The American Taliban: Who’s Next?

“But her emails!!!” We Shouldn’t be Surprised at Fascism Unfolding

pink triangle

I wrote my “feel good” essay. And it did feel good. It’s about giving and loving. But I decided I still needed to publish this.

I find myself wondering how many republican lawmakers actually believe their own bullshit, and how many are cynically playing a game for money and votes from the fearful. Truly.

How many of the pundits, collecting a paycheck to demonize and Other so many of us, actually believe the shit they spew?

I don’t have much doubt that there are low information followers who still believe their crap. They seem to get their sense of belonging rallying together around what they are Against, and couldn’t tell you what they actually stand For if you paid them. Their collective numbers are relatively small, so what gives? Well for one, Trump got to nominate SCOTUS justices, that’s what gives.

There is a vast middle ground on certain issues. There is middle ground when it comes to the sanctity of LGBTQ+ Life. We are not a lifestyle, a choice, a sin or deranged. Most of us are far more honest about who we are than average folks. We’ve had to be. We have had to try to see life through all of your lenses, and we are pretty sure you don’t care to look through any of ours. We’re “icky.” Or something. We do get it. Messages received. And yet, here we still all ARE.

You don’t actually have to love us -or even fully understand us- to support our basic rights. All you need to do is acknowledge that we must surely be real or we’d have given up by now, and if real, then human, and if human here in America — then we are Americans, too. So we shouldn’t be able to be fired, or thrown from our homes, denied service or healthcare, or otherwise be marginalized in Our country, for being icky. You might try to consider what being us feels like for a moment or two and ask if you’d be okay over here.

I just got a tank of gas in our little car. The attendant (we have those in NJ) was very nice, he thanked me and called me Sir. Eh. I thanked him and drove away. See, I’m never gonna make much of a fuss over a pronoun. Even the ones I know to be ugly-intended, are simply short words that define the speaker, not me.

I still had to pay $4.17 a gallon (cheapest in the neighborhood) for the pleasure. But, I got my gas. If religionists had their way, this man could have taken one look at me and said, “we don’t serve your kind” and I’d have paid $4.25 or more wherever they DO serve my kind, pronouns be damned. Would you have me hunt for gas? What about medicine? A hospital? Where exactly do you want the lines drawn? Across classrooms, clearly. And in wombs, obviously. Where else?

Everyone best take note of what the republicans have done and continue to do. The leaked draft from SCOTUS indicates they’re fucking with abortion Rights as anticipated, and who knows what’s next? Because the foundation of Roe also holds up gay marriage, dolls. Contraception and sodomy laws could also be on the table.

That there are republican women at all these days baffles the shit outta me. Same for queers. But then, for those with enough money, abortion will remain safe and available as it always has been for them. Many wealthy white queens think they got theirs and all will remain well. They should worry more, actually.

What we are seeing today is NOT my father’s Republican Party. Religion (and that is their current driving force, after big money) has NO place in politics. This American Taliban (and for all the world that’s what I’m looking at) is scary.

And the thing I find interesting is that in poll after poll their “work” is not reflective of the majority population. Yet, antiquated rules allow an outsized voice to a decided minority — exactly what they accuse US of wanting and having!

As our population actually moves away from organized religion, organized religion is coming FOR us. Chilling. If they open their minds and join us in upholding civil rights, nothing negative happens for anyone! If we were to join them, we’d be agreeing to persecute ourselves. Not a balanced equation, is it?

They have no values or scruples. I get that they claim to, but if that were true they wouldn’t be suppressing voters, gerrymandering beyond any idea of fairness, and legislating hate and fear against CHILDREN. They also wouldn’t have SHOVED SCOTUS seats through in the way they did. Their agenda matters more than the People’s agenda at the moment. This is indeed fascism. If their ideas were sound, they wouldn’t need dirty tactics to push them.

I, usually the eternal optimist, am beginning to wonder if I will safely live out my life in this nation. Or if my life will be wholly interrupted by a resurrected pink triangle. That’s not even hyperbole these days.

“Friends” told me I was hysterical in 2016, but it turns out I was on to exactly what they are escalating. I lost several white, straight, cis friends in 2016. They didn’t think a business owner should be talking politics. I reminded them I live my “politics” by necessity, as does my black partner, and we don’t have the luxury of this “neutrality” they are so fond of touting. They all acted like they heard me and told me they’d have my back. I haven’t heard from any of them since. Not a fucking peep.

Today we live in a little hamlet where, I imagine if we took a survey, plenty of folks would be extremely polite as they tell me they don’t have an opinion, at least we’re in New Jersey where we are “safe” from the worst of it, and maybe I should calm down for the sake of civility.

I could easily take my poll in the endless line at the local Hate Chik’n drive thru.

Look. We love our house. It has been a respite from the constant tension of city life, and a good place to lick pandemic wounds and heal. I’m not interested in polling the neighborhood. We fly multiple pride flags. It is clear we aren’t Ozzie and Harriet over here. We’re not even Ossie and Harriet, as I quipped when the picket fence went up. I’m sure they’d concede Ossie and Harry, but that’s not what I’m going for, either. So, we coexist rather pleasantly and peacefully. And I’d like nothing more than to continue to be left alone.

Except now isn’t the time to be complacent, is it? Not if I hope to remain here in America. I don’t want to turn around and think I didn’t say or do enough to protect my people. OUR people. Each and every person identified within the LGBTQIA+ community is part of YOUR family, too. And our numbers qualify us as “the least among you.” Numbers, -not might, not magic, not import — Numbers.

Christianity as I understand it should be protecting us. Nurturing us. Looking out for us as Christ would. That is far from what is happening at large, but it is what aligns with the Christian sentiment I learned about.

We can VOTE for people who actually espouse the American Dream for the Most of us. We can VOTE for those who actually believe in personal autonomy, privacy, and the sanctity of all human life, not just fetal life. It won’t be as easy to vote as it was in 2020, republicans are working triple time to make it more difficult, particularly in neighborhoods that don’t favor them, but at least it is still possible.

And if we have any extra cash at all, we can support the folks supporting the least of us. Like Jesus would if he had Apple Pay. The ACLU, Lambda Legal, the Transgender Law Project, The Trevor Project, etc…

The CEO of Disney learned a hard lesson in fence-sitting. Now is not the time. A person who likely had the muscle to stop “Don’t Say Gay” in its tracks tried to choose neutrality. Now an already addled governor is losing his mind and tripling down at the expense of his constituents. He’s trying to throw his dick around. The governor’s machinations could bankrupt Orange County, FL, and have statewide fiscal ramifications. Aren’t we sick of it yet? This party of small government? Where are the fiscal conservatives? Oh, right. They’re democrats now. Or at least independents.

The false “protection” of the patriarchy only ever protected itself, not the most of us. It only includes the women who subject themselves to it, it only includes people of color who abandon reason to jump on board, and its only religion seems to be Christianity. What of the rest of us — the actual majority? How long do they pick our pockets and eat our lunch?

Is patriarchy the actual problem? Or is it whiteness? I’d say both, not either, but I’m no longer sure about that.

When you add the women who are sick and tired of this bullshit -the mothers and grandmothers, aunties and cousins, to the people of color (including the above) who still don’t eat from the same table, to the entire queer community which includes ALL of the above -there are MORE of us than them. Why the hell are any of us sitting on our hands while they strip away rights?

I get being sick and tired. I am sick and tired. The Marches of 2020 brought us CRT legislation, not police reform in any real measure. See how they work? And I get just wanting peace. And I get thinking nothing ever really changes. Biden is still trying “statesman” while they set fire to our education systems. He’s worlds better than his predecessor, and I do prefer democrats in charge, but right now they need a larger majority. Not a smaller one. And apparently, a playbook.

As the fuckery gets EVEN MORE obvious, are we really still gonna sweat through midterms? Are there really that many people who think republicans will suddenly have a desire -let alone the skill- to actually govern? Or is there even more hate in America than I want to see? Are there more Americans who quite like the notion of fascism than I care to contemplate?

I thought a simple majority might take the dark and private money out of politics, restore voting rights, end gerrymandering with fair districts, balance the Supreme Court with four more members, protect our environment, and all the rest — and I do question if we have folks even listening, in power. The power WE assign. WE still decide who will represent us.

Why do so many of us refuse to vote? It’s literally our only real tool in terms of the direction our country is taking. Our vote is our voice.

From where I sat in Pennsylvania, Trump didn’t “win” so much as Clinton lost. I know an awful lot of progressives who threw away their vote to Stein because PA was “safe.” How’d that go?

I’m attempting to reach out to our folks living in Red States and support them. Theirs is truly God’s work. Why the dems won’t shove things through, standing together FFS, is beyond me. It feels like they’re playing the political game with archaic rules of decency long abandoned by the republicans. I don’t get it. But I’m not a billionaire who paid for this version of “democracy.” I’m a singular voice that only amplifies as we stand closer together. Same for most of you. But when we do get together, we do make things happen.

I hear loud and clear how exhausted so many of us are. How “they got theirs” and MY group is still waiting. The T in LGBTQ ISN’T SUPPOSED TO BE SILENT… It’s so mind-numbing and dejecting. But here’s the thing, if we sit still while they drill holes in their end of the boat, we ALL drown.

I’m not a political strategist. I’m far from a politician. I am a citizen who has always tried to be informed and involved. But I’m sick to death of being told I can’t understand the complexity. What I can’t understand is being lied to repeatedly and told I’m not listening properly. Look, I read my news, daily. And I work to fully understand it. But bullshit STILL stinks!

Even distilling the news on the podcast is exhausting. But I hope we offer some comfort, some solidarity, some something I simply haven’t heard elsewhere. I’m trying to keep us alive and inspired, but for real, I wonder if anyone is with us at all some days.

As much as I just want to rest with my feet up, and I do so now and again, I have to get back up. I hope all decent folks in this nation will take the same deep breath and keep working toward a kinder and more just nation while we still have the chance. It feels like the window is closing.

If you have the answers for talking with people who want me dead and legislate accordingly, I’m all ears. I truly don’t think they ever listen, and I don’t hold out much hope for their adherents, either.

As always, I offer you

Peace, Lovelies

- MM

Originally published at http://iammarthamadrigal.wordpress.com on May 6, 2022.

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Trans Artivist/Writer/Humorist ~ co-host of “Full Circle (The Podcast) with Charles Tyson, Jr. & Martha Madrigal.” Rarely shuts up.

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