down to hope

So here we are. Election Day in Godawful America. Nobody knows what the fuck is actually going to happen. But I suspect we’re all pretty confident it’ll be ugly.

For Democrats, progressives, liberals — for those of us who want a nation that’s actually representative of the people who live here — it’s a day of hope tempered by trepidation. We hope to do well, but we had that same hope two years ago. We’ve seen hope turn to shit. We don’t really trust hope.

We know from experience that hope doesn’t carry much weight — not in the face of rampant voter suppression, widespread gerrymandering, unchecked lying, unbridled racism, and blatant voter intimidation. We know the game is rigged against us. We know it’s not enough to get more votes; we know it’s not enough to actually win an election; we know we have to win it by a massive margin in order to overcome the institutional and political obstacles deliberately put in place to prevent us from winning.

Hope? Hope is a mug’s game. Hope is a path strewn with caltrops. Hope is standing waist-deep in a cesspit at the bottom of a hill, looking up at those at the top, who are complaining about being ill-treated while rolling boulders down at you.

Tree of Hope — Frida Kahlo, 1946

But here’s the thing about hope. You can’t help it. No matter how steep the hill, no matter how many goddamn boulders, no matter how fucking deep the cesspit, you can’t help but hope there’s a way out. You tell yourself it’s stupid to hope, you completely understand that hope only leads to disappointment and frustration and rage, and yet you just cannot help yourself. Hope is fucking brutal.

But it’s what you need in order to haul your ass out of that cesspit. Hope and hard work.

So here we are. Election Day in Godawful America and nobody knows what the fuck is actually going to happen. But we’ve done what we can. We’ve knocked on doors, we’ve made phone calls, we’ve donated time and money, we’ve encouraged others to vote and we’ve voted our ownselves.

Now it’s down to hope. With hope and hard work, maybe tomorrow will be less godawful.

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8 thoughts on “down to hope

  1. You do not want a nation representative of the people who live here, you want a nation modeled in the mold of one of 4 or 5 major US cities, NY, LA, SF, CH and SE. The rest of the nation can rot in hell for all you care.

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  2. The next question, should the attacks on voter access, dubious claims of Dem cheating and potential of Russian involvement overwhelm our democracy, is-

    when did the refugees, who have fled their homes and towns and cities and countries, when did hope flow through their fingers like grains of sand? when did they realize there was NO hope and the only solutions were submission or emigration?

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    • That’s a good question, isn’t it. But I’d argue that what the folks in those caravans have done is to transfer their hope — away from the hope that their own governments will save them, toward the hope that they can find a better life in the U.S. That’s pretty damned desperate, but it probably IS their best hope.

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  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    The day is finally here … ‘Now it’s down to hope. With hope and hard work, maybe tomorrow will be less godawful. … We know from experience that hope doesn’t carry much weight — not in the face of rampant voter suppression, widespread gerrymandering, unchecked lying, unbridled racism, and blatant voter intimidation. We know the game is rigged against us.’ … still we HOPE!!
    Yet, I can’t look!!

    Liked by 1 person

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