The Hum in the Room

A year in, you get used to it.

It doesn’t become normal. It doesn’t become accepted. But it does become expected, like a chronic condition. It’s just there. It’s always there. And you learn to deal with it.

Our government is not legitimate.

A legitimate government would have been elected by its citizens, without encumbrance. The restrictions on voting, well-documented over the past decade, efforts to restrict it further, and efforts to eradicate protections for voters established during our childhood, show how fearful those in power are of the people they ostensibly serve, how much they value their power over our democracy.

They are not legitimate.

Beyond losing what standards we had barely a breath ago, there has never been a widespread movement to broaden a citizen’s access to the most fundamental right of democracy. We personally, by luck of geography, have been voting by mail for a generation. Others must face long lines and hours of waiting on limited days, particularly the workdays most elections are scheduled. This could be easily alleviated, and a legitimate government would do so.

Ours does not. It does not because the powerful benefit from the restrictions. Lacking legitimacy, they rely on force.

A legitimate government would not only protect and broaden the right of its citizens to participate in its formation, it would jealousy guard that process against attacks from foreign powers. Ours does not, because it is run by traitors.

That is the chronic condition. Our government is not only illegitimate, it is run by traitors. It has been for a year, and will continue to be for at least a year more. The horror of it is beyond recognition, at least by those who spend their professional days paying attention to it. They do not see the traitors before them. Their perception is framed entirely by who holds power at a given moment, not the legitimacy of that power. They are the useful idiots who abet the traitors through their inability to see things as they are.

And they are part of the chronic condition as well. They will not change. Their perception will not improve. We are told to mourn their dwindling numbers, their declining industry, but the thing we mourn has long since died. Journalism in thrall to power has no value to a democracy.

Nor do citizens who devalue their own citizenship, who happily support the traitors who would deprive citizens of their rights. We know, startlingly clearly by now, that a third of our nation’s citizens have no interest in the rights of the rest, and will cling to their death the crumbs of privilege they enjoy. They remain citizens, but they are craven in their citizenship, and have no relevance to the rest of us, save being opposed at every turn. They are the chronic condition we have suffered since our nation’s birth.

But you get used to it, you get used to all of it, because it is always there, a hum in the room that cannot be squelched. It is not normal, but normal is not available, only survival.

The way our system works, when it’s working, is that power only has a purchase of two years, that a colossal mistake can be at least be ameliorated, if not totally rectified, with another heartbeat of the body politic. Were our system legitimate, were all votes valued, all citizens equal, we never would have been here to begin with. But perhaps even under these circumstances, this fall we can establish a beachhead against the traitors, and begin clawing back the legitimacy that has been lost.

There will be no justice, no shame, no admissions of guilt. Should we survive this, history will not tell the story of a government under occupation. But we’ll settle for getting our country back, or at least what remains of it.

And stop that damn hum.

15 comments:

11:16 pm • Saturday • January 27, 2018

Right on cue, the NYT serves up a whopper:

“Gridlock Deepens Under Trump. Is Our Democracy at Risk?”

Oh, heavens! Not gridlock!

But that’s not what leads me to proclaim Journalism is Dead. This is:

“The sense of gloom is bipartisan. A group of Republicans in the House and the Senate are warning of a secret plot in the F.B.I. to overthrow the Trump government. Democrats speak of corruption and creeping authoritarianism, unchecked by a Congress that has turned into an adjunct of the executive.”

Both sides may have a point!

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/01/27/us/politics/congress-dysfunction-conspiracies-trump.html

1:10 pm • Sunday • January 28, 2018

@nojo: Some pundits seem to derive almost seckshual gratification from their both-sides-do-itism.

If there is any positive aspect of the current crisis, it’s that more and more people are becoming woke to the propaganda and delusion.

1:58 pm • Sunday • January 28, 2018

@¡Andrew!: You have to fight a lot of crap to get there, is the problem.

It’s easy to dismiss Fox as a malevolent cartoon, easy to understand how Fox gooses its viewers with 1984-quality schtick.

It’s easy to dismiss CNN as beholden to its current reality-show roots, ginning up countdowns right and left to keep viewers tuned in.

But we all grow up with the NYT as the Gray Lady, the paragon of Respectability, and dismiss its occasional lapses as deviations from the norm. Judith Miller? No problem! Fixed!

At least the Journalism We. If the NYT or AP covers the story you’re working on, you’re professionally validated. They have it, too! It must be good!

And they set the limits of polite debate, what we’re allowed to talk about without being written off as cranks. That’s where Both Sides Now is the most insidious: If the NYT treats manipulative Deep State ravings with the same weight and respect as the mountain of facts supporting the Authoritarian label, if evidence of Russian intervention is treated the same as cynical claims of FBI conspiracy, there’s no hope that anyone else tasked with Informing the Electorate is going to veer from that path.

Which leaves us on our own.

And yes, there are a lot of us, and yes, our collective perception and understanding of reality will have a beneficial effect. But man, it’s a bitch to wade through all that unnecessary shit the media shovels at us.

6:48 pm • Sunday • January 28, 2018

@nojo: I’ve actually been very impressed with WaPo, the LA Times, and the NYT (I can’t believe I just typed that, either). They’ve been calling bullshit since Day One of the Twitler regime, and most of their coverage and op-eds have now included calling out the Republinazi party for their complicity and collaboration in this ongoing white supremacist terrahist attack against our country.

9:32 pm • Sunday • January 28, 2018

What AMERICA! needs right now is ROSIE! O’DONNELL, or better yet WANDA! SYKES! and a forensic accountant and a Gatling gun in the White House press room asking questions about the Trump Organization’s project in Kazakhstan

That would bring it all together.

Wanda, a retired FBI forensic accountant, a couple of bodyguards carrying M134 and begging Wanda to tell her who to reduce to wet meat is exactly what AMERICA! needs to save it from the TRUMPLIGULA!n nightmare we now inhabit.

10:51 am • Monday • January 29, 2018

@¡Andrew!: The NYT can be maddening. Yes, they remain capable of good, solid work. And then they ahit all over it.

I’m not even including the Op-Ed page here. That’s long since been a lost cause.

4:24 pm • Monday • January 29, 2018

They do not make a nerve pill big enough to get me to watch the STFU. I’ll get baked and watch the brilliant Aussie dramedy Offspring on Netflix instead. The wild slang and the sexy accents are even trippier with a little green magick.

6:53 pm • Monday • January 29, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Who’s got the balls to shout “You Lie!” at him?

1:58 am • Wednesday • January 31, 2018

SOTU analysis: As long as we keep framing cynical, manipulative lies as policy issues, we’re not going to get very far.

12:59 pm • Wednesday • January 31, 2018

Treytor Gowdy (R-Infowars) just announced his “retirement” from the Ku Klux Kongress to spend more time with his melted, microwaved face.

Who will take up the Sisyphean effort to bring justice to the House permanent committee for Benghazi show trials?

1:31 pm • Wednesday • January 31, 2018

That non-metaphorical GOP trainwreck included my sellout senator, and man, am I having inappropriate thoughts right now.

3:04 pm • Wednesday • January 31, 2018

@nojo: One doesn’t have to be an expert on Flannery O’Conner to note the foreshawdowing and irony of this trainwreck.

4:19 pm • Wednesday • January 31, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Sometimes God just throws up His hands and says “Do you get it NOW?”

5:32 pm • Wednesday • January 31, 2018

@FlyingChainSaw: Hi, Beautiful!

@¡Andrew! and nojo: The NYT is trying to atone. There will be no absolution.

Op-Ed: They need to fire Gail Maureen. I don’t know why I still read her. Probably for the comments ripping her to shreds.

The NYT needs to hire a public editor. A good public editor. That paper is shitty. WaPo looks disjointed. WaPo has been getting damn good scoops, but the site is so visually unappealing that good things can get lost in poor layout noise.

All of them need to QUIT IT with the videos that pseudo-autostart and fake me out; I think I’m pausing the damn thing, but I end up playing the damn video. It’s like when the shopping cart on a commerce site follows you in the margins like a stalker.

What I’d like to do is to get behind the WSJ paywall. I’m swallowing my bile, but the WSJ might be the new golden child.

5:35 pm • Wednesday • January 31, 2018

Ah and the SOTU? I watched Ray Donovan instead and suffered Abby’s shit Southie accent.

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