Fight or Flight?

The last time Republicans won control of the Senate, Dad and I had a debate. I maintained that Richard Linklater was sadly correct when he said, 'Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.' Dad begged to differ and held that it's never OK to stop fighting, even when you lose again and again.

I want to believe he was (and is) right, but in the face of so much political bleakness, that seems a tall order. As of January, the US will have a Republican president, a Republican-led Congress (both houses), and a judicial branch that will likely list increasingly to the right. Nevada has voted to ban gay marriage. A majority of our states will soon have Republican governors. Even San Francisco--supposedly fucking liberal San Francisco--has voted with pseudo-Republican, Willie Brown-picked, supremely offensive supervisor Gavin Newsom to stop giving its homeless residents the support they need.

So now what? What's left (literally and figuratively) in a country that has swung so head-spinningly far to the right? Do those of us who still believe in things like corporate responsibility, social services, and equal rights have to wait until the Republicans in power destroy everything so fully and completely that American voters start electing their officials based not on some shoddy idea of national security or wartime sympathy but rather beliefs, actions, and policies? Do we fight back (increasingly for naught, or so it seems)? Or is it finally, finally, finally time to just go? I'm sure Dana has saved the link to the online Canadian immigration guide, which we pored over back when our current head of state was appointed; it's awfully tempting to flee to Francesca in Toronto with the same degree of fervor and desperation she once had to stay in the US.

Now more than ever, I can say with an alarming degree of certainty that my country does not speak for me. My state (despite its narrowly re-elected Democratic governor, who's an idiot in his own right) does not speak for me. Even my city does not speak for me. And although I know I still have a voice, it's hard to keep shouting above the din of self-interest, delusions of grandeur, war mongering, love of the wealthy and severe hatred of the poor, and heartbreaking intolerance. After a while, after I've hollered myself hoarse, I'm afraid I'll find myself dejectedly, hopelessly silent.