‘It Would Be Okay if It Was Working’

If that ain’t the truth:

We are not short on stories, in the world, about unlikely heroics from feckless princelings. This is kind of our THING, humans: an ordinary person pulls a sword from a stone and rules all of Camelot. A youngster from nowhere becomes a mighty warrior. The intern in the back has the idea that saves us all. These are our stories, and so we look for them everywhere.

I said this after 9/11, too: Everybody was prepared, desperately terrifically prepared, for George W. Bush to rise anew from the ashes of his own profound mediocrity and lead us as The War President. He had, at one point, a 92 percent approval rating, which you can usually only get by inventing cold fusion and then dying immediately. So people were like okay, buddy, up til now you’ve basically been a failson, let’s see what you can do with this.

We all know what happened next.

We have this phenomenal capacity to keep giving people chances, and not even Donald Trump would have been immune, I don’t think. It’s where the hunger for “oh, NOW he’s changed his tone, now he’s taking it seriously” comes from, the frightened childlike desperation that lets us cling for a second: oh, maybe he won’t be a piece of shit, before he starts angrily hate-tweeting at someone’s dead grandparent or something.

All would be forgiven, in fact, if this was working. And that in itself would be infuriating, because he’s done so many awful things, but: keep everybody alive is kind of the basics of the job, and we need it done, and we’re begging. It would be okay if it was working. He could be his usual kind of total asshole, and if he’d just step back and let people who know what they’re doing handle this … we keep begging, basically: Become president. Become what we need.

He can’t do it. We’re praying to the Easter Bunny. We’re asking a hole in the ground to produce untold riches, we’re sacrificing entrails to a groundhog. We are pleading with someone who … he doesn’t just not care, he can’t even see his way TO caring. The lack of understanding is that profound.

This is also where some of the anti-Dem rage right now comes from, though I have even less than no patience for THAT, like elect enough of them to make a difference and then you can bitch them out for not DOING SOMETHING. We want Joe Biden to, what, walk up to the White House door and throw Trump out bodily, do we think that’s how this works? And then he’ll do what, with McConnell and his merry band of fucksticks on every level from local school council up to the Senate, screaming on Fox News about a coup, I mean where do you think THAT ends?

We have created a system that holds us in place, hostage to this madman, and we keep expecting someone to save us. The madman, to become sane. His opponent, to seize power in a way that’s never been done in this country, and use it in a way we’ve explicitly designed a system to prevent.

Surrender the fantasy, is what I’m saying. Give it up, and look in the mirror, and realize the person staring back at you is the only one who’s gonna save you and the person next to you and the person next to them. My mom’s ripping apart furnace filters to make masks for my cousin, who’s a nurse. A friend is running a home-school association from her apartment, complete with lending library. Everyone who’s staying inside is a hero.

The other heroes ain’t coming. Maybe they never were, and the waiting is killing us.

A.

One thought on “‘It Would Be Okay if It Was Working’

  1. Michael Storey says:

    About your mother’s heroic work: Coffee filter paper works too. And it’s easier to come by. Good Luck Stay Well

    Like

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