More Political Ranting, Sorry

It’s really hard to know what’s going to happen in the upcoming election. That’s always true, but this year has a sinister edge that I never imagined seeing in American politics.

My friend Perla came to the US from Argentina. She escaped the maelstrom of a dictator and found freedom in the United States in the 1980s. We talked about this at the little Valentine’s oriented pop-up shop at which I had the incomprehensible set-to with the child. Perla was expressing her fears for the future in the United States. Part of this was a description of the moment in which the Argentines lost their Constitutional rights.

“I was just driving home from school or work or something but I never forget the moment. The radio, it came on the radio, first a march,” Perla vocalized a march, “then this. ‘The constitution has been suspended. As of today, you no longer have the right to vote.'” And that, she said, was it. She, her husband and her little girl were able to get out of Argentina. “Coming to America? These beautiful double doors opened for me and we were safe. Double doors, Martha.”

We talked a while about this — about other people I’d known who’d had to leave their homes forever because of their nation’s politics or because of war.

So now we have a maelstrom of Democrats storming the country looking for the nomination. I avoided watching any debates until they started to count. I have no memories of the Iowa debate, only the debacle resulting from the caucus votes. New Hampshire was more memorable because Amy Klobuchar made her way out of the background as witnessed by the fact that she picked up delegates. She’s my favorite, but I’m not “Amy or no one” by any means. IF we get to vote in November and IF the election isn’t totally fucked, I’ll vote for any Democrat.

I NEVER imagined writing that. OH well…

People already have their “favs.” There’s the whole “Bernie or no one” camp that elected Donald Trump last time, leading some to believe Sanders is a Russian asset. There’s the “Warren or No One” camp. There’s the “Only Biden can fix this” and I actually think he’s the best bet, but he’s not going to win. Trump’s nastiness in Ukraine took the shine off Biden’s name, guilty or not. Strange how the media is the actual decider of what people do. Bloomberg got slammed yesterday on Twitter by Offal’s egregious son who found video of Bloomberg talking about his anti-crime policies in New York. Of all absurdities in this maelstrom, Offal, Jr. and then Offal himself called Bloomberg a racist.

The liberal reaction I saw was all against Bloomberg. The reality that the crime being fought happened in neighborhoods where most of the people were minority people. I lived in a neighborhood like that in San Diego. It wasn’t racism that led the police to arrest mostly Mexican and Black young men. It was the fact that these were the people who were committing the crimes — most gang, drug and gun related. All of us in the hood were grateful that a cop shop was dropped into our neighborhood and grateful when we no longer lived in the highest crime neighborhood in San Diego. The cops practiced stop and frisk. It wasn’t “racial targeting” at all. Even my boyfriend at the time (white guy) got stopped and frisked and so, for that matter, did I. The cops were looking for a red Escort wagon. There I was. One of the cops (dyslexic, apparently) punched the license plate number incorrectly and I was pulled over by TWO cop cars, told to get outside my car and put my hands on the roof. It was 2001 so I was a 49 year old English teacher — definitely a suspicious character — but I was innocent. That’s the point.

The media directs our attention to the shiny surface. We have our knee-jerk reaction, indulge in some name-calling and move on to the next thing. This is how they will get us. “Squirrel!”

Perla also asked me how I deal with this and I told her that I know all I can do is vote in November, if that’s still an option. Meanwhile, I’ll walk the dogs, paint, hang out with friends when I can, and vacuum up the dirt the dogs drag in from the yard.