Twelve people died in a mass shooting Wednesday night.
Okay, that’s unfair. The other people in the bar certainly noticed. Friends and family of the victims certainly noticed. Everyone around Los Angeles certainly noticed, which is how we noticed Thursday morning, the occasional LA-based tweet amongst a slew of other tweets not noticing.
The slaughter of twelve people in a bar Wednesday night was only a local story.
No fucking clue, really. Feels like wind in the sails, a cleansing blue wave crashing upon our hellish red shores, but also feels like we’ve been here before, an easy confidence in the road ahead before driving off a cliff.
Shit can happen. Shit does happen. Shit has happened.
But while we’re deciding whether that light in the tunnel is really an oncoming train, you’re welcome to join our Midterm Election Open Thread Celebration/Wake/Emigration Helpline. We can do this revolution the easy way or the hard way, comrades.
Martian invasion fleet greeted as liberators: 10:1
NYT Needle declared health risk: 3:1
Thanksgiving upgraded to contact sport: Even
We’re comfortable blaming Trump.
We’re comfortable blaming the politicians who support Trump.
We’re comfortable blaming the people who support Trump.
We’re comfortable blaming anyone who doesn’t recognize violence in political rhetoric, or who deliberately conflates colorful insults with incendiary language.
We’re comfortable blaming anyone who doesn’t take this shit seriously.
We were going to express our indignation over an American resident being executed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, but then we were reminded of our indignation over a newsroom being shot up, over massacres in schools and churches, over a woman being run down by a neo-Nazi.
We were reminded of our indignation over children being stolen from their parents by our government, and our indignation over our government’s deliberate carelessness in returning them.
We were reminded that our President once bragged he could shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue without losing supporters.
The pretense of government legitimacy in America rests, ultimately, on our right to vote — that as citizens of our republic, we collectively determine who governs us. An election lost can be deeply disheartening — our first presidential ballot was cast in 1980 — but if the loss is fair and square, so be it. Don’t blame us, we voted for the lesser scoundrel.
In many ways, the efficacy of voting, its guarantee of the consent of the governed, is an illusion: A President can achieve office while losing the popular vote. Half the American population is represented by only eighteen senators. House districts can be gerrymandered beyond recognition. The pretense of legitimacy is maintained — people voted! — but the results are engineered to thwart the popular will.
And even voting isn’t left to chance.