Having them next to me, available for petting and cuddling, is reducing my freak out some. Not a lot.
I’m reminded of a scene in the X-Men graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills (cover by Brent Eric Anderson, all rights with current holder) where Professor Xavier, known as an expert on mutants, is debating the hatemongering, mutant-loathing Reverend Stryker. At one point Cyclops thinks something to the effect of “Charles is appealing to people’s hopes; Stryker’s appealing to their fears. We can’t win.” This was a common theme in Claremont’s mutant books, and sometimes got very heavy. But just now, he seems prescient.
But I still don’t believe fear always wins. It’s not like gays, trans, blacks, Latinos or women have a free ride., but we have come a long, long way from when I was a kid. Just … not long enough. The levels of bigotry addressed against them, whether in slurs or violence, is still horrifyingly high.
And it doesn’t take much to make things worse. A small, determined band of haters can do a lot of damage, whether overtly through violence and intimidation or through pushing on the wheels of government. Which the Repubs have full access to now.There’s a line in I Was a Communist for the FBI (1951) about how there are more Reds in the United States than there were in Russia when Lenin took over — meaning, of course, that it would be easy to overthrow our democratic government.
Only Trump isn’t backed by a small cadre. He got almost half the popular vote. That’s a minority, but it’s a very big minority. A lot of them aren’t fanatical, but then lots of people in any oppressive regime aren’t fanatical. Just compliant. And who knows what voter-suppression efforts they’ll level against the rest of us by 2018?
That came out way more pessimistic than it sounded in my head. And we don’t know for sure what’s going to happen in January. But I have a feeling it will be a long time and a lot of work and elections before we get this country back to hope.
Update: Krugman suggests we didn’t understand the country we were living in—the degree to which some people would choose racial and gender hierarchy over “American” values. Or would vote Republican because that’s what they always do. Living in the Florida Panhandle, I’ve never been under any delusions about that. But I still didn’t think Trump would win.