Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Rant You've Been Waiting For

I watched the Trevor Noah interview with Tomi Lahren. I probably shouldn't have done that before bed, because I woke up with this. Know that these are not necessarily my true feelings, or at least not the breadth of them, and the purpose in sharing this is so that you know that I, in a blue city, have lots of pent-up unhappiness and unreasonableness and failure to fact-check, just like others in red cities and states have. The difference is, I hope, I try to lend my more rational self, my more composed and - yes - my more faith-centered self to my civic responsibilities. Country first, friends.

Having said that, it's not exactly brain surgery to be a jerk. Allow me to demonstrate:

Here we are, celebrating the so-called win of Middle-America. The red, the red-hatted, the down-trodden and defeated white man and his hair-sprayed suburban wife have won the day. The ‘yippee’ unfortunately escapes me at the moment. And those who stand with me, agape, watching the heart of our country demonstrate its bigotry, racism, misogyny, and xenophobia by and through its de facto leader are being asked to shut their mouths and march lock step like the good subordinates they should be. Of course, if you’re blonde, or fake-blonde which is the new blonde, thin, tan, or fake-tan which is the new tan, and able to spew vitriol at 60MPH you can talk and have a show, but only if you’re taking people to task for carrying soccer trophies and whining about outcomes that don’t favor their positions. If that’s your schtick you’re hot, smart, and, well, hot again. Guess what, bimbo, it’s not that hard to be you and Clairol Number 27 is only going to get you so far. You wouldn’t know that, though, because you’re about as dumb as the box your color came in.

In fact, so are a lot of the people who watch you. Because if this election and its attendant commentary have not demonstrated in vivid color that America has failed to educate the country, nothing will ever get that point across. In every way possible the thinking that got us here collapses under the weight of even pebble-sized tests of logic and those of us who can think straight are left to watch the wreck in slow-mo with nothing but wonder.

The people in the center of the country have just signed on to ruin themselves and they’re happy about it. One wonders how cheerfully they’ll receive the news that are also receiving the majority of benefits distributed by the Affordable Care Act - it belongs to the country not the President, read a book once in a while. And the ACA? It’s paid for by the people on the coasts, in the so-called blue states. That’s where the jobs are, no one disagrees, and where the money’s at. So who do you think is paying for your stuff?

Red-State Middle-America, sandwiched between the evil blue states where patriotism apparently goes to die, is asking for manufacturing jobs and farming jobs and build-it-with-your-hands jobs to come back and favor them because they’ve been neglected and screwed by the Blues. But that’s not what happened and the 'rise of the phoenix manufacturing plant' is not happening either. The world has moved on, Sparky, and you and your checkered-shirted friends need to get with the truth. The Wal-Mart culture was not birthed in urban centers where the evil Blue man and his Muslim BFF live. Wal-Mart culture became the savior and sanctuary of rural and suburban America, where pies and plaids are valued, and everyone’s a humble Christian, and everyone wants to have the same level of luxury as the hoity-toity people they mock in the cities. The problem is our farm and field friends don’t want to educate themselves, train, and work the jobs in the places that get them that stuff. There are brown people there - ACK! So instead they hop in their huge gas-guzzling trucks and drive forty minutes to and from huge warehouse stores to buy the plastic knock-offs of the real things and give themselves the same buzz they think the urban folks get from a visit to Trader Joe’s and Barney’s. 

You know what the consequences to that are? We still buy our stuff downtown. We’re unaffected. You’re getting the cheap crap from China, driving two towns over to get it, and the companies that own those businesses, the manufacturers, distributors, oil and gas companies, and all the rest - those are the apple-red titans of industry that are currently populating every position of importance in the new administration. Those fellas try to get materials and products for as cheap a price as they can so they can make the most money they can from rural America. Because the number one principle of capitalism isn’t ‘help your neighbor’ it’s ‘screw your neighbor, make money’. Plastic isn’t free, Red, Americans want benefits and days off and increased minimum wages. So off to China and India those great-making guys go to get the stuff and ship it back and sell it. To Middle-America. You’re the one paying for our jobs to go elsewhere.

So let’s talk about who needs to adapt and suck things up. You think you’re threatening liberal America with your ideas about free markets and jobs? We get free markets in the liberal world. You forget that we still have jobs, we still make things, we still sell and buy. When the free markets shift, we follow them, adapting, changing, and keeping pace. That’s what a reasonably good education will get you - smarts and adaptability to change. You might want to try it. Blue states are not to blame for job flight, red states let them go. Blue states aren’t working agricultural jobs and losing them to Mexicans. Red states are. Blue states didn’t fail to keep manufacturing in our country. Red states did. You want to talk about who should be pissed? Let’s. 

Which one of us is the stupid, lazy, entitled one, exactly? My kid with his soccer trophy and his congratulations certificate is learning employment-ready skills for use in the real world, not in the fantasy 1950s retro world of your imagination. I’m the one who is bringing you down? The one who is working and feeding her family and making use of public schools and transportation that she pays for with her city property taxes? Or is the drag on American greatness the one who feeds off my city services, my city tax dollars, my city jobs, and then gets pissed because she’s not getting enough and needs someone to help her make America great again? You want to blame me for your red-state malaise? Get yourself some bootstraps friend, and pull your self up. 

While you’re working on that you’ll have to forgive me and my friends in the big bright blue if we refuse to apologize for accidentally getting shot while being black, or for wanting to keep our private parts to ourselves, or for demanding equal pay for our work, or for wanting to breathe clean air instead of the filth that comes from untended and unregulated manufacturing plants like the ones we had when America was so damn great. 

You’re feeling bad that you’re out in the middle of nowhere and your needs aren’t being met? You don’t want Mexicans to steal your jobs? Stop whining, to borrow a phrase. Stop hiring John McCain to be your Senator when unregulated immigration is your number one concern. Immigration is a federal and national security issue and John McCain has been your representative to the federal government for nearly thirty years. ISIS, Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton have got nothing to do with that. 

Get the cotton out of your head, Chet and keep your rubble-faced, twang-laced, dumb-assed in-the-car videos to yourself. Better yet, get out of the damn car and look for a real job. Try the coasts. Look up a fella named Sam Kinison. Go where the food is.

Until then, please do not step to me. I have a lot of pent up urban rage and I know how to use it.

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