Yesterday was the opening day of early voting in North Carolina and I was there. It was a chance to do something in the face of the helplessness I've felt as our country teeters ever closer to a complete surrender to fear and greed and racism.
Children in concentration camps (run for profit by Republican allies,) environmental regulations falling right and left, civil liberties endangered, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in the crosshairs as the government looks for ways to offset the huge loss of income due to the tax cut (which mainly benefitted the wealthy,) gerrymandering and questionable purging of voting rolls to favor the party in power, and a president* whose go-to offense is name-calling and lying and who appears to have a thing for strong man dictators -- these are a few of my unfavorite things.
I often express my frustration on Facebook, posting op-ed articles or memes that echo my feelings. Most of my commenters are of like mind but I get the occasional troll type and I have a few remaining FB 'friends' who are of the other persuasion.
Yesterday I posted a meme that drew comments and rebuttals from both sides and, after posting a rebuttal myself (in the form of a link to a fact-check article,) I commented that I needed to stop engaging with these folks and just say "Bless your heart," that all-purpose comeback with as many meanings as one cares to assign.
And then a little war of Bless your hearts broke out between the two factions. 'No, bless your heart. And I mean it sincerely.' Kinda charming, in a way.
But thoughts and prayers and blessings aren't going to help a thing if folks don't go vote. I usually vote early because of the convenience, but this year, with horror stories abounding of people being purged from the rolls or turned away for lack of the 'correct' ID, I think voting early to make sure you can is a wise idea.
And it just feels good.