I Don’t Even Have to Tell You My Dream

Raise your hand if you didn’t sleep last night because you instead experienced some combination of RAGEY, sad, mad, righteous without payoff, cynical, scared, or otherwise consumed by Mueller’s latest round of 13 (indictments)?

You don’t have to raise your hand. It’s the Internet and I can’t see you.

But I see you. I hear you. I believe you.

Did Kate McKinnon channeling Hillary Clinton paying homage to the late Leonard Cohen the Saturday after Election Day 2016 echo in your head this past week or day or just now when I mentioned it? Did you cry after that election? How long did the crying last for you?

I couldn’t watch that clip without crying. I also cried through the gracious concession speech. I cried at all kinds of things, honestly. I think I’m trying to say those tears were about Hillary and about misogyny that had been entrenched and then layered upon racism about that black President we adored and his black family and about wars we shouldn’t have fought and the fear of how wrecked things were about to become, much as I wanted to believe that things couldn’t get all that fucked up.

I’m trying to say I cried about the Democratic Party, which got played. Despite everything, I believe the biggest problem the Democratic Party has when Russians don’t sow “seeds of unrest” by targeting the most competent candidate and angering everyone and also supporting every divisive candidate (*cough* Trump-Sanders-Stein) is that Democrats want to make the world better. And that is a freaking messy proposition.

Have you noticed? We have massive problems, such as climate change, the NRA holding our country hostage, an infrastructure crisis both on roads, rails, bridges and on but also in cyberspace (as in, we got so hugely hacked). We have racism way higher than 11. We have Citizens United and Neil Gorsuch (don’t get me started). We have shamefully high infant mortality rates for a first world country — and alarmingly higher for African American families — and no power in Puerto Rico. We have extreme poverty and human rights violations in prisons and a flawed democracy rating. This list has elements from before January of 2017 and after.

This list isn’t anything like easy to tackle. The GOP wants to make the rich richer. That is pretty simple, although not quite as simple as you’d think when you have all three branches. But if this year showed us one thing, they went a long way towards the oligarchy.

Cue Bob Mueller to save the day. Maybe he will.

**

I don’t consider myself a conspiracy theorist kinda gal, but there are two I believe in hook, line and sinker.

One: I didn’t buy it from the start that my candidate “lost” and as it becomes clearer and clearer that this Russian influence did change the calculus so that she actually, truly, really, authentically won more than the popular vote, which she won by a very unmistakable margin, I want to scream louder than my daughter can (and that’s fucking LOUD) that I have wasted way too much breath defending my “flawed” candidate in arguments that fail to take into account that even a woman people have objections to has always been better than a greedy orange adulterer and thief without a moral compass or any compassion whatsoever. How the hell did this monotonous conversation with variations of a zillion stripes ever have to happen let alone again and again for over a freaking shitshow of a year?

Two: it’s horrible that Tarana Burke, who began the whole #MeToo movement didn’t get her due straight away (or really, ever) — and the reason this current surge of #MeToo can’t end is that greedy orange man is our harasser in chief. Full stop. Until he’s out, the never-ending supply of stories will continue. I don’t know that it’ll stop on a dime and the sun will come up after a Technicolor rainbow, like in some movie when we knock him down, but until then I expect we are in the thick of it, still, ongoing.

  • *

Last night Neera Tanden was asked what Hillary Clinton must be thinking or feeling (I can’t remember, but with any of these questions about women aren’t they interchangeable along with what was she wearing?) given Mueller’s indictments. She hesitated. A good girl answers the question. I wanted to yell at my television, “Neera! NO! Don’t answer that.”

What the hell does it matter what Hillary thinks right now? I’m told that no amount of injustice or magical thinking places her into her rightful position as the actual President. I am thinking she might have a lot of ideas about where McConnell and Obama and Comey and other men fumbled, intentionally or unintentionally. But really right now as much as the story is about November 2016 it’s not about Hillary’s response. Which, by the way, everyone critiques anyway, so shut up already.

I want to have a way to end my rant that isn’t to apologize for this perspective (admittedly white middle-aged woman’s) or to have the give you a bittersweet silver lining about all the activism and hoped for Blue Wave if the Russians don’t blight it or how I still believe in something. I don’t want to knock anyone down in some derogatory fashion. I don’t want to undercut the way this past year has upended my sense of trust in a system — democracy — I actually trusted, although I was unaware just how much. Joni Mitchell’s line about the parking lot and how “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” has replayed in my mind many times this past year plus. I guess I want to say that I’ve lost a great deal of sleep over this democracy it turns out I love. Glad as I am not to the only one — and to have added a huge roster of real-life heroes to my world — I am exhausted. And I know that’s the least of it.

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Sarah Buttenwieser

Writer, brainstormer, networker — follow me on Twitter @standshadows