Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fear Is The Mind Killer

Hunter S Thompson was a prophet

The day after the election was bad, but Inauguration Day was worse. Apart from friends and family dying and 9/11, I can't think of a day where I felt greater despair. I sat up late, drinking Old Grandad straight while watching The Big Lebowski, my ultimate pickup movie. The next day, the Women's March happened, and it became obvious that the new president was not going to get a honeymoon, and that those of us who oppose him already greatly outnumbered his supporters. Since that day, despite all the horrors, I have had a fighting spirit. I have been to many protests, made innumerable phone calls, organized teach-ins, and written reams of blog posts (not that they matter much.)

Yesterday, for the first time in months, the old Fear came shooting right back. I think this week is a turning point. With his speeches yesterday and today, it is clear that Trump has gone back into full-on racist demagogue mode. He is no longer masking his authoritarian longings, and seems poised to fire his attorney general so that he can quash an investigation into his criminal behavior. On top of that, the Republicans in Congress are so desperate and craven to take away the health care of tens of millions of people that they wheeled in an ailing John McCain to get the motion to proceed over the line. This was a motion to proceed on a bill whose contents were still unknown, making a mockery of the legislative process.

Conservatives, who fancy themselves the "real Americans" and people like me to be anti-American, have followed the logic of this stance to its inevitable conclusion: the ends justify the means. It is honestly not hard to be fearful, under the circumstances.

But fear does no one any good. As said in Dune (my favorite sci-fi novel) "fear is the mind killer." I am vowing tonight to maintain my fighting spirit, with the full knowledge that some major setbacks are about to happen. Battles will be lost, but failure to win the war is not an option. To sit by and not fight it, even against long odds, is something that any good-hearted person should be ashamed of.

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