A dear friend has a brother with Down Syndrome. This year, he voted for the first time, and he couldn't have been more excited to push a button for Hillary Clinton. After Clinton lost, my friend, his sister, asked him how he was feeling. He said, "We're having meatloaf for dinner tonight."
Goddamn, I want to have that response.
I've gotta be honest here, and feel free to call me a "pussy" or whatever you need, but very early last Wednesday morning, around 1 a.m., when I knew that it was really, truly over (although we all pretty much knew by 11 p.m.), something broke in me, to the point that I don't know how to react. In case you haven't noticed, the last week around this joint, it's been pretty messy and morose.
I have barely been able to watch any of the complicit news networks as they recalibrate to the reality of a Donald Trump presidency. And when I do, I hear things, as I did on Saturday, like a Trump supporter on a CNN panel decrying the protests because they are chanting and marching about "old news." That's right. The campaign wasn't 5 days over, but, as far as this sycophantic slug was concerned, it may as well have been years ago. "We need to look to the future," he explained.
So I watch briefly and I get pissed and then I just feel broken again. Hell, it's better than the nausea I get, triggered by Trump's voice. I'm guessing that it comes from the helplessness of the situation, the feeling that we can't change this, along with the feeling that we did this to ourselves. I knew the nation was racist and dumb. I just didn't know how racist and how dumb. Now I do.
I have thought about how ridiculously wrong so many of us had been, we who blog and pontificate and punditize, rudely or cleanly. And I was especially angry at myself for not listening to an especially wise person. That'd be me back in 2008, when I said one reason that I was supporting Barack Obama over Clinton was because "somewhere in some cellar in some Little Rock or DC mansion, there's a machine that's been whirring its gears on low for the last seven years that's getting greased up and ready to kick into full speed once more, and it's aching to chew up Clinton, ready to get sticky with her blood and bones, for once it's really chugging, that fucker needs to be fed, ready to spew once again to willing, slavering media dogs who lap up that anti-Clinton vomit like it's kibble from Walter Cronkite's ass." I knew exactly what would happen. But I let myself think that it wouldn't. And I don't blame Clinton. I blame pretty much everyone except her.
Things are gonna be bad. I believe that with the fervent faith of a crazed minister awaiting the Rapture. A fight is coming. A big fucking fight, possibly the worst in my lifetime, and I've faced down Operation Rescue, angry cops in riot gear at anti-Iraq War protests, and a raging George H.W. Bush supporter. I want to be part of that fight. But if I'm going to be in fighting shape, I gotta tap out for a little while. I gotta get my head straight and my voice and fists ready.
I'm not gonna do that spending the next couple of months writing constantly, "Boy, Donald Trump sure is gonna suck" or "Boy, that cabinet choice sure is gonna dick us all over." Because, really, we don't know how bad it'll be and what he's gonna do until his tiny moisturized, manicured orange hands are holding the reins of power. I know that it's the privilege of whiteness and maleness that allows me to pretend I can ignore the rise of the Trump-tatorship, even for short amount of time. But I want to be the best ally to others that I can be.
So, after over 13 years of almost continuous daily blogging, I'm taking a leave of absence for a while.
I'm not going cold turkey. I will probably post every now and then if something insane happens (although, c'mon, "insane" is relative at this point) or if the mood strikes.
I'll definitely still be on Twitter. And I'll be piping up on Facebook, too.
Also, if someone would like me to write for their publication (c'mon, Guardian, you know you want me), I'll pop up there.
Oh, and as long as I'm pimping myself, I've got what I think is a kick-ass new play, political and feminist as hell, if any professional theatre or group is interested in checking it out. When there are public readings, I'll let you know.
Before checking out and switching to a much lighter political diet, lemme leave you with a few thoughts:
1. I believe that the most patriotic thing that President Obama could do would be to bypass the Senate and appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. The Senate has broken tradition. So should the president.
2. The members of the Electoral College have a constitutional duty to save us from someone like Trump. They would be derelict in that duty if they let him take office.
3. If Clinton had won, the next 4-8 years would have been a nightmare of impeachment hearings and endless investigations, all emails, all the time. So that's one small blessing amid the conflagration.
4. Donald Trump is in this to enrich himself and his family. Whether or not that's what he intended, it's what he will do because it's the only thing he knows how to do: make himself richer on the backs of others.
5. Trump will do everything that he condemned Hillary Clinton for and worse. And Republicans will give him a pass. This will be the most enraging part of the next couple of months.
6. You should give money to organizations like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign, and others. You should make sure you donate to local groups that are helping undocumented immigrants, the homeless, the disempowered all around. And you should subscribe to things like Mother Jones and give money to Talking Points Memo. They are the good guys. They'll need all the support they can get.
That's it. I may come running back here after a short hiatus. It's entirely possible. Addiction is like that. If not, I'll be back by Inauguration Day in 2017, after this shit year has ended. We've got a nation to save but, as they always tell you, you have to put your own oxygen mask on before you can help others do the same.
I need to go wander in the desert for a while. I need to down peyote and go on a spirit journey. I need to wantonly fuck wayward bikers and lonely bartenders and rough waitresses and howl at the moon as we orgasm in the dust. I need to cook an iguana over an open fire.
And then I will come back, righteous rage restored, pieces back together, ready to face down the motherfuckers who would break us all again and again.