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If my patriotism seems in short supply now, well, can you blame me? I worry for the future of this country and those in it without recourse.

Photo by Nitish Meena from Unsplash. In public domain.
Photo by Nitish Meena from Unsplash. In public domain.

I am perhaps not the most patriotic person, though I appreciate a lot of things that America as an idea is all about (freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and so on). I have traveled internationally, and I used to not cringe when providing my passport or saying where I’m from.

But then we elected a president whom people are comparing to Andrew Jackson as though it were a compliment (who didn’t even win the popular vote, sigh). With a VP who supports conversion therapy, doesn’t believe cigarettes cause cancer, helped create one of the largest HIV crisis in recent decades, and has tried to pass some especially awful legislation about women’s bodies… it just gets worse and worse.

The debates about who deserves to access health care remain particularly awful, as well as personal to my situation. The rhetoric about people who “lead good lives” not getting sick as much is straight-up magical thinking. The way the system works (with most health care plans available through employers) also directly contradicts the economic shift toward part-time, freelance, and gig-oriented labor.

…but, you know, according to Republicans porn is a huge public health crisis. *eyeroll*

Domestic violence shootings continue, and remain off our radar compared to mass shootings. Maternal mortality rates are still appallingly bad for a developed country, especially in Texas. It’s hard not to see this all as a “no shit given about the lower-class” mentality, which seems to indicate a slide toward oligarchy that resonates with all the fairy-tale metaphors applied to Trump and his family.

I remain hopeful that we’ll somehow not eradicate each other during this time of intense conflict… I’m just really disheartened by all the bigotry and short-sighted policies and ignorance that’s being dredged up while we try to work this stuff out. I know that cultural conflicts are challenging, and that’s a lot of what’s happening here (people with drastically different worldviews forced to coexist), but I wish there were a magic wand to help make people more open-minded and tolerant (yes, I know, that’s basically what education is, but it’s a slow process and one that’s especially grueling on teachers in a society where we don’t receive nearly enough support, financial or otherwise).

See also: I’m a Teacher: Believing People Can Change Is In the Job Description

I’ll end this post with a plea to support educators and artists, and whenever you can, be kind. This means to yourself and to others, so I’m going to spend today doing academic work I love (that sadly doesn’t pay anything) but also relaxing (whatever that actually means).

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Jeana Jorgensen

FOXY FOLKORIST Studied folklore under Alan Dundes at the University of California, Berkeley, and went on to earn her PhD in folklore from Indiana University. She researches gender and sexuality in fairy...