CUSS & Other Rants


because life is hairy, or hock mir ein chinik ("bang my tea kettle")

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Trump is Delilah and America is Samson

Last night I read the Samson and Delilah story with my feminist Torah study group.  The parallels between this Torah story and America today are frightening, including the misinterpretations of the story. Generally, Delilah is spoke of as cunning, a con woman who tricks Samson into telling her his weakness, which she then conveys to his enemies for pay, and Samson is temporarily brought down.

However, in reading the story, we see that Delilah is actually not conniving at all. Repeatedly, she asks Samson to explain what would take away his strength. Repeatedly, he lies to her, then she does everything he says will make him weak, and when he wakes up, she truthfully tells him that his enemy is lying in wait for him. She's pretty damn blatant that she's selling him out. So if Samson can't figure out that this person wants to betray him, that is his responsibility. He only hears what he wants to hear; he's hardly a victim. Eventually, this leads to him telling her the truth, being captured, and eventually having his revenge by killing everyone.

I'm reading a lot these days, too, about a slick con man who deceived American voters. But like Delilah, Trump is not cunning at all. He is obvious about his lack of intelligence, qualifications, skills, and ethics. America as Samson voted for him because they heard what they wanted to hear. They heard messages of jobs that could magically be recreated, messages of hate, scapegoating, and fear. And like whatever Delilah offered Samson to get what she wanted, Americans decided they'd rather believe the lie that he'll make things great.

Trump voters are not innocent victims of a con man. They have leaned against the pillars of America, and are bringing the structure down. I will not be sorry for them when they are crushed by bricks of democracy they decided to destroy.

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We need President Clinton and Her Democratic Congress

"We should host people to watch the election results," my husband said. "We can serve Champagne if Clinton wins, and prune juice if she doesn't."

"Not prune juice," I said. "We should serve bleach if she doesn't."

I was kidding, of course. Sort of. I want Hillary Clinton to win because I think she has some damn good policies. Because I admire her tenacity - this a woman who has been metaphorically punched in the face billions of times over the years, and she shrugs it off and keeps going because that's what she does. Because I love that she's a policy geek and a pragmatist. As my friend (who, right after Clinton won the nomination, swore she could not ever vote for HRC) wrote:

My favorite thing about Hillary is that she is politically expedient and will do what's popular. (Also my least favorite thing about her.) So, if we raise up, en masse, grassroots, and show her what we want, she's likely to do it, if only to maintain power. I'll take it. This is where all of us passionate Bernie progressives really flex our muscles and get stuff done.

I agree: WE CAN GET REALLY GREAT STUFF DONE! It's rare that I think that because I'm a pessimist. This election, though, made me think big. We need to rise up, en masse, and say we want good change.

The alternatives scare the shit out of me. This summer, when Trump won the nomination, I called my sister. I told her to get passports for herself and my nephew immediately. "You have to have them now," I said. "You can't wait because it takes weeks to get one, and God forbid we'll need to leave quickly."

She obtained them at the end of August, and I breathed easier. Am I being paranoid? Maybe. My grandparents are Holocaust survivors. They lived because they fled their towns just ahead of the Nazis. None of their family member who remained home survived. None. If I do not learn anything from their experience, I am more than a fool.

Do I think that Trump is Hitler? Not entirely. I think he apes a lot of Hitler's language, and he certainly uses Hitler's hateful rhetoric to gain support. His even more dangerous sons spend a lot of time cozying up to Nazi and white supremacy groups.

I actually think Trump is more like Stalin: paranoid; subject to staff purges; promising to imprison his political opponents; promising to purge/relocate entire ethnic groups; horrid economic plans that devastate the nation but enrich himself; not accepting of democracy. (Weirdly, Stalin's daughter also was married to a Jewish guy, but that's not a flaw - just a freaky coincidence I can't shake from my mind.)

Let us not forget: As many as 60 MILLION PEOPLE DIED UNDER STALIN. And I think Trump is like Stalin. That is terrifying.

Another friend mentioned on Facebook that he understands people's worries about Trump, but he will never vote for anyone who supported the Iraq war. This friend is male, cis gender, hetero, white, and from a very comfortable upper middle class background. How fortunate he is to have the luxury of ideological purity.

The racial hatred that Trump's supporters so freely spew clearly won't directly impact him. On Twitter, someone told me that he couldn't wait for Trump to win so I could be "deported on a cattle car to Mexico." I was told that the Holocaust was fiction, but now I'll know what it was like. I felt lucky that, unlike many other Jewish people on Twitter, a photo of me wasn't superimposed into a gas chamber or behind the famous "Arbeit Macht Frei" gates. I don't think I could have handled that.

This election matters. It is a clear choice between a smart, competent person who we can work with to do important, progressive, life changing work, and Stalin. Please go out and vote for Hillary Clinton. Use this chance to turn Congress blue. This is not the time for self-congratulations that you rose above politics and didn't compromise or whatever. Don't let Trump-Stalin and the GOP who allowed him to come to utterly destroy whatever good things we have.

I'm really hoping to drink Champagne on Nov 8, not bleach.

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Hello, Worst Year EVER

Wow, it has been a long time since I've blogged. Like, almost a year. An incredibly awful, fucked up, and shitty year. Sometimes, when things were not going well in the past, I'd think about how fucked up and shitty they were, and yet they got worse.

I am pretty sure that Brexit is actually the first horseman of the apocalypse. Not sure what the second one is, but the third will definitely be when the Cubs win the World Series in November and then the fourth is if (GOD FORBID, peh peh peh, knock on wood, kein ahora) Drumpf actually becomes president.

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