Bring flamethrowers

A new year is here, yet the anxieties of 2016 are still fresh in my mind. What is going to happen this year?  I’m not sure I want to know. What is certain is that the next few years are going to be a shit-show of herculean proportions, and I’m not confident in the coming government to handle any of it, but I do expect them to damage much.

I am confident that we’ll get four years of America the Stupid, and it makes me only want to hide away in my house and love my family. 2016 left me little more than a fire with water poured on it — remnants of smoke and not enough energy to reignite.

I’m all sparked out.

But I also know that I can’t quit. I have to keep striking my rocks until maybe the fire returns. I have an opportunity and a chance to speak loudly in the space I’m given here but, my god, I’m tired. My spirit is tired. I think of the future, this nation, and the most intellectual thing I can muster is, “We asked for this.” I know, I’m blaming the victims.

Even in my fatigue, I know that I am in this with all of you, and I believe America is ready for a showdown, and that makes me damned happy. The restless and oft-discombobulated liberal-without-a-cause has mobilized, organized and is spreading the words of a new revolution, one that forces a confrontation with some of our own. The newest civil war likely will not be fought on a grassy battlefield. Gettysburg II won’t happen in a mall parking lot, but the reconciliation we are due as a country has to happen.

What I’d like to see in the year to come is the continued growth of resistance and accountability.

I hope that Americans find their voices as essential gatekeepers for government and personal accountability, and as an element of resistance to hatred and corporate greed. I also hope that Americans use their vote to eliminate politicians who have broken their promises and get wise about choosing representatives who do the work we ask of them. 

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell stood on the Senate floor this past Wednesday and said that the first order of business was to repeal the healthcare that people in Kentucky — the state he is sworn to represent — need desperately.  But we know he’s long sold his constituents for favor with corporate interests.

Governor Selfie and his cohorts have been busy stripping a woman’s right to choose and limiting the power of collective bargaining. The implications for the poor of Kentucky and the unionized members of our workforce — miners and other laborers — will be a nightmare. If you work in a union house, your dues will pay for people who can use your benefits without supporting your union. Don’t like that idea? Call your representative. Do it, right now!

These are perfect examples and opportunities for voters in Kentucky to practice accountability, resistance and get prepared to fill these roles with qualified and reasonable folks. Mitch’s seat comes up in 2020, when he is 80. Maybe the drag of nature and advanced maturity will open it sooner. Our responses need to be daily and en masse. The phone lines in Frankfort and Washington should never be silent.

LEO this week is about the future and my crystal ball says: As citizens, we will finally get it right, we get louder and more aggressive in protecting our interests as citizens.

If we do little else, we have to remember that while it seems futile for one voice to cry out, one hundred voices makes a powerful noise and thousands, well, can be deafening. There have been too many people allowed to be loud and wrong for too long. It can’t continue. We can’t be afraid, or silent or disorganized any longer. We can’t afford it and neither can our nation.

So dear 2017 United States of America, if there be a fight with fire please don’t come with matches; bring flamethrowers.

About the Author

Bring flamethrowers

Erica Rucker is LEO Weekly’s Arts & Entertainment Editor. In addition to her work at LEO, she is a haphazard writer,  photographer, tarot card reader, and fair to middling purveyor of motherhood. Her earliest memories are of telling stories to her family and promising that the next would be shorter than the first. They never were. You can follow Erica on Twitter, but beware of honesty, overt blackness and occasional geeky outrage.

@@feralnegress

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