Monday, October 10, 2016

What a Time to Be Alive

What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean living in constant state of fear, panic and outrage that an orange-tinged buffoon of a man who represents every horrifying –ism and -phobia that people can perpetrate against each other there might actually assume the Presidency of the United States of America.

What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean feeling exhausted and beat down by this infernal, seemingly endless presidential election. Remember last week, when we learned he had paid no taxes in almost two decades? Doesn’t that seem like forever ago? Things we learn in the morning seem ancient by the evening. They are instantly supplanted by something almost certainly worse. Yet somehow, almost inconceivably, we still have a month of this until we are finally allowed to cast out ballots and end this pain and suffering. Can we vote now, please can we vote now.

What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean being reminded daily that the worst in our natures still simmers so close to the surface. That all it really took was one loud, angry, ignorant man with unfettered access to the media to coax it out into the daylight. To embolden our most hateful tendencies in a group whop sees them as points of pride. Yes, they’re really saying this stuff out loud, without shame. Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, anti-Semites, sexist trolls, plain-old bigots all banding together. Deplorable is not a compliment, people. It never was.

What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean fearing that as a woman all men are talking about you exactly the way this man talks about women when he is alone in a room – or a bus – with other men. To confirm that for men like this women are just sexual objects to be conquered. (Except women who dare to put on a little weight because you’re just pigs and tremendous problems – duh.) Consent doesn’t exist in this world because the female body is just a vessel to receive male desire and power and fame. So what if she’s married, try to fuck her anyway. Oh, and never mind that grabbing a woman by her pussy is sexual assault. No, really, it’s sexual assault.

What a time to be alive. And by alive, I mean working hard and trying to make a better life as an immigrant who has come to this country that promises right at its gateway to take all those huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Yet here is a man who calls you rapists. Who says you only bring drugs and crime. Who promises to build a big, beautiful wall to keep you out. Sure, almost every product this man has slapped his name on in an oversized font was purposely outsourced to workers who lived in a country whose initials weren’t U, S or A. But immigrants who come here seeking the American dream, yeah, they’re the ones stealing our jobs.

What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean trying to survive as a person of color in this country still so rife with institutional racism. Yet being told by this man and the other also white man who agreed happily to run with him that to even bring up the concept of implicit bias is somehow offensive. To hear daily that calling someone a racist is a more grave insult than having to experience actual racism. Yet the face of actual DNA evidence and an overturned convictions, this man will still believe your guilt simply because the color of your skin. But, hey, your lives are already waking hellscapes, right? So what do you have to lose?

What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean worshipping another faith from your neighbors. Imagine, for a second, if a man running for the most powerful position in the world said, because you’re Muslim, you were banned. But don’t imagine because this man said it and meant it. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof – unless you’re a Muslim and then we’ve got to shut you down until we can figure out what’s going on.

What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean falling in love with a person of the same sex and building a life together now that finally, finally our federal government has sanctified our marriages. Yet here is a man who has selected another man who has made refusing to treat LGBT people equally one of the hallmarks of his political career. So then this man, who thinks as a queer American you shouldn’t even be allowed to order a slice of pizza if the pizza provider thinks gay people are gross, would be one heartbeat away from the presidency. Oh, and he also thinks you can pray away the gay with conversion therapy. Get that, queers – we’re not praying hard enough clearly.

What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean lying awake at night and staring into the inky blackness and wondering if this is really who we are. As a nation, are we this man? Where our political discourse becomes a trigger warning. Where our worth is judged by our fuckability. Where our skin color is justification to be stopped and frisked. Where our love is something to be regulated, just like our bodies, just like our faith or lack thereof. How much more can we – as women, as members of the queer community, as human beings just trying to inhabit this planet peacefully – can we be asked to endure?

What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean feeling ecstatic because on Nov. 8 we will end this shameful chapter of American history with an exclamation point. There is one very simple, very clear way to refute everything this man says, does and stands for. And by doing so, we will also give this nation its first female president in its 240-year history.

What a time to be alive, indeed.


Anonymous said...


Helena said...

This is such excellent writing and your message is not only for Americans. I think what is happening in your country should make us all aware of the hatred and bigots in the world and that we can never stop fighting the good fight. Waiting with you in anticipation to see the election of a woman who I believe has the knowledge and abilities to lead your country.

Carmen SanDiego said...

Standing ovation

Jonathan said...

To be frank, I'm not a huge fan of Hillary. However, for all her past mistakes, she's not a rasict, homophobic, short tempered b***ard, and I think she'll be good running this country. She'll definitely run it better than Trump. Then again, so can an orangutan.

Wait, now I'm confused: Which of the two is running against Hillary again?

tubs said...

Beautiful. This should be a speech somewhere.
It really is scary to think of how easy it could be for this country to undo decades of progress with one thoughtless decision. It's like we've only managed to get one pinky out of the dark ages. There are still way too many people in this country harboring toxic attitudes of the past. I just wonder when we'll finally be able to put the ugliest parts of history behind us, once and for all.

Anonymous said...

Im voting for Hillary but I really want to hear how she plans to lower the out of control defecit with all the spending shes talking about. Yes, higher tax rates for the rich are one step but its not enough. Im a liberal on social issues but very much a fiscal conservative.

Alex said...

Truly inspired. Thanks for this.