Posted by: minnow | October 7, 2018

The Eye of the Storm

I’m told (though having never been in one I must take this information on faith) the eye of a storm is a calm place. From November 9, 2016 until October 5, 2018, I have experienced a rollercoaster of emotions which could not ever have been called calm. One moment I was seething, then depressed, then determined, then crazy, then seething again. Over the last 23 months, I often felt pummeled by massive boulders of despondency or fear or pain. And, after watching the testimony from Ford and Kavanaugh, debating multiple women about the call to blackout profile pictures as a protest against domestic violence, and listening to Susan Collins pledge to vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Friday (October 5), I literally felt sick to my stomach. Then Saturday, October 6, 2018, arrived. In a 50-48 vote (one of the closest in the history of the Supreme Court) the Senate voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, a man whose behavior and verbiage during his testimony on September 27 revealed himself to be temperamentally unfit for a seat on the Supreme Court, never mind the actual assault charge leveled against him. Intellectually, I was prepared for Saturday’s vote. After listening to a series of speeches on Friday from several members of the Senate defending their votes, I was all but certain Kavanaugh would be confirmed.

Toward the beginning of summer, before the public knew anything about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations, I posted the phrase “winter is coming” on my Magnetic Poetry Board. I needed a reminder that the People still had power to change the political landscape so I borrowed the saying from the series, A Game of Thrones, as a personal message of hope. Since the 2016 presidential election, I’ve liked and reposted memes like the one accompanying this post as a way of dealing with the onslaught of racist policies and ugly rhetoric perpetrated by this administration and the Majority in Congress.  I have written numerous personal opinion pieces urging my fellow snowflake, liberal, activists to get involved, to speak up and to VOTE.

The government’s lack of compassion and calculated decisions to ignore the reality of other people’s struggle has only become more apparent the farther away from the election we have come. Those of us who were watching during Obama’s presidency already understood 45 was dangerous. We already knew Mitch McConnell was power hungry and controlling. The surprise was how many others lurked in the shadows. Some of us were stunned that the GOP base merely dug in its heels the uglier and more racist, and more misogynistic 45 revealed himself to be. By mocking a sitting senator and former prisoner of war, ridiculing the parents of a fallen soldier, mimicking a disabled reporter, and bragging about kissing and groping women against their will 45 showed us nothing was off limits–the weak were his to bully and despise. His base ate it up. By praising Putin, kissing up to Kim Jong-un, and defending white supremacists as good people the president revealed his true colors. And, while a few fell away, most doubled down on their support, defending his depravity as telling it like it is, national pride, or draining the swamp.

For some, the Sentate’s slap in the face vote on Saturday will be the final rip of the curtain hiding the true nature of the New GOP. Those who have recently awakened will feel an urgency to wake others. A certain momentum will build over the next month leading into the midterm election. I know because I’ve seen it being proclaimed in memes and status updates. But, I do not know if it will be enough. We are fighting an avalanche of curtailed freedom and discarded protections. The gap between those with money and power and those without has only widened over the past decade. In just one month we will learn if enough of us have woken to the menace threatening our Republic from within as well as from without. The New GOP is hoping we haven’t. Today we are poised in the eye of the storm.

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