I kind of want to use Nietzschian to explain what is happening right now, but I’m not sure it fully encapsulates the current socio-political changes.
Something happened when 45 was elected. It pissed off so many people that, among his other numerous faults, the country elected a serial sexual abuser and misogynist.
“But, he had a woman run his campaign! He was the first to hire a female contractor!” Yeah, that don’t mean shit, dad. Guys who are in court for sexual crimes often hire women attorneys to make themselves look better. Women are sometimes given promotions to be put in a position to be harassed and made to have to feel thankful for it. And sometimes, an asshole can be a nice guy for once, it’s part of the abuser’s handbook, chapter four I think.
You look at someone by their whole, not their parts.
You look at their words and actions, not their press releases.
So yeah, a lot of people were pissed and there was worry that he was going to normalize this behavior. That assholes and abusers are now legitimized in their actions. And, well, that is kind of what happened… but their reign didn’t last long.
Maybe it was the fact that everyone got this feeling that we’re all probably going to die soon anyway thanks to a nuclear war that 45 will get us into. Or maybe it was the proverbial straw and everyone had gotten to the end of their rope. Or maybe anger finally overwrote the social programming that kept people silent.
Whatever it was, it was an explosion, all taken from one perfectly placed match.
A powerful movie exec goes down. The women who had been telling everyone what a monster he was were finally listened to.
When someone like that is shown to be vulnerable, then the monsters below them also lose their shielding. They all start falling like the little minions in an end-of-level boss battle. It’s really just clean up.
And it spreads, to corporations, and to the government. It hasn’t been a hundred percent successful in dethroning the abusers, but it has had a very impressive success rate. There is no denying that this moment of history will be remembered, and the landscape is being reshaped.
But in a horribly twisted way, we have 45 to thank for this.
If he had lost, none of this would have happened. The anger, the despair, the drive to make a real change in the world would never have reached this kind of fever pitch. Because that’s how these things work.
If Hilary had won, no doubt the USA would be in a better place at the moment. We’d have competent people dealing with North Korea, we’d not pull out of important treaties/accords, and we’d not be trying to take away basic human (and animal) rights.
But as individuals, the status quo would remain. Abusers wouldn’t be so brazen. Victims would see hope for the future, which might not translate into the righteous fury of needing to make a change today.
In a twist of irony, 45 did exactly what many of his voters wanted him to, that is shake things up to get rid of the status quo. Only, they expected things to go back to them being able to be unbashed at their sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. Instead, he just made it worse for them. Victims are no longer ignored, and the apathetic have found their empathy.
So, yeah, if we don’t all get nuked, then as a society, we could come out a lot better than we realized once this is all said and done. It will be hell, for sure. A battle that will rage for years to come.
But like all revolutions, it starts with a single declaration, a single shot at the oppressors. And for us, that declaration was a resounding “No” in the face of 45 being elected, and the shot was at a powerful executive who previously went unchecked.
Perhaps the ends do justify the means? Society had to face their sordid demons before they could cast them out? I don’t know. I don’t think I’m smart enough to figure it out. I just hope that when I look back on this post in 2020, my thoughts aren’t “how could I be so terribly wrong?”