This time last year I wrote about how 2016 was a steaming hot pile of garbage.
And I could easily write the same about 2017. The first year of the Trump administration has brought us day after day of horrific policy, devastating news, and absurd tweets. Couple that with enough natural disasters and mass shootings to take half the country by fire or water, and it made for year whose only bright spots were columns by R Eric Thomas and the guy who cracked the code of the KFC Twitter account.
But I’m not here to talk about 2017 and I’m not here to tell you “we survived it.” Because you did not survive it if you were shot in Las Vegas or in Sutherland Springs or by a police officer or if you died from drinking water from a Superfund site in Puerto Rico. You may not consider yourself having survived if your life was derailed by the travel ban or healthcare uncertainty or being gay, trans, black, Jewish, Muslim, female, or disabled in Trump’s America. And, here and now, we end this year with “tax reform” that is likely to strip basic benefits and will certainly make the wealthiest people in the country richer, all on the backs of the poor and middle class.
But if you are still here and able to read these words, I want to talk about 2018. This past year we watched just about everything go to hell but were left with every reason to be hopeful.
There have been musings – from online to late night conversations in my own bedroom – that maybe the Trump presidency had to happen. That maybe we had to hit rock bottom as a nation in order to rebuild ourselves, something better rising from the ashes. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but maybe there is some truth to it.
Garbage people have always been garbage people – the past couple years have just given them a license to show their worst selves. But something else is clearly happening. People are becoming better versions of themselves.
From my parents who have stopped watching Fox News 🙌 to the guy who stood in front of the Roy Moore rally in Alabama in repentance for past homophobic treatment of his daughter, this striking social and political climate has woken the better side of many people’s hearts and minds.
And, certainly, it has woken the inactive and unengaged among us to do better. Even if we have always voted a straight blue line or considered ourselves “good people,” millions of us have been forced to examine ourselves in new and uncomfortable ways, leading us to become more “woke.”
Amidst the external chaos, 2017 has been a year of internal reflection. We have articulated more clearly about what it means to be a woman (#metoo), what it means to be a person of color, and how we can do better as white women. We have reflected on what it means to be a Christian or a Jew or Muslim and how our religion and culture truly shapes our values. Men have had to think hard about what it means to be allies and to allow women to rise and have more space at the table (Senator Al Franken yielding his seat to Tina Brown is a good example of this). Able-bodied people have thought more about what it means to be disabled. I have thought about all of these things and I know many of my readers have as well. 2018 is when we put our thoughts into action – when the “budget activism” goes for the big prize.
2018 is when do everything we can to get more progressive Democrats, especially women and women of color, elected into every office in the nation. 2018 is when we canvass and call and advocate and vote – bigger and better and stronger and more than we ever thought possible in 2016.
2018 is when we fully appreciate the power of our vote and remember that time when all the power in the state of Virgina was determined by ONE VOTE in 2017. It’s when we take lessons from the activism and mobilization in Alabama that sat the first Democrat senator in almost three decades. It’s when Roseanne comes back to primetime and I am here for it (even though I know in real life Roseanne was a Hillary-hating Bernie-or-Buster but I am believing that Sarah Gilbert at some point has grabbed her by the face to make her see light.)*
We welcome 2018 with open arms with its all-female Oceans 8 and another season of Wentworth. The upcoming season of a Handmaid’s Tale might feel a little less real as creeps like Trent Franks get taken down rather than rewarded for shady stuff like trying to bribe women into carrying their babies. Prince Harry makes an American woman of color a real-life princess and for the first time, I care about a royal wedding. We follow Flippable for all the special elections and count down the days for both the primaries and Tuesday, November 6.
Yes, my friends, this is OUR year. Illegitimi non carborundum.
Really?! No sooner do I publish this than do I see #BoycottRoseanne trending. So I’m like, “OK, I know she was all ‘Roseanne for President’ and pretty much a dick around election season last year but I’m willing to separate the art from the artist for six episodes on basic cable.” But little did I know that Roseanne has far bypassed any Susan Sarandon-ness and truly LOST HER DAMN MIND. Check out @therealroseanne for a descent into the inner depths of #MAGA. I’m talking about Twitter being straight up like, “If you follow this you should follow James Woods, Mike Cernovich, and Scott Baio!” I’m talking about #TrumpTaxScam commentary like “They are mad because tax cuts are mostly for working class people.” I’m talking about retweeting ROGER STONE YOUTUBE VIDEOS, conspiracy theory memes, and Russian bot accounts with names like “Trump’s Army.”
Now, I could – and basically have – write an entire blog post about how this crushes me and takes away one more NICE THING. Because I LOVED Roseanne – in like, a way that’s kinda weird. Like my two favorite shows of all time are Roseanne and Designing Women mostly for the liberal woke-ness of it all (and yes, I know Dixie Carter was a real life conservative but I also swear if she were alive she would be a NeverTrumper and you can not tell me otherwise).
Growing up, I watched Roseanne with my mom. I watched through high school and even enjoyed the final bizarro season mostly due to cameos by Eddie and Patsy from ABFAB. There was at least one year in college where every day in between classes I would come back to my weird townhouse living room, heat up a bowl of Progresso soup, and watch Roseanne reruns. It was 1999 and my roommates knew I was trash.
How did progressive lesbian Sara Gilbert sign up for this? What is happening with Sandra Bernhard – I have made a stalker impression on that woman in real life too many times to believe she suffers fools. LECY GORANSON seems so woke!
Anyway, you guys, I am just really bummed. It looks like this #BoycottRoseanne thing is no joke – it’s like some next level #GrabYourWallet organized stuff that I can’t just be like “But BECKY!!!” Because, alas, then I will just be a Becky. So bring on the spoilers – 2018 just got a shade darker for me. 🙁