It’s been brought to my attention that the impeachment process for the current United States president has been initiated. I don’t pay much attention to politics these days–at least in the national arena. Unless, of course, we’re talking about Greta. Now she has my attention.
But if we’re talking about the grand political circus, I find it’s better for my mental health to leave a lot of that stuff in the dark. Perhaps I can afford to do so because I’m privileged: a white, cisgendered, middle class woman from America. I can relatively easily ignore whichever horribly offensive words come rolling from the oval office. I can pretend there aren’t egregious international scandals tied to politicians (on both sides of the aisle) in Washington D.C. I can turn off my phone, and walk down the street unperturbed. For the most part.
But as Ms Thunberg has pointed out, I am living on borrowed time. All of my political hangups, the insensitive verbiage, the crass behavior, the political battles we are fighting in order to forget the larger war–this of course being climate change–have to take a back seat to the larger issues at hand.
I’ve got my own opinions on President Trump. I’ve already declared myself a feminist–and feminism and Donald Trump do not go hand-in-hand, to say the least. This is not to say I’m a staunch Hillary fan. I don’t think she’s any better than the rest–capitalizing on a vulnerable public with charged rhetoric regardless of whether or not it goes against stances she’s taken in the past, muddled international relations, not to mention she’s essentially political royalty (and therefore out of touch with what the average American wants and needs).
I by no means consider myself incredibly politically educated or informed. I did what I needed to pass my U.S. history class in high school and promptly ejected a lot of that information from my brain. Does that make me a bad American? Perhaps.
Perhaps it does. And maybe this is wrong, but I’m much more interested in being a good global citizen than anything else. I want to know what it’s like to be gay in Russia. I want to know of the challenges of collecting fresh water in countries in Africa. I am curious about the calamity that is North Korea. I want to know what it’s like to be a businessman in Japan. The world is vast and juicy and so, so interesting–and as much as I love eagles and red, white, and blue, I want to know of it all, bitter, sweet, salty and sour. I want to taste all the ways there are to be human.
And of course, it’s easy for me to wonder from the comforts of my air-conditioned home, a glass of drinking water close at hand, and a heating pad currently positioned under my butt. For all my issues, in the grand scheme of things, I really have got it made.
So: how to express gratitude, but also dissent. Is dissent not the highest form of patriotism? Is hoping for more for our great country really such a crime? If it is, I suppose I’m a criminal. I just see better things for the United States as a world leader. I believe in the goodness of humanity, and I believe in the United States as a powerful force of that good.
After all the truly horrible things Mr Trump has said and done while representing my country, I am surprised that the impeachment process has only just begun. I suppose, citing Nixon, impeachment requires either international betrayal or profound fiscal betrayal to the oath uttered upon taking office. In that light, I can see why impeachment has taken so long. And I’m sure there are wonderful things Trump has done that I’m just not seeing.
I did my best to wade through the whistleblower’s statement this evening in between glasses of gin and juice–doing my honest best to parse through the politics and sterile language and truly understand what it is the claimant was driving at. According to Fox News, we have nothing to worry about; the premise is ill-founded and litigiously covered by a previous treaty with Ukraine. Like I said, I barely remember any of my U.S. history class and couldn’t even begin to tell you about Bill Clinton’s agreement with Ukraine in the early 90’s, let alone the full ramifications and implications of President Trump’s phone calls with the new Ukrainian president.
All I know is, precious as my sexual freedom, physical autonomy, and various other political beliefs are to me, they simply don’t measure up to the larger issue at hand. In order to support Greta and other nations who have taken the issue of climate change seriously, I have to simply get over myself. The issue is larger than me, is larger than Trump, and is certainly larger than this burgeoning impeachment. If he goes, great. If not, fine. It really, truly, deeply does not matter to me any more who is sitting on the proverbial throne, as long as they give a shit about the future of earth, and the future we’re leaving for coming generations.
Maybe I’m just a liberal hippie with her panties in a wad. I’m sure there are people out there reading this who feel inclined to prescribe “a good dicking” or various other such homeopathic remedies for a bisexual feminist. That’s fine. I’ve seen some samples of what the trolls of the internet have to say to a woman who speaks her mind. But I have to believe that love will win in the end.
Politics aside, I am here for loving the planet, for the unborn babies, for the tribes we’ve exploited and silenced, for the queer and questioning, for all the shades on the spectrum of melanin. I am here for those with vaginas and those without. Feminist as I am, I am humanist first–and that mostly requires me sucking it the fuck up and considering other peoples’ problems before I lament my own.
I don’t have any wise words to conclude with. (And for all you grammar freaks out there, I am well aware I just ended a sentence with a preposition.) My biggest hope, what I live for and dream will one day happen, is that when shit hits the proverbial fan, we will rise up as one and choose to love each other, and love the planet. It’s the only hope we’ve got.
(NASA, I don’t mean to discredit you, you’re doing amazing things.)
Here’s hoping some positive momentum comes out of the impeachment process–whether it “works” or not. Here’s hoping for a unified country looking ahead, cooperatively, with other world leaders. Here’s hoping for loving change.