So. Philip Roth’s dream has come true. Lindbergh has been elected president of the United States, and has appointed Henry Ford as his right hand man. Just in case you haven’t read the book, Roth’s dream is a nightmare.
On Thursday, a week ago, we awoke to gloomy weather. I attempted the following grief therapy:
- walked with my friend for an hour
- called about our health insurance, to find out if our daughter can remain on our plan after Jan 21st. Broke down in sobs. No answer because the health insurance provide does not make policy.
- called my pastor. She mainly listened to me sob, and then said some helpful things, mainly that this is a time to examine what are the values that Jesus espoused, and it’s time to stand up for what is right.
- finished reupholstering the kitchen chairs, as part of my program of heavy labor.
Thursday was when I recognized that I had something to be glad about.
I was (and still am) glad that Hillary Clinton did not win the presidency.
Because she did not win the presidency, we have averted civil war for about four years. We only have our imaginations to go on, but can you imagine what would have happened had she won? I imagine repeats of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge armed occupation, only all throughout the country. I imagine that the reports of ugly harassment and bigotry would be happening (as they are actually happening). I imagine a complete breakdown of government, with the Grand Obstructionist Party refusing to confirm even one Supreme Court justice appointment. Even the hitherto respectable John McCain was threatening this. Because she did not win, the first woman presidency does not have to be sullied by dealing with an opposition party that loves itself and its power more than its country. But that’s just my imagination, which gets more cynical by the minute.
|How many empty seats would there be on the Supreme Court?|
Another thing that happened Thursday was that I became completely disgusted with what I had on my reading list. Just before the election, I raced through Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, by Arlie Russell Hochschild, because I was trying to understand people who are not like me. I was reading If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran, by Carla Power, because I was trying to understand people who are not like me. I had started The End of White Christian America by Robert P. Jones, because I was trying to understand people with whom I ostensibly have something in common.
I also had several novels on my reading list. News of the World, by Paulette Jiles. Arcadia, by Lauren Groff, about a bunch of hippie communists in upstate New York. Faith by Jennifer Haigh – something about bad priests. I completely lost interest in all of them.
On Thursday, I said, fuck it. Why should I spend my time and mental energy trying to understand anybody? Nobody is very interested in understanding me. It’s every man for himself in this new Escher world. (It’s now a week later, and I might be revising my view on the issue of trying to understand others. Maybe.)
A feeling developed that I simply could not trust anyone.