Uprisings: No apologies

By : Billy Manes
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By now, we’ve all had a few weeks to breathe in the post-traumatic, post-Trumpian world of Tweets and nonsense. By now we’ve survived our Thanksgiving skirmishes with chest-puffed grumpy uncles and the general racists and horror shows of our particular broods. By now, we’ve even danced around the daisies of Green Party hopeful Jill Stein and her swing-state strategy of proving nothing in a recount that is not meant to benefit former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but rather to flex her own nascent political muscle one last time. By now, we’re aware of the hell we’re facing.

There isn’t nearly enough sugar – outside of Big Sugar – to coat the results of the Nov. 8 general election and its subsequent horror of errors. In just a week or so, the Electoral College will cast the final stone, leaving us swirling in a vacuum of idiocy, most of which will be stuffed with as much acrimony as a fraudulent billionaire can afford. Donald Trump got his wish: he is king of the mountain; it’s all on him.

If only that could bring some cold comfort. In what can only be described as an embarrassing stint as President-elect, Trump has managed to mortify communities of color, communities of sexual diversity, communities of women looking out for each other – medically and otherwise – and community itself. It must be tough for him as he measures the drapes to know that veritably no one is proud of him. For the first time in my lifetime, I hold absolutely no respect for the future President of the United States of America.

Two million people – two million more people – voted for Clinton in the popular vote. Is there solace to be found there? Not really. The gerrymandering and the scripting that have led to this milquetoast totalitarianism are well documented. You wonder how Gov. Rick Scott ascended to his throne in Florida? This is how. He lied and he had no idea what he was doing. If you find these qualities attractive in a political representative, then Trump’s your man, and, honestly, I wish you the best.

But there’s a funny thing about the dead-man’s curves of political maneuvering; something that likely came too late in this election cycle, the very moment that people voted against their own rights – civil rights, wage rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights: We did this to ourselves.

Four years ago, I was OK. Four years from now, you will hopefully be, as well. Politics isn’t necessarily who we are, it’s how we present. And, by current evidence in the Twittersphere, we’re not presenting well under our not-so-humble leader-elect. I don’t expect any positive change other than the passing of the second hand on my watch, waiting for 2020. I don’t want any more mess than is necessary. Just sit there and smile. No alarms and no surprises, please.

More guns, please!

gun_png1367Nothing spells “increased danger” like a proliferation of gun-favorable bills from our own state legislature, but given the climate of our current “situation,” one that was already arid in terms of reason, it’s likely that next year’s March legislative session with be locked and loaded and ready to come after your airport travel companion. The Tampa Bay Times reports that state Rep. Jake Raburn (R-Lithia) dropped HB 6001 into the mix earlier this week which would allow concealed-carry paranoia types to carry their firearms past security and into the terminal. That’s right, “terminal,” as in dead.

“You’ve got, I believe, a much more favorable environment for Second Amendment legislation in the Senate, state Sen. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) told the Times. “The House has always been a place where those types of bills move pretty easily.”

Recount refuse

DonaldTrumpBecause everybody loves a bully, President-elect Donald Trump took off his gloves on Nov. 28 to let people know – via Twitter, natch – that his golden cup overrunneth with extra votes he never got to count because of the voter fraud that his party has conjured in the American lexicon.

“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” his tiny, typing hands Tweeted.

A Trump flack echoed the sentiments to the media on Nov. 28, according to the Palm Beach Post, adding that there are studies showing that 24 million voter registrations are “no longer valid or significantly accurate.” So, two million dead people voted for Clinton while nearly three million could have voted in multiple states. Of course the author of the report that allowed Trump that numeric cherry picking denies that any voter fraud occurred. But who cares about facts?

Fears for Queers

UpRising_RickScottFew would disagree that the Affordable Care Act’s most notable improvement on the country’s well-being was that it rolled back Big Pharma’s unseemly ban on those with pre-existing conditions. That maneuver allowed those suffering with HIV/AIDS, cancer or any number of ailments to pay into a system that would make their own health costs more manageable.

Trump made it clear that he wanted to roll back the ACA throughout his campaign and now, his me-first absolutism could ostensibly rip the rug out from beneath the U.S. population. Among those being considered for Trump’s Health and Human Services bureau are many who don’t believe in helping the poor become healthy. This is a nightmare waiting to happen. Attorney General Pam Bondi, Gov. Rick Scott and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal are all on the short list for Trump’s cabinet. All have sued the government to end the ACA and refused Medicaid expansion for those living in the gap. According to PBS, it goes even further into a “clear, intensely anti-gay agenda.”

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