Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The time has come for the next generation to save us from guns and the GOP

At this point, I do not understand how anyone can say with a straight face that they believe in the Republican Party. A fiction writer could not craft such a comically evil and corrupt organization without being smacked for a depiction of pure scum that was dead on the nose.

On every subject - workers rights, healthcare, race issues, LGBT issues, law enforcement, education, environment, conservation, taxes, the economy, national defense - they are on the wrong side. Every single policy seems designed to benefit only the richest of the rich, at the expense of hurting the poor and the middle class for not being rich.

In short, I've spent the last year saying "Fuck off and die" to the Republican Party so much that I felt like it was beginning to lose all meaning.

And then last week brought another mass shooting at a school that claimed the lives of 17 people. The blood had barely dried before the usual talking points were trotted out: "We should arm teachers!" "Guns don't kill people! People kill people!" "Now is not the time to talk about gun control!" "Don't politicize this!"

And my absolute favorite: "Laws won't stop criminals from getting guns because criminals don't obey the law." If you parse that out, it's really an excellent argument against laws of any kind.

Even for a party that has cornered the market on intellectual dishonestly, this is lunacy. We've spent 20 years trying to have a conversation with people who aren't willing to discuss the issue in good faith. Nothing ever changes and we keep trying to engage these right wing zealots as if they can be reached. 90% of the country - that's Republican and Democrat voters - want sensible gun care and it's blocked by the 10% of Republican politicians who are bought and paid for, and the sociopathic voters so desperate not to see the truth that they would rather believe all the shootings are staged false flags with crisis actors.

Fuck Alex Jones. If you have someone in your life who listens to the shit he peddles, cut them out completely. There's no saving them.

I've spent 20 years feeling like the only thing we can do is wait for these aging white bigots to die off and become demographically insignificant. Then, miraculously, in the shadow of tragedy... I got a glimmer of hope.

The teen survivors of Stoneman Douglas High School have done what no other school shooting survivors have done - become aggressive advocates for new laws and gun control. These kids aren't asking for change. They're demanding it. They're throwing down the gauntlet and telling lawmakers that one way or another, change is coming whether they like it or not.

Showing them rev up for "Here are our terms of surrender, you NRA prostitutes" has brought into sharp relief that this has been long overdue. It's time to treat this debate for what it really is - not a Socratic debate between equally good-intentioned sides, but a hostage negotiation. We've wasted our time trying to reason with the Party of Reagan, when it's been clear to all that to swallow the pro-gun shit they shovel, one's mind has to be as dementia-ridden as... well... you know.

(Okay, if I get off on the "Fuck Ronald Reagan" tangent, we'll be here all day. After the kids burn the NRA to the ground, maybe we can get started on Reagan's legacy. Even if you ignore that Iran-Contra was way worse than Watergate, the guy fucked the economy over for generations and let the AIDS crisis explode due to his homophobia.)

The generation that grew up about teen heroes fighting tyranny in YA dystopian novels is now faced with their own Voldemort and President Snow. Watching every right wing gas bag throw impotent punches at them has been a true delight and whine about how unfair the fight is has been a true delight.

So I wrote a piece for Film School Rejects about what I've dubbed "Generation Rey." Like the female star of The Last Jedi, it's fallen to them to solve the crisis that was created by and ignored by the heroes of the previous generation. Check it out here.

No comments:

Post a Comment