8/10/16: how i feel about politics, in another person’s words

Jill Lepore, writing for The New Yorker‘s August 8 & 15, 2016 issue, makes a lot of great observations, but none better than this seemingly stream-of-consciousness one:

The rule inside the [Cleveland, Republican] Convention was: Incite fear and division in order to call for safety and union. I decided that the rule outside the Convention was: No kidding, it’s really awfully nice out here, in a beautiful city park, on a sunny day in July, where a bunch of people are arguing about politics and nothing could possibly be more interesting, and the Elect Jesus people are giving out free water, icy cold, and the police are playing Ping-Pong with the protesters, and you can take a nap in the grass if you want, and you will dream that you are on a farm because the grass smells kind of horsy, and like manure, because of all the mounted police from Texas, wearing those strangely sexy cowboy hats; and yes, there are police from all over the country here, and if you ask for directions one of them will say to you, “Girl, I’m from Atlanta!” and you have to know that, if they weren’t here, who knows what would happen; there are horrible people shouting murderous things and tussling, that’s what they came here for, and anything can blow up in an instant; and, yes, there are civilians carrying military-style weapons, but, weirdly, they are less scary here than they are online; they look ridiculous, honestly, and this one lefty guy is a particular creep, don’t get cornered; but, also, there’s a little black girl in the fountain rolling around, getting soaked, next to some white guy who’s sitting there, just sitting there, in the water, his legs kicked out in front of him, holding a cardboard sign that reads, “Tired of the Violence.”

All of these things at once: unstable, but also whole. That’s the America we must all continue to try to love. And the exhausted denouement to this paragraph really nails it–isn’t it time that we just grew tired of fighting and learned to enjoy the cool water on a warm summer day?

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