I'd always hoped for better
Thought maybe together you and me would find it
I got no plans I ain't going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving
--Tracy Chapman, Fast Car
Dane and I have been discussing a lot of politics lately. In truth, we're both scared to death. We've both been confused too. How is it that we both know people who seem to be perfectly fine with the prospects of a Fascist president? Me, I can't help taking it a bit personally that some people I know would rather vote for an ignorant bigot and repeated business failure with no leadership skills outside of bullying (not that I count 'bullying' as a leadership skill) than they would a woman who is so overqualified for the job (compared to her predecessors who actually served for president, let alone merely ran for it) that it's embarrassing. Whenever asked, a majority can't come up with logical reasons for their vague dislike--and it is vague dislike, not proof she isn't qualified for the job. Too often, I've seen arguments about the actions of her husband as president or based upon opinions on issues which Clinton clearly has changed her mind. Nonetheless, as scary as that is...well...thinking that a certain segment of the population would be happy to return to open segregation, disenfranchisement, and well...drive the county into White Supremist Fascism is downright terrifying. Really? A 600% increase in White nationalist presence on Twitter doesn't indicate enough of a problem that you still can't vote for a woman?
I get it to an extent. I studied Northern Ireland for 5+ years. When people endure wretched economic times over an extensive period of time they tend to look for scapegoats. In turn, the leaders who've been taking advantage of the situation will point to the powerless among the population. Why? Because the more in-fighting there is among the common people, the more they can continue to do whatever they want unchecked. Divide and conquer, baby. That story is as old as humanity. It's so obvious, I have trouble understanding why others aren't seeing it. That said, we've been looking for explanations because I have trouble believing that people are just that stupid. That sort of thinking is short hand for "I don't care." And really, we have enough of that shit. It's important to understand. You can't fix a problem you don't understand.
The first article is: What a liberal sociologist learned from spending five years in Trump's America. The interesting thing is that the video at the bottom of the article runs counter to the sociologist's findings. That's just how complex the issue is. The article states that the distrust of government (in Louisiana, anyway) has to do with the amount of actual corruption they've witnessed. They've let themselves be convinced that they can't rid themselves of corruption. I have to say, that's one that didn't occur to me before. (Mind you, it's built on the concept that a businessman can't be more corrupt than a government official. Um. Riiight.) In addition, they feel left behind and that everyone is cutting ahead in a line they've been patiently waiting in. Of course, the thing the article fails to point out is that this is systematic oppression/racism rearing its ugly head. On the other hand, the video points out that a majority of Trump supporters aren't poor at all. They're well off. They're white. They don't live in areas most affected by immigrant populations. In fact, they are far away from those areas. That indicates racism and fear of Other.
The second story Dane forwarded is called What Reality are Trump People Living In? "On average, Democrats see the world as less competitive. That is, on average, their honest opinion is that collaboration, and not competition, makes the world go round." In addition, "Democrats [also] tend to see the universe as more of an interconnected whole." I couldn't agree more in both cases. Whereas, "Republicans see the world as more alive, which means they see the universe as more imbued with intention and that the world is interacting with them personally." [see religion] and "Republicans see the world as less worth exploring." and "Republicans see the world as more just." and lastly, "Republicans live in a reality marked by decline, and Democrats think the world is getting better." However, the biggest difference is that on average Republicans view the world as hierarchical. That is, that difference implies that one thing/person is better than another.
Do these articles explain everything? Not by a long shot. Nor do they excuse anything. But at least their perspectives are worth thinking about. So...I had those two articles swimming around in my brain when I read the following tweets by @FeministaJones:
All of those tweets are filled with eye-opening thoughts. The article she's referencing is this one: Only Half of Americans Exceed Parents' Wealth. I'm still parsing what it all means, but it helps put the situation in perspective. But I still feel that racism and sexism are a big part of the equation.
 Because everyone votes for president based upon the actions of their spouse, right? Because everything your partner does is your fault, right? [eyeroll]
 I don't know about you, but I do want a leader who can admit when they're wrong and learn from their mistakes. That takes a hell of a lot more strength of character than sticking to the same flawed/hurtful policy and pretending everything is perfectly fine.
 It's the exact same argument that will crop up when John Scalzi points out that white, straight, cis, male is the default setting. Rather than acknowledging the presence of any privilege at all, a large portion of the group will point out the ways in which they aren't privileged. "I grew up poor." for example, came up quite a bit. Intersectionality exists. Yes. However, it does not negate the privilege you do have. Therefore, the feeling that somehow you're not getting what everyone like you is getting is actually the system of oppression (the parts that you've unconsciously internalized) fighting for survival. The system doesn't want change. It wants things to stay the same. If it stays the same and everyone stays in line where they belong, at least you're ahead of someone.
 Which explains why (in the more conservative parts of the SF literary world) certain folks go on about how "message fiction" is worthless. They aren't interested in exploring the world (and humanity) as it is. Rather, they'd prefer to explore what doesn't exist.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.