My liberal friends and I prepared for Election Day like survivalists. Or like some folks did back in the "duck and cover" days when people had those bunkers supposedly filled with provisions enough to last 'til the radioactive dust settled after the nuclear holocaust we were so sure was just around the corner.
Well... it wasn't that extreme. But it felt like the end of the world for a lot of us. I'm not going to lie.
So we gathered up a bunch of old movies, our laptops, Kindles, IPods, food, water -- provisions, as I said. And we locked ourselves away in our dens, bedrooms, wherever we could get away from news updates and other reminders of impending doom.
And the next morning, we got up and tried to do our normal routines. Except that we couldn't listen to NPR, watch or listen to any news broadcasts or read the headlines on our home pages and newspapers that many of us still have delivered or stop to buy to help out that guy on the corner.
But I still can't help feeling like one of those poor suckers trying to run from the homicidal maniacs in those Purge movies. I've never seen one, but I believe the premise is that all manner of evil becomes legal for a short while, supposedly to allow a lot of truly damaged and deranged people to get all the sickness out of their systems so that they're able to be good, law abiding citizens after the days of rage are over.
Only in those movies the "purge" only lasts a few days. We're going to be in Limbaughland for at least two years.
So all kinds of civil rights and cultural issues we thought we'd dealt with or settled are going to get revisited, revamped, repealed, rejected. Economic and foreign policies that got us into bad trouble more than once will come around again with new names. And we'll wind up paying for those mistakes yet again.
People of color like me are going to have to suffer in silence. Planning and praying all the while, but on the down low for a time. The election was a resounding rejection of more than just a president. Anyone who doesn't get that is probably afraid to think about it yet.
But I heard it loud and clear. We scared the bejabbers out of a whole lot of people who are now going to spend a few years trying to turn back the clock to when we knew our "place." I'm going to be holding my tongue and swallowing real hard a lot. Like I used to do when my parents took me down South every summer, to help me understand why they got the hell out of there as soon as they could.
I bet they're crying up there in Heaven. Or maybe they're just shaking their heads in disbelief watching as all the things they fought so hard to change or get away from are coming right back around again.
I used to think that these wild swings to the right were a good thing, because after a couple of years when the carnage started to stink to high heaven, America usually woke up and said, "Whoa -- what were we thinking?" And the pendulum would swing at least toward the middle, if not all the way left.
But when people get really scared, they think with their "lizard brains." They go into "fight or flight" mode and lash out. And as America changes color -- and I don't mean from blue to red--some Americans are really scared. The "threat" was never quite so visible before. And the stats didn't spell it out so clearly.
There are a whole lot of white people who believe they're fighting for their lives not just a particular way of life. And on Tuesday, they voted in a whole slew of right wing representatives who will spend the next few years throwing up every road block they can come up with to stop "those people" from "taking over."
In fact, many of those right wing representatives won because they had already started doing that. And doing it well.
Maybe those stats will prove to be true so that my daughter's children will live in a country that isn't willing to self-destruct to keep "those people" from "taking over." Maybe there'll be more people who look just like my daughter: a gorgeous mixture of all the colors America is made of. Which may take care of one of the problems.
But not all. Not even close.
I don't know if we're ever going to make it back to the middle again, to be honest. Some of the things being dismantled by design will keep a lot of folks in the dark with their noses so close the grindstone they won't have time to think about how they got there or how to get out. Or they may just get too tired and disillusioned -- or stay too scared and angry -- to care.
It's not all Rush's fault. We make real easy targets, us lefties. We need to use this "purge" time to think about that. Real hard.
But I'm going to stay in my hidey hole at least another week. Healing. And preparing for battle.
I won't give up on America without a fight.