I could just ignore this.
I’m rich enough to ignore this.
I’m old enough to ignore this.
I’m white enough to ignore this.
I’m male enough to ignore this.
Rich, old, white, male.
Does that describe you? No?
Too bad; you will be targeted by this government.
You should get back in your place.
The Republican party is the party of traditional family values.
You’ve heard this before. And it’s true.
This traditional family vision is based on early-1800s Southern plantation life.
Life was perfect back then.
The patriarchs knew their place: Appreciating the finer things in life, including women,
Afforded by the wealth generated for them by (nearly) unlimited amounts of (nearly) free labor.
The women knew their place: Competing for the patriarchs, and taking care of the home.
The young knew their place: Do as the patriarch says, and inherit, or do not, and be cast out.
And the poor and non-white also knew their place: Do the work required, or be punished.
Things like LGBTQ could not exist, so there was no need to cast them out.
Female, young, not rich, not white.
Does any of that describe you? No?
Then good; you have nothing to fear from this government.
You have found your place.
The people in charge of the USA now are making changes that will benefit me.
“The economy is improving”, which means the stock market is up.
That’s good for people who have strong investments in that stock market.
“The economy is improving”, which means the GDP is increasing.
That’s good for people people who own businesses.
“The economy is improving”, which does *not* mean that the purchasing power of a dollar is increasing,
Or that average wages are increasing faster than inflation.
I say these things and ask these questions so that you can understand this:
If someone with my advantages and privileges cannot ignore this,
How can you?
I cannot ignore this because I know what the future looks like.
I am in with the in-crowd enough to know this.
Roe v. Wade will be dismantled over the next few years.
The Supreme Court does not like to reverse itself, so it will not be flat-out overruled.
It will be restricted and shot full of holes so that it is effectively
No longer the rule of the land.
You know this will happen.
Republicans have told you directly that it will.
All three branches of government are Republican, so what can prevent it?
And it will happen soon.
There are already cases on deck to start the process of chipping away.
Reproductive rights are the first pillar that the Republicans are restoring to the traditional ways
Because they involve two of the things closest to patriarchal hearts: wives and offspring.
It’s a simple matter of priorities.
The second pillar is conspicuous wealth.
Because what use is wealth if everyone has it?
How can we get back to the level of wealth that comes from (nearly) free labor?
Re-enacting slavery would cause too big a hullabaloo.
So that’s on hold for now.
But the same chipping-away strategy can be used here, too.
This is why the minimum wage must not rise.
This is why the service sector must continue to depend on tipping,
The generosity of the ruling class.
This is also why strong drug laws are important,
Yet containing addiction, even at epidemic levels, is not.
A large caste of people who are desperate to do almost anything for just a few dollars
is a big step back to the proper way of things,
To the age of traditional values.
You think the wealth divide is large now.
But you will look back on this time and scoff.
The third pillar is a stick.
The stick used to enforce.
The stick used to punish.
Drug laws are wonderful sticks.
Besides keeping the poor poor, they keep the prisons full.
Prison labor is very cheap labor.
Three strikes and you’re working for pennies.
And prisoners do not get to vote.
It might be coincidence
That drug-law prisoners
Are almost entirely minorities.
We’re almost to the dream now…
Can you see it?
Next, Republicans will find more modern ways to say “indentured servitude”,
Ways that don’t technically violate the 13th Amendment.
This will be fiercely debated by both sides.
It will eventually make its way to the Supreme Court.
That aged body (for after this year, no one will ever retire from it by choice)
Will rule that the people with very limited options
Are deliberately choosing to be in their specific situations.
So this new brand of servitude is *not*, in fact, slavery.
Servants, of course, have no need of the level of education
Afforded to valued members of the family.
Servants, of course, have far too much to do
To be allowed free time on voting days.
And thus the country is restored to traditional family values.
Just like we all remember.
Just like our rich, old, white grandfathers had other people fight for.
Unfortunately, these are not my values.
(Alas, I could be feeling so comfortable right now.)
Not at this time.
Not during *this* century.
Are they yours?
I am lucky enough to be able to say:
I could just ignore this.
I could just ignore the people trying to impose this on my country.
I could lean back on the pillars of my veranda and look out over my plantation,
thankful for everything the Republicans have built for me.
Yet, sadly, I cannot be thankful.
I will not ignore this.
— Mark David, 2018