Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Dust Won't Settle

The world is no longer normal.  Maybe it's been building toward this for a long time.  Maybe we can blame Fox News for winning the right to lie to the public and call it news all those years ago.  Maybe we can blame isolationism, these echo chambers and bias bubbles we can and do now put ourselves in.  Maybe we can blame our education system, which republicans in each state has damaged for decades by systematically stripping away funding and by promoting a religious (fictitious) agenda (in which a good education is a real enemy).  

The real truth is probably as messy as this outcome.  One thing I have learned, is to distrust extreme answers - if an answer to a complex problem is extremely simple, that answer is most likely harmful to someone or something.  So the answer to this dilemma is as complicated as the dilemma itself.

Are we rolling into a fascist regime?  Not if those opposed to fascism can stop it.  Are protests and petitions enough?  Over time, absolutely, however here we have another problem:  we do not have that much time.  From an environmental standpoint, we are falling further and further behind on a problem that will become harder and harder to correct.  We are daily dooming our species and quite a few others - we are digging ourselves further and further down.

The global, horrified reaction to Trump is encouraging.  While the math at home is both astounding and (somewhat) heartening.  When you go by the numbers, currently the number of eligible voters is 231,556,622.  40% of eligible voters did not vote.  92,671,979 people were too disgusted or bored or disinterested to get to the polls.  Of those that did, we know that 62,979,879 voted for Trump.  That is a bit more than one third of the eligible voting public.  The rest of the public either voted for someone else (beside the 3 million more votes Hillary received than Trump, an additional 7,804,213 also did not vote for Trump), or they did not vote at all.

When I participate in the protests - which I will continue to do - I can't help but wonder how many people I see couldn't get to the polls in 2016.  I know, it's not something to dwell on, but it sucks that this truth keeps proving itself over and over:  most people are only motivated to action when things get very, very bad.

I have allowed the daily bombardment upon our constitution by the new regime in the White House to distract me. I've let trivial outside distractions divert me.  I've allowed myself to be swallowed by this monster that just keeps rolling out.  But no more.  After all, I don't think the roll is anywhere near it's finished and I can still get to work while it rolls.

I want to do more than march.  I want to do something real that is useful to our species.  I don't know what's going to happen next with the government in my country.  And I am committed to resisting any and all things fascist happening.  But I also want to finish what I've only just begun and keep moving with the online MIT courses.  So I go back to the books.  And I keep my eyes open and I read the New York Times every morning, and I don't consume questionable news.