Adult relationships and the ring system

The irrepressible exuberance of Celtic (and human) eros

One of the purposes of imagination is to look at the world the way it is and then to ask ourselves: How might the world be otherwise? Science fiction does this in a systematic way. Often science fiction imagines a future world. Sometimes that future world is a better world, but sometimes it’s a dystopia.

Let’s suspend our disbelief for a moment and use our imaginations to think about human relationships. It’s not family relationships that I have in mind, but rather the kind of relationships that adults form with other adults. First, let’s think about relationships as they are. Then let’s think about how they might be otherwise, if people were more free.

If you suppose that human adults are free to form whatever kind of relationships they choose with other adults, you would be mistaken. Religion, law, and social pressure all exert control over adult relationships. Because we usually don’t bother to use our imaginations, we often don’t even notice these systems of control, let alone imagine how things could be different.

If you were an American slave before Emancipation, you did not have the legal right to marry — or any rights at all. It took a long and bloody war to settle that issue (though here in the South the damage seems to want to last forever). Not until 1967, in the Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia, did the U.S. Supreme Court invalidate laws against interracial marriage. In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Obergefell vs. Hodges, extended the fundamental right to marry to same-sex couples. The point here is that some people try to use any means possible, including the law and threats of hell, to impose limits on adult relationships. Whereas other people, for many long years, have been fighting to throw other people’s lifeless notions off their backs.

I’m a heretic, and as a heretic I abhor any attempt by any kind of authority — religious authority or civil authority — to impose limits on the private lives of other people. I’m hardly alone. Even in the early 19th Century, the French philosopher Charles Fourier imagined reforms for liberating human passion. From the Wikipedia article:

Fourier was also a supporter of women’s rights in a time period when influences like Jean-Jacques Rousseau were prevalent. Fourier believed that all important jobs should be open to women on the basis of skill and aptitude rather than closed on account of gender. He spoke of women as individuals, not as half the human couple. Fourier saw that “traditional” marriage could potentially hurt woman’s rights as human beings and thus never married. Writing before the advent of the term ‘homosexuality’, Fourier held that both men and women have a wide range of sexual needs and preferences which may change throughout their lives, including same-sex sexuality and androgénité. He argued that all sexual expressions should be enjoyed as long as people are not abused, and that “affirming one’s difference” can actually enhance social integration…. He had a touching concern for the sexually rejected; jilted suitors would be led away by a corps of fairies who would soon cure them of their lovesickness.

The fairies mentioned above, by the way, weren’t imaginary fairies. They instead were volunteers who comforted the rejected and forlorn.

So there has been a long struggle for freedom in human relationships. Heretics (like Fourier) have used their imaginations to ponder the failures of the prescribed relationships and venture ideas about how we might close the gaps. And, of course, the authoritarians have to be thrown off our backs and out of our lives. To authoritarians, heterosexual marriage is the only goal. It used to be that lifelong heterosexual marriage was the only approved goal. That, however, was too much even for the authoritarians, so serial heterosexual marriage, one spouse at a time, is now the accepted thing.

Screw all that. But before we can free ourselves, we first have to free our imaginations.

The first step toward freeing our imaginations, I would say, is to start with some anthropology. The bestseller Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships, is a good start. What we’re concerned with here is how human beings actually are and have been, as opposed to what authoritarians say we ought to be. So why not start with a good, hard look at human relationships through an unblinking lens that is as scientific as possible. Authoritarians see human instincts as primitive impulses to be crushed and overridden with authoritarian prescriptions. As a heretic, I see it the other way around. It’s the damned authoritarians who are to be crushed and overridden. Life is exuberant.

The first authoritarian yoke to be thrown off, then, is the hegemony of “traditional” marriage (which isn’t traditional at all, if you start the clock before the invention of patriarchal religions). Some people, no doubt, are suited for marriage and thrive within a marriage, but many don’t. Do you want to get married, have a big church wedding, and stay married to the same person for the rest of your life? Fine! No one will tell you that you can’t. If that works for you, then it’s a fine and noble thing. But you still can’t tell others what they can and cannot do.

It is generally assumed that the idea of gay marriage was cooked up by gay radicals. That’s not the case. It actually was gay conservatives who pushed for gay marriage and developed the political strategy — gay conservatives such as Andrew Sullivan, Jonathan Rauch, and Bruce Bawer (all of whom I have known, by the way). Their idea was to tame gay people, to get them to settle down, and to make gay people more acceptable to the majority. There was a great deal of pushback from more progressive gay activists, for example, Franklin Kameny. The progressive argument was that marriage was the opposite of liberation; that, rather, gay marriage was merely allowing gay people into the same authoritarian and ill-fitting yoke that straight people have been forced to wear for so long.

In any case, the first radical act, gay or straight, is throwing off the hegemony of the gold ring.

My ring system, as I describe it in Oratorio in Ursa Major, came out of my imagination. But it is based on much that is true, and I think it’s a reasonable extension of what we know about the ancient Celts before Rome and the Roman church all but wiped out ancient Celtic culture.

Archeologists know, from Celtic burials, that the Celts loved jewelry, including rings. They were found buried with finger rings of many different types of metal, including gold, silver, and copper.

We also know, from early historians, that the Celts were sexually unrepressed, even compared with pagan Greeks and Romans. Celtic women were empowered. Homosexuality was so prevalent and so unabashed among the Celtic warriors that even the Greeks found it remarkable. Perhaps more telling than anything else, though, is the Brehon law. This early Irish law almost certainly has its roots in ancient Celtic law as administered by the Druids. It persisted long into the Christian period — partly because the peasantry loved the Brehon law and greatly preferred it to Roman or English law. The Brehon law acknowledged 10 different degrees of marriage. Ten! But if you agree with the authors of Sex at Dawn, then you probably agree that Brehon law is much more faithful to the needs and realities of human instincts and behavior. You also can begin to see why so much effort was required by the Romans, and by the Roman church, to stamp out these “pagan” elements of Celtic culture. It took centuries to beat down pagan ways of living. And even after the pagan elements were pretty well stamped out by the life-despising teachings of the Roman church, in which only an unseen and untouchable next world mattered, it took an army of dreary Irish priests to keep the people down.

Remember when the Irish “Riverdance” was all the rage on PBS? That’s the spirit that you want to keep in mind here. We’re talking about the ebullience of human life and the Celtic spirit, and the Celtic refusal to be held down forever by a bunch of miserable priests. The power of the priests (thank God!) is fading, in Ireland especially, these days.

My ring system is not an effort to codify with rings the 10 different degrees of Brehon law marriage. Rather, Oratorio‘s ring system is intended to make sense to today’s readers.

I should emphasize at this point that no one should be required to wear one’s private life on one’s shirtsleeve — or on one’s fingers. There are many reasons why one might want to keep one’s personal affairs private. But this is, after all, just a thought experiment and a exercise of the imagination. And it’s a way of pushing back against the tyranny of the one ring — the gold ring. No one is required to wear any rings. But you can if you want to. And this is payback — payback for all those years of the flaunting of gold in the faces of people who weren’t entitled to it, though their secret relationships might have been better and lasted longer.

A ring might be made of something as biodegradable and impermanent as string. Who’s to criticize? Adults do that all the time. If it’s a fair exchange — both people know it’s just string — then everything is clear, no one is harmed, and as a friend of mine has said, “Everything just works better when everyone is getting laid.”

A notch above string might be leather, for those who, perhaps, had a really good summer.

People who get along exceptionally well and who want to stick together indefinitely — but with no permanent commitment — might wear brass.

People who want to spend their lives together with a permanent commitment exchange gold.

Once you have worn someone’s ring, there is no obligation to ever take it off (though you can if you want to). One might, for example, choose to wear the rings for one’s old lovers on the right hand, and current lovers on the left. Also, all of the above types of rings make no assumptions about gender. But there are two special types of rings that are gender-restricted — copper and silver. Both imply something creative, a legacy, a product of the relationship that is lasting.

A man and woman who have children together wear silver. Children aren’t necessarily seen as the fruit of love. I think that the Celts were more pragmatic about choosing whom they had children with. A woman might choose, as her domestic partners, men who were stolid and good providers. But, to father her children, she’d find herself a handsome prince whom she couldn’t otherwise possess, if she could. There actually is evidence for this, which I won’t get into here. But if you’re interested in following up on the idea, then try Googling for what Julia Domna said about Roman women, or why King Niall of the Nine Hostages left so many descendants. I am one of Niall’s descendants, according to my Y-DNA test (though some geneticists now dispute this). If true, then it’s very unlikely that whichever grandmother of mine slept with King Niall was a princess or a queen. Rather, the odds are overwhelming that she was a nice-looking country girl who had temporary access to the most desirable genes in 5th Century Ireland. As a woman both smart and free, she took advantage of that, and here I am.

Two males in a Socratic relationship wear copper. This is the least common kind of relationship. Two males, no less than male-female couples or female-female couples, might wear string, leather, brass, or even gold. But copper denotes a legacy, or some sort of cultural offspring from the relationship that the Celts saw as much like children. Copper relationships were more common with the Druids, though an exceptionally good silversmith might exchange copper rings with an exceptionally good apprentice. An elder Druid with particularly specialized knowledge — about, say, the stars, or about music, or about the properties of material substances — and who transfers that legacy of knowledge from one generation to the next and who prepares the way for the next generation, might wear a copper ring. Copper relationships imply a great deal of time spent together — years. And so there would need to be an affinity, a deeply shared interest in something too specialized and arcane (though very valuable) to be accessible by most people. Remember, we didn’t always have schools and universities, but transferring knowledge and skill from one generation to the next was always critical to human survival. Promising young men weren’t born with gold in their pockets, but they were born with something far more desirable than gold — their youth and attractiveness. With it they bought their educations, if what they needed to learn was something that their own fathers were unable to teach them. This was nature’s doing. The instincts have always been there, though for centuries thanks to the Roman church it was a thing that couldn’t speak its name. The Greeks and other pagans understood these instincts and the human arrangements that arose from them, and they codified it. Though the Christian monasteries relied on these instincts in order to function, it had to be kept secret. But the truth is that much of the cultural material that we value today was preserved over the centuries, including by the church, by copper relationships. As the Gwenlliant character says in Oratorio, “Copper is not barren. What copper creates is not of flesh, but is instead of mind and spirit. Without copper, we would be a crude people.”

So there you have it — my imaginary ring system. If you’ve read this far, then please take a moment to ask yourself what your hands would look like if they told the whole story. Would you wear all your rings for all to see? Or would you keep at least some of them private? It’s your choice. But whether you wear a gold ring or not, perhaps you can see what a lack of imagination the one-ring system expresses, and how the story one ring tells is only a small fraction of a much greater human truth that no one can really deny, no matter how many priests are sent to manage us.

What rings would you like to wear, but don’t, or can’t? Maybe there should be a system for that, too. There may be parts of the ring system that my limited imagination didn’t imagine.

And if only we had Fourier’s fairies for those who have no rings at all!

Photo: Monkeys Always Look

Damned by their own salvation


I wanted to post a link to this brilliant piece from Alternet, “An Insider’s View: The Dark Rigidity of Fundamentalist Rural America.” This piece is going viral among “educated elites” who understand the self-defeating stupidity of rural America (mostly because that’s where we happened to be born).

“In deep-red white America, the white Christian God is king, figuratively and literally. Religious fundamentalism is what has shaped most of their belief systems. Systems built on a fundamentalist framework are not conducive to introspection, questioning, learning, change. When you have a belief system that is built on fundamentalism, it isn’t open to outside criticism, especially by anyone not a member of your tribe and in a position of power. The problem isn’t ‘coastal elites don’t understand rural Americans.’ The problem is rural America doesn’t understand itself and will NEVER listen to anyone outside their bubble.”

The author totally nails it.

I’m still avoiding the news, but it’s horrifying:

Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election

Trump Turning to Ultra-Wealthy to Steer Economic Policy

Republicans plan to move forward on a years-old effort to shift Medicare to a system known as premium support

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education Pick, Has Steered Money from Public Schools

Krugman on how Trump’s infrastructure scam would work

As the Alternet piece points out, religion is to blame more than any other factor. The author of the Alternet piece offers no real solutions, other than talking back to them. I don’t have any solutions either, other than talking back to them. I do know that I long ago passed the point of abiding by the unwritten rule that you don’t criticize people’s religion.

I have long noticed, in dysfunctional people, that they tend to cling as though for dear life to the very dysfunctions that are pulling them under. They can’t seem to see their dysfunction, or to change, and so they ruin their own lives and often the lives of others who are entangled with them. White trash Americans see fundamentalist religion as their salvation. Their preachers teach them that their religion is the only thing that can save the country. So their religion blocks the vital insight — that it’s actually religion itself that is ruining their lives and communities. Some avoid the trap, to be sure. They stop going to church and observe that their life gets better, though they’re poorly equipped for figuring out why. And of course there are some — those who aren’t fundamentalists — who are smart enough to take their religion with a grain of salt and perhaps find some benefit in the social glue that any community organization can provide.

I would argue that we need to start openly talking about the fundamentalist religion of white-trash America as the hell and danger to the country that it is. Then we have to figure out how to save us all from it.

Rediscovering the black pot


I bought the black pot three or four years ago, hoping that it would serve as a substitute for a steam oven for making proper artisan bread. I found it to be worthless for that purpose, so into the pantry closet it went, and it sat there unused. (A Cuisinart steam oven, by the way, was the ultimate solution to the bread-making challenge.)

At least twice in the past six or eight months, a visitor pointed to the pot and commented on what a nice pot it is. “The French call it a ‘fait-tout,'” he said — a make everything.

I resolved to get out the pot and use it for winter cooking. The pot’s first service, last week, was to make a very nice sweet potato and kale curry. Last night, the pot hosted the ultimate black-pot comfort food, beef stew. I believe it had been at least eight years since I’d made beef stew, back during my San Francisco days and the Bush presidency. I almost never bring any kind of meat into the abbey’s kitchen. I used steak, which I bought at Whole Foods (with a good bit of shame, for which I paid dearly at the cash register). It takes a lot of comfort food to survive an election like the one we just had, and no, I’m still not over it, but thanks for asking.

I also had not made artisan bread for a while, because of the carbs. I’m happy to report that, once you’ve learnt the trick of making proper bread, the trick stays with you. Last night’s bread was 85 percent stone-ground whole wheat and 15 percent unbleached white. The crust was perfect — shattery and rustic. Crust like that demands Irish butter from County Kerry, and that’s what it got.

Iron is a surprisingly good metal for stovetop cooking. It conducts heat well, and it’s perfect for things that want long, slow simmering. I wouldn’t mind having a glazed fait-tout, but unglazed iron has a lot of virtue if you’re careful about how you wash it and keep it seasoned.

It’s always something

The guilty capacitor

I can tell from the reader logs for this blog that y’all are preoccupied with the political situation, as am I. But please bear with me as I try to get oriented to the terrifying new political reality and distract myself with things that are closer to home and relatively unimportant.

For almost two months, I had hardly turned the organ on, because I was busy with politics. But just over a week ago, resolved to work up some Christmas music, I sat down to do a little shopping through a stack of music to figure out a short Christmas program. As I was playing, the organ started smoking. It continued to play, but smoke rolled out from under the keyboards. I turned the organ off, of course, and called the Rodgers technician.

Some types of electronic components can last virtually forever. But electrolytic capacitors don’t last forever. They contain a liquid, and eventually this liquid can leak. The liquid conducts electricity, and as it leaks out onto a circuit board, electricity gets conducted into all sorts of places that electricity ought not to go. Things smoke. Boards get fried.

The cause of the smoking organ was a leaky capacitor on the power supply board for the organ’s lighting systems. The heat melted a small hole in the board, and the bottom of the board was blackened. The board was damaged, but it was repairable. A replacement board would cost well over $1,000 from Rodgers, so repair was the way to go.

It’s a pleasure to watch a good electronics technician at work. The Rodgers technician who serves most of North Carolina is incredibly good at diagnosing problems (he’s seen everything over the years), and he’s very good at getting out his soldering iron and doing component-level repairs.

After about an hour, the organ was back up and running. He cleaned up the blackened board, replaced the offending capacitor, and replaced three identical capacitors elsewhere in the organ as a preventive measure.

What keeps us sane after a political disaster like the election of a dangerous con man to the U.S. presidency? Music, of course. Cats, for sure. And what I call the literary labor of novel-writing.

The yellow jumper wire replaces a trace on the board that was melted by the capacitor burnout.

Testing the voltage output after repairs

Pulled out from the wall, back panel removed for electronic surgery

Two new capacitors where old, leak-prone capacitors used to be

Up comes the drawbridge


My plan all along, regardless of the outcome of the election, was to pull up the abbey’s drawbridge the day after the election and go into literary mode. I’ll start writing Symphony in Ursa Major, book 3 of the Ursa Major series.

Ken is here for the winter. He has a contract for his third book, which will be about the right to roam, a subject on which he wrote an op-ed in the New York Times earlier this year.

Horrible as the political situation is, I have to take a break from politics and take refuge in novel-writing, a process that I actually have come to enjoy and look forward to. In April, my two-year term as Democratic chairman for my county expires. I’ll probably accept another term, if they want me. I will return to politics to fight another day.

I’ll also continue to post to the blog, though I hope to steer clear of politics for a while.

I’d give credit for the photo except that I don’t know its source. If anyone knows the source, please let me know in a comment.

Nightmare? We’re just getting started.


Before I vent, let’s try to do some calculus on how life in America is going to change. We’ve known for years what right-wing radicals and the Republican Party want to do, so much of this exercise is obvious and easy.

The social safety net:

• They’ve promised to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Twenty million people will lose their health insurance.

• They will “privatize” Social Security, claiming that they’re saving it. But what it really will mean is that, even assuming that privatized Social Security is operated without fraud, corporate interests will skim 20 percent of the money while adding no value. Benefits will be drastically cut. Social Security will be useless for those who are now under the age of 45 or 50, though I think that even Republicans know better than to drastically reduce benefits for people who are already retired, since most of those people voted for Trump. However, I’d say that the odds are that bankers will have a party on the money and will raid and destroy the Social Security system, as they did with savings and loan institutions during the 1980s and during the mortgage disaster during the Bush administration. Millions of old people will fall back into poverty. Bankers will write the legislation for the privatization of Social Security. Republicans have wanted this for 70 years.

• They will “privatize” Medicare, again claiming that they’re saving it. Medicare will become more or less a voucher system for buying private insurance. The vouchers won’t provide nearly enough money to buy decent insurance. Insurance companies will make a killing, millions of old people will no longer get the medical care they need, the medical bills of old people with bad insurance will go unpaid, and the financial system will scoop up those old people’s assets (if any). Insurance companies will write the legislation for the privatization of Medicare.

• Medicaid will be drastically cut. There will be a crisis of health care for poor people and their children. It’s hard to imagine that Medicaid will continue to pay the cost of nursing homes for old people who have no assets. That cost is about $130 billion a year and rising, or about $80,000 a year per person.

• The social safety net is particularly important in an era of economic stress, job insecurity, and inequality. Republicans are about to pour gasoline onto the fire.


• It will take time, but Republicans will essentially dismantle the public school system. The public schools that remain will become rotting facilities for poorer children where little real education is possible. The children of the rich will go to private schools, subsidized with taxpayer money. The children of the average Trump supporter will get indoctrination, rather than education, in church schools and other sorry little schools run by for-profit outfits at taxpayer expense.

• The state university systems will be starved for money as their budgets are cut and cut again. The corporatization of universities (including some private universities) will accelerate. Faculties size and compensation will be reduced. There will be increasingly political pressure toward indoctrination and corporate training. The decline of liberal educations will rapidly accelerate.

• There will be no solution to the problem of student debt. It will only get worse, as deregulation allows bankers and other for-profit players to take advantage of young people who are struggling to find an economic niche for themselves that doesn’t involve frying chicken at Chick-fil-A.

The environment:

• It’s all over for global warming.

• The EPA will be gutted. Protections for clean water and clean air will be rolled back. Energy companies will write their own legislation for maximum profit and maximum pollution.

• The national park system will be sold off or ordered to find a way to make a profit — McDonaldized.

• Federal wilderness and forests will be sold off to corporations for exploitation with virtually no regulation.

• Offshore drilling will be permitted anywhere that oil companies think it might be profitable.

• Unless consumers demand better, the fate of animals in the industrial food system, which had started to improve a little, is going to get much worse.

Our infrastructure:

• The decline of our highway system, power grid, railway systems, and public assets of all sorts will be allowed to accelerate as budgets are cut.

Taxes, federal budget, and the deficit:

• Corporate taxes and taxes on the rich will be reduced to indecent levels.

• Estate taxes on the super-wealthy will be eliminated, and within two generations we will have an American aristocracy.

• There may be tiny and token income tax reductions for working people, but consumption taxes will more than make up for any reductions.

• The federal deficit will skyrocket. As the deficit skyrockets, deficits will be used as an excuse for yet more cuts in every area of the budget that Republicans don’t like. That means pretty much everything other than the military.

• Inequality, the worst social problem of our time, will rapidly worsen at a time when reversing inequality is absolutely essential to holding a democracy together.

Justice and the Constitution:

• Though they may pay lip service to the Constitution and the bill of rights, Republicans and their takeover of the courts will erode civil liberties in every way possible, especially as social unrest increases. The only part of the Constitution they really like is the part about guns. Look for a major clampdown on civil rights and privacy if there is a serious terrorist event.

• Trump, out of vindictiveness and the necessity of controlling his false narrative, will do everything possible to destroy the mainstream media and intimidate the exercise of free speech. The propagandization of the American people will intensify, and most Americans will eat it up. It’s too early to see how the right-wing media will reorganize itself and how it will cooperate with a fascist government.

• An activist Supreme Court will roll back every court decision possible that Republicans don’t like — abortion, gay rights and gay marriage, police overreach, the ability to discriminate on religious grounds, even basic civil rights. Remember, it was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that, more than anything else, started this culture war.

• The militarization and thuggification of our police will continue.

• The prison population will grow.

• I have no idea to what degree Trump will be able to carry out his anti-immigrant and anti-Islam agenda. It will get ugly.

America’s place in the world, and the inevitability of war:

• Our allies as well as our enemies are terrified and will be looking for ways to contain us.

• Even before we try to weigh the international situation (and I am bad at this, because domestic issues are a greater interest for me), we can confidently say two things. First, Republicans and their corporate backers love war and its profits. War was the primary product of the Bush-Cheney administration. Second, fascism requires scapegoats, fear, and emergency. The Trump administration will be able to whip up plenty of scapegoats, fear, and emergencies domestically, but I doubt that domestic enemies will be enough. Foreign enemies will be required, just as Bush-Cheney required foreign enemies to enable their war and their right-wing agenda. The odds of a new war are terrifyingly high, I would say. The costs of that war will further wreck the federal budget and drive up the deficit. The war will further roil domestic and global turmoil.

We are now a fascist country

Just hours ago, rational Americans believed that we were going to narrowly avoid a terrifying brush with fascism. Instead, we now live in a fascist country. Let’s don’t bother to quibble about using the word “fascism.” The only questions are whether our democracy will be able to survive it and how much damage fascism will do — to our institutions, to our culture, to the health and psyches of our people, and to the world. It is impossible to estimate at this point whether the “deep state” will be able to restrain a fascist president and a fascist Congress well enough to allow us to muddle through and eventually recover. Muddling through, followed by a slow recovery, is the best we can hope for. But if there is war and domestic turmoil, all bets are off.

Who will resist?

Commentators like Andrew Sullivan already have written that we must resist. How will we do that, especially after the courts turn against us and basic civil rights are taken away? The risk of protest is very high, because fascists require scapegoats to justify their agenda. Certainly the intelligentsia will fight back, but the words of the intelligentsia will have no effect on fascists. A diminished political class will fight back, but the tools of fascism will be used against them. If resistance is criminalized, and if Trump makes good on his boast about putting the political opposition in jail, then we are doomed.

Those of us who can see through Trump know that he can’t possibly make good on his promises to those who were deceived by him. Trump never admits failure, so all failures must be blamed on someone else. Everything that goes wrong will be blamed on those who resist. The danger this poses to those who resist is terrifying.

The American people

Readers of this blog know that I have no illusions about just how stupid, vile, and eager for delusion Americans can be. However, until last night I thought that they were merely a minority to be managed and who might slowly be brought back to reality and back to a sane and rational politics with some economic and social justice. But now we know that there are more of them than there are of us. They know nothing. They crave, and feast on, the lies and distortion they are fed by the right-wing media, which is the only media that can reach them now. They are dangerous. They finally have their Hitler. They now control the government. There can be no happy ending to this story. The only question is how enormous the disaster will be, and how permanent.

A bonus about what happened in King yesterday

A few days ago, I wrote a post about the nasty little town of King, North Carolina. Once again, King lived up to its nasty reputation on election day. An atheist activist and veteran, who was carrying a sign that said “Veterans Against Trump,” was deliberately hit by a truck driven by an old white guy who is a member of the VFW. There’s video of it. The story got into the papers. I think it would have gone viral, but it was obscured by the election news. When you watch the video, note the rage, hatred, and blind stupidity in the old white guy’s voice as he leans out of his truck yelling at the atheist. I would say that this kind of person is what we deal with here in the rural South. But last night we learned that it’s much worse than that. This entire country just handed power to guys like this old VFW guy. They’re a majority in most states.

I am sick to my stomach. I’m scared. I am doing my best to contain the rage I feel toward the American people — for their stupidity, their gullibility, and their turn to fascism. They don’t know what they’ve done, because they are too stupid and lied-to to know what they’ve done. While I’ve been writing this, my electronic devices have been chiming with Facebook messages, text messages, and phone calls from friends and political associates. Everyone is reaching out to each other for a bit of comfort in their shock and their fear for the future. But, at the same time, a majority of Americans are now celebrating and gloating. As Andrew Sullivan wrote last night, We the People did this.

We’ve got a lot of thinking to do.

Here’s a link to a newspaper story on what happened in King, with video. I’m quoted in the story, by the way. And here’s the next day’s version of the story with charges filed.

Update: My post was up before came out with this today, but we’re on the same wavelength: Donald Trump’s presidency is going to be a disaster for the white working class

Update: Here is a story on Trump’s plans for highways and other infrastructure — privatize it, require Americans to pay tolls to use it, and allow corporations to rake in profits from it. If there’s anything white trash in the heartlands hate, it’s toll roads. Maybe this will help teach Trump voters what government is for, what government does, and why they need government.

Trump Just Told The Truth, And It’s More Terrifying Than His Racism And Lies