For four years now, I have been writing 3000-plus words a week, spread over at least three entries a week. What a ride. What tremendous responses from friends old and new. My blog has been cross-posted in places like AwardsDaily, Sound on Sight, and Filmotomy, and the exposure has led to appearances/citation in The New Yorker, Al Jazeera, and The Christian Science Monitor. My blog has become part of a thriving and extraordinary community of blogs by parents of autistic children. And having devoted 1000 words a week to populism starting in January 2014, I believe the blog is an important on-the-ground record of what may well be the seminal political force of this decade.
For the most part, these have been thoroughly edited pieces, easily meeting the base standards for publication in a major media outlet like, say, Buzzfeed. I really do not know many other bloggers with this sort of track record at this level.
And that is one reason that as of this moment, I announce a shift. I certainly plan to keep up the blog, but not at this blistering three-article 3000-words-a-week pace. If you are one of my treasured regular readers, you know that this shift has been coming for at least a year, since the time I began serializing my (ground-breaking feminist science-fiction) novel a year ago.
My plan is to continue to write one media/politics piece a week, and one autism piece a week. Two-thirds of my previous blog pace will still amount to double that of many of the bloggers you’ve heard about.
I still love writing. I just spent a week without writing and felt hollow and distended. On some level, I need to write to live.
But not as much on this blog. I have to finish a book, under contract with Palgrave MacMillan, that was supposed to come out in 2017. It is now scheduled for 2018. I have other irons in the fires and fingers in pies, and I do not want the fires and pies to grow cold. Nor do I want to make any announcements here as of yet.
I was very lucky in 2017. I maintained so many blessings. I was also privileged to travel to places like New York, Florida, the UK, Spain, and Albania. I also got to see 100% of a solar eclipse in Oregon.
But on a larger level, let’s face it: 2017 wasn’t exactly easy on anyone we know. Perhaps like yourself, I have wondered what my kids will think of me when they look back on my behavior at this time. Did I do enough? Did I do all I could to help America during this time?
Roger Cohen, quoting Langston Hughes, recently wrote that now more than ever, we can’t afford to let our dreams be deferred. I hear him.
I especially think of how this dumpster fire of a Presidential administration has produced a yearlong fire hose of terrible news. This mixed (yet solvent!) metaphor of the dumpster-fire-hose carries a terrible truth: #notnormal has become the #newnormal. It’s a little crazy to think of how many things Trump has done that, if attempted by a President Clinton, would clearly have constituted grounds for impeachment by any Republican-led Senate. These three for sure:
- Firing the FBI director who is investigating the president
- Bragging about firing the FBI director to foreign diplomats
- Maintaining and profiting from private businesses, grifting and grafting
And probably the following nine would all be seen as violating a promise someone made when they said “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”:
- Leaving half the executive branch unstaffed
- Attacks on independent judges/judiciary
- Attacks on the intelligence community
- Changing story on a federal investigation (if Hillary had once claimed her emails were non-confidential, then admitted they were confidential but okay, that would be similar to Trump’s shifting story on campaign contact with Russians)
- Spending a federal fortune on private security/golf
- Ignoring a sanctions bill against Russia
- Ignoring Russia period, despite its arguably 9/11-like attack on our election system
- General 25th Amendment shit (e.g. rage-tweets, getting easy things wrong, threatening North Korea like an adolescent)
- Attacks on the free press
The last one is perhaps the most consequential, because it’s both a dereliction of fealty to the Constitution (look up the First Amendment), and also the clearest signal of the dictatorship that Clinton-haters promised us she’d bring: if Clinton regularly lied, and doubled down on her lies, about inauguration sizes, Obama wiretapping her, anti-Muslim videos, and what-have-you, Fox News would right now be the world’s most scrupulous crusader for truth. Instead, Fox and the GOP, by abetting Trump’s up-is-down-ism, are spearheading an Orwellian nightmare.
The following wouldn’t necessarily be grounds for impeachment, but in a Clinton administration they would occupy a lot more attention:
- Coming into office attacking Goldman Sachs, then appointing GS alums to key positions
- Using unsecured phones/emails
- Handing plum jobs to one’s daughter and son-in-law
- Attacking on private citizens (e.g. Steph Curry, Colin Kaepernick)
- Criticizing the U.S. while abroad
- Blaming the military when operations go wrong, taking credit when they go right
- Ignoring Puerto Rico after a hurricane killed more than 1,000
- Trying to even alter the tax code without releasing her own taxes
What really gets me is that, if even one of the previous twenty had been true of a President Hillary Clinton, Fox News would have spent ALL OF 2017 talking about it as a SCANDAL until they and America were goddamn blue in the face.
But somehow we’re inured to it. That’s tragic for democracy, because it suggests that the best way for any future leader, including any leftist or centrist, to accomplish anything is by putting out a steady torrent of horrors so that we’re too overwhelmed to do anything about it.
In Trump’s case, these 3, or 12, or 20 affronts to the Constitution have obscured a steady stream of toxic right-wing nonsense, like appointing critics of agencies to run those agencies, like attacking Obamacare and lowering taxes on the rich, like calling Nazis “very fine people,” like restarting the Reagan-era war on drugs, etc etc.
So what does this all mean for me? It means I need to do more to Resist.
And I will in 2018. I resolve this. Resolve to solve. Follow a map to the future.
See you there.