The Amazon Trail: All Along the Watchtower

by | Jan 12, 2021 | QUEER RVA

In this month’s Amazon Trail, Lee Lynch explains that the right-wing insurrection we’re dealing with now in the United States is nothing new.

Oh, hell, what can I say at a time like this? Did we think they’d simply go away?

When angry white criminals occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon back on January 2, 2016 and the seven miscreants were charged with federal conspiracy and weapons violations only to go scot free;

When, in the 1980s and 1990s, angry white Christians organized to legalize discrimination against their scapegoats-of-the-day, gays, in order to build a vast political machine;

When a woman was killed by a white supremacist at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia;

When people of color are daily, hourly, victims of “officers of the law”;

With Southern Poverty Law Conference workers putting their lives in jeopardy to identify and expose hate groups;

With the American Civil Liberties Union and its sister social justice organizations unendingly trying to bring equality to a country that can’t or won’t provide it for its citizens;

When sixty-four million voters choose a money-grubbing, power-grabbing, morally empty, strangely uneducated cheater to rule them, and make an American idol of him;

When you’re Jewish, or your skin isn’t white, or you’re female, or your affectional preference scares people enough to make you a threat and a target;

When Americans bomb their neighbors;

When it’s dangerous to represent the citizens who elected you — we need to pay attention. We need to acknowledge that anti-democratic power is quietly accruing and will lash out; will harm rather than protect this too-trusting nation.

These rightist protestors are angry that gays can marry; they’re angry about a woman, especially a woman of color, becoming our vice president. They’re angry because they can’t get ahead, can’t pay their medical bills, can’t put anything away for retirement. This anger is passed from generation to generation, and as we become a more just and equal nation some of these Americans blame the newly enfranchised for taking away their jobs, or their right to be better than whoever is lowest on their totem poles. They’re striking back, but at the wrong people.

Right wing demonstrators apparently think wealthy Republicans represent them. Socially, they may. But it’s not affirmative action taking bread off their tables, it’s not gay marriage siphoning off the middle class. It’s not “satanic” Democrats lowering taxes on big business or cutting food stamps, gutting Medicaid, and threatening to weaken Medicare and Social Security. Democrats are not the ones passing laws to weaken unions nor are they making it easier to give U.S. jobs to countries guilty of child labor, sweatshops, and pitiful wages.

Republicans are for big business. There’s a mutually beneficial relationship there: corporations fund their political campaigns and elected officials do corporations’ bidding. Like voting to consider corporations equal to humans. The campaign donations are used, in part, to target voters who are told that Democrats, progressives, socialists, liberals — whatever trigger word works — are harming Americans. The demonization is passed through certain churches, through organizations like the N.R.A., through some charter schools, through media designed for the purpose of telling lies.

They spread lies that smeared intelligent and capable Hillary Clinton so thoroughly that an insecure, bankruptcy-prone idiot who knows nothing about government, foreign affairs, economics — about anything necessary to the office of President of the United States — was elected. Now, because he pandered to the anger and frustration of a populace frightened of change, opposed to inclusiveness, looking for a miracle, they seem to believe an economic evangelist con man will lead the way to riches untold.

We should have expected it and done more to stop it. This is a capitalist nation. Nothing wrong with that. Except, when Republicans eased the restrictions on corporations, they unleashed a money-grubbing free-for-all.

Unfettered capitalism is greed, pure and simple. Greed for profit and greed for power. And that’s what we have today, universal greed. Instead of taking care of its citizens, our government feeds that greed, starving those it was supposed to serve and protect, telling them all the while who to blame. While destroying the economy for the average American, these shameless elected corporate automatons duped laid-off factory workers, ex-service people, unstable wanna-be rebel leaders. Duped them not into a revolution, but into murderous, cock-a-hoop self-sabotage.

The Republicans aren’t sitting in jails, the corporations aren’t sharing their riches. These dissenters, tools of a corporate, big brother world, aren’t going away. We, the people, cannot look away any more.  

Copyright Lee Lynch 2021. Top Photo via The Hill/Twitter

Lee Lynch

Lee Lynch

Lee Lynch has been writing lesbian fiction since the 1960s, and is an important influence in modern lesbian literature. Her syndicated column, The Amazon Trail, has been running since 1986. She lives with her wife, Elaine Mulligan Lynch, in the Pacific Northwest.

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