What if the government shuts down and nobody notices? What if it’s all smoke and mirrors run by a secret group of five rich white guys who meet once a month and decide things like what the stock market will do, the price of bitcoin, and funding for wars and social programs and schools and who gets what when. Would you be surprised? Would you want to change it? Course you would, right after that new episode of “Shameless”. Cause, priorities, right?

 

This month’s thematic unit, “Does politics matter.”

 

I’ve tried to remain optimistic, tried to balance the craziness with “but he’s waking people up”. Tried to sleep at night even though nuclear war is more real than ever, tried to watch Fox news to better understand the other side, tried to not write obsessively about the madness because all it does is get me swimming in a giant dysfunctional shit pool.

 

But I think I’m done. It’s time to light the torches people, grab the pitchforks and storm the castle walls. Let’s get the machine working again, if everyone with a platform screams into the darkness it has to mean something. Right?!?

 

Because we don’t have to feel like this. In 2018 I should not be concerned with my nuclear blast house plan (turn off gas, tape off all windows and doors, concentrate living in central part of house, have enough emergency food and water for 3 days, plus bedding, crank radio, flashlights, batteries, cash). And that’s assuming the blast site is limited and centered in SF and doesn’t trigger the Big End where duct tape and cans of soup won’t help anyone.

 

Because there has to be a point where rational minds prevail. Racism, sexism, misogyny, profits over people, lies, lies, lies, and more lies. We knew what we were getting going in, there was never going to be a presidential reboot. Candidate Trump is president Trump and a big part of America bought the vision. Many still are, but please tell me that tide is turning. Please tell me that even the blindly devoted are having second thoughts. When one responds to racist accusations by golfing on MLK day, one doesn’t care one bit about what others think.

 

Because 2018 is not the new 1950. Learn from history, don’t repeat it. America is hard work and innovation, seeing a problem and solving it. Making life better for “We The People” not we the chosen people who own some things and think they are entitled to owning everything.

 

Because this world is beautiful and tolerant and the only one we have so lets take care of it. Stop pulling things out of it, start playing the long game, care about the quality of life of your children’s children’s children. We have 100% ability to sustain 100% of our energy needs 100% of the time. Climate change is now 100% causing warmer oceans, more powerful hurricanes, more severe winds and fires. This is our new normal; we can learn, plan and evolve or deny and suffer.

 

Because if I called your country a shithole or grabbed your wife by the pussy or called you a rapist and a murderer because of the color of your skin you might not invite me over for dinner any more because I’m an asshole. And isn’t America ready to get the assholes away from the table?

 

Because hate separates and love connects. Should we take a poll as to which one you prefer? Why is this even a thing? Am I missing something? Don’t we all wake up with similar needs (food, shelter, water, a good Wi Fi connection, a little hope)? Don’t we all dislike some of the same universal negative traits (bullies, liars, uncaring people)? Again, am I missing something?

 

Remember JC? No, not Jesus Christ, the other one, Jimmy Carter. What if we had embraced his philosophy in 1977 and spent the last 40 years moving toward “working to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights and to promote economic and social development.” (From a 2002 write up when he won the Nobel Peace Prize). What if we stopped talking about homelessness and build shelters and job training programs because seeing a person living on the streets in a place as wealthy as Sonoma is just kinda crazy.

 

What if politics did matter because we had a bigger impact? What if we told our leaders that we demand more? That our children’s children’s children demand more? What if we flipped the priorities of the proposed 2018, 4.1 trillion federal budget? Decrease military and nuclear spending because the world is better safer and more productive. Instead of bombing the bad guys we should build schools and infrastructure so their kids learn to become good guys. Doesn’t that make more sense?

 

What if we worked toward Gross Domestic Happiness like Bhutan? What if we think deeply about the government shutdown and realize, hmmm, maybe we can do better. Not only can do better but should do better.

 

Start with the women’s march at noon on Saturday in the plaza. Make some new friends and organize. Scream, draw and write on whatever platform you can. Turn off “Shameless”. Learn and debate and make friends with the enemy (enemies are just friends who haven’t had the right conversation yet).

 

Write a letter to the government telling them that if they can’t play nice, maybe they should stay shut down until they can.