The idea for this book came to me after the US Presidential Election in 2016, a time when I simply asked, “What the hell happened?”
I’ve been a flaming-liberal progressive Democrat all my life and have voted that way since 1992. I’d gone from the high of the first Clinton administration to the low of the second one. I’d gone through eight years of war-mongering and rising right-wing bullshit of the Bush, Jr. years. I fought to maintain hope through the Obama years and thought it would be Hillary’s time after that. But my gut was also telling me it wasn’t her time and hadn’t been since 1992 when she became the right-wing’s favorite villain.
But in the six years since that fateful election in 1992, I’ve seen just how bad things can get. They make the nuclear scares of my 1980’s childhood look tame because in addition to those nuclear fears (which have never gone away), I also fear the slow and painful destruction of our world through environmental destruction, pandemics we won’t be able to respond to, and genocidal violence from far-right groups around the world who want to finish what the Nazi’s started over seventy years ago.
I have struggled hard to even start writing this book because I was watching history happen before my eyes that would culminate with millions dead around the word from an pandemic that may have been contained if the right leadership had been in place worldwide. But most of all, I struggled to write this book after being told all my life that I have no ability to talk about politics or political and social issues. And all from people who honestly didn’t give two shits about me or what I think and feel about the issues of our time. I’ve been an avid follower of political and social issues since my age was in single-digits and though I’m not an expert by any means, I feel I have a perspective that’s not dry, too scholarly, or inaccessible.
I was born in May 1974, three months before Richard Nixon resigned from the Presidency. My late father was an avowed Nixon hater and at times I thought it was mostly just his raving paranoid lunacy. But as I learn more about Nixon and the rise of the modern right-wing conservative movement from the early 1970’s onward, I’ve begun to realize my father was right when he used to go on about Nixon and company wanting to bring back the Fourth Reich as he called it.
For me in the 1980’s, I felt like conservative Republican were just like the bullies I dealt with in school. These bullies singled me out for abuse simply because I was ‘different’ though I was only different because I was fat, shy, and clumsy. I’m a straight, white, heterosexual female but add in the ugly appearance, creativity, and compassion and you can see why I was targeted. So yes, my feelings towards conservative Republicans are personal. To me, any argument that politics isn’t personal is total fucking bullshit perpetuated by people who only want to silence anyone who isn’t falling into lock-step, jack-booted, Nazi-red MAGA hat wearing perfection.
But don’t worry, I won’t leave the left out on this one either. I don’t like left-wing purity culture that’s only minus the fucked-up sexual purity of right-wing purity culture. I also don’t like the doom-and-gloom of the left-wing sometimes, so much that I would love to bitch-slap anyone who jams their head up their ass instead of taking names and kicking ass by voting and giving a genuine shit about the world we live in.
What really prompted this book is the right-wing desire I see to destroy this entire world and everyone in it if they can’t have it all for themselves. In the 80’s and 90’s I thought right-wing Republicans were mostly harmless. Since the 2000’s, they’re deadly. They started two wars, one on false pretenses, and let an epidemic kill a million people in this country. And worst of all, they’ve openly embraced fascism, neo-Nazism, and attempted a coup on January 6, 2021 they still haven’t answered for in a court of law.
I have fought like hell to maintain hope that we’ll put this one out but sometimes I’m fond of saying, “I’ve seen this movie before and I know how it ends.” I grew up on dystopian science-fiction and it always gets worse before it gets better. Just how much worse, I don’t know. Before my generation got bogged down and gave in to the latchkey-pessimism we were raised on, I had hope. Or at least I did in 1992. By 2000, that hope had been broken and I’ve been trying to pick up the pieces ever since then. This book is the story of hope found, lost, and hopefully found again.