For me, today was it. June 1, 2017. For a common sense American who follows the news too closely, the past couple of weeks have been tough. There was the embarrassing foreign trip that culminated in Germany schooling us and included a pissing match between the President of the United States and the new French leader. There are the every-increasing Russia ties. There is the undeniable opposite of whatever 'draining the swamp' is. It's been tough. But today, pulling out of the Paris Agreement is a bridge too far. So I'm calling it. It's time to move on from this idea of the United States of America, because we're not.
In 2012, while Mitt Romney was trying to dampen the 'Obama is a Muslim who hates America' sentimentality, Obama kept reiterating that deep down we all have the same values that brought us to create this country to begin with, that we all cared about liberty and freedom and the American dream. And in 2017, I'm calling bullshit. There are two very different Americas. We're not arguing about what's best for the economy or the environment or the middle class working man. We're arguing about what facts are and whether we should believe in science and congressman are saying God will just sort it all out.
There is a portion of the country that has given up on values or mutual respect or empathy and just votes for whomever the right wing media tells them to. For me, this culminated in a trip to my hometown last October. My uncle and cousin were talking about the presidential race. Both of them very badly wanted to vote for Trump. They acknowledged the poor treatment of women and minorities, his poor temperament. But their response was: please stop talking about grabbing pussies long enough for me to vote for you. Because Hillary is going to take away our guns and make us go to the bathroom with gay people. Because that's what Rush and Sean and everyone else had been telling them. So fuck the nonwhites and the women, I get mine. Those don't sound like the American ideals Obama touted in 2012.
Republicans don't stand for anything besides winning (if I never see another liberal tears mug in my life, it will be too soon) and giving tax cuts to rich people. They're redefining hypocrisy and that alone has galvanized me to go re-up my anti-anxiety and anti-depression meds. The pharma industry thanks you. My favorite example is Syria. When Obama wanted plan an attack on Syria in 2013, 22% of Republicans were for it, 45% of Independents, and 38% of Democrats. A few months ago, when it was Trump, suddenly 88% of Republicans are for it, while the Independents and Democrats were similar to their 2013 numbers. Here's the problem for non-Republicans - we're here to have a debate on how to better the lives of American people. Republicans are turning into a cult, performing impressive mental gymnastics to support whatever the idiot with an R by their name is saying. Organized religion and political debate don't belong in the same arena and can't use the same logic. We can't argue or compromise with Republicans because we aren't playing the same game.
Not only have they totally lost any association with conservatism, Republicans have stopped listening to their constituents, something that, to me, seems very important to a democracy. My outrage on this topic began back in 2013, when, after Newtown and with overwhelming American support, Congress voted against a gun registry. Because fuck the people I represent, I'm here for the gun industry. Similarly, the house just passed an overwhelmingly unpopular healthcare bill. And their response to constituent outrage is to not hold a town hall and hide from protests.
I'm tired of banging my head against wall, tired of trying to talk to the other side when they respond to facts with feelings, when they're beliefs and ideas change depending on whoever is in the White House. I'm tired of carrying around a third of this country like baggage. Donald Trump's election is overturning the post World War II era and it's an entirely self-inflicted wound. We're a laughing stock today and it's something entirely of our own making - electing these buffoons. So, sane people of the United States, I think it's time to cut our losses.
For me, the Paris Agreement was the last straw after a series of bad days for progressive Americans. Leaving it is totally pointless, just a chance for the cult Republicans to point and laugh at people who give a shit and "believe" in the science of global warming. American businesses were imploring the President to stay in, so there goes the "but the economy!" argument. And clean jobs outnumber and outpace fossil fuel jobs, so there goes the working class argument. It's just pure partisan hackery.
There are real arguments to be had, about what the minimum wage should be and how to work with a changing Europe and how to combat climate change and how to protect the right to vote. But we're not having them. We're banging our head against the wall while Republicans rush through whatever they can before the Russian ties get to a place of no return.
And I'm tired of banging my head against the wall. Obama's argument of American ideals isn't true anymore. And that's okay. All good things come to an end, experiments play out. Let's let the Republicans have their combo theocracy/plutocracy. Let's let everyone else start from scratch. They can have their guns and Christian-based "science" and strict bathroom rules and fossil fuels. I want sustainable energy and free education and single-payer healthcare. They can keep the monuments to Confederates, I'll take one for Gloria Steinem and the woman's right to choose. I already feel like I need a passport when I visit red areas. Let's just make it official.