I Don’t Know What’s Going On And You Don’t Know Either

Nobody knows what the fuck is happening. Or how it happened or didn’t happen or why it’s happening or isn’t happening or anything. Nobody knows shit. Is Biden winning? Maybe. Is Trump winning? I dunno, it’s 2020, any fucked up shit is possible. I’ve had four hours of sleep and each of those four hours was fraught with night sweats and fuckery, so, at this point I’m expecting the walls to melt. I’m not even sure I’m writing in a human tongue right now — it might just be beetle clicks and bird chirps. Who the fuck knows?

What I do know is this: I’m seeing a lot of newly baptized experts this morning, people who are SURE they know why Biden lost (or won) or why Trump lost (or won) or wasn’t buried in a landslide of votes or why PA did this or why this House race or that Senate race went sideways. This person didn’t go left enough. Not enough ground game. They went too far left. Masks, no masks. They didn’t sacrifice the right goat. They did this bullshit or that bullshit or, or, or.

I dunno.

Nobody knows what’s going on.

Or why it’s going on.

Exit polls are nonsense in this pandemic election.

The electoral college is wildly, inanely mis-representative.

It’s chaos! CHAOS.

This shit? The shit all around us? It’s going to take months, years to unpack — that, of course, coming after the mighty work of counting votes and holding off dictatorial legal challenges from our Menace-in-Chief. And that unpacking isn’t worth the 1s and 0s if it doesn’t first reckon with an unholy host of challenges that have long been stacking the deck. We have to grapple with conservative news media (Sinclair, OANN, Fox, radio) that plugs right into people’s brains and pumps them full of informational sewage and fear; with social media like Facebook; with active, malevolent racism that has a throughline all the way back to slavery; with gerrymandering; with voter suppression and disenfranchisement and intimidation; with USPS bullshit; and with all of the hobbling and harm and heavy anchors around our waists that makes it harder and harder to swim up to the light. Certainly the Democratic party has a lot of reckoning to do, then and now and going forward, but that reckoning isn’t on its own, and cannot be considered without all these other factors. Without the deck stacking — let’s remember there’s no more Voter Rights Act, for fuck’s sake — who knows where we’d be? If we got to run a race at the starting line instead of ten feet back, could you imagine? A lot of red states wouldn’t be red, for one. (And here it’s worth reminding that those red states are even now full of progressive voters busting their ass to change the temperature of their home states, just like what happened in Virginia, Arizona, and more.) Democrats wouldn’t be constantly facing the “won the popular vote, lost the electoral college” problem. We’re a messy, fucked-up country but one side has gamed the system to their advantage, and it’s really difficult to reckon with the weaknesses of the Democrats without first addressing the inequities spawned by those on the right, full stop. I wish that weren’t the case, but it is. Of course they swim faster and reach the surface more often — they’re not wearing the same cement shoes. Shoes they made for us and forced us to wear!

I’ve no idea what happens now or next or in five days or five weeks. Biden may pull this out and I’m sure we’ll endure challenges from that other motherfucker, because, of course he will. Beyond that, the how and what and why are chaos. I don’t know the answers and you don’t, either. Beware anybody who falls for the fallacy of the single cause here, as if ALL WOULD’VE BEEN WELL IF WE JUST DID THAT ONE THING DIFFERENTLY. Yes, different choices can lead to different outcomes good and bad, but until we build a time machine, we’ve no way of testing that. Be slow with accepting narratives right now. Be cautious with sharing information. Be sure-footed about your research. It’s difficult, and I feel it too, because you just wanna share share share all the things that feel like answers. But we must be better than that. We can’t just pretend gut-checks are gonna save us. We have a lot of reckoning to do but that reckoning isn’t coming overnight. And it must happen even if Biden wins at the end of this. The fight goes on. The fight for the soul of not just one party or the other, but the whole country —

This whole, messy, broken, busted-ass atlas of fiefdoms we call a nation.

What we do next is what must happen next regardless of who is in the Oval Office: we must aid our communities and lift them up, offering a hand especially to those who are most vulnerable; we must practice radical self-care; we must be ever-vigilant about changing this country in a game of inches and not necessarily of miles; we must push back against misinformation and disinformation; we must do what we can do to untangle the aforementioned deck-stacking limitations that plague free voting in the first place. I’m not alone, you’re not alone. Even if it feels like it.

You’re great.

We’ll get through this, whatever this shall be.

Even if we don’t know why it’s all happening yet or what the hell happened at all.

Stay frosty.

Be kind.

Be smart.

Sorry about the bird chirps and beetle clicks.

Chirp chirp. Click click.