As the Stomach Turns: The 2016 Presidential Campaign

The 2016 presidential campaign is ratcheting into gear, and already I’m questioning whether my stomach can handle the vitriol. Depending on who I’m talking to, I could be a baby-killing, communist feminazi, or a right-wing Neanderthal nut job; although, according to both of those viewpoints, I’m most likely a lazy, confused, non-voting slacker who, by declining to do her patriotic American duty, bears full responsibility for this country’s slide into (a) a Godless, Stalinist-Leninist dictatorship, or (b) a fascist, misogynistic theocracy. It’s all a matter of choosing sides.

The reality is, I’m far more to the radical left than anything that passes for liberal today–so far to the left, in fact, that I’m catching glimpses of what was once, a long time ago, the right. There’s just no place for me in the American geopolitical system anymore. Which is fine, because a system is gonna do what a system does: sort, organize and separate objects into their appropriate slots. Go ahead, try to put a label on me. Cleverer people have failed.

I don’t want to hate anyone either, motherfuckers. Really, I don’t. That’s a karmic load we can all do without, and, thankfully, I’ve worked through the one and only time in my life that I felt honest-to-god hatred towards another human being. But, so long as the backbone of this particular system is global conquest and war, I’ll have to politely refuse making the choice between a left/more left-leaning warmonger and one who wages war from the right/more right. It may be trite, but I see it as true: lesser evil is still evil, and my principles won’t bend enough to get around that.

If ya don’t eat yer meat ya can’t have any pudding! How can ya have any pudding if ya don’t eat yer meat?

Occasionally, someone will try to school me on the differences between candidates and establishment political parties. In a hot-topic list of pros and cons, they can look quite different, I agree–but it’s the backbone that matters. Our economy is built on war, the pervasive nature of which is evidenced by daily expressions of corn-fed road rage, and the way in which we’re expected to take sides: society’s dutiful soldiers. But I don’t think we can look to have nice things here (the definition of “nice things” being variable, depending on political persuasion) while concurrently blowing up women, children, young men, old grandparents, the innocent donkeys they rode in on and wedding party caravans over there. See my dilemma? Out of sight, out of mind seems kind of perverse and self-centered to me. And you know it’s true, gentle reader: most of us don’t think about the death and destruction our tax dollars buy on a daily basis. My hard-earned tax dollars. Yours. Spent to blow up people and rape the planet, backed by the authority of a thousand U.S. military bases spread around the world. Name one mainstream candidate who will stand on a platform to bring an end to that. Are those crickets I hear? And we wonder where the money went…

Look, I’m not going to hold it against anyone who votes for establishment candidates. Do your duty, as you see fit, because I sure as hell don’t have the answers. By the same token, if I consciously choose to walk away from a construct so broken, so fatally flawed, that the writing is on the wall, please allow me that option without condescension or accusation. Clearly, what we’re doing isn’t working.  As long as the consensus is to create a better, more equitable and peaceful world, we’ll reach critical mass. But for the next two and a half years, the health of my stomach, and my sanity, are going to require that the American political arena be strictly off-limits.

TWAAuthor: Teri Wills Allison is nobody special, just an angsty, dirt-worshiping plant whisperer who functions best in her garden and in the company of horses and barnyard fowl. She embraces the Gaia hypothesis, hates wearing eyeglasses, frets over the Oxford comma and labors under the illusion that her words might somehow have an impact on someone, somewhere. Teri deeply regrets not having done more to leave her children and grandchildren a cleaner, greener, more peaceful world, and dreams that her efforts to make up for lost time will bear fruit beyond the wildest imaginings. Her favorite quote is from Isadora Duncan, to wit: You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.

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