Thursday, November 30, 2017

Resistance Fatigue

If there's one thing I can say for this administration, it's that I, like many other Americans, am politically engaged on a deeper level than I've ever been, indeed on a deeper level than I ever thought possible. Is this President Trump thing a long con run by a shadowy cabal if frustrated high school civics teachers? Because it sure as hell feels like it. 

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't entirely *uninvolved* before. I knew who my representatives were, I dutifully voted, I complained about faithfully about Dubya for eight whole years. When Obama got elected to his first term, I watched the inauguration online from France and cried. Twice, I even watched a political debate. (in my defense, I didn't see the need to watch debates because I always knew I was going to vote for a Democrat anyway. I'm a queer woman who cares about other people -- who else am I gonna vote for?)

But now I don't just know who my representatives are -- I tweet at them. And I use Resistbot to fax and email them. I even called once -- although I nearly panicked when an honest-to-God human being picked up the phone on the other end, so I never called again. I don't follow Trump on Twitter, because I don't want to give him the satisfaction, but I pay attention to the news and I complain to my representatives in Congress, threatening not to vote for them in 2018, but failing to mention that I wasn't going to vote for them in 2018 in the first place.

The thing is, as I'm sure that many of you have noticed, this administration is wall-to-wall batshit. It's crazy tweets and racist immigration policies and attacks on free speech all the way down. No sooner have I got done faxing my Senators about one thing then I'm faxing them about another. It's exhausting. I am experiencing resistance fatigue, and as a result, my faxes to Congress have lately become a little unhinged. Here are some actual excerpts from a recent fax:

  • I'm frankly sick and tired of writing you people to ask you to STOP. TRYING. TO REPEAL. THE ACA. (But don't worry, I'm not going to stop).
  • Do you want our brightest minds to go abroad for affordable educations and stay there to begin their careers? Because that's what's going to happen if you pass this [tax] bill.
  • If you expect me to vote for you in November 2018, WHICH CAN'T COME SOON ENOUGH IN MY OPINION, you'll vote against this devastating tax bill.

I've learned that there's one thing that really sucks about civic engagement: When I write my representatives, THEY WRITE BACK. Yes, I know it's just a form letter. Yes, I know I shouldn't read it. But I always do, just in case it might say something sensible for a change, but it never does, and I always want to just hurl my laptop into the sun, or at least hit REPLY and type KISS MY ROSY RED ASS, SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, YOU ARE SO FULL OF SHIT. But I can't, because it's a no-reply email address, which is just as well because I probably shouldn't be telling U.S. Senators to kiss my ass. Probably.

Besides, Shelley Moore Capito doesn't even read my emails herself. It's some unpaid Congressional intern who has 517,978 more emails to answer to earn her father's freedom. I can't tell that overworked kid to kiss my ass. 

I no longer have the energy to fax my representatives every day -- about once or twice a week is all I can manage -- but Resistbot, my most reliable friend, still texts me every day, reminding me that "It's time to tell Congress what's on your mind!" and "You should never doubt that your voice can make a difference!"

Shouldn't I, Resistbot? Shouldn't I?