We Elected the Wrong Guy

It’s an itch we keep wanting to scratch. Dig Caesar out of his tomb and venerate his bones. It doesn’t matter whether you choose one of the two proffered candidates. Both of them are either greater or lesser minions of Rome.

This was our choice: a woman who is deeply connected to the establishment and operates an NGO which launders money or a billionaire pitching himself as an outsider because he’s never been a politician. We elected the billionaire. I voted for Dumpf. Why would I vote for the evilist of evil, evil, evil people, a rich capitalist pig whose ill gotten wealth comes from going bankrupt on other people’s money? I am supposed to understand that Dumpf is devil incarnate. Billary is a lovable fuzzball grandmother who just wants to make sure everyone gets their fair share. What’s crazy about that?

Dumpf won. There have been a string of narratives pitched regarding our new fearless leader since the election. The first was that he was a fascist bastard who was going to inter all the illegal aliens, make our gardeners and pool boys even poorer, steal food from the mouths of Appalachian babies and make Grandma survive on powdered milk and USDA bologna. Dumpf hates brown people so all brown people are even more deeply fucked than they were before the election. Brown people can help out by self-interring at the old camps from WWII. He is a real estate barron so obviously he hates the environment and we’ll all be dead from toxic waste before his term is up. Another one was that the Russians, those evil bastards, stole the election from Grandma Clinton. They hacked the voting system, they stole e-mails from her server and spread craptastic stories about influence peddling, an overly cozy relationship with Wall Street, and was secretly sex-trafficking in children sought by pedophile Oil Sheikhs.

This election taught me a couple things. First, we are nuts when it comes to choosing our leaders. We want childish, impossible things in our leaders. He has to be a man of the peeeeepul comfortable in a dive bar drinking light beer, plain spoken, wiser than Solomon, pious as St. Paul, mighty as Caesar Augustus, generous with free Cadillac’s and cell phones. He should be deeply steeped in the secular orthodoxies of the puritan left but not so wonky or stiff that he will enforce said ethics for everyone, just the enemies of the state. We want our leader to provide for us like a good pimp Daddy but not interfere when we decide to behave in transgressive ways. We want s/him to protect us from those who would perpetrate aggression, micro and otherwise, from those who behave in triggering ways while comforting us when our behavior has undesired consequences.

Second, we got played. It was a masterful checkmate. We could have voted for RayRoberta Bob. The establishment had a plan to co-opt s/him and stay firmly in control. It did not matter who we voted for. They had us at P-Q4. The massive civil service bureaucracy housed in the Executive Branch was going to ensure continuity of power regardless of whether Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Cruz, Dumpf, Sanders, Billary or my favorite drunk alien, RayRoberta Bob won. Us who voted for Dumpf did so because we hoped it would communicate to congress and the bureaucracy that we were tired of the last century of rinse repeat.

I’ve been shut up. My usual narratives that align to some degree with the orthodoxy of conservative talk radio have been shook up. It’s a depressing thought, that hope & change by way of Washington D.C. is a non-starter. I hate the idea that we are not so different from Russia. You can elect anyone you want to be Prime Minister of Russia. He or she will still be a dictatorial bitch unsympathetic to your anxieties about the fate of Monarch Butterflies and Appalachian children. Dumpf turns out to be a kinder, gentler grandpa who wants to fiddle with the edges of our government but otherwise leave it be. Checkmate.

There is such a love-fest afoot with the press and the Obummers. It’s the sort of adoration I associate with socialist dictators in places like Asia or South & Central America. The fear and loathing seems to be a reaction to Grandma Billary’s failure to continue the dynasty attempted by the Obummers. The populist grandma telling us that she is the reasonable one who will fight for the little guy, protect the snowflakes from their own bad behavior and make those evil capitalist pigs pay their damned fair share.

It feels to me like a freed slave who stands in the middle of the road across from his former home on the plantation and realizes freedom is disruptive. He wasn’t free a moment ago before he was handed his papers. A moment ago his life was clear. He knew his fate, knew how he’d get his needs met. It was a familiar devil. Now, papers in hand, nothing is assured. He has to fend for himself. He has no income, nothing to assure his reason for existence or a purpose to pursue. Rick Warren’s book was 140 years in the future.

For some, this was exciting. It was a victory. For others it was disaster. Say what you want about the oppression contained in tenant farming in the south. Not everyone alive in the 19th century antebellum south was happy to be free. Ditto the Obummers. We have folk who are getting attention because what they wanted was a coronation of Obummer and if they couldn’t have that, an election victory that continued the Clinton Dynasty.

We have had authoritarian and socialist government since at least 1913. My ancestors were subjects of the British Empire. They were not all fervent supporters of throwing over King George. The argument over liberty vs. safety is as old as our republic. We started out hating any hint of imperialism. Our distaste for kings has diminished in the centuries since . The trend has been toward increasingly large, ineffective and authoritarian government for at least a century. Caesar is going to rise out of his tomb and be restored to the new empire soon enough. It seems to be what we want.

I voted to prevent what I didn’t want. The Supreme Court is short one justice. The choice of replacement was going to go to either Grandma Billary or Dumpf. Dumpf won. Obamacare is a growing nightmare being exploited to increase the intrusion of government into our lives. The snowflakes are winning the propaganda war and so the expectation is that we will comply. We want energy independence but it can’t come at the price of harming the butterflies or Native Americans. All perfectly reasonable and fair.

Jesus was not reasonable or fair. His message threatened the status quo within the Middle East and Jewish people. Authority came from God directly to the disciples of Christ. We didn’t need intercessors or interpreters of the Torah to facilitate our relationship to God. Caesar was cut out of the picture. The Levites were superfluous. Our rights, our laws, came directly from God the Father through his son, Jesus of Nazareth. These are troublesome words for the establishment of Christ’s day. Troublesome enough that he was crucified.

Empires fall. All of them. Ours is an empire made of a revolution 227 years old. We are fabulously successful. There is no empire in history with greater wealth and military might than ours.

Empires fall and tomorrow happens. Empires fall and there are survivors. Those that remain have to do the needful because their count of sunrises has not run out.

So . . . what? Anarchy? Anarchy is a foolish lie. Anarchy as currently promulgated means the anarchist can dictate the rules on his or her whims while being insulated from the consequences. It is how we self-governed before we had to deal with other kids and out of the purview of our parents. Though we are losing our distaste for imperialism it isn’t gone. Some of us hunger for god and express our appetite through electing authoritarian figures like Grandma Billary and Dumpf. Socialism? Hitler was a socialist before he took a hard turn into genocidal dictatorship, remember? Still, the reflexive answer remains, “certainly not! We don’t want a god-king, king or anything like that. We are a democracy!

Might I suggest something? When our desires for a leader are crazy/absurd an absurd leader becomes the reasonable choice. Who do I think an absurd leader is? Dumpf, perhaps. We shall see. Grandma lost, so that’s not going anywhere. What about that guy, the Nazarene Carpenter of two thousand years ago, who was martyred by the Romans? What about him? I mean, he’s been dead for a while so there is no danger of him getting caught diddling kids or accepting bribes from Wall Street Bankers. He and his followers are pretty crazy, so perhaps hungering after a resurrected dead guy as a leader isn’t any less crazy than having a hard on for Grandma.

Hope and change cannot be found in the temples worshiping our secular gods of democracy. Hope and change is where it has been for a couple thousand years. The Nazarene carpenter’s disciples still follow him. They named themselves Christians. You know them. They are your neighbors. Rather than pray to the false god kings of Washington D.C. go visit one of those churches in your town. Don’t pray. Not yet. Talk to the people at the church. Share your story. Volunteer a bit–something small that can be completed in an hour or two. This is a long game that won’t pay off right away. It does pay off. The anecdotal proofs of how it pays off are numerous and reach back millennia. Ask one of those Cheezus Freak people you see at that church.

King Jesus is an absurd and wonderful monarch. The beauty of naming Jesus as king is that he is dead. It ends up at not having a king or queen, a good thing. Ditto saying that the resurrected kingdom and temple lives in our hearts. I’m counting down my remaining 12,000 sunrises. Hopefully this house of cards we have will stand. Merry Christmas!

 

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Saturday

I need a break from yelling about the troubles of the world. For all our utopian urges, our itch to turn it all into glass and start over, our seasonal flip from overtly, insanely socialist to just a little socialist, troubles seem to hang around. I’m weary of the good fight. I don’t have the energy to fill a thousand words with another rant about the election or terrorism or another dead cop or another downtrodden young black man shot by a obvi-white-privileged, obvi-racist cop who turns out to be Laotian and Puerto Rican, or whatever other malfeasance we are perpetrating on ourselves.

drunk_in_publicRobert(a), the name I gave my anxiety and then began writing about as a character, tells me last night he was headed out. Whatever. He’s not back this morning. Good. He also said that a better pronunciation of his name in his alien tongue was Raymond or Ray. Great. I have four names for one character. Peachy. So . . . uhm, Ray isn’t here this morning. The house is quiet.

My routine on Saturday is to turn on WCVE, our local PBS affiliate and watch their lineup from 8:00am or so until about 3pm. While WCVE plays in the background I putz about the kitchen. Breakfast and the consequent dishes get done. There are naps. Writing happens. Pots of coffee made and consumed. In fatter times groceries get made and laundry done. I’m in penny-squeal mode so the one errand was to pick up a new medication proscribed for me. I am conflicted about my six electric space heaters that fend off the cold. So I spend cold Saturdays turning them on, being anxious about what the cost, turning them on, rinse, repeat. Last winter with company I kept them on almost all of January. My light bill topped out at $350.00. At $2.50/day a lot of the world would have to work 5 months to pay that. There is often a stream of YouTube or Netflix binge watched. Muffins have happened on Saturdays. I’m a reformed Christian, so I pretty much ignore the potential angst around what might define work from 6pm Friday until 6pm Saturday. In general, I try to avoid doing things that are not church related or fun in some way. Bedtime comes and I lay down to wake to a new week marked by Sunday worship.

Back to Raybert(a). His schtick in the bar is to play the pity card. He is broke. He is homeless. He doesn’t have a job. Incredibly, though, his credit cards seem bottomless. Truth? He’s a bit predatory. He finds these women who take him home like a stray puppy and try to fix him. AFAIK he’s incorrigible so at some point near the “what are we” conversation there is an argument along the lines of, “you suck. You never change. You are horrible. Get out.” And he moves on. The ones he’s really into come back and apologize. His target is the sort of young shameless hussy it’s been alleged I secretly crave. Rayberta shows up at the 3rd Street Diner a fair bit. Fits right in.

Hang on, cell phone ringing. brb.

My weekend just improved. RayBob was picked up by the Henrico Police for an open container, drunk in public and domestic battery. Dunno how a homeless alien can be charged with domestic battery. It’s the “domestic” bit of that phrase that gives me pause. He has skills, I suppose. He won’t be out until next week. I’ll let whatever babe accused him of battery fish him out of County Jail. I’m guessing she asked about love and it didn’t go so well.

It’s sunny and 57˚F. The house is warm enough to to be comfortable without the space heaters. The thing about being kin to crazy people or addicts (?same thing?) is that we are worn out. There is nothing left in the tank. We gave money. We helped out. We did small acts of kindness, more than a few. All we have is the hungry maw of the addiction escalating, asking for more, and eating the soul of our loved one and our soul as well. So, if we get pissed at the suggestion that we don’t care, that if we really loved Raybert(a) Bob or whatever name he gave Yung HotTea we’d do something, well, shit. We did and it drained us. Shunning isn’t for Raybert to come to his/her senses. It’s so we can heal and recharge. The call from County Jail will come. RayBob(ert(a)) will ask for a ride. I’ll make him walk. The 18 bus doesn’t run on the weekend.

In Texas I discovered breakfast tacos. Dead simple. Scrambled eggs and whatever bbq meat suits your fancy. Options include potatoes (home fries, usually), jalapeno peppers, sautéed onions, & shredded cheese. They used the small flour tortillas warmed on a flat-top in Texas. If you make these don’t overthink it. Doing the PDRB thing of getting artisanal stone ground organic winter wheat flour and Calistoga spring water to make the tortillas, eschewing pork and buying locally made tofu for veggie chorizo and cheese from the Cheeseboard—way to much. Keep it simple. Also, they come out small, which is correct. I had enough eggs & sausage for six of them. I made three and put aside the leftover eggs and sausage. Don’t binge on these. Two per person should be enough. I had ground chorizo, fresh garlic, diced ginger root, some cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper and eggs on hand. Not quite the same as the Jalapeno sausage tacos I had in Texas. Still good though.

It’s a quiet day in Richmond, VA’s Blackwell district, my home neighborhood, where the women are fine and the men are hard working. All the not well lurking about hasn’t found its way through my door. Another day in my little heaven.

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