I feel completely helpless

A week from tomorrow the country inaugurates its 45th president, a man who embodies for me the quintessence of being a bully. Already his minions in congress are preparing to dismantle the affordable health care act  — with the idea that they are going to simultaneously repeal and replace it at the same time. As if! Poof goes the care for 20 million Americans. Not only that, but the whole health care industry will suffer the pangs as they lay off and freeze entry level employment positions that serve in health care. To say nothing of all those grappling with mental health care woes, substance abusers and their providers. The damage is staggering.

And then there’s the wall. $15 billion to erect a wall between Mexico and the United States.That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The targeting of Muslims and (basically) all foreigners, the loose lips in saber-rattling with any and all perceived enemies world-wide. The dismantling of efforts to address global warming. This man leads a swarm of arrogant, boastful bullies all, in the name of the christian right, who are itching to make the world over in their own image of bigotry and stupidity.

Not only am I living in the midst of a right-wing state, but amidst a gloating christian family. Going on Facebook, I am demoralized at the number of ways the country is being spun towards its grave; but the febrile carping of those who are powerless to make any change except to complain just adds to my angst.

Every morning, I pray for serenity to accept that which I cannot change. Yet, I am still hooked by the anger, the fear and the demoralization that grips my soul. I am really out of control on this. President Obama challenged all of us to exercise our rights as citizens in an active way. But how? what can I do? John Gallen challenged a group of monks, when faced with a certainty of fading out, of reading the gospel of Mark. That’s sort of like putting one’s finger in the hole in the dike while water spills over the top.

I really don’t know what to do. I’ve started volunteering at St. Joseph the Worker, helping disadvantaged people find work. But, as the apostles said to Jesus, what is that among so many? Who can I talk to that is on the other side of the fence from me? Talk, that is not filled with bile and ad hominem attacks. I am curious as to how a reasonable person can endorse the coming deluge of dismantling 8 years of social structure. And please, do not resort to scripture for this discussion. I’m a gay man of the 21st century. There’s nothing in the Bible that speaks to me that condones hatred, bigotry and punishment.

Perhaps as a gay man, I am more sensitive to these changes afoot. I know I’m different and I celebrate that in many ways. At the same time, I am still hesitant about being fully out there. There’s a long grocery list as a gay man of being persecuted, bullied and shamed. Perhaps that’s why I came out in my thirties instead of my youth. I couldn’t take the pressure of being locked in my internal closet any more. Even now, although I am more out than I’ve been before; I was easily “out” when I was in California. Here in Arizona, I’m not as comfortable or confident in being who-I-am. Perhaps being in this house, with its memories from childhood, reinforces my demoralization and fear. Could be.

Would my parents have voted for Trump? Possibly. Their simple single issue about pro-life would keep them from voting for Clinton. Like others, I suppose, they would have voted for her opponent. Shameful.

So, helpless and alone.  I can see why people commit suicide. Being alive here is a crappy option; while people who know me would be saddened at my death, let them be consoled by the bully they elected.


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