Anger, grief, despair.
Whether you’re an Iraqi parent, a French child, or an American of any ethnicity, many of you are praying “please, no more.”
How is blowing up a home and the family that lived in it going to prevent survivors from repaying violence with more violence?
How does ramming celebrants with a truck in Nice express any message beyond your moral depravity?
How will killing police officers prevent some fearful badge-wearer from once again shooting a person without just cause?
Many loners in Texas in recent years have tried to commit mass murder. It took a trained military veteran with quick-fire weaponry, plus the setting of an orderly march, to finally succeed.
And now a copycat veteran walks onto the tormented cityscape of Baton Rouge and kills more cops. Asked to comment on yet another case of homeland mayhem, President Obama displayed his usual leadership and compassion.
Republican candidate Donald Trump can’t be bothered to voice such sentiments. He’s all about creating division and targeting the usual enemies.
In this election year, some of us are put off by Hillary Clinton because of her approval of divisive military strategies and her kowtowing to corporate interests. Green Party candidate Jill Stein and other leftist candidates beckon.
I find the prospect of supporting Hillary to be a difficult, perhaps impossible, task. Yet I also see what could happen if Trump, despites his self-sabotage, attracts enough voters to scrape together a win in November.
Trump is a divider, not a uniter. Unlike Bush II, he is constitutionally unable to include Muslim Americans in his vision for our country. Like Dick Cheney, Trump’s choice of a teammate, Mike Pence, is an organization man, who if he achieves office, could provide the hard-core discipline needed to carry out Republican objectives.
I cannot predict a future President Clinton will eschew drones in favor of diplomacy, or that she will champion worker-friendly policies at home.
Her steadfast will is pocked with the paranoia bred from a generation’s worth of exposure to the pitiless spotlight.
Yet she is not Donald Trump, and she alone has the best chance of keeping that man from taking office on a cold day in January.
But we are here, enduring a long, hot summer of discontent in which around the world people like us are being murdered to capture that day’s headline, or death-by-cop writ large, for some obscene perversion of political purpose.
The revolution isn’t being televised. Rather, we’re witnessing its potential drowning at birth.
Loner force is met by organized force until surveillance threatens to go from pervasive to overtaking the last of our civil liberties.
See peaceful protestors, pummeled and cursed at Trump rallies, and then sent screaming for their lives at the march in Dallas, their freedom to dissent crumpling from the weight of our collective fears. Police there, who’ve recently worked at mending fences with communities of color, paid with their lives for a marksman’s hubris.
Trump and his apologists want to create a permanent us versus them, and the list of “them” keeps growing.
Trump could win in November. Hillary’s foes will focus relentlessly on her flaws, and his party’s desire to control the tools of governance is such some will convince themselves that all Trump needs is a competent operator. Pence (and any would-be cabinet members) may not be the deciding factor in the vote, but desperate people seek out the most unlikely of saviors and off-ramps.
Weary of Southern obstruction after the Civil War, the North dumped Reconstruction. Presidents Bush and Cheney used September 11 as the pretext for permanent war and disruption in Iraq.
Statistics may provide empirical evidence that our time is not as bad as in 1968, but back then, smart phones and social media didn’t exist to continually document the disorder bred when civilians and police alike feel pressured.
We witness injustice too often without a ready means of redress, and voting seems like a pointless exercise when the only two candidates remaining have little or no connection to the concerns occupying our daily lives.
So we see the news, or try not to. Perhaps we will ourselves to believe voting for the first woman president is the best we can do to further progress.
Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Evo [Evolution] World Championships took place over the weekend. Street Fighter arcade-inspired gamers delivered avatar beat-downs with supple force. South Korean player Infiltration won this time out.
That’s my idea of combat. Battled one on one in a tournament originally organized and still sustained with major contributions by people of color and played by all ethnicities. None of them angry loners, because they know how to exert their will without blood being spilled.
To give political voice to that brilliant, controlled competitiveness takes more than Trumpian comic bluster. If people power is to grow, it must be in arenas old and new, from game development to labor organization, focused actions to corporate restructure, and seizing every opportunity to frame the terms.
Progress, engagement, speaking truth to power. Trump hasn’t a clue how to speak to our authentic majority. Is that enough to make me lean for Hillary?
My state is ruled by a single-party theocracy. I know I can’t stop remote-controlled politicians from further fracturing my country’s frail unity.
That is, I can’t do it on my own. If you’re for Jill Stein or another progressive candidate, be for her one hundred percent. Work your ass off. If you back Hillary, do your best to hold her to any progressive promise she makes along the way.
If progressives choose to passively experience this election it is in the sure knowledge that Trump is not simply the greater of two evils. He is the worst possible face we can show the world.
Photo: Crowd at the EVO fighting game tournament 2016.