We hear a lot about how narratives are powerful, that if you want to move someone, tell them a story, that we are creatures of story. As a writer, I’d like to eat all that up. But our culture is rapidly composting story into gossip and substance into insincerity. Journalists claim to “go where the story takes them;” what if that story is of a dangerous hate-spitting buffoon who doesn’t even really want to be president but gets himself elected anyway? Is there no moral obligation to do more than repeat ad nauseum atrocious and odious things he does and says, thereby normalizing them and desensitizing the public to them? Continue reading Can We Please Talk About How We’re Talking About Stuff?
There is a time to be peaceful, a time to let go of arguments and agree to disagree. This is not one of those times. Those of us who care about justice, equality and love more than power, vengeance, winning and getting ahead not only have a right to be outraged; we have a duty to be outraged. Those of us who are Christians not only have a right to be disgusted by claims that God appointed Donald Trump, we have a duty to speak out against such unbiblical falsities. It is not only the right of those of us who have been made much more vulnerable by this election, it is entirely appropriate. Continue reading We Don’t Have To Calm Down
The only response I have to America’s election results last Tuesday is this. Those who are against everything Trump stands for can show it by looking out for all who this election has just made much more vulnerable. On some level, who that is is obvious; these are people whom Trump has specifically targeted – pretty much everyone but straight, cis, wealthy, white men (which, no, is not “just as sexist and racist” as Trump. If I see only white men doing something, it’s not sexist and racist for me to call out white men; it’s speaking the truth. Also, reverse racism is not a thing and reverse sexism is not a thing. It’s the epitome of privilege to demand that the term sexism or racism be applied equally without fighting for actual equality among all). But, really, if we truly mean it when we say “we have to look out for each other,” we need to start paying attention to those who are silenced, endangered or invisibilized when: Continue reading Vulnerability, A Definition in the Trump Era
Picking up where I left off yesterday, these are scary times, and unprecedented ones in our national life. One presidential candidate has narrowly avoided a major investigation. Another candidate is temperamentally unfit for the office of the Presidency and facing his own serious legal proceedings. Their respective vice presidential candidates are, it could be argued, infinitely more qualified than their running mates in terms of character. The news and media make little mention of the other presidential candidates to be found on the ballot (for all this “get out and vote, get out and vote” pressure, I’ve been shamed for even considering voting third-party) and the public, largely, is either too awareness-fatigued, overwhelmed or unskilled at discerning the universe of information to be trusted to do their own research. Continue reading Defeating Trump and Trumpism is Defeating Fear – It Will Take Sincerity, Part 2
I’m taking a break from my new focus on vulnerability to say a few things about the election. I have a really hard time with people encouraging everyone to “get out and vote” without also encouraging people to become informed before they vote. Personally, I’d rather you not vote if you’re not informed. Not voting doesn’t increase the value of some diehard’s vote as much as voting without knowing what you’re doing does. And it does take time. You can’t really just show up at the ballot box and expect that the little blurb on the bill or person or proposition is going to tell you everything you need to know. It took me four hours to fill out my ballot. Here’s some thoughts on the most stressful choice on the ballot this year:
Just like “the most powerful factor determining a company’s performance is the condition of the marketplace in which it operates,” as Joshua Rothman writes, so, too, is the most telling factor determining a president’s or presidential candidate’s effectiveness and reach of that power is the demography in which they operate. Trump isn’t the problem, he’s the latest, most serious symptom. Just like we need people to somehow stay behind and rebuild not racist walls but a system that actually gives a damn about life and doing it well together (with each other and all non-human life that exists both now and in the future), we need people who are going to say no to self-interested power, to megalomaniacal racism, sexism, ableism, to fear-based governing. Continue reading “I Will Leave This Country If…” Part 2
Donald Trump has proved to be an extraordinarily polarizing figure – The UK has a petition to ban him from entry, Canada’s preparing for Trump refugees, Americans are bitterly bickering about politics and more than politics. Some still don’t take him seriously, thinking he’s as unelectable as Bernie Sanders is said to be (these people are just as dangerous as Trumpeters). Others are spending their energy fracturing the Democratic Party with arrogant and irresponsible arguments based more on personal preferences and ideologies than anything else. Millions, including Noam Chomsky, still believe there’s meaningful differences between the parties. But the most interesting debate to me, the one that is the most personal, is the “should I stay or should I go now” fight.
I am horrified. I am deeply embarrassed and ashamed of my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. While I, as a straight woman in a heterosexual union, spent two Fridays ago embracing several co-workers and exchanging rainbow cupcakes around the office in celebration of the civil-rights victory, many others were writing hideously calloused and rote “laments” about “the erosion of morals,” wringing their hands in fear of losing their own religious freedoms and bemoaning the un-democratic process of the Supreme Court. I can’t even begin to address all the sloppy and self-serving exegesis flying around the Internet but there are a few things I think it’s important to say.