Stop Fighting To Win. Fight to Fight.

I’ve been seeing this stupid quote everywhere and it never fails to make me want to put my fist through something:

No. No no no no no. Just no. Stop it. Stop that sickness.

I woke up same as you all yesterday morning, just as I woke up in November and again in January, crushed and tired and sick in my soul at the preventable tragedy that strikes on a daily basis around this country due to a curdling fear too deep to name.

And in response to passionate entreaties to change, I saw this stupid goddamn monstrous tweet all over the place.

You think that’s some kind of profound statement? You think that makes you sound wise? You think that makes it okay to go to brunch, or turn off the news, or go numb? Fuck all the way off with that ironic detachment and smarter-than-thou condescension and laziness dressed up as superior knowledge.

What is wrong with you? Killing children is not acceptable. Not at Sandy Hook. Not the next neighborhood over. Not with guns and not with knives and not with economics. It’s not acceptable to me and it never will be so nothing’s over, not now and not ever.

But but Republicans, and the NRA, and money, and guns, and the culture, and the laws, and the political climate and the red-blue maps and the gerrymandering and it’s all too goddamn much, right? From a practical standpoint there’s no way any other vision of America at this point can come to pass.

How many times a day do we hear this from others? How many goddamn times do we hear it from ourselves? Roy Moore is gonna be the next senator from Alabama and Democrats are going to be crushed everywhere for all time and the Supreme Court is lost for a generation and Donald Trump might actually get re-elected and fake news and Russian bots and drone bombings and nuclear war and and and and STOP. Just stop.

It’s tempting, when you’ve spent your life fighting for something that is so vital, to hunger for victory. To want, just once, to strut across the finish line. To feel you’ve accomplished something, to feel you have something to show. To put an end point on something that’s neverending. You want to say, “I did this” and know your time was well spent.

You want to avoid getting your heart broken, too. You want to create some scenario in which losing is not a devastation, so you spout this cynical crap and you think it’s wisdom.

But you aren’t going to get what you want, not now and not ever. Every single magnificent thing that has ever happened here has been called impossible. Every single unlikely victory in the face of insurmountable odds has been unlikely because the odds were insurmountable. And you will not feel one iota better by pretending to be smarter than everyone else in the room, you goddamn narcissists. I swear, if the parents who lost children at Sandy Hook can get up to fight, how dare we say anything’s over?



I re-read Trinity every year, almost, and I went back to it last evening, thinking about Doug Jones and that infuriating tweet and how every day brings some new piece of bullshit to the surface, because I needed this:

All we can ever hope for is a glorious defeat. A defeat that may somehow stir the dormant ashes of our people into a series of more glorious defeats. Every man in the Brotherhood must defy, scream, kick, die hard, bloody, shake consciences. You see, the true job of the Brotherhood is not to expand to win but to sharpen its teeth to die hard. 

Call your reps. Vote every Republican out, every one, from the township on up to the capital, and shout and protest and donate and raise your damn voice every second you can. What you think should be enough might not be, shameful though that is. But to say it’s over because we haven’t won is more shameful still.

You reading this?

You looking at the world, you’re not happy, you want different?

You breathing? You alive?

Then it’s not over. Not for gun control, not for the courts, not for Puerto Rico, not for lead, not for police killings, not for war, not for poverty, not for anything you give a shit about. Not for you and yours. Not for the wide world. This country is drowning, fighting, bleeding, dying, and being reborn every second and there’s no way out of this that doesn’t kill you, so in the meantime, keep fighting like there’s nothing but the fight.


5 thoughts on “Stop Fighting To Win. Fight to Fight.

  1. Am I the only person to have watched Zimmerman stalk and murder a defenseless Black child in Florida and Wilson stalk and murder a defenseless Black child in Missouri, both murders conducted with complete impunity, and then watch as White supremacists showered them with money as a reward, to come to the conclusion that there is an open bounty on shooting Black children in America?

    I feel as though we’re in an undeclared war with Racist America.

  2. We ABSOLUTELY should keep fighting, but we should also accept that it will be a futile fight. We are a sick nation, ruled by evil, greedy people who have the avid support of the dumbest among us. And those dumb people always vote. The fault is on us, the left, the progressives and most of all young people. We don’t vote. College kids protested Trump’s election last year, but when reporters asked protesters if they’d voted, the answer was too often “No.”

  3. My brother-in-law was a gun-control advocate. He was shot and killed through a window of his home, and lo and behold: no one was ever charged.

    So yes; I agree we must struggle, even if we meet that same fate, because if they have their way we’ll meet that fate in any case.
    But fighting the guns will not work, since massacring kindergarteners is acceptable in America. We have to grow enough minds who disagree with that fact.

  4. IMHO the key to understanding this is, stay with me a bit, gerrymandering. A gerrymandered district is essentially safe for the party that has engineered the district to favor them. In that context the election comes down to primary selecting the representative and the fight being entirely within the one party with the most extreme being the one that wins.

    When a more moderate gun-rights candidate runs against a gun worshiper the gun fondler always wins. If you are nuts enough to think that freedom, manhood, and all other goods come from the barrel of a gun the death of any finite number of humans means very little. People die for freedom, they send their children off to die for it as an abstraction.

    The people who think this way are not subject to logic or reason. They have found and bent their knee to their absolute good and no amount of pain and suffering will sway them. A God tells you to sacrifice your son and, as the story goes, you have no choice but to do it.

    If electoral districts were less well gerrymandered the fight would not be one of defining the most pure fanatic, with the ability to be more extreme, often to the point of suppressing the gag reflex and complete shamelessness, rewarded. Instead it would be a contest in the general election where moderation, instead of extremism, being rewarded.

    As it is 58 killed and almost 500 injured doesn’t even register. Piles of murdered children should cause the gorge to rise. And yet it is taken by gun-rights absolutists as a test of dedication and determination. They are proud of it.

    There have always been a few but before gerrymandering became a science they could never get backing or get elected.

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