The cover image is Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (We Don’t Need Another Hero) from 1987.
The country is mired in negativity: Covid is still wreaking havoc, inflation is taking its toll, and the Supreme Court has launched a wholesale attack on the values of the nation. Oh, and there was a terrible mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in a town where you wouldn’t expect there to be one. (SPOILER ALERT: There is no such place.)
I was in an online conversation where someone said there was no one inspiring in the Democratic leadership and so they didn’t have any enthusiasm for voting for Democrats. Now while I understand the importance of leadership, messaging, and getting people to sign onto your cause, I also understand that when your house is on fire you’re not dismissing first responders because they’re not charismatic enough.
There are enough reasons for all decent people to get behind Democratic candidates this fall because the alternatives are so much worse. First, we already know how the GOP feels about LGBTQ people. Several states have passed laws banning trans students from participating in school sports as the gender they identify with. White supremacist groups are now openly terrorizing drag queen story hours and LGBTQ rallies. Electing Republicans to Congress or the White House won’t stop any of that.
There is no magic bullet to fix the overturning of Roe. You can’t magically place abortion clinics on federal lands. You can’t simply ask Native Americans to expand their healthcare systems to accommodate non-tribal women. VA hospitals are not permitted to offer abortion care. These are facts. The only solution in the short term is legislative and there is an election this November.
None of the problems we face as a nation will be addressed by any elected Republican official. None of the marginalized and persecuted groups here will be safer under Republican rule. The GOP is now a party of Christian* nationalism. Unless you are a rich, straight, white, Christian* male you will be a target of their destruction.
I’d much rather write about how we should care about others who don’t have the advantages we do, and think about where the current system fails them and take steps to fix that, but the sad truth is that white Americans are some of the most selfish and immature people on this planet. And I write that as a white American. Unless they immediately get what they want after putting in literally the least amount of effort required, they revert to full-time tantrum mode, wishing to destroy everything just because they can.
The current expression of Tantrum Mode is the willful destruction of all of the progress made by getting rid of TFG because Biden can’t force 52 selfish (there’s that word again) senators to do anything at all to help the rest of us, aided by a bot and troll network constantly pushing distortions and half-truths to discredit Democrats at every level, vulnerable people be damned.
And after rejecting the Republican white supremacist crap, white Virginians elected an idiotic racist cipher in a fleece vest as governor of Virginia because he played the GOP’s racist greatest hits at a more genteel level. And now that idiot is laying the ground for a presidential run, and I definitely see a window of opportunity for him if TFG and DeSantis take each other out.
It’s beyond frustrating to see comfortable white Americans at every level refuse to do even the minimum to help people in need. And while the Democrats do need to start projecting a straightforward message ASAP (and I think Josh Marshall has the right idea), it’s not going to matter to the white Americans in Tantrum Mode.
You know how I’m going to end this: