Her most recent book, An American Queer, a collection of “The Amazon Trail” columns, was presented with the 2015 Golden Crown Literary
Society Award in Anthology/Collection Creative Non Fiction. This, and her award-winning fiction, including The Raid, The Swashbuckler, and Beggar of Love, can be found at:
What exactly is the last straw? I thought it was the presidential buffoon’s goading of North Korea, but I was wrong. Our government is suddenly so feeble, so twisted up in procedure, infighting, and tripping over its own all-too-often dropped pants, it can no longer protect its citizens from nuclear war. At least, that’s what it looks like to this baffled constituent.
It’s impossible for me to understand why this dangerous combination of buffoon and bullying congressional majority, hasn’t been declared null and void. Living in Oregon, we see some wonderful protests from Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Jeff Merkley, and others, raising the hue and cry, but their rational heroics are like skywriting airplanes whose messages dissipate within seconds.
The grumbling in my blue town is becoming incessant. Everywhere I go I overhear people speaking of democracy dismantled, and mocking the buffoon, and wondering aloud what we can do to stop the pandering to big business. I’d hoped the Resist and Persist March would have grown in numbers this year, with the new post-election activists Pied-Pipering their friends and relations into the streets with signs that spoke to the issues. The numbers were still good, if smaller, but the signs were a disappointment. All too many were clever barbs at the buffoon, who is no more than a court jester distracting the rest of D.C. from its real work of serving the people. The court jester who also acts as a smokescreen for the Dick Cheney-like connivings of Pence and his out of touch cronies.
Now, I am not the most politically savvy dyke at the women’s festival, and the ins and outs of policy aren’t something I’ve put a lot of energy into understanding. I can’t even take the stress of our Homeowners Association meetings. The necessity to compromise on all things governmental was a realization that clobbered me many years ago and puzzles me to this day. Like that stupid border wall, that economic iron curtain. The answer is simple: no. Yet the proposal is still in play. In fact, many voters support spending billions on it even as the people they elected want to scrimp on Social Security.
As a matter of fact, news of my personal daily last straw came to me today from CREDO, the progressive activist arm of the phone company CREDO Mobile. “Sen. Marco Rubio and Ivanka Trump are coming after your Social Security benefits,” read the announcement, urging me to sign a petition.
WTF? I said to myself.
“And what the hell do they have to do with it??????” wrote a friend from Georgia, questioning the unholy union of privileged daughter and son-of-immigrants senator.
Indeed, what the hell is the buffoon’s daughter doing cavorting around our White House in the first place? Why hasn’t this nepotism been challenged? And where do she and conservative Florida’s golden boy, Rubio, come off messing in any way with the Social Security funds I earned in my fifty years of often grueling employment? That my niece and nephews are accruing today?
Where did those two ever come up with this asinine idea of punishing Americans for having children? Yes, the world is overpopulated, but does Ivanka, a working woman, want to undermine the progress women have made to have both careers and kids? Does Rubio want us back in his kitchen, scrubbing floors? Or is this some sort of stealth birth control: discouraging reproduction by requiring that parents work longer if they’re going to selfishly indulge themselves with children?
I thought this administration didn’t believe in birth control. Wrong again. It may not believe in anything other than making America white again, not that we ever were.
And that’s the dumbest part of the Ivanka-Marco attack on Social Security. The fortunate employees who do have parental leave benefits are still paying into Social Security while on leave. These employees are also the people who have jobs not available to most Americans. The grease monkey who works under your car, for example, or the home health aide who bathes your elderly father—they’re more familiar with the term unpaid leave than parental leave.
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”
This is nothing new, as Shakespeare documented. I just never expected such rot in our democratic institutions. Checks and balances no longer work when bullies, buffoons, and big business risk overloading America with that last straw.