Grief & Worry
Last night after dinner I retreated to my bed to finish up a book I was reading. I was at 90% done and was making my way towards the end. I spent a good hour or so curled up in bed, quietly reading as the early autumn sun retreated for the evening. Eventually I got up, took a shower, and then made my way downstairs to my phone, thinking I would casually check a few things before getting Forest ready for bed.
I saw a text from my mom, the tear emoji, and swiped to see what was tied to the rest of it. What was tied to it was the news of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing. The first words out of my mouth were “Noooooooo!” and then the utter need to see what the rest of the world had known for about 30 minutes already. Next the gut punch I felt on the morning of November 9th came roaring back, only this time it felt 100 times worse. I couldn’t stop the tears from falling for a good while and this morning I almost started once again when Chris and I tried to have a conversation about it all after listening to NPR. Forest tried to console me because he didn’t quite know why I was crying over someone I didn’t know personally. It is of course about the grief of losing such a spectacular woman but knowing what a horrible situation that this has put us in with this democracy of ours hanging by a thread.
In January 2017 I wrote about how it was time to pay attention and of course so much has devolved since then. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that if Joe Biden doesn’t win the presidency and/or the Democrats don’t flip the Senate, the country as we know it (knew it) really is gone. Maybe if you are white and middle or upper class you won’t feel it as soon as everyone else, but you will feel it. What is even more stab-you-in-the-heart is knowing that Justice Ginsburg was really carrying far more on her shoulders than an 87 year old should be carrying—and that we were relying on her in that manner.
I’ve had political stickers on my car in years past but this year I wanted a sign. We haven’t put it up yet because Chris wants to make sure one of our animal cams is set up on it because there’s a high likelihood it will be stolen. We are surrounded by folks who like the current office holder. It isn’t so much that I think I will change anyone’s minds, it is to say that I stand for the complete opposite of what they do. A few weeks ago a post went around from Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom called The Consequences of Your Actions. In it she writes about knowing 45 supporters in real life but also the ones she deals with on her social media platform. How she had quietly held them at bay or even catered to their feelings somewhat and she had finally had enough. Because so much of what his supporters represent is rather abhorrent. And even if you want to turn a blind eye to *all of the stuff* because, by god you are a low tax Republican or whatever, you are just as culpable. That ship has sailed, that party is gone and if you want the party back, you as a Republican should actively work to fix your party—unless of course that’s the feature and not a bug, which seems to be the going rate of things since the Tea Party took over. All of this is to say, thankfully I know very few supporters of his in real life and most are down the line adjacent that I don’t interact with very often. And if for some reason we are friends online or in real life and you’ve hidden your support for him, please don’t tell me unless you want to sever a friendship. Because that’s where I’m at right now.
Listen, if you need more information from people who know what they are talking about, where we are headed if we don’t right this teetering ship, you should check out Sarah Kendzior and her book Hiding in Plain Sight. She also hosts a podcast called Gaslit Nation with Andrea Chalupa. They are authoritarian experts and everything I’ve followed from them over the last four years has been right on point.
In 45 days there’s an election.
Vote for Joe Biden.
Do it for Ruth.