New Year Wishes and a Warning: Stay Vigilant!

New Year Wishes and a Warning: Stay Vigilant!

Donald Trump, co-owner of the Miss Universe Organization, attends a news conference after the 2013 Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas
So here we are approaching the end of 2015. Tomorrow will be a new year. You won’t know it by the news, though, from the rhetoric or from the discourse coming from the right, where strong women – any woman really – is a threat (even, apparently, when they go to the bathroom), and where everybody is trying to diminish white people, and persecute Christians, even though they still make up a majority of Americas population (a neat trick!).

Speaking of women – an angry woman in this case:

That’s the spirit!

And how about angry men? Obama has had to fight the “angry black man” stereotype but it’s okay for white men to be angry, especially rich, low-information entitled men.

We have Donald Trump running amok, misogyny to the right of him and Islamophobia to the left of him, Fox News abetting him, volleying and thundering. There are very few willing to stand up and call him out for behavior that, frankly, does not permit me to think of him any longer as human. He is acting like a rabid dog. He should be kicked to the curb like one.

He left his humanity behind. I doubt he could find it again if he tried. Thousands of Americans have gone along for the ride, surrendering their own in the process. There is a gulf you have to cross to evil, and I do not believe it is two-way. There are not enough mea culpa‘s, not enough apologies in the world, to undo the evil he has already done.

In England, 500,000 people eventually signed the petition to keep him out of the UK. Over there, they recognized a dangerous demagogue when they see one.

He will do more evil if we let him. If he is elected president. So will Ted Cruz, working his own evil in the shadow of Trump. That won’t happen, because we can’t let it happen. But the damage he does won’t go away, mobilizing forces that should never have been mobilized.

Remember: Those people who cheer him will still be there even if he goes away. Still believing what they believe. Still hating. Still fearing. Still wanting to “make America great” by destroying it. By becoming the fascists our “Greatest Generation” defeated.

Though BuzzFeed gives us reason to see that 2015 was not a completely terrible year, there were still terrible things enough to trouble our sleep.

We have seen, all of us, the high cost of being anything but a white male, even in a country increasingly brown, of being anything but Christian in a country increasingly non-Christian. The problem is that so many refuse to see, and turn to Fox News instead, for the endless apologia for white Christian Republicans.

There have been better and worse endings to the year 15. The year 1815 saw the Napoleonic Wars come to an end, and the beginning of an era of peace. A hundred years later, young men were dying by the tens and hundreds of thousands (in a single day) on battlefields from France to Russia, from the Channel Coast to Palestine.

So yes. It could be a lot worse.

Our own 2015 sees no major wars, but the aftermath of two wars begun more than a decade ago remain with us, as many American men and women will celebrate Christmas in Afghanistan, and the dead are still returning from that black hole of armies:

If most of our soldiers have come home from Iraq, some remain to deal with a Bush-era legacy called the Islamic State, bolstering an Iraq that would never have needed bolstering if Bush hadn’t needlessly invaded. Seven years out of office, Bush is still killing Americans.

The year 2016 won’t bring any appreciable change, either here or overseas. Republicans don’t intend any change to take place, unless it is for the worse. Mitch McConnell admitted just a couple weeks ago that Congress will devote itself next year to helping Republicans stay in power:

“What we decide to allocate floor time to in the Senate, to be quite candid with you, is going to be to some extent…dictated by concerns I have about places like New Hampshire and Pennsylvania and Ohio and Wisconsin and Illinois.”

That’s nice Mitch. Ted Cruz would have you believe limiting federal government empowers the people but what it really empowers is corporations. Government is at least beholden to votes; corporations only to a board of directors none of us get to vote for.

Paul Ryan has the same intentions in the House, never you fear. His agenda hasn’t changed from that of John Boehner. Why just yesterday he was proudly announcing – as though for the very first time though it’s well past the fiftieth – the repeal of Obamacare. But this time it’s a Two-For:

Next week, for the first time, Congress will send the president a bill repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood. That bill is called the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, and you can read it here.

Right! The Stealing Your Healthcare and Restoring America’s Freedom to be Bent Over and Sodomized by the Healthcare Industry Act! All the things we DO want and need and we get this. Expect a lot more of the same in 2016. Just warning ya.

This is presumably when they’re not dedicating themselves to enabling rich people to get richer and corporations to have more power and voters less. All the while pretending they’re actually doing something beyond maintaining the status quo.

I get that that’s what conservatism is about – the status quo – but can we at least get the status quo of 2015, and not of 1915? I’d like to have the climate of 1915, before we ruined it, while we still had a chance to save our environment. But that moment is past, like so many other moments are slipping past thanks to Republicans refusing to actually do anything – about anything.

And while we fire a middle school cafeteria worker for feeding a 12-year-old who couldn’t afford lunch, Kenyan Muslims shield Christians, mostly women, told Al-Shabaab terrorists that if they wanted to kill the Christians, they would have to kill them as well. Such humanity and selflessness from people Donald Trump isn’t fit to name. You would be hard pressed to find a group of Trump supporters doing that for anybody who didn’t look like them.

They’d rather shout about setting people on fire and beating them and Seig Heiling like the fascists they are. Making America great again indeed.

New Year is coming with mixed tidings, the good with the bad, with genuine evil in its wake, a Republican wrecking ball aimed right at us, and all we hold dear.

Happy New Year, America. Stay vigilant.

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