Before you think that my problems lie completely with a liberal left that has decided that objectifying people on reductive demographic grounds for political gain is an acceptable politics, I haven’t forgotten the batshit craziness of Republicans. If Democrats are now using individual races, ethnicities, and religions as political bettering rams, they’re not doing it in a vacuum.
The domestic terrorist attack in Las Vegas this autumn, and the as-usually-went-nowhere alleged debate on gun control that followed, reminded me of an incident that happened to a Facebook friend and onetime neighbor at my former downtown Chicago high-rise Marina City home. My friend wasn’t a victim of gun violence, though. He was a victim of something worse.
After being mugged outside his building but not hurt, he shared the incident on Facebook. A discussion about guns and the potential for him to have been killed arose. And that’s when a conservative family member of his said that she would be said if he had been killed, but that the potential for his death was less important than the right of the mugger to carry a gun. Run that by yourself again. He was told by someone who loves him but is also a Second Amendment-spouting conservative Republican that she would accept his violent murder as long as the person violently murdering him was able to keep bearing arms.
And all I have to say to that is what the fuck is wrong with you, American humanity? Because similar “your life is less important than my politics” bullshit is what (as always!) almost immediately killed the post-Las Vegas debate on gun control. Just like after Orlando, and San Bernardino, and Colorado Springs, and Charleston, and Sandy Hook.
Even though the idea that guns protect anyone from the government is false. And the idea that guns protect against terrorism is debunked. And the alleged Founding Father quote from Thomas Jefferson about the danger of governmental tyranny is misattributed. And the research that’s suggested concealed-carry reduces crime is faulty and outdated. And the evidence that gun control virtually eliminates gun crime and gun deaths is worldwide and overwhelming.
This is why, as a nation, I fully believe we deserve Trump. We didn’t end up with him as president because we as a society we’ve been so fair to each other for so long that he simply slipped through the cracks. We ended up with him because we treat each other like this already, and are further egged on to do so by our political leaders on both sides of the aisle. This has been my theme this week on Carless–we really did what we deserved this election.
I think we let Trump into the White House to air out our societal grievances. To poke at our sacred cows. To test our fundamental values as a nation–and as individuals, as well. It’s too easy to blame one party, or the Biblically literal wing of one religion, or the media. There were many opportunities to stop a Trump presidency and as a society we didn’t rejected them all.
I truly believe we did that for a reason. I think we wanted a way to be pointedly reminded who we are as a nation, what we stand for, why we cherish our values and our institutions. I think we forgot a lot of things about this whole America project, and I think we needed a way to take advantage of a giant societal mirror to finally get real about things again.
The intersectionality Hunger Games led to Trump. “I’m okay if you die as long as your murder gets to keep his guns” led to Trump. The way we have forgotten how important we are to each other led to Trump. This week, I blame Democrats and Republicans both. This week, I blame us all. We got here together by our own shittiness towards each other. Until that changes, no party or movement or miracle will get us out this mess.
Because, like broken fools, we’ll just keep re-creating it.
Michael Thaddeus Doyle
I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.