Sunday, June 11, 2017

Just My Opinion, I Suppose

A couple of months into the so-called Trump presidency, there is talk of Trump being mentally ill. I don’t know for sure if he is, but he sure seems to be a carrier.
I agree with the take that he is a distraction, a circus, that holds our attention while the Republican Congress busily removes our rights, stripping away health care for all with an emphasis on controlling women’s bodies, trying to do away with Medicare and Social Security as they now stand, further enriching the already obscenely rich while grinding the poor, the elderly, people of color, native people, non-so-called-Christians, LGBTQ people, the different, the Other, into a smooth brown paste under the soles of wealthy people’s Christian Louboutins. Or whatever they wear now.
I hear people are seeking help for the depression and anxiety brought on by the election of a toxic president. Apparently therapists are feeling depressed and anxious, too, so they and their clients are working it out together.
That made me think about all the screaming and whining back when Obama was elected. A relative of mine posted a graphic picture of Uncle Sam being tortured by electric shocks after the 2008 election. The country, my relative said, was a goner. I think he now believes that Trump and the Republican party will save the country from the disastrous path Obama had it on.
I feel like I have been so naïve. Back in the 1990s when Rush Limbaugh and then Fox News and their ilk came on the scene, I thought they were so ridiculous, so lacking in logic and reason, so unfair and unbalanced, breaking every rule of rational argument, that anyone could see they were full of poop. How could anyone with any intelligence possibly take them seriously?
To my astonishment people whose intelligence I respected swallowed that stuff whole. How? Why?
As Bud Reynolds, Malvina’s husband, used to say, when you’ve been weaned on shit, you’ll swear by it.
Most of us are aware of the hysterical hatred that was expressed toward Obama. That level of hatred was cultivated and harvested with this last election, but no one during the Obama years said, hey, these racist people are suffering from mental illness and they need help, except sometimes when they mowed down black people with assault rifles.
I put it to you that racism, irrational fears and paranoia, behavior that is controlled by someone and something other than your own rational brain and perception, is mental illness. If you have been taught not to believe what you see with your own eyes – for example, that you’re more likely to be killed by a white racist in this country than a Muslim terrorist – or what you hear with your own ears – for example, Donald Trump saying he grabs women by the pussy (“He didn’t mean that”) – then you are cognitively whackadoodle.
Just my opinion.
My mother was a racist, and she wasn’t a liberal closet racist, either. She was a Phyllis Schlafly-reading, conspiracy theory, Goldwater Republican, scream at the civil rights news stories on television racist.
There weren’t many black people in the little farming town where I grew up, but about a third of the population was Hispanic. My mother would mutter about how, “They do this,” and “They do that.”
“What about Reuben and Maria?” I asked her once. “You get along with them.” Reuben was one of my father’s best friends.
“Oh, they’re good ones,” my mother replied.
That is an example of what I consider whackadoodle racist thinking.
I didn’t try to argue my mother out of her prejudice. I knew better. I knew I’d only hear about what a dupe I was of the communists and the Jews, who were at the bottom of everything.
You see, all the blah blah about the threats that we are supposed to be facing are quite familiar to me from ‘way back. The liars don’t even feel the need to write original lies. I read an anti-homosexual article in the 1980s that was a recycled anti-communist article from the 1960s, with “homosexual” plugged in for “communist.”
If you believe that the Republicans and Trump are doing great things and I told you that you are being had, would you believe me?
I do not say anything to my friends who voted for Trump. I figure that, in the words of Tom Lehrer, we will all go together when we go. We and our children and grandchildren will all suffer together the fallout from the actions of the best darn government money can buy. So we may as well start seeing each other as brothers and sisters right now, because we are.
Again, just my opinion, I suppose.

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