THRILLVILLE: Will "the Thrill" Viharo's weird, wild world of Pulp Fiction, B Movies, & the Lounge Lizard Lifestyle.

Monday, November 14, 2016

My Thoughts on the 2016 Election

I am taking this election far more personally and way harder than I thought I would. For the first time in my entire life, I feel the impact of the results directly. This is the first time an election outcome has actually made me cry. Like I've always said, as a straight, white male, I never vote for my own interests, which are protected under the law, and I as one that believes in personal responsibility, I never looked to the Government to solve my problems anyway. I always cast my vote for the sake of the greater good, for those institutionally oppressed by a biased system, in slim hopes that I can help make a difference in their disenfranchised lives.

But all that is changed now. And it's not just because I am probably going to lose my health insurance under this new regime.

Maybe it's partly because I am still reeling from a series of devastating professional setbacks over the past few years that sent me in a downward emotional spiral, and only medication could finally pull me out of it, at least enough to function on a daily basis.

Maybe it's partly because my schizophrenic mother, the most tragic person I ever met, died recently. Even though I never really had the chance to know her due to her illness, that also had a much more profound effect on me than I imagined it could.

Now this.

I've never seen so many people fuck themselves with a "fuck you." Even if it was well deserved to some extent. This felt more like a mass suicide bomb than an election. Or more accurately, as Bill Maher described it before November 8: a right wing coup.

A while ago I made a pledge to avoid politics on my public platforms for the sake of my own serenity and sanity. Live and let live has always been my motto. Even though I vehemently disagree with the political opinions of many in my daily feed, I exercised my option to ignore rather than engage them in pointless debates, focusing on what we had in common instead.

But my peace of mind has been shattered, perhaps irrevocably, and frankly, I resent the intrusion. I can no longer ignore the feeling of despair in the air. Even one of our cats has been hiding in the closet since Election Day. I'm not kidding.

So this is not about politics for me. It's about the environment I have to live in now, one that regularly upsets the careful balance between harmony and discord I've tried so hard to achieve.

I must say I have never been happier my wife and I chose not to procreate, sating our parental instincts with the adoption and care of orphaned animals instead. I don't know how'd I'd explain to our children the willful acceptance and promotion of this man to be leader of the allegedly free world, when he represents everything I cannot stand about this society, and in fact, human nature itself.

My personal disdain for the next president, whose name is now banned in our house, goes back decades. I always thought of him as a capitalistic creep serving his own interests above all others, those interests being the soulless accumulation of excessive wealth and power, as well as the elevation of his own ego. These things do not interest me in the slightest. I didn't watch his TV show or read his book. Even his kids were shameless trophy hunters, bragging about killing animals for sport. I simply could not relate to his celebrity-mongering world view at all. Nothing about him resonated with my own sensibilities, so I successfully ignored him. Until his megalomaniacal presence was forced on my daily consciousness. The man who has always promoted everything I morally oppose in this world now represents our country on the world stage.

This is why I feel so devastated.

As for the case now being made in favor of this man's election and pleas for "patience" and "bipartisanship" - even by former detractors, even after eight years of "birtherism" (which our next president championed for the sake of his own career) and unprecedented Congressional obstructionism of the sitting president's agenda - these only serve in reaffirming my grief for our democracy, because none of them are justified when viewed in the context of balanced social justice and basic human decency.

Point by point:

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM?: Really. Evangelicals went for this guy in droves, overwhelmingly so, allegedly because of their opposition to abortion rights, which the candidate ran on overturning, and just vowed to make good on that promise now that he will be appointing the next Supreme Court justice. But discrimination against gays in the workplace? They're fine with that. Getting rid of restrictions and denying background checks for anyone wishing to possess a lethal firearm designed solely for the purpose or murder? They're fine with that too. Their candidate has been married three times, bragged about grabbing women's genitals and pursuing married women, used foul language in public forums, makes fun of the handicapped, etc. etc. etc. But they're fine with all that too.

Thank God I'm not a Christian. I couldn't live with myself.

They're also just fine with the institutionalized oppression of anyone that not only doesn't share their beliefs - which is in itself un-American - but follows a different faith. "Banning all Muslims" is religious persecution, straight up, no matter how much you want to justify it by the actions of the radical terrorist fringe.

Not that you had any credibility to begin with, but spare me any further morally righteous indignation. You've exposed yourselves as the hateful hypocrites you are. Your vote says more about you than your words. You blew your own cover.

I am sorry, but as someone who cares much more about humanity and compassion than materialism and money, I don't share the shallow, superficial values of your candidate, therefore I cannot endorse nor support his agenda as president.

PATRIOTISM?: Really. So you voted for the guy that claims to know more about ISIS than our own generals. Whose campaign was complicit with Russian intelligence (by their own admission) in the hacking of the DNC's emails to influence the election, which is a far greater threat to national security than anyone's private email server. You voted for the guy that insulted a dead Muslim soldier's father by claiming he also "sacrificed" by becoming a successful businessman, equating financial ambition with military service. You're voting for the first candidate in history that claimed he's only respect the results of the election if he won.

You may love your country, but it's not the same one I live in.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE ECONOMY?: Really. When Obama was elected in 2008, he inherited the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression from a Republican president. Now have the lowest unemployment rate in decades. He single-handedly saved the auto industry (kudos for the gratitude on November 8, Michigan). Obamacare, while flawed due to lack of compromise and support from Republicans, was designed to help millions of working class people have access to proper health insurance and not just get sick and die because they couldn't afford treatment without going bust or bankrupt. I've seem nothing but compassion from this president. I see nothing but bluster and more empty promises from the president-elect. Apparently many are seeing something I'm not, because it just isn't there.

Economic prosperity at the expense of empathy and compassion for the socially marginalized is unacceptable to me, from anyone, under any circumstances. The only thing I need to do at any cost is remain true to myself.

IT'S ABOUT ANTI-ELITISM?: Really. So you vote for the silver-spoon fed, megalomaniacal multi-media circus clown that has never worked an honest day of real work in his entire life but claims empathy for the working class; has a record of not paying his subcontractors; numerous failed businesses and bankruptcies; refuses to release his taxes then bragged about not paying any when confronted red-handed with the evidence, claiming he's "smart" which makes the rest of us "dumb" by comparison; whose entire career has been about promoting self-interests, making money, making more money, becoming a TV celebrity, hanging out with other celebrities, building towers of consumerism with his brand name emblazoned across the top...etc etc etc. So now he's the champion of the working class all of a sudden, because he "understands" their pain, as opposed to the woman that has spent her entire career fighting for the rights of women and workers, regardless of her "ties to Wall Street" - which Obama had as well. And like the other guy never had any dealings with Big Business himself. He IS Big Business. He IS "The Establishment."

He is also an obvious con artist, and millions of suckers just bought into his bullshit, hook, line and sinker. Not me.

Corporations thrive on consumerism. This self righteous moral indignation regarding the 1% doesn't gel when you're contributing to the problem by constantly buying all of their products. What makes you any better than anyone else, even a politician?

IDEOLOGY?: so you made a "protest" vote for a third party candidate, or didn't vote at all due to personal principals or ethics. (Like a Jewish socialist would have fared better against a white nationalist tapping into long simmering, suppressed attitudes of prejudice, bruised pride and petulant pettiness). Now you're protesting in the streets. It's too late. Protests demand change, but elections create them. You need to accept the fact that you threw the rights of millions of your fellow citizens under the bus for the sake of your ideological purity, because if the next Court overturns Roe V. Wade, it doesn't matter if we have President Sanders, Vice President Elizabeth Warren, and socialist Democratic majorities in both Houses. Abortion will not longer be legal, that will be the law of the land for decades, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

No candidate I ever supported completely conformed to my personal standards. And none ever will. I still chose the side most closely aligned with my values and took a stand, rather than just idling on the sidelines watching everyone else actually engaging, not just complaining and cynically making false equivocations to justify apathy and inaction. That helps no one. Not even you.

GUN RIGHTS?: right, because Obama took away everyone's gats as you all feared and overturned the Second Amendment, and...oh, wait. No he didn't. He never even threatened to. Hillary hasn't either. They just want background checks required for anyone wishing to possess a lethal firearm whose sole purpose is to kill, whether humans or animals. If you need a license to operate a car, which can potentially be a dangerous hazard to innocent bystanders, why not for a gun? But whatever. They couldn't even make that happen. But gun lovers still feared Hillary would deny them their precious instruments of death, despite assurances to the contrary. Meanwhile, her opponent promised to appoint justices that would overturn Roe V. Wade. He just doubled down on that promise now that he's been elected, suggesting the issue get kicked back the states, and women who need an abortion, even to save their own lives, can just get one in another state.

What if he said the thing about owning a gun? Essentially repealing the second amendment, reverting it to the states, then suggesting if you want to own a gun, you need to leave your own state to purchase one?

Ask yourself. Honestly. Then you'll know how women feel about their own rights to govern their own bodies. But I doubt you'll care. I really do.

IT'S NOT ABOUT BIGOTRY?: Really. The president-elect rose to political prominence by perpetuating the offensive lie that our current president was not really a citizen, therefore his presidency was illegitimate. Until only recently, he stuck by this stance because it resonated with the base he was courting. His first shot across the bow when announcing his candidacy was to accuse millions of Mexican immigrants of being criminals and rapists, without any statistical evidence whatsoever to back up that claim. He has not publicly rejected or denounced the endorsements of the Klu Klux Klan and every other White Supremacist organization, which means he obviously has no problem with it. He likes anyone that likes him, regardless of whether they're a domestic Nazi or a Russian dictator. He called for the ban of an entire race and religious sect due to isolated terrorist incidents. His brutally heartless anti-immigration stance defies the fact we're all immigrants, including his current wife, much more recently so than most of us, in fact.

Now he's appointed an avowed white nationalist as his chief strategist, and his radically right wing religious VP, who as Governor of Indiana already had one of the most virulently homophobic records in the nation, is planning on overturning all anti-discrimination legislation regarding workplace prejudice against gays implemented by the current administration.

So the president-elect didn't actually "mean" any of the mean things he said on the campaign trail? The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

If you willfully and knowingly support someone who is inciting bigotry with his inflammatory rhetoric and promising to enforce discriminatory policies based on the heritage, faith and skin color (not to mention sexual orientation) of millions of your fellow citizens, including those still striving to become one, maybe you're not a bigot directly. But you're enabling one.

From a practical viewpoint, I'm not seeing the moral difference there.

THIS ISN'T SEXISM?: Really. There were three viable candidates in this election. Bernie, Hillary, and that other guy. Only one of them released her tax returns as a matter of transparency. Only one of them had her party's emails hacked and released. Only one of them was held to double standards regarding their imperfect voting records.

Only one of them was publicly suspected of committing treason by the FBI a week before the election, while upholding its "policy" regarding the ongoing investigations alleged connections to Russian interference on the other side.

Only one got called a "bitch," "cunt," "whore," and other misogynistic slurs at the rallies of both her primary and general election opponents - without emphatic condemnation of these vulgar personal attacks from the candidates themselves.

Only one was widely derided for the "sound of her voice," the way she laughed, and the way she dressed.

And only one of them voted for gun control.

She lost. You tell me why. Face it. You chose a laughably unqualified male over an eminently qualified female. That's a fact that can't be explained away by any logical reasoning.

I am thoroughly disgusted with my own country, and my own species. I just don't see any hope for our peaceful co-existence under these extreme circumstances. None.

I stopped unfriending Trump supporters in my Facebook feed, since it violates my personal policy of open-mindedness. But that policy has never been put to a more test. As I said, this topic transcends petty politics. It's about so, so much more than that, at least per my world view.

Instead, I will just let them unfriend me, if so moved. If you are in any offended by what I just posted, I don't think we have enough in common otherwise to sustain even a superficial friendship, anyway. There are literally dozens of folks lined up to take your slot, anyway, but I've reached my "friends" limit. I could use the extra space.

I don't have time or patience for any more of this shit, or anyone that shovels it.

Peace and aloha. Cheers.