I woke up this morning to the news about Georgia and wondered how many Trump voters have died from COVID before they could vote for him and the two evil ghouls running for re-election there. How many of his own followers, besides Herman Cain, has he killed? Twitter called MAGA’s time of death this morning, and how ironic for a death cult based on toxic myths like “rugged individualism,” boot-strapping,” and “self-made men;” and rooted in racism and otherism. It turns out that “get off my land” and “trickle-down economics” just doesn’t work, at all. And, the architects of this system are laughing all the way to the bank (Investing in body bags and PPE on their way, too!) as so-called “single-issue voters” grapple with how they can continue to masklessly self-identify with “Pro-Life.”
And why is it that no one was prepared to stop the Duke Family Reunion Reboot from taking over the capital today? “They were not kidding when “they” said that death throes are violent. I’m watching MAGAts rifle through paperwork and steal camera equipment from the Senate chambers now. So much for the thin blue line and American flag they pledged allegiance to. https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/01/06/dc-protests-trump-rally-live-updates/
What Now, Republicans?
I applaud you Never-Trumpers, even if I think that ultimately, and for decades, you have aligned with a party that is anti-human and has been eaten from the inside out by those who would use it to help build and hoard wealth and power. I applaud those of you that could not vote for Trump because you have faith-based values. I cannot understand in any way, other than racism, how a person can excuse babies in cages and vote Republican. But for the love of love itself and everything you learned in church/temple, could you consider optimism?
Mary, The Optimistic Republican
My family and I traveled across a few states in 2017. And, while on a trailer trip down to California and back to Oregon, we met an older couple from Spokane. Mary and Laura had been together for a few years, and they were celebrating Mary’s retirement by driving around the country, playing music, journaling, and trying new foods. In the pre-COVID age, we could easily befriend them over the common ground of trailers and traveling. We told them we were interested in getting a fiberglass trailer rather than a vintage “stick trailer” like the one we were borrowing from friends. They graciously invited us into their Scamp trailer to see what modifications they had made and to see what worked for them. We invited them back to our campfire later, and we all dined together on typical camp fare before we took a long stroll down the beach.
Mary and Laura were Republicans, and they were deeply disturbed by Trump. Mary, a natural leader if there ever was one, had charisma and conviction. She told us, with her talents for convincing and motivating on full display through her folksy and intelligent language, that it was going to be up to the Republican party to “fix this unblessed mess.” And, despite her party affiliation, Mary doesn’t believe in rugged individualism. She believes in community, citing the strength she gets from their church.
Mary and Laura are exactly why we love to travel our country and meet people. Otherwise, we are led to believe that Republican lesbians from Spokane don’t exist. We might also never meet Republicans that will stroll a beach with liberals, arguing, sharing, and most importantly, listening together.
Gratitude is the Path to Optimism
Mary’s optimism about hope for the Republican party, in the name of “conservatives that aren’t racist” (Sorry, but your Trump vote was definitely a pro-racism vote.) made me hopeful. Could she be right? Does she know some insider secrets whispered inside churches we are not attending? Will morals and values matter again? I’m so grateful for that evening on the beach.
I decided to make a post a day this month inspired by what I hear Michael J. Fox say to Terry Gross on Fresh Air:
“…gratitude makes optimism sustainable.”
I’m so grateful to my privilege that allows me to wander these stolen lands in a trailer, borrowed or otherwise, and so grateful to those who fight to change our country and organize communities around healing and moving forward, together.
My wish is for everyone to find peace, to heal beyond our deep, generational wounds, and to take care of each other. That is the path forward for our survival and for our planet’s survival as well.
The book I think that could put everyone on the path to healing is also the best book I read in 2020. It is filled with insight, hope, a very good history lesson, and optimism despite the sorrow, pain, and gravity of the subject the author, Resmaa Menakem, takes on. I invite you to read or listen to it as soon as you can. I promise you that will give you clarity as well as concrete methods to settle your body and help others to settle their bodies as well.
Have you also read this book? I’d love to hear what you thought.
PS- We did end up getting a fiberglass trailer. A bit of a fixer-upper (as many are) that we love! We hope to meet more beautiful optimists in the future while traveling in it.