the fence suggests you have to choose or fall off eventually. In truth, I would eventually have decided to go home or ask for a divorce. I wasn't ready. To be fair to Joe, he wasn't ready either. Maybe he would never have been ready, but another couple of months or even years might have given him the time he needed to sort himself out. Might have given me the time I needed to sort myself out. In the end, an attempted reconciliation ended badly and confused everyone.
The choices, go home, or let go, sound black and white. Maybe they are but the world isn't black and white. I have no idea if there was or is a middle ground in the decision to remain married or not married, go home, or not go home. What I do know is those two choices will continue to present as black and white until we manage to redefine 'sitting on the fence'. What if there is no fence?
What if we made that up because living in uncertainty is too uncomfortable to tolerate? What if it's not about uncertainty? It was painfully obvious that while I was very comfortable existing in the state of not here and not there, nobody else was. We pick a side and hold onto that rope until we 'win' or drop dead.
Not here, not there
The world hates a Centrist. We are so polarized that anyone who isn't on our side, is on their side and their side is WRONG. DEAD, BLOODY WRONG. A Centrist hasn't chosen a side, even if they think they have. The country is split, not just between Red and Blue, but also within Red and Blue.
Voters who would never in their lives have considered voting Blue, chose to vote Blue because they could not face the other menu. They may have held their noses as they filled out the ballot, but that was how it had to be. I heard rumbles about breaking from the party, never going back. I heard rumbles that the Red party was changed beyond recognition. Maybe it has. It's not like this is the first time opposing parties have swapped ideals.
Voters who would never in their lives have considered voting Red, voted for Trump because they could not face the other menu. They may have held their noses as they filled out their ballots, but that was how it had to be.
I was a registered Democrat in 1982 when I turned 18. I was married to a registered Republican when I turned 21. We laughed and said we may just as well stay home as we were clearly going to cancel each other out. In 1984, I decided I didn't want any affiliation with my party. This was my first general election and I. was. appalled. In the end, I refused to vote for anyone. I didn't clearly understand the danger of a third party vote until Ross Perot showed up in 1992. If I had, I would not have written in Bill the Cat (oh, yes I did). I might have come earlier to the concept of strategic voting. I don't believe I've ever 'voted my heart' (gag), but I've certainly voted party without a whole lot of thought and in 1984 I voiced my disgust.
I changed my D to an I and then paid a bit more attention. I still swept the lever blue on a pretty regular basis, but I felt a little better about it, as if the choice I made was my own.
I changed my I to a D when I decided I absolutely must vote in the primaries. Bernie Sanders scared the shit out of me. Great ideas, but how the hell are you going to get there, dude? I rolled my eyes at the Hillary hysteria, which also tore a rift in the fabric of the blue party. That's when I remember feeling like we'd truly been split. Nobody said Hillary's hands were clean. OK, a lot of people would hear none of it. I shrugged my shoulders and said, yah, and what about it? Find me a squeaky clean politician. That doesn't mean I was OK with it; it just means I accepted the reality of it the same way I accepted the Iran Contra Scandal. Yah, that's pretty damn fucked up... and. We just don't like it when our dirty panties end up on the Senate floor. And personal gain versus something else? There is always personal gain.
I was mostly bothered by the dishonesty, but that's the idealist in me.
I didn't vote for Hillary because she's a woman; I voted 'anyone but Bernie'. Sometimes that's what it comes down to. Look at all the Jill Stein votes. Jeeze, people.
So, why the hard on for Mr. Sanders? It didn't start out like that. I didn't think he was dangerous. After all, the only way that man gets anything passed is on the tail of someone else's bill. That's fine in the Senate; not so fine on the throne. Therefore, his alarming socialist agenda would be tempered on the floor.
*to be clear, I lean heavily toward socialism, but I'm not blind, I do read, and there's a shit ton of historical evidence that supports the collapse of the national economy following a sharp left turn. Picking up a battleship, turning it in the air and dropping it back in the water is bad business. And personal agendas? You bet.
Mr. Sanders had and still has a following that is just as terrifying as the MAGA hordes. Maybe more so. He rode right up to Iowa on the wave of what looked and felt like an endless sea of positioned supporters. In March of 2020, an ABC poll showed that 15% of his voters would vote for Trump if he didn't land on the ticket. 15% of the progressive party (yah, they are their own) were willing to vote for Trump because - anyone but Biden. Biden is a bad guy. You ridiculous children.
This is why I feel that Bernie is just as dangerous as Trump. He riles his constituents into a mindless frenzy. They will not think beyond their own agenda. They will not compromise and today, the Republican Party is bad and evil no matter what. You can put hard evidence in front of them, but there is no accepting of culpability. Fake news? We never. Also, totally justified throwing that guy under the bus.
The anger, the rage, the selective entitlement, and the inability or unwillingness to do math, or listen, is terrifying. They are the far right.
I would not have voted for Trump, but I would have held my nose and wept.
I am now wholly biased and find it very difficult to listen to or speak to a Progressive. I've decided they're some of the most obnoxious, self-absorbed, stupid people I know. I am deeply disappointed. I want to slap them.
Not helpful, right? But I'm a human with my own set of beliefs and wants and fears and I'm also a white 56 year old woman living in the privileged world of White Corporate America. That doesn't mean I'm not in deep shit. I am, without a doubt, in deep shit. Many of us are in deep shit. My sensibilities have shifted over the years, but I am still what we used to call 'socially liberal and fiscally conservative'. We don't say that anymore, it enrages both sides. I gotta tell you, though, you don't get to a viable Socialist State without Money. Your money, and my money. Oh my god! Not that!
And good luck bringing the 1% to their knees. Marie Antoinette is not giving any of it back but putting her neck on the block isn't so easy as it used to be. I've got an entire 10,000 word rant on the way our economy works. I've got another on why industry leaders make as much money as they do. Will once had fits about the waiters at a white linen restaurants making more money than the waitrons (not my word) at the diner. Why should they be compensated any differently than the others? Really?
You don't like it, don't go to dinner at the School House in Canondale. The food and service are impeccable and the price reflects those two things. The industry standard is a 20% tip. 20% of a $100 meal is $20, right? 20% of a $15 diner meal is $3. I suggested bumping the diner tip up (I do) but that wasn't acceptable. He countered with knocking the restaurant tip down (a lot). What he couldn't, or wouldn't (he's not a stupid man, just positioned) was acknowledge the difference between the restaurant and diner staff. When you pay for a $100 (just pick a number) meal, you are also paying for the service. The difference between the server at the restaurant and server at the diner is exponential. It had better be. That's a good part of what you're paying for.
That's a really easy analogy. Unless it's not, which is the problem we're facing today.
I got a Republican Party willing to starve the no longer working working class in the interest of not bankrupting the nation. Our children and their children will be paying this deficit for the rest of their lives. They will also have forgotten how this happened and they will curse us to the devil.
Why is that a problem? I guess it depends on your world view. I'm not interested in starving the working class. I'm pretty damn livid about it, actually. But I can hear the driving factors.
And we're back to the fence, aren't we?
Not really, but right now I don't see or hear much of anything I like coming from anyone. I want to bitchslap the progressives. This is sad, because I do appreciate the push for the sort of change that matters to me very much. I'm good with Biden because he's a Centrist. I like what I see so far. I don't expect the man or his cabinet to walk on water. As a matter of fact, I expect them to fall flat on their faces over and over again.
But this is the bottom line: I do expect them to get up off the floor, dust themselves off, and carry on.
This is a phrase attached to the Millennials, I think:
Everything All The Time
But do all Millennials live in that box? Might there be a fair number of others in there with them?
I Hate Everyone
The world hates a Centrist, especially now. Up until recently, I haven't noticed Centrists hating right back. Centrists aren't sitting on a fence either. Centrists are standing in the aisle.
I'm disgusted. Not because I'm covered in more monkey poo than I've ever seen (whatever). I'm disgusted that them that will have what they want, will have it at any cost. And we should all know how that works out. You would think.